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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32753
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat is off his food, seems to have trouble chewing, his

Customer Question

My cat is off his food, seems to have trouble chewing, his gums are pale and he has a ring of colour around the iris. He is also less active and has been dribbling a little. He dribbled in the past and I was told it was ok. Despite using Stronghold flea treatment - I think I got more on his fur than his skin though - I found a few fleas a couple of days ago so I put more stronghold on him. thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm concerned by what you've told me. "Trouble chewing" and "dribbling" are indications of oral pain and so a careful exam of his oral cavity is indicated. Stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth) and dental diseases such as resorptive lesions (similar to cavities) and teeth abscesses are our primary concerns although in older cats - how old is he, please? - we also need to consider malignancy in the oral cavity. Pale gums indicate anemia which occurs for a variety of reasons - both the leukemia (FeLV) and kitty AIDS (FIV) viruses can cause both anemia and oral inflammation - and any chronic disease process can cause a nonregenerative anemia - an anemia in which he's unable to replace the red blood cells he lacks. A flea infestation anemia isn't likely in an adult cat but is common in kittens.
Stonghold contains selamectin which is well-tolerated in cats but we do try to avoid applying flea products such as selamectin that work systemically in cats that are otherwise ill as appears to be the case with him. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He is three years old and has dribbled in the past and was seen by a vet - about a year ago then in Jan when he had his vaccinations.

His dribbling was much worse then and she said his gums were slightly inflamed but nothing to worry about. I did wonder if it is stress related because we have a lot of cats that come into the garden and although we do have a microchipped cat flap he is very watchful when he eats.

I am reassured about the stronghold though, thanks.

I will ring the vets tomorrow to get him seen - they were closed today for staff training.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. That history of "slightly inflamed" gums worries me. I wouldn't incriminate stress as the instigator of his symptoms but stress certainly can exacerbate disorders. Baseline testing should include a complete blood count (CBC), FeLV and FIV testing.
Please continue our conversation if you wish.