discoloration of the mouth

by Rebecca
(penticton, bc,Canada)

My cat has a kind of black substance around the mouth. Its kind of crusty and its growing.

ANSWER:

There are a number of things that this could be. You didn’t mention any other symptoms like loss of appetite or your cat being lethargic. It looks like it could be feline acne which occurs mainly on the bottom lips and chin. This can be caused by stress, a suppressed immune system, poor grooming habits or skin conditions in which abnormal amounts of oils are produced and the hair follicles aren’t functioning properly. Small abscesses break and form crusts. Antiseborrheic shampoos such as those containing benzoyl peroxide (at a concentration of 3% or less) or benzoyl peroxide gels are used to break down the excess oils. Oral or topical antibiotics such as mupirocin may be used if there is a secondary bacterial infection.

It could be Rodent (indolent) ulcer which is part of the common eosinophilic allergic syndrome in cats which includes eosinophilic granuloma and miliary dermatitis . Miliary dermatitis is not really a specific disease itself but a set of symptoms which causes include allergies, bacterial infections, fungal infections, parasitic infections of the skin such as mites, autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivity to intestinal parasites and hormonal abnormalities. Or…it could be something as simple as an allergy brought on by eating from plastic dishes. Try using stainless steel dishes like I do and it may solve the problem.

I don’t think this sounds like it is a primary bacterial infection. The area of the crusty substance around the mouth suggests that it is an allergic (plastic dish reaction) or autoimmune disease. The areas should be biopsied to see if it is Pemphigus Foliaceus, commonly called PF, which is the most common autoimmune dermatosis in cats. This is most common in cats approx. 2-5 years old although there are a number of cases ranging from one year to greater than 17 years old so you can see it isn’t written in stone. PF can happen to male or female and any breed of cat including Persians, Siamese, etc. The lesion starts out as a pustule that ruptures and coalesces to form crusts. Usually this involves more than one area on the cat such as ears and paws, not the mouth alone. Once a diagnosis is made then therapy is approached by using glucocorticoids.

I suggest that you first try stainless steel dishes and/or use a benzoyl peroxide gel on the crusts and see if this starts to improve your cat’s condition. Even if it is feline acne and not an allergy, your cat will benefit from stainless steel dishes or glass dishes. If these things don’t work then it’s time to see the professional, your veterinarian. Let me know how things work out.

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hard skin on cats nose

by Stella Symeonidou
(Cyprus)

My cat has developped a black hard skin on the tip of its nose. What can I do?


ANSWER:

Without seeing the hard part on the nose it is difficult to make a guess at what it might be. Macules are areas of the skin where the color has changed and the usual causes are a type of inflammation or injury. Did your cat have a squabble with another cat and get scratched…this could be the scab that is healing. Did your cat get into something that chemically burned him…again this could be a healing scab. Do you think your cat may have been bitten by an insect, had a reaction…now it is scabbed over? In cases like these you can try a topical antibiotic ointment to speed the healing. If you try that for a few days and there is no improvement, it could be something more sinister.

A common tumor of the nose is squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer that prefers white or pink areas. In the beginning, skin cancer on the nose looks like a scab that does not heal. Since the nose is exposed to the sun more than many other areas of the body it frequently chooses the nose. If it is caught soon enough it can be surgically removed. If your cat is white it is more prone to this. All I can suggest is that you take your cat to your veterinary doctor to have it looked at more closely. I wish I could have assisted you further but your vet is the professional. Please let me know the results. Best of luck to you and your kitty.

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MY BUDDY NEED CLEAN TETTH AND NOSE.

by maria jodffe
(rexdale ont canada)

HOW DO I CLEAN MY CAT.... nose, and teeth, and she indoor cat she only had 1 shout is that ok. thank you maria

ANSWER:

Typically, your cat cleans her own fur and her nose shouldn't be very dirty if she is an indoor cat. However, if you notice any drying discharge from the nose, even though you can clean it off with a Q-tip, you may want to take her to the vet to make sure something more serious than the sniffles isn't to blame. If she happens to need some help cleaning her fur you can give her a bath in the sink. There are very good, mild shampoos for cats. Just be sure that she is dried fairly quickly so she doesn't get a chill. As for her teeth, lifting up the lips and looking at the teeth and gums might give a clue of dental tartar, gingivitis and mouth odor. Many cats have severe problems and never display signs of pain. Dental cleaning and prophylaxis is the key to a healthy mouth. I have a couple of pages done that cover more information on Cat Teeth and Cat Teeth Diseases. A dental cleaning at the veterinarian can be expensive so if you want to try cleaning your cat's teeth at home there are products available to do that. If you have a local pet store you can get the products there or if you shop online and get items shipped to you, try one of the vendors on the Pet Products page. On the topic of shots...if your cat has has only one shot, then you need to get her up to date. Cats die from respiratory diseases that could have been prevented with timely vaccines. Kittens should receive an FVRCP vaccine at 6-8 weeks old with boosters given every 3-4 weeks until 12 weeks old. All cats should get a rabies shot at 12-16 weeks. This is repeated in a year, then every 3 years after that. I have 5 cats and they all get their shots at different times and although it's sometimes inconvenient, I know it's necessary. Although indoor cats are less likely to come into contact with an infected animal, there are times when your cat may escape outside briefly so it's better to be safe. For more details on vaccines and their time frames please see Cat Vaccines.

