Stomatitis is inflammation of
the mouth, gums, and tongue. It is usually
caused by periodontal disease or foreign
bodies caught between the teeth or embedded in the tongue. Occasionally, it
follows mouth lacerations and burns of the
Stomatitis is an extremely painful condition accompanied by drooling, bad breath, refusal
to eat, difficulty chewing, and reluctance to permit an examination of the
mouth. The inside of the mouth is red, inflamed, and sometimes ulcerated. The
gums often bleed when rubbed.
Trench mouth (St. Vincent’s stomatitis; necrotizing ulcerative stomatitis)
is an exceptionally painful stomatitis caused by a variety of bacteria. There
is a characteristic serious mouth odor, accompanied by brown, purulent, slimy
saliva that stains the front of the legs. The gums are beefy red and bleed
easily. Ulcerations occur in the mucous membranes. Some cases are initiated by
Thrush (yeast stomatitis) is an uncommon stomatitis seen chiefly in dogs who
are receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics that destroy normal
bacterial flora and allow the growth of yeast. Thrush also occurs in dogs with
compromised immunity associated with chronic illness. The mucous lining of the
gums and tongue are covered with soft white patches that coalesce to produce an
adherent white membrane. Painful ulcers appear as the disease
Recurrent stomatitis occurs where jagged, broken, or diseased teeth make
repeated contact with the mucous lining of the lips, cheeks, or gums, causing
traumatic ulcers of the mouth. A bacteria and a fungus are quite commonly
cultured from these ulcers.
Treatment: In most cases periodontal disease is present as a cause or a
contributing factor. Your veterinarian may recommend a thorough cleaning of the
dog’s mouth under anesthesia. This affords the opportunity to treat dental
calculus, decayed roots, and broken teeth-treatments that are all essential to
cure the problem. The dog is then placed on an appropriate antibiotic.
It is important to diagnose and treat any systemic cause of the
Aftercare at home involves rinsing the mouth with a 0.1 or 0.2 percent chlorhexidine solution (Peridex
or Nolvadent) once or twice a day. Soak a cotton ball and gently swab the gums,
teeth, and oral cavity. You can use a plastic syringe and squirt the mouth wash
directly onto the gums.
Feed a soft diet consisting of canned dog food diluted with water to
a mushy consistency. Your veterinarian may prescribe a pain medication such as
Etogesic or Deramax. B-complex vitamins that contain niacin may be of
Thrush is treated with topical Nystatin or an antifungal drug such as
ketoconazole or itraconazole.
WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"