How to Help a Cat if It Has a Swollen Upper Lip?


Even the cutest of cat muzzles can sometimes look a bit ridiculous. But the condition in itself may be not as laughable. A swollen upper lip on a cat can be a serious symptom and it often brings painful sensations to a pet when it tries to eat or drink. The faster the cat will be taken to a veterinary clinic for a checkup, the sooner its state of health will be improved.

The Most Common Causes

A swollen upper lip on a cat often comes as a manifestation of the so-called eosinophilic granuloma. The syndrome looks as an ulcer on the mucous membrane of the lips and mouth in individuals with reduced immunity. In most cases, such manifestations in a cat are due to an allergic reaction. A rash on the oral mucosa may be due to:

  1. Insects and mites that has infiltrated the body and coat of a pet. These include fleas and other ectoparasites (lice, ear mites).
  2. Medications. A recently introduced vaccine may also cause a similar effect.
  3. Food. Preservatives, dyes and other ingredients that can be found in abundance in low-cost animal feed, provoke allergic dermatitis in the form of rashes on the upper lip.

How to Determine the Disease?

The upper lip often gets affected on the right or the left side, less often on both sides at once. The ulcer has a clearly limited area, its color is closer to brown, its size 0.2-5 cm. No signs of itching and soreness; the pet clearly feels discomfort only when eating or drinking. Additionally, on the these manifestations can be detected:

  • plaques;
  • miliary dermatitis;
  • granulomas.

Different manifestations can occur simultaneously in the same individual. The site of localization of various manifestations of the disease may be the abdomen or thigh area, back or neck, lower lip or gum.

An accurate diagnosis can only be established in the clinic – a biopsy is often performed for the purpose, followed by a histological examination.

To exclude further manifestation of an allergic dermatitis, be sure to carry out a special test. It will identify the problem that brings a negative reaction. An allergy to dust, tobacco smoke, pollen, and mildew are the most common.


If insects or mites are detected, empirical antiparasitic therapy should be carried out. By the way, such manipulations are recommended even when the presence of blood-sucking in the biomaterial has not been confirmed. Simultaneously with antiparasitic methods, an exclusionary diet is prescribed. Test feeding involves putting an unaccustomed source of protein into the diet. It is recommended to give your pet natural wholesome products or a ready-made production holistic feed. The diet is prescribed for a period of at least 2 months. Hormonal treatment is to be picked up by a veterinarian only. In drawing up the tactics of therapy, the doctor is guided by:

  • the general condition of the animal;
  • the existence of contraindications;
  • the dynamics of the disease.

Photo of Cats’ with Swollen Upper Lips

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Secondary Causes

A situation where a cat has a swollen upper lip may also be related to other factors:

  • A bite of an insect.
  • Infectious granuloma.
  • Injury of the lips or jaw.
  • Oncology.

In any case, the problem requires an expert advice. Take the animal to the vet as soon as may be to establish the cause. Self-diagnosis, and, as a result, self-treatment, can only harm the animal.

The sooner the treatment is started, the greater the chance of survival for the pet is. The swelling can prove being benign, and in this case you only need to monitor its condition. New growths often degenerate into malignant tumors, and only then cardinal treatment methods are required. An injury may signal internal damage. Untreated cracks and bone fractures can trigger serious complications. A cat with a swollen top lip needs an x-ray, which can only be performed in a clinic.

Infectious diseases require immediate treatment as bacteria tend to spread to other parts of the body. A cat can infect other pets or its owner as well. It is not reasonable to prescribe medicinal treatment independently, because it is necessary to identify the type of pathogen before any measures are undertaken. And moreover, laboratory tests can be carried out only in specialized clinics.

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