Maria, again, I hope that this information helps you. Please remember that vaccines are important if you want your cat to live a long and healthy life.




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black gums

Hi my 18 year old cat has black gums im not sure how long its been like that for but i just want to know if this is normal with age or very serious. I tried to brush her teeth but it doesnt come off. please let me know what i should do. I dont have much money to go to a vet right now and if its something i can take care of at home i would like to know. Thank you :)

ANSWER:


You didn’t mention whether your cat is black. You also didn’t say if there were any other symptoms such as bad breath, excessive drooling, trouble eating etc…. all of these are indicative of gingivitis. It is not unusual for a black cat to have black looking gums and its pretty normal for a lot of cats to have some black spots of pigmentation, however, it could also be a medical reason such as a gum disease like gingivitis, an early warning sign of oral cancer or FIV because these can also cause black appearing gums in a cat. However, if your cat isn’t showing any other symptoms, there may be nothing wrong. The most common cause other than a normal condition mentioned above is gingivitis so I can give you some ideas of how to try to get it under control until you can get to a vet for a check-up.

If there is plaque and tartar buildup the gums will be red and swollen and the tissue is tender and may even bleed easily. Gingivitis is reversible and can be treated with a thorough plaque removal by your Vet. Antibiotics may be prescribed as well. The process for removing the plaque is first removing the tartar above and below the gum line with hand instruments and ultrasonic cleaning equipment. The surface of the teeth will then be polished to help make them resistant to additional plaque formation. The teeth will be flushed to remove dislodged tartar and bacteria from the teeth and mouth. A fluoride coating will then be applied to decrease teeth sensitivity, strengthen the enamel and help slow the rate of future plaque formation.

If the tartar is left on the teeth for a long period of time it will push the gums away from the roots of the teeth and this will allow the teeth to loosen and perhaps even drop out. Also, infection will accumulate in the mouth that can accelerate gingivitis, as well as give an opportunity for the infection to be carried by the blood stream to other parts of the body resulting in kidney and heart infections. Antibiotics can temporarily slow the infection but if the tartar isn’t removed the infection will return very fast.

You have pointed out that at this time your finances can’t handle the expense of a visit to the vet but there are a few things you can do to slow the progress of gingivitis……if this is what your cat has.

  • First establish that your cat has tartar by looking in his mouth. A cat’s gums are normally a pinkish red color. Some cats will have some black spots of pigmentation, or like my black cat Max, their gums are all black


  • Secondly, if you do see that the gums are red, swollen and pulled back exposing more of the teeth, it is a good indication that either gingivitis has taken hold or soon will. Does your cat have bad breath? Is your cat not eating like normal? These are also indicators.


  • Thirdly, start brushing your cat’s teeth and instructions how to do this are on the Cat Teeth page. REMEMBER: DO NOT use human toothpaste which can be toxic to cats….ONLY pet toothpaste. No amount of tooth brushing will remove calculus if it has reached this stage. If your cat’s teeth are encrusted with it, it will have to be removed by your veterinarian when you are able to find the funds.


  • Lastly, to supplement the brushing that you have started (yes, I know it’s difficult ) also start trying to give your cat tartar control foods. There are special antiseptic rinses for use on cats who suffer from recurrent gingivitis. There are antiseptic gels that are useful to use on cats who will not tolerate tooth brushing.

    For items like this I recommend Entirely Pets Once you get to the website simply type BIOTENE into the search box and you will see the antiseptic gel that will do a pretty good job for you. It runs around $8. Then enter CAT TOOTHPASTE into the search box and you will see a selection starting at $3.49 Click on the button below..............




    Congratulations for having an 18 year old cat. You must be doing some good things to have your kitty reaching a senior cat status.

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    my cat has lost her voice

    by danielle
    (kent)

    My female cat has got very aggressive to my other female cat they are both neutered they have lived together for over a year and it's only started to happen in the last couple of months also she has now lost her voice

    ANSWER:

    It’s difficult to zero in on the problem because you didn’t give your cat’s age or say whether your cat had other symptoms such as runny eyes, sneezing and/or a snotty nose. Also, is your cat lethargic or has it lost its appetite…..this will point to something a little more serious than a simple upper respiratory virus that is common in cats. I would get your cat to the vet if there are more symptoms other than just aggression and loss of voice.


