Feline stomatitis or Feline Chronic Gingivostomatitis (FCGS) is a rare condition affecting approximately 0.7-4% of cats. It is a chronic and very painful mouth tissue condition where the tissues/gums surrounding the teeth are very inflamed. The gums are usually bright red and bleed easily. Chewing and eating becomes a very painful experience for our feline friends. Cats that have this often lose weight, have bad breath, bleed & drool, and paw at their mouths. Currently it is not known what causes some cats to get FCGS but it is an over-reaction response by the immune system to bacteria in a cats mouth.
One cat that Furry Friends currently has in our care is Monnie and he has FCGS. He came to us as an owner relinquishment when his owner could no longer care for him. During his medicals with Furry Friends our medical team noticed he had very bad breath, he was underweight, and that he had been licking his legs until he had sores. We knew these were all signs of FCGS and severe pain. We quickly got him an appointment with Claus Paws who was very happy he came to us because we could make his life pain free.
He had to have all his teeth pulled except for his four canines due to the severe infection and would require round the clock care to nurse him back to health. Because of the pain he was in, eating was difficult and he had to be syringe fed every few hours along with sub-Q fluids to remain hydrated. He was on two different pain medications every 8 hours, as well as antibiotics, steroids, and topical medications for his sore spots. He could not maintain his body temperature so he had to have his temperature taken every hour throughout the night and had to stay warm. This was all done by one of our amazing fosters, Jenn Hutchman, who knew that he would recover so much faster in a home environment.
Fast forward many weeks later and Monnie is now a brand new cat! He doesn’t hide anymore and is very vocal. He also loves to eat and has made a best friend out of another cat at the shelter named Dude. His care will end up being in the thousands, but he will get to live the rest of his life pain free and we will find him an amazing home with his new cat friend, as they are being adopted together!
It is often hard to understand what our furry friends are trying to tell us about their health but watching for changes in their eating/bathroom/behavioral habits can tell us so much. As always, if you think something is medically wrong with your pet please make them an appointment with your local veterinarian’s office.
We would like to thank Jenn Hutchman for writing this article. She has been volunteering with Furry Friends for a couple years and has been an amazing contribution to our team. She has fostered over 50 cats and kittens so far for Furry Friends, and not just the easy ones. She has fostered several bottle baby kittens that require feeding every two hours and has taken on some of the difficult medical cases like Monnie. She also is the lead person for our email/voice mail team, plays a significant role on our medical team and has done a number of other tasks including fundraising. For 2020 she put in about 570 volunteer hours for Furry Friends. We are so grateful for all she does.