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Mouth Sores

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Mouth Sores

Postby Ulmar » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:17 pm

Hi, I've had my kitten for almost 4 or 5 months now. I noticed it's always got swollen lips. There's a lump underneath her chin and over her lip. She did have double fangs, instead of one fang tooth on each side, she had two on each side. The extra ones fell out, but the lumps continue to come and go. Do you have any idea what it could be?
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Mouth Sores

Postby Utpal » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:25 pm

Hi Angelica.  Cats tend to get lots of ailments of the mouth.  It’s hard to say which one could be causing the symptoms you’re seeing.  One of the most common ones in kittens of this age is caused by a virus called calici.  This is a virus that can be carried in the body for life and resurface from time to time(usually less intense than the initial infection).  It creates painful ulcers on the lips, tongue, gums, pallet, throat and sometimes in the lungs.  Ulcers on the lips can appear as swellings.  It’s a serious virus because the sores cause some kittens to stop eating and drinking, leading to dehydration and starvation.  Also, sores in the lungs can lead to pneumonia.  And sores can become infected with bacteria.  So be sure she is eating and drinking normally, keep an eye on her temperature and activity level, be sure she doesn’t come down with a cough or have fishy breath, and make sure isn’t drooling.  If her temperature is outside normal range(below 100.5 or above 102.5), she is excessively sleepy or seems sore when she walks, she starts coughing or drooling, has bad breath or her appetite seems off, she should see a vet right away.  Calici is probably the worst case scenario!  I mentioned it first because the majority cats do contract it in their lifetime, so it is definitely something that must be considered.

Another possibility would be feline eosinophilic granuloma complex.  Perhaps more easily pronounced, the swellings and sores are called rodent uclers!  These aren’t well understood but could be related to allergies, perhaps to food. Contrary to what some sources online will tell you, some rodent ulcers do clear up on their own(and often recur).  I say this not to discourage treatment, but because you mentioned they have come and gone.  So don’t rule this out.  The treatment that seems to work best for these is a steroid injection, but I’m not positive what the rules are about using steroids in kittens.  

A bad case of feline acne could cause irritation and swelling.  With this you would see black flecks and probably crusty scabs on chin and around the mouth.  Lots of theories on the cause of this, too.  Most often, it seems related to the food bowl.  Some cats seem to have a sensitivity to plastic or glass food bowls.  This is another condition that can wax and wane.  I have switched over to stainless steel bowls, which has pretty much eliminated this problem for my cats.  To help heal current outbreaks, you can wash the chin with a Chlorhexiderm flush, which you can find online at places like 1800petmeds.com, but stay away from rubbing alcohol and peroxide, which should never be used on skin that could be irritated somehow.  Then apply a thin layer of Neosporin CREAM(avoid Neosporin ointment on the chin, as it will block pores and worsen the problem).

It is also possible that her teeth are just not positioned properly since you mentioned that her baby teeth apparently fell out late.  Maybe they’re rubbing on her lips and chin and causing irritation. Anyway, I’m sure there are other possibilities here – my cat recently had a swollen mouth because of an ant bite(as evidenced by the ant head that was still attached to her chin).  I would try to get her in to a vet next time it happens to get a definitive answer to be sure.
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