Hoping this is nothing serious
July 29, 2010 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Cat issue: What's wrong with his lower jaw/gumline? Pic's inside.

My cat had a swollen bottom lip, only at the front a week ago. I read it was likely just feline acne, washed his bowls out thoroughly, hoping that would help clear it up.

Having been away a few days, I come home today, and it's much more red, even appears to be bleeding a little, and the one side has swollen up and his tooth there is clamping into it.

He's 1.5 years old.

Here are two pictures of it:

Pic 1

Pic 2

I'm hoping to get him to my vet early next week, but was hoping someone might be familiar with what this is, to reassure me it's nothing too serious.
posted by nerhael to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
His tooth is probably infected.


Take him to the vet. Poor baby is probably very unhappy and it probably hurts to eat or drink.
posted by royalsong at 2:14 PM on July 29, 2010

Unfortunately, it could be several things - including cancer - and it would be difficult to simply reassure as "nothing too serious".

Is he eating/drinking normally?

If so, do that vet appointment next week. If not, get him in sooner.
posted by batmonkey at 2:14 PM on July 29, 2010

I don't see any acne, but if it's swollen and red, it's probably infected. Plus as it swells his teeth are going to keep nicking it. I think this is one for the vet. He may need antibiotics.

Can you not get into the vet tomorrow, before the rates go up (for the weekend emergency clinic)?
posted by toodleydoodley at 2:15 PM on July 29, 2010

It could be any number of things. See here for some ideas.
posted by wennj at 2:31 PM on July 29, 2010

He seems oblivious to it honestly. Eats/drinks normally. Doesn't seem sore to touch it.

Vet's all booked up right now, otherwise I'd bring him in sooner.
posted by nerhael at 2:44 PM on July 29, 2010

Doubt it's anything serious -- has he been sneezing or swallowing like he has post-nasal drip? There's a specific URI virus that sometimes shows with ulcers in the mouth. Is he eating normally?

(In any event . . . this is weird but I just wanted to say 'congrats, you've got a really good boy there'. He looks IDENTICAL to my 'baby', Matthew, who was loyal and loving and just better than sliced bread for 18 years. Seeing the pictures made me miss him a little more and made me Very Jealous of you.)
posted by MeiraV at 2:50 PM on July 29, 2010

If he doesn't seem bothered by it, it could be similar to my cat Gizmo's recent bout with what my vet thinks was eosinophilic granuloma. In Giz's case it went away after a single steroid shot.
posted by MsMolly at 3:27 PM on July 29, 2010

Well, given how bad my cat's teeth are (and yes, cancer is a distinct possibility) AND the waiting that's going on regarding it (we're talking weeks and months here), I wouldn't be pushing the panic button quite yet. What happens if you try to touch the underside of her chin? Does it quiver a bit? Mine does, and my vet told me that was a classic sign of pain.

Anyway, get into the vet when you can, but I have a feeling this is classified as one of those "within a week" visits, as opposed to a "right now" thing. (There's a really good website that lists just about everything that can go wrong with cats, and the timeframe for a vet visit. If I wasn't at work I'd look it up.)
posted by cgg at 3:28 PM on July 29, 2010

If it is an infection, some triple antibiotic ointment might help. Even if your cat licks it off, it won't harm him.
posted by annsunny at 4:36 PM on July 29, 2010

This is pretty much what my cat's teeth looked like before I took him in to get them extracted. It was a tooth/gum infection. He wasn't acting like his teeth were causing him much trouble, and he was eating and drinking normally.
posted by Ouisch at 6:04 PM on July 29, 2010

Thanks guys, feel better about it. Will get him in next week nonetheless though.
posted by nerhael at 6:37 PM on July 29, 2010

It could be a tooth abscess. Please, don't forget to update us!
posted by deborah at 6:44 PM on July 29, 2010

My vet said that any growth on the mouth is an emergency (a "get here tomorrow" emergency, not an "after hours" emergency). Our sudden growth on the lip turned out to be spindle cell sarcoma, and AFAICT it grew *really* fast: days, not weeks or months. It was worrisome enough when we spotted it and brought her in that the vet wanted it taken off immediately-if-not-sooner.

For what it's worth, that growth was granulated on top much like the your pics seem to be. It was not remotely painful, though she found it annoying. (Probably doesn't mean much; I don't know anything about mouth growths save for the one, but perhaps they are all granulated.)
posted by galadriel at 7:48 PM on July 29, 2010

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