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Adopt a cat with LPGS/Stomatitis?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ever since Willow passed, Odo and I have been lonely. I've been to the shelter twice now as well as looking at their website to see if anyone jumps out at me. There are a couple that stand out. One is younger than I was really looking for (2.5 years) and has had problems with spraying when he was adopted before. The other is the "right" age range (around 5 years) but has stomatitis. I looked over her chart and I think they confirmed LPGS with a biopsy. She's had a couple of rounds of extractions and, according to the paperwork, has 4 teeth remaining (I'm not sure which ones). She seemed happy and healthy (she really enjoyed being petted), but I want to be sure I know what to expect (as much as possible).

What possible future problems might she have, other than having the remaining teeth extracted? Since LPGS is an auto-immune disorder, are there other possible effects after the teeth have been removed? I've put in a request to join the Yahoo Group for Stomatitis as well, but since I know there are some here with experience, I thought I'd ask for opinions. I just want to be sure I know the possible outcomes before I make my decision. Her last owners gave her up because they couldn't afford her dental work. The shelter has taken care of her current needs, but I want to be sure that I know what future needs she might have that would be related to this disease.
post #2 of 8
If the cat you are considering has only a few teeth left, chances are they are canines, as that is always the last teeth they pull in LPGS cats. The disease typically starts towards the back of their mouths and often goes down their throat.

My Stumpy was diagnosed with the disease about 1-1/2 years ago. We had the last of his teeth extracted about 2 months ago. I too joined the yahoo group and highly recommend getting advice through them. TCS is outstanding, but I'm unaware of anyone else on this site that has gone thru this particular disease. There are a lot of stomititis cats here, but LPGS has a life of its own.

What to expect: Everything that I've read on the disease and the advice I've received from my own vet plus a cat specialist tells me that this is one of the most hit or miss diseases there are. Some cats do extremely well after extractions, and the disease goes into remission the rest of their lives. Other cats can go through full extractions and it comes back after a time.

The one thing that causes it to come back is if the extractions were not done completely and there were bone fragments left behind. The Yahoo folks will tell you that most vets are not practiced enough at dentals to do the surgery and you need someone whose specialty is dentistry. If you adopt, I would immediately find a dental specialist and have them xray her mouth to see if there are fragments remaining. The roots of cat's teeth are very fine and easy to splinter during extraction. Stumpy's last round of extractions took 2-1/2 hours because the vet was very cautious about getting every fragment out.

Another course of treatment when things fail is lazer surgery. The Yahoo folks recommended to avoid it as it is painful and only lasts a short time. My vet tended to agree.

If this cat is one of the lucky ones where extraction does put it in full remission, you have no problems. If she is not, then you are facing a life of steroids and pain medication. Once the teeth are pulled there are no more "dentals" to relieve the pain.

I've spent probably $2000 on Stumpy since this disease started, but that included extractions at 2 different points in time. He will be on some type of anti-inflamatory the rest of his life. Without his canines, we do use a spoon to help feed him canned food, as he is still struggling with eating without his teeth. He can and does eat dry food but has to suck it up in him mouth.

If you adopt this girl, be prepared to give her medicine almost daily. Go into the adoption knowing that there is a chance that the rest of her teeth may need to be pulled, and that might now resolve her problem. Adopt her and love her every minute she is with you and be prepared to let go if you cannot control her pain. It sometimes gets to one day at a time with them.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your quick response. I know that my vet does dental x-rays now, so I'd probably go to her when she returns from maternity leave. I've been through extractions with Odo twice now, though he doesn't have stomatitis, and he's only got one canine left and a few other scattered teeth. I think I'll talk to the hospital staff at the shelter on Monday (it's a pretty high-tech shelter) and see whether dental x-rays were done and what they think her likely outcomes are since they have more experience with her individual case--the poor girl has been there since December 2006. As soon as a moderator on the Yahoo Group approves me, I'll ask there as well.
post #4 of 8
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yep, they added me this morning--I'm off to do some reading now.
post #6 of 8
No personal experience but to you for considering a "special " cat
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I wish I could save the all. Spot was a special cat too--hyperthyroid and definitely a senior. Odo was adopted as a senior as well. This time I went looking for a middle-aged cat. The other one that stood out to me was a very sweet girl that gave kisses, but she has pemphigus foliaceous, and I'm just not equipped to handle that right now. Everyone keeps telling me I should get a cat without issues, but it's not my fault--the cat finds me and it's only after I fall in love with the kitty that I find out about the issues. Money is a little tight (less reserve on the credit card) after all the vet visits before Willow passed, so I want to be sure that I have the resources (financial and emotional) needed to take care of a new kitty before I bring him or her home.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I got to talk with the vet today. I was wrong about the biopsy--it
wasn't done--but the diagnosis the vet made is still LPS due to the
way the inflammation occurs and the location. Mittens (the kitty's
shelter name) has 4 teeth remaining--two lower premolars and two upper
incisors. Since having the teeth pulled in January, she's had 2
flare-ups. At least one of those times, the fauces were inflamed (the
vet explained it as the connecting region at the back of the throat).
So far, her remaining teeth haven't caused any problems. No dental
x-rays could be done because the shelter doesn't have the equipment.

I really wish I could take her. Unfortunately, I have a 13-15 year
old cat due for dental work in January and my resources are too tapped
for two $400+ procedures (and that's only if it's simple with minimal
extractions--it would likely be more for Mittens if they were digging
for roots that were left behind). Also, as much as I like her, I
don't think she'd like my boyfriend of 10 years. Since he and I are
likely to live together in the near future, I don't think she'd be a
happy camper given her personality. She also seemed a bit jealous of
the attention I gave to other cats in the room, which my current kitty
might not appreciate. Fortunately, this is a no-kill shelter so
she'll stay there and receive appropriate medical treatment until she
finds someone with just the right situation for her.

There are a couple of other cats I'm going to take my boyfriend to meet tomorrow. Hopefully one of them will be a better fit for my situation.
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