Does your cat have dry, pale gums? He may be hiding a health problem. Here are the causes and remedies.
Have you noticed that your cat has dry and pale-white gums? It could hide a health problem: an attentive owner will have to check immediately, to prevent the problem from compromising the health of the feline. It is important to rely on the expert to understand if it is dehydration or a more serious health problem. At the end of this article we will realize that from the dry gums of the cat you can get a lot of information about his state of health.
Cat’s gums when they are healthy
If the cat that has white and dry gums might have any problems, it is questionable what is the color of the gums that do not have any problems. They are usually light pink but not too pink. The first thing to do is to distinguish between gingivitis in cats and stomatitis: the yardstick is all in the inflamed area. If the gums are red and irritated, then the problem will be gingivitis; if, on the other hand, it is an inflammation of the mouth, the oral mucous membranes will be red.
What causes gingivitis in cats? The most frequent cause is the accumulation of tartar: it is deposited on the cat’s teeth, creating bacterial colonies. They cause inflammation of the teeth, while also causing other symptoms. As always, it is essential to pay attention to other factors, such as fever, nasal discharge, tongue ulcers and conjunctivitis: in this case it could be calicivirus.
Gingivitis in cats: symptoms
As always, it is important to note the appearance of the feline as a whole: if it has gum problems it is likely that it will also have difficulty eating (a condition known as ‘dysphagia‘). Loss of appetite can even cause anorexia in cats if neglected. In short, a problem with the mouth can completely upset his relationship with food and his desire to eat: it is as if the cat were faced with a challenge every time he has to ingest or chew something, and most of the time it is as if he gave up. .
Other symptoms include bad breath and a progressive detachment of the gums, up to the complete loss of the teeth. This defect of the teeth is accompanied by an excessive production of saliva and a dirtier coat (as the cat will tend not to wash and lick its fur). What if it was anemia? It shows white and pale gums. It would be advisable to have it checked immediately by a veterinarian.
Dry gums in cats: a dehydration problem?
How do we know that our cat’s gums are dry and dehydrated? Let’s try to press on them: they should regain their normal color and shape quickly. The expert could proceed with a capillary refill test that is carried out on the cat: the finger must press against the gums, until they turn white. If they turn pink after a few seconds they will be healthy, otherwise they could suffer from dehydration. It will not be an easy task because cats do not like to be touched in the mouth.
Dehydration is due to a lack of fluids, but the cause could be from the use of drugs, excessive heat, diarrhea and diabetes. It is always better to have him examined by the vet, who could rule out more serious diseases such as kidney failure.
How dry gums are treated
Your vet is likely to recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is also better to apply a gel of daily use, based on chlorhexidine, to treat any ulcers. To this should be associated a cleaning of the teeth from tartar, since in this way any colonies of bacteria would also be eliminated.
Cleaning the teeth is also an excellent prevention to avoid any problems: even brushing the teeth at least three times a week. Also, feeding them foods that can scrape their gums and clean their teeth might be a great idea.