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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My cat is 8 months old and had a bad breath and red gums.

Customer Question

My cat is 8 months old and had a bad breath and red gums. The vet suspected Bartonella (my cat also had enlarged lymph nodes) and sent blood for testing. In the meantime he prescribed antibiotics for a week. We completed giving the pills today and the blood test came back negative but my kitten's gums are still red. Shouldn't the antibiotics have cleared the problem if it was just gingivitis? Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm sorry to hear that your kitty has been having difficulty with his gums and breath, but I am glad to hear that your vet is treating appropriately. It's certainly reasonable to test a kitty with gingivitis for bartonella. It's likely that your vet has already tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) but if they haven't, then I'd put that on my short list of things to do. If all of the diagnostics are clear, then it's likely that your kitty has an inflammatory condition causing the gingivitis. This is especially true if antibiotics aren't helping. With inflammatory conditions like lymphoplasmacytic stomatitis/gingivitis and chronic ulcerative peradental stomatitis, the underlying problem is excessive inflammation by an overactive immune system. Sometimes the source of the inflammation isn't apparent, but in many cases it's a reaction either to the oral flora (microbes that live in the mouth normally), tartar or biofilms on the teeth, or the actual teeth themselves. While a biopsy of the affected gums is required for a diagnosis, sometimes we will try a course of steroids or other immunomodulators to gauge response and make further plans to diagnose or treat.

Here is a link with a bit more info on inflammatory conditions of the gums in cats:

Please let me know what other questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara


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Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi Anna,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Mario. How is everything going?
Doc Sara