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Black Gums on a senior kitty~~

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I looked at Sasha's gums today. He is 13. He is a black cat and he has always had these black pigmentations, like a dalmation, on his tongue and gums from as far back as being a kitten and totally harmless. He has good breath, is in excellent health, no signs of anything, anywhere.....but the blackness on his upper gums has increased. I'm calling the vet first thing in the morning for an oral check up, but wondered if anyone with a black kitty ever saw this before? Is it part of his marking, like the black pads on his paws or is it something more ominous? Yes, he is eating and drinking normally and in good sprits. He's been an outdoor boy his entire life so home dental care has been very hard, but I do watch for things --such as this.
-?
post #2 of 29
I have no idea but a vet is likely to know
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Eric held him gently and pried opn his mouth and I shined a really bright penlight into his mouth. No puss, no infection that I can see, no bleeding gums - nothing seems to be oozing but there was definite tartar buildup. I'm no expert, maybe there is something there that's wrong, as he has definite black gums, more so than I recall. The roof of his mouth is good pink and bottom gums on the inside of the jawline are pink.
post #4 of 29
E, do they look like Rosie's on her lip?



She's had hers since she was a kitten, and as she got bigger they also got bigger, but when i mentioned it to the vet, she assured me that hers were just blemishes.
post #5 of 29
Nano has those as well. In fact, her's are maybe somewhat bigger in size but the same configuration/location as in the picture by rosiemac.

She is estimated to be 6-8 years old but I've only had her for the last four months so I can't really speak of her past. (Her teeth are very far from perfect, though.) I asked the vet clinic, they said "eh, no infections", so right now it is just on the list of things to work on...like brushing her teeth might help?

I'd be more keen but working on Nano's teeth are a low priority compared to other things re: Nano that need attention. I dunno, but I'll track this thread to see if anyone has ideas. Can anyone say if it is a situation that merits more urgent attention? The clinic was fairly nonchalant.
post #6 of 29
I would ask, but I wouldn't worry I was just remarking to DH this morning as we medicated my panther, er Tyler (all black) how cute his palate is - all mottled black and pink He's now on methimazole and tumil-k gel - emmmm
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiemac
E, do they look like Rosie's on her lip?



She's had hers since she was a kitten, and as she got bigger they also got bigger, but when i mentioned it to the vet, she assured me that hers were just blemishes.

Yes they do! But larger. Overnight has brought some mental relief in reading this, thank you Susan!!!!
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
I would ask, but I wouldn't worry I was just remarking to DH this morning as we medicated my panther, er Tyler (all black) how cute his palate is - all mottled black and pink He's now on methimazole and tumil-k gel - emmmm

Yes, all "mottled" as you say, exacly. Couldn't think of the word last night, thanks. The pink he has looks healthy pink and the black just looks so stark against it and I guess as he gets older the black increases like age spots~~
good to hear from you on this. I looked at Sasha's upper palate this morning and it's quite like a dalmation, all "mottled" like you say, black and pink.
I still plan to take him in for major dental.

Thanks Nano, Susan and Pat, I'm breathing a bit easier now~~~
post #9 of 29
Come straight back here as soon as you get back with an update

I'm sure it's nothing but i was the same when i saw Rosies so i had to have them checked for my peace of mind.

Fingers are crossed though
post #10 of 29
This thread has helped me also because I was curious about those black spots, too. I've been thinking about Nano's gums and had done the "pressure" test for gum quality -- but I didn't think I did it right.

If it matters, the clinic said no infection and Nano doesn't have bad breath, so I didn't really know what to do from there...the two most important issues seemed covered. So far I had been giving these "tartar control treats" that my girlfriend originally gave me as a freebie from the cat litter she bought (I buy the same brand now).
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nano
This thread has helped me also because I was curious about those black spots, too. I've been thinking about Nano's gums and had done the "pressure" test for gum quality -- but I didn't think I did it right.

If it matters, the clinic said no infection and Nano doesn't have bad breath, so I didn't really know what to do from there...the two most important issues seemed covered. So far I had been giving these "tartar control treats" that my girlfriend originally gave me as a freebie from the cat litter she bought (I buy the same brand now).

That's great! That's what we're all here for. The best dental care is brushing and just the fact that you're so observant is half of it. Sasha has good breath and he smells really good through his fur and around his face. I have an appt for this weekend, so I'm hoping everything is fine, just a big change in his age spots.
post #12 of 29
The last time I took Graham to the vet, our doctor told us that as he got older his gums and lips would get an increasing number of black spots on them. However, she said this was normal for orange cats, but not necessarily other colored cats. Good luck! (=
post #13 of 29
Regarding being "normal" for orange cats?

Nano is a tricolor mix of black, white and orangish tan.
post #14 of 29
Is Nano the same colour as Rosie?
post #15 of 29
Sorry, I don't have a website but I put pictures of Nano as attachments in this thread:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48640

Added a second picture on page two that shows off her coloring better.



