Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: July 14, 2023 by Crystal Uys

Veterinarian examining teeth of Persian Cat

Stomatitis is is one of the most painful conditions cats can develop. Buckley suffered from this condition; a severe inflammation of the oral cavity in which the affected cat essentially becomes allergic to her own teeth. The outward signs of this condition are red, inflamed, often ulcerated gums. This can be extremely painful for cats. Treatment of this condition can be very frustrating. The goal is to control the inflammatory response. In many cases, a complete resolution of the problem may never be achieved.

Current treatment of stomatitis

To date, treatment usually involves a complete removal of all teeth. This approach sounds daunting to most cat parents, but if it is done by an experienced veterinary dentist, with proper pain control protocols, most cats tolerate the treatment well and recover quickly. Most cats have no problem eating without teeth; in fact, they feel so much better once the inflammation is gone that their eating habits will most likely be improved.

However, some cats will still need treatment with medication even after complete tooth extraction. Steroids are sometimes used, and cyclosporine therapy has shown some moderate success.

Success with new stem cell therapy

Recently, the veterinary team at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine treated a 14-year-old cat who had been suffering from gingivostomatitis for over a year with stem cell therapy. Despite having all his teeth removed, and despite receiving medication to control his pain, Bob continued to suffer from oral inflammation to the point where he would paw at his mouth and cry out in pain.

Bob’s guardian elected to enroll him in a clinical trial conducted by the Dental and Oral Surgery Service at the veterinary school and the UC Davis Regenerative Medicine Laboratory led by Dr. Dori Borjesson. The trial was investigating a novel stem cell therapy. Stem cells are known to have anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties. Veterinarians at UC Davis were hopeful that this therapy, which involved extracting and isolating stem cells from Bob’s own fat tissue and injecting them back into Bob, would cure the disease.

After two stem cell treatments with no complications over a period of three weeks, Bob showed marked improvements. Rechecks after three, four and five months showed no signs of the stomatitis returning.

For more about Bob, his treatment, and dramatic before and after photos, please read the full story on the UC Davis website.

Image Credit: Tyler Olson, Shutterstock

Featured Image Credit: dididesign021, Shutterstock

About the author

6 Comments on Stem Cell Therapy Helps Cat with Stomatitis: Study Explained

  1. Is stem cell therapy available for cats or was this only a clinical trail that isn’t available for other cats now?
    I have a foster suffering from this and would love to see her better.
    And if it is available, anyone know the average price range?
    Thank you for your time!

    • Your best bet is probably to check with your vet or a veterinary dental specialist- they can point you in the right direction.

  2. That’s sounds awful for a kitty. I have not heard of that before. The treatment sure sounds good. I am so glad research is finding ways to make kitties lives better.

  3. I’ve gone through this with 4 of my boys, so I know just how huge this is! I’m saddened that this information wasn’t around to spare my sweet boys from the pain and agony of this horrific condition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *