Photography © Lee-J | iStock / Getty Images Plus. Surgical removal of the excess tissue prevents further injury. All rights reserved. Inflammation of the tongue is called glossitis. Diseases of the mouth in cats can be caused by infections, injuries, tumors, or inflammatory disorders. When possible, both the underlying disease and the fungal infection itself will be treated. The trusted provider of veterinary information since 1955, Inflammatory and Ulcerative Diseases of the Mouth, Introduction to Digestive Disorders of Cats, Congenital and Inherited Disorders of the Digestive System in Cats, Disorders of the Stomach and Intestines in Cats, Disorders Caused by Bacteria of the Digestive System in Cats, Disorders Caused by Protozoa of the Digestive System in Cats, Disorders of the Liver and Gallbladder in Cats, Disorders of the Rectum and Anus in Cats. Treatment Options for Cat Dry Nose. The cat may vocalize and jump when it yawns or opens its mouth to pick up food. Antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce the chance of infection. Spread to nearby lymph nodes and the lungs is common. A balanced diet should be maintained. It is usually thought to be associated with other oral diseases, longterm antibiotics, or a suppressed immune system. Pets with dysautonomia can develop dry mouth as well as poor appetite, vomiting, pupils that don’t respond to light normally, elevation of the third eyelid, dehydration, constipation, difficulty eating and urinating, poor tear production, and a slow heart rate. Dry mouth is also possible when the nerves that control the salivary glands are damaged. Is your cat licking his lips as a part of his daily grooming ritual or could something more serious be at play? A fibroma (previously called an epulis) is a benign (non-spreading) growth on the gums that usually originates near the gum line. Salivary disorders in cats include excessive drooling, salivary mucocele, tumors, and dry mouth. Gastroenteritis. For example, a kitten that chews on an electrical cord can develop injuries to the teeth and wounds across its tongue and in the corners of its mouth. The outlook is guarded if the underlying disease cannot be adequately treated or controlled. Options include: Your veterinarian can help you come up with a management plan that is ideally suited for your pet’s specific situation. Animals that are unable or unwilling to eat and drink may require intravenous fluids or a feeding tube to prevent dehydration. My cat will get in front of me and lick his lips to tell me he wants treats. The first sign may be a nonpainful, slowly enlarging mass, frequently in the neck. A sample of tissue (biopsy) may be taken to help to exclude oral cancers or other specific mouth disorders. This condition is especially prevalent in senior felines who have renal failure. Benign oral tumors of the mouth and throat are less common in cats than in dogs. Frequently, because of the cat’s pain, a veterinarian will need to sedate it in order to perform an examination of the mouth. Mucoceles in the neck or under the tongue can be managed with periodic drainage if surgery is not an option; however, this is only a temporary solution, and the mucocele may become infected. What’s Mew at Catster: November 2020 Cat Events, Meet 4 Cats That Have Called the White House Home. Angie Bailey One might not pay much attention to a thing like a cat licking his lips, but here’s why it’s so important to remain aware of what’s really going on when a cat is licking his lips. Dry mouth has numerous causes in dogs and cats. Surgical removal of the tumor can extend survival and may cure the condition, but recurrence is common. If your dog or cat seems to be annoyed by a sensation of dry mouth after being given a pet medication, talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of decreasing the dosage or switching to a different drug. Irritation associated with inflammation of the mouth or tongue, foreign objects in the mouth, tumors, injuries, or other defects of the mouth, Infectious diseases such as rabies, the nervous form of distemper, or other convulsive disorders, Motion sickness, fear, nervousness, or excitement, Reluctance to swallow from irritation of the esophagus, Metabolic disorders such as hepatic encephalopathy or kidney failure, Abscess or other blockage or disorder of the salivary glands. The treatment and outlook depend on the specific kind of tumor and whether it has spread. After surgery, your cat may be prescribed a daily oral rinse to be used until the site is healed. Dry Mouth in Pets: What to Do About It Causes of Dry Mouth in Dogs and Cats. Radiation-induced dry mouth may be permanent or temporary. Pay attention to your cat’s body language and the other things that happen when your cat is licking his lips. A cat with diabetes will lose weight, despite the fact that he may have … If the animal is unable to eat well for a prolonged period, tube feeding may also be required. A soft diet and intravenous fluids may be necessary. Lymph nodes in the region may be enlarged. Usually, the cause is not determined. There are over-the-counter remedies, such as creams and ointments, for issues like a dry nose, but prior to treating your cat, contact the vet's office for recommendations. Infection may be treated with an appropriate antibiotic. A mucocele under the tongue may not be seen until it is traumatized and bleeds. But what about the serious side of a cat licking his lips? Although there are several reasons for developing this, the most alarming is feline chronic renal failure. The cause of the excessive salivation could indicate a number of health conditions, some of them quite serious. If the teeth are extracted early in the disease process, the procedure generally results in significant improvement or complete resolution of the inflammation in 60% to 80% of cats. Managing Dry Mouth in Pets. If a primary problem cannot be identified or effectively treated, home management and therapies aimed at preventing and treating the complications associated with dry mouth can help keep pets comfortable. Signs vary widely with the cause and extent of inflammation. © 2019 Belvoir Media Group.

