Q:I have a 2.5 year old orange tabby named Chewy. We got him at 6 months from the shelter and they advised that he had feline herpes. They said it was as simple as giving him L-Lysine everyday and his symptoms would go away. Hah! Right! I did not realize when I committed to adopting him that he had a serious case of feline herpes that was going to be extremely hard to treat.

Luckily he found a patient and loving caregiver in me! I have literally done everything for this cat - steroids, antibiotics, anti-virals, L-Lysine, Probiotics, Co-Enzyme Q10, eye gels, mouth creams, nebulizer and many many supplements of all kinds. Steroids were a disaster as they lowered his immune response and caused a severe breakout. His feline herpes symptoms seem to come and go, but he always has some kind of congestion. In the past 6 months or so, he has developed an extreme inflammatory response in his mouth (stomatitis), which I am sure is related to his feline herpes.

I took him to a feline dentist who said his case was severe and that he needed a full mouth extraction. My question is have you had any luck treating stomatitis from a natural standpoint? I really would like to not have his teeth extracted if possible. He is so young. I have heard mixed reviews about it as well. Right now I am giving him some supplements that are supposed to boost his immune system and they have helped somewhat, but I know he is in pain. Thank you so much for your help! I am at my wits end! :)

Wow. If your cat is named Chewy, you must be Lady Han, because that is quite the 12 parsec trip…sorry….I couldn't help it, I’m an original trilogy Star Wars nerd.


There was a study done looking at many cats over a 10 year period with “normal” cats, and cats with chronic stomatitis. Now, all the cats in this study had some periodontitis (a type of dental disease). But it turns out that cats like Chewy, who had gone chronic, had much more severe levels of periodontitis, and were more likely to have root resorption (painful).


And the only way you know this sort of stuff is by dental X-rays.

All to say, whether his teeth come out or not, this little guy needs a dental anyways.  Or else things could get worse, as the bacteria and periodontitis are part of his problem. He could get better after a dental. Maybe it holds things at bay. Maybe it doesn't fix his underlying problem, but will reduce his discomfort by a lot. A smaller percentage of cats won’t respond to a dental at all. Whenever you go into a dentistry, you always prepare for any of those outcomes. So there are mixed reviews because you will have a mix of outcomes regularly.

I’ve also heard (but not personally used) Biotene gel smeared on the gums if they will let you do that. Also check out this study using Bovine lactoferrin and piroxicam (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090023314002627)

And keep on fighting the good fight. He’s Chewy. Your like a lady Han. What does a girl Han Solo look like?

Stomatitis is the empire. It’s gonna be two death stars and counting until you get somewhere with it….

Best wishes, 

Dr. Kris