Q: Hi Dr. Seto,
I adopted a two year old cat last year who ended up quite ill and was admitted to hospital. He suffered from dehydration, blisters in his mouth, making him unable to eat, drooling, lethargic, vomiting and diarrhea. FIV and Feline Leukemia testing were negative as was bloodwork for renal failure. Time, love and patience was what it took for Pumpkin to feel better. He has now gained back the 4 pounds he lost but lately he has started drooling slightly every few days. Barring a dental problem, what could this be?? Pumpkin was thought to have calicivirus but apparently that comes with a low grade fever which he did not have. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
A: Hi Barbara,
There are not many things that can cause blisters in the mouth of a cat. The most common two causes are both viral; firstly Calicivirus and secondly Herpes virus. Cats that have blisters or ulcers on their tongues because of these viruses are usually quite sick with signs of upper respiratory disease. The symptoms include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, sneezing, and conjunctivitis. Most cats with this type of “cold” recover within a week to ten days without any specific treatment. Occasionally a cat will be sick enough to warrant hospitalization. There are some cats that will have intermittently recurring episodes of illness throughout its entire lifetime. Your cat may be one of these and probably needs the same sort of treatment that got him through his last bout. If he is sick enough to the point that he has stopped eating and drinking then he needs to seen by his vet.
Good luck to you and Pumpkin.