Thermal (heat), chemical, or electrical burns involving the mouth may occur. The animal’s face may become swollen as the tumor enlarges and invades surrounding tissue. Medications that suppress the immune system (e.g., cyclosporine, prednisone, and prednisolone) can be used to improve a pet’s production of saliva in these cases. Cats eat well without their teeth. The glandular stomach (abomasum) of ruminants is susceptible to several diseases.

This condition occurs when saliva production is decreased. Ptyalism is hypersalivation and might make a cat lick his lips. Your veterinarian can analyze a tissue sample (biopsy) to determine the proper diagnosis and treatment. It moisturizes food, making it easier to swallow, is essential to oral comfort, and helps prevent dental disease and infection within the mouth.

It is important to identify and treat the underlying cause. If the glossitis is caused by another condition, the primary disease should also be treated. The tumors frequently ulcerate and bleed. Salivary gland tumors are rare in cats, although cats are affected twice as frequently as dogs. The growth may become large enough to completely cover the surfaces of several teeth. Injuries to the mouth can cause significant inflammation in cats, but usually respond well to treatment. All of the teeth (full-mouth extractions) may need to be removed in some animals.

The cause has not yet been identified. Several viruses can cause inflammation of the mouth in cats, including feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, feline leukemia virus, and feline immunodeficiency virus. A thread, string, or other foreign object may get caught under the tongue. Have You Noticed Your Cat Licking His Lips? The link you have selected will take you to a third-party website. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. It is an uncommon cause of mouth inflammation in cats. A cat with a burn to the mouth hesitates to eat or drink, drools, and resents handling of its mouth or face. Dietary changes, pain medications, and antiseptic mouthwashes may help lessen signs. Cats often show an “approach-avoidance” reaction as they approach their food in hunger, then hiss and run off in anticipation of discomfort. Loss of appetite may be seen. While most cases of KCS occur because of an abnormal immune reaction, a minority develop because of nerve damage. Dry mouth has numerous causes in dogs and cats. If you observed the burn yourself, provide the details to your veterinarian. Dry and possibly cracked tongue and oral mucous membranes, Routine use of mouthwashes designed for pets, Drinking water additives to prevent infections and dental disease, Regularly scheduled dental cleanings that may include tooth extractions, Pilocarpine to stimulate saliva production, particularly before meals. Tumors removed by surgery alone tend to recur, so radiation treatment, with or without surgery, offers the best outlook in most cases. Extracting all or most of the teeth is not as bad as it sounds.

Other causes of inflammation in the mouth include immune-mediated disease, injuries, chemicals, metabolic disease, burns, tumors, radiation therapy, and infectious diseases. Commonly used veterinary drugs that could be expected to lead to dry mouth in pets include antihistamines, decongestants, diuretics, sedatives, atropine, anesthetic agents, and many (many) more. In a salivary mucocele, saliva accumulates under the skin after damage to the salivary duct or gland.

Cats with feline stomatitis have progressively worsening inflammation of the mouth, gums, and upper throat. A complete oral examination should be a part of your animal’s routine physical examination, because oral diseases are most effectively treated with early diagnosis. Your email address will not be published. Treatment is supportive care—artificial saliva substitutes, wetting the food, and the administration of fluids. Signs include interest in eating but turning away as if the food does not taste good. Pain may cause a cat to paw at its mouth and resist any attempt to examine the affected area. Since radiation treatment is being used more frequently in veterinary medicine, cases of dry mouth in pets could be expected to rise, too. Let’s take a look at these and what can be done to prevent the discomfort and complications that can be associated with dry mouth in pets: Radiation treatment for cancers of the head and neck that damages the salivary glands is a common cause of dry mouth in people. When extractions are delayed, the response to surgery is not good. Pay attention to the circumstances surrounding a cat licking his lips. Excessive salivation (called ptyalism) has 2 main causes: either the cat is producing too much saliva or it cannot effectively swallow the saliva that is produced.

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