Monday, February 16, 2015

Maggie update: Cat rodent ulcer continues to improve

Maggie the cat in her bed

It's been a rough few weeks for Maggie. I found that big lump inside her mouth on a bright and sunny Saturday, and while she improved a touch with antibiotics, I wasn't seeing the full improvement I wanted. So back to the vet's office we went.

I should mention how much Maggie hates the vet's office. Where most of my cats will tolerate the car trip, and might even relax for a little affection when we arrive, Maggie yells during the entire commute, and she flattens out into a pancake as soon as the exam starts. I just hate bringing her.

But I did have to bring her, as that mouth wasn't getting better. My veterinarian and I theorized that the sore was due to a rodent ulcer, which Mags has always had on her lips. I know they can sometimes pop up inside of the mouth, too (see more about that here), and I had hoped that her sore would fade away as her lip sores have often done.

But, I wasn't getting a good response. Here's what her mouth looked like when we started the appointment.
Maggie the cat has a rodent ulcer

Here's what it looks like now.
Maggie the cat with her mouth wide open

So what happened?

She got a shot of of a steroid called Depo-Medrol. Within about 4 days, the redness had faded away altogether, and she was much more willing to have her mouth opened and examined. In short, she's pretty much healed.

I still need to examine that mouth of hers on a regular basis, as it's quite possible that this sore will come back. It's also possible that she'll get another sore in a different part of her mouth. And unfortunately, either of these situations are at least somewhat likely.

Maggie the cat and Eamon the cat in one bed

For Maggie, rodent ulcers have always been closely linked to stress, particularly stress inside the home. And Eamon is a pretty big source of her stress right now. His arthritis is somewhat well managed with medications, but he can still be a little grumpy and unpredictable from time to time. He yells, he hits and he bites. If the girls do something even slightly wrong, he overreacts. It's hard for Maggie to live in that environment, and she may be internalizing her stress and breaking out as a result.

So I may be looking into new ideas for keeping them apart. And, I'm playing with Maggie more often (more on that in another blog soon), hoping she'll be less inclined to get frisky with Mr. Grumpy. That might be the best way to keep these things from coming back.

Have a better idea? Let me know in the comments!

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