    Hopefully your cat has just been cranky and the aggression will abate with time. Did you change anything in the house such as one of them getting a new dish, a new bed, a new blanket or a new toy? These things can make a cat react with aggression and too much growling could affect the throat. Aggressive acts can also be a reaction to discomfort caused by an illness.


    Loss of voice can happen due to upper respiratory infections, which are mostly benign, but can result in laryngitis and a lost voice…………your vet can check to make sure it’s not a throat tumor.

    The invaders that cause most cases of upper respiratory infection (URI) are one of two viruses: feline herpesvirus I (the cause of feline viral rhinotracheitis) and feline calicivirus. Occasionally, a URI is due to infection with the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci. Vets can often tell which disease-causing agent is affecting your cat by the animal's primary signs. For instance, a cat with herpesvirus infection will likely suffer from severe sneezing. A cat with calicivirus infection probably won't sneeze a lot but may develop ulcers on its tongue and the roof of its mouth, causing excessive salivation. A cat infected with Chlamydia psittaci will primarily suffer from runny eyes.


    If your vet determines that Chlamydia psittaci is the cause, he will probably prescribe an antibiotic ointment to use in the animal's eyes. But if the culprit is viral, there's no effective medication to hasten your cat's recovery. In this case, if your cat is eating and maintaining a near-normal energy level, your vet will likely tell you to be supportive and to monitor your cat closely to spot any secondary infection.

    I know I haven’t been a lot of help but it does give you some possibilities to consider. If your cat continues in the same manner then I suggest strongly that you have your veterinarian check further.

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    cold?

    by leanne
    (illinois)

    my cat has been outside for about 3 weeks and just came home. she lost her meow(voice) and her nose is HOT and damp along with a little cough. what could that be?

    ANSWER:

    There can be many reasons that a cat loses its voice. Herpes virus and/or feline calicivirus are the main culprits. Other serious conditions can be oral cancers, FIV etc. An upper respiratory viral infection is a possibility but typically this is accompanied by other things like runny eyes, a snotty nose and/or lots of sneezing. The symptoms you mentioned were a hot and damp nose with a little cough which is more indicative of a cold.

    Since your cat was missing for several weeks it is entirely possible that your cat has a cold, or strained the vocal chords by using it too much. Perhaps yelling or hissing in self-defense during the cat’s absence caused an irritation. A stress-induced situation that involves yowling can cause an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the voice box…bringing on the medical condition known as laryngitis. Laryngitis can also be caused by throat infections, tonsillitis , tracheobronchitis or inhalant allergies. Another possibility is an obstruction in the throat by something swallowed. Maybe while being hungry your cat ate something with a bone in it or something plastic etc.

    You can choose to wait for a couple of days and see if your cat recovers on her own but I would suggest that you check to see if it has a fever. If you cat’s ears are hot then try to take its temperature and see that it’s within the normal ranges of 100-103 degrees. If the temperature is running high then take your cat to the vet immediately but if it is in the normal range, and you choose to wait a couple of days, keep a watchful eye on your cat. If after a couple of days you see no improvement or your cat refuses to eat, gets lethargic or withdraws socially, then you should get your cat to the vet to have all possibilities explored.

    For further information that may help you understand some of these variables… see… Allergies in Cats, Cat Fever, Cat Sneezing and Cat Comfort.

    I am a big believer of keeping cats indoors when possible. This helps eliminate some of the dangers that cats can face. However, this is not always possible so I wish you the best with your cat's recovery of her voice and health.

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    injury

    what happens to cat if broken palate

    ANSWER:

    To have a broken palate a cat has to have suffered some physical trauma. Falling from high areas and being hit by a car are the most common. If there is a lot of blood loss from the injury that caused the fracture, the cat should be taken to an emergency veterinary hospital. However, if the jaw area of the cat is not damaged or broken and the cheekbones are intact, it is entirely possible that no surgical correction will be needed. Fractures of the palate that have separated may have to be wired or pinned into alignment and broken skin can be sutured but fractured hard palates without those complications typically heal on their own.

    There is probably some head trauma and this can be treated with fluids, diuretics and steroids. While this broken hard palate is healing on its own the cat should be fed a soft diet until it heals. It is also a good idea to have a vet prescribe pain relief for the cat while it heals. NO ASPIRIN which is deadly to a cat. See Cat Pain Control

    I hope this information is some help to you but I would suggest seeing your veterinarian for additional input.

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