Anyway, looking forward to seeing what the other vet says about the black places in other cats' gums. Nano's clinic thought it wasn't a big deal.
post #16 of 29
It's supposed to be quite common in torties as well.
post #17 of 29
Most of my red tabbies have the black spots and they get more of them and larger as they age. Pinky actually had a black spot appear on his nose in the last few months (he's getting close to 5). I think this is normal, but I do have the vet look at them each year at their annual checkup.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
This is getting more and more comforting~~~ my first thought was that Sasha had some form of sarcoma - cancer.
post #19 of 29
Okay, thanks to people who added more comments about coloring. I hadn't been concerned after the vet shrugged it off, but it still helps to hear these explanations so I know what is going on.

I hope Sasha's vet visit goes well and please let us know what is said!
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sashacat421
I looked at Sasha's gums today. He is 13. He is a black cat and he has always had these black pigmentations, like a dalmation, on his tongue and gums from as far back as being a kitten and totally harmless. He has good breath, is in excellent health, no signs of anything, anywhere.....but the blackness on his upper gums has increased. I'm calling the vet first thing in the morning for an oral check up, but wondered if anyone with a black kitty ever saw this before? Is it part of his marking, like the black pads on his paws or is it something more ominous? Yes, he is eating and drinking normally and in good sprits. He's been an outdoor boy his entire life so home dental care has been very hard, but I do watch for things --such as this.
-?
Paige has black polkadots in her mouth too lol.. When she's mad, and makes teeth at us, we laugh, cause you can see this huuuge black blotch on the roof of her mouth, I sometimes pet her there, lol
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Sasha was at the vet today and is home resting very comfortably. Saba keeps poking her little head in his face as if to ask "hey! are you still circling the airport or what?!" Sasha does not have cancer but he has some advanced gingivitis on his upper gums --a result of the mauling his molars have shifted a bit as his jaw healed and re-set in the past year - and this has caused food to get caught in places that were once easier to flush out by normal water drinking, etc. The black gums are a part of aging and he's doing fine.....a very robust 13, although he had 2 teeth pulled. He's doing great. He will be able to eat as normal. He's on a very low dose of clavamox to prevent any infection and he's sleeping under his sunlamp. Our wonderful Dr. B has moved back to Nova Scotia so he's with a different doctor now, but seemed to be ok with her. He adored Dr. B
post #22 of 29
Awesomest news E!! Give mister Sasha some light scritches from me and the girls please... Thanks for the update also.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra
Awesomest news E!! Give mister Sasha some light scritches from me and the girls please... Thanks for the update also.

thank you Sandra! He's totally oblivious to the world right now. Indeed, I am very relieved.
post #24 of 29
Brilliant news E!!

I thought it didn't sound like anything sinister but it's still nice to hear it from a proffesional

Give him loads of kisses and scritches from me
post #25 of 29
Tell Sasha we said "hello" and are glad his apt. went well (and sympathies on the teeth removal).
post #26 of 29
Good to hear your baby is doing okay!!
My Emma has black splotchies on the roof of her mouth also--and the same black lip spots as Rosie.
post #27 of 29
Glad to hear this update!
post #28 of 29
Glad to hear this update!
post #29 of 29

  My cat is an orange and white male manx AND he is about 12 years old with a black lip margin. It is not spotty but a continuous strip. He seems just fine! He gradually developed these black "lips" but has always been in very good health! He sometimes has bad breath. I feed him those treats from the grocery store that help both as a snack and for dental health. But I believe the black "lips" are something that develops as some cats age.......maybe just a select number and maybe only certain colors. I don't have any exact information on it. I haven't had my cat to a vet yet (Just once when he was fixed at a very young age) This cat spent most of his life in the rafters of an out building due to being very, very terrified of everything. I rescued him from a shopping center where he had been living in a storm drain. At the time, he was maybe one year old. He has never become tame. He is in the house now, and follows me around, will sit at my feet. Loves to be petted but wants his feet on the floor. He has never, ever been anything close to vicious, nor does he scratch or bite. His name is Mugsy And I am so glad I was able to save him from the very frightening shopping center where many people were being unkind. I have no idea how long he was there. I think he survived because the good people at Wild Birds Unlimited keep water out for their small bird feeding area!! So, I just wanted you to know that I am hopeful that the black lips are of no concern! I could take Mugsy to the vet. He would be so very, very terrified, though and our vet charges A Lot! However, I would never hesitate to take him if he showed any signs of sickness, such as a fever. This little guys seems very healthy, thank heavens! So nice to see that some other kitty owners notice the same thing as I have in my Mugsy. Now, I think it is not to worry about. I do thiink I have seen these black gums in dogs. Just thought of that.   Hoping your kitty is fine.....Sincerely, Diane Boyer

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