FORL is the most common dental disease in cats how to treat and prevent?

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Every can opener gets into turmoil when the little darling doesn’t eat. In many cases, this is an exaggerated reaction. Maybe the darling doesn’t like the food, he’s full or tired. But sometimes, unfortunately, there is a disease behind it.

The possibilities that lead to the lack of food in cats are endless, which explains the bright excitement of the cat parents. If the cat owner notices further symptoms (pain, unfamiliar head posture), a visit to the vet is available in the house. One of the most serious diseases is FORL. This disease is one of the most common dental diseases of the cat and proves to be absolutely painful.

What is TO be understood by FORL (Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions)?

This disease is a painful descaling of the teeth in the area of the tooth necks. Characteristic of this disease is that the body’s own cells, called odontoclasts, damage the teeth until decay.

Cat caries and/or neck lesions are other names of the disease, which affects about 25 to 30 percent of all cats. As we get older, the onset of this disease increases. In percentage terms, 80 or more percent of all cats over the age of six suffer from it.

There are three forms of felinen odontoclastic resopable lesion. They are linked to different diseases, with type 3 containing the first two and uniting them.

All three types prove extremely painful, as the tooth nerve/tooth marrow/tooth pulp remain intact.

Type 1

Usually manifested by stomatitis (inflammation of the oral cavity mucosa), in combination with bacterial tooth-holding inflammation (periodontitis). This type affects the tooth compartments besides the teeth and dismantles them.

In many cases, it leaves the dental crown, the transition to the gums and the root of the tooth untouched.

Type 2

No inflammatory processes can be detected at the beginning of this type. It is only during the course of the disease that bacterial inflammation of the dental bed occurs. In addition to the tooth bed, the inflammation in many cases also affects the bones and the surrounding dental tissue. This type does not attack the tooth compartments. Recognizable repairs during the apparent healing process lead to adhesions that lead to further problems.

At first, the teeth and surrounding tissue appear to be largely healthy. At most, there are limited, minor gum inflammations. In the course of this type, the real operations come to light. Scooping out of the tooth and holes in the tooth or broken tooth pieces further point to them.

The degradation of the jawbone and tooth or root can be determined by means of an X-ray examination. However, the gum furrow cannot be probed.

Type 3

The third form includes besides the decay of the tooth by the second form, as well as the inflammatory changes of the first.

How can I detect this disease in my cat?

The cat lover shows the following symptoms, which indicate dental problems:

  • decreased and/or altered behaviour during feeding.
  • decreased appetite, lack of food and/or denying food.
  • increased swiping of the paw over the mouth.
  • tear open the mouth without yawning and/or unusual movements with the tongue.
  • unfamiliar head posture (keeping the head skewed) when eating.
  • and drop the food without eating.
  • Teeth gnashing while eating and excessive smearing.
  • Clattering of the teeth (fast biting of teeth, similar to a strongly freezing human).
  • unpleasant bad breath. He does not accompany the disease in every case.
  • heavy weight loss in a short period of time.

The cat suffers from pain from the beginning. Everyone knows it when inflamed gums hurt or a hole in the tooth makes us cry painfully.

The advanced disease is shown with symptoms such as:

  • the complete denial of all feed.
  • he/she swells the food bowl and/or the offered treat.
  • Saliva flows out of her/his mouth, during eating and at rest.
  • the puddles have saliva stains, which the animal can no longer clean.
  • Cries of pain and/or quiet whining during and/or after eating. The pain level increases with progressive disease.
  • lazy, unpleasant bad breath.
  • lack of fur care. The reduced to discontinued fur care is shown by moist paws and impure parts of the fur on the whole body.
  • steadily progressive weight loss.

How does the veterinarian diagnose the disease?

The veterinarian recognizes this disease by looking at the teeth and the mouth of intraoral X-ray examinations provide precise information regarding shape and severity. The onset of the disease cannot be detected on “normal” X-rays, or it is difficult to clearly identify it.

Visiting a special animal dentist and/or a veterinary clinic with a dental area, this disease can detect earlier and more securely than the home veterinarian. They have the necessary equipment for intraoral X-ray examination.

What is intraoral X-ray?

This procedure takes place in humans. During the X-ray, he gets a small plate in his mouth and several shots from different angles follow.

To X-ray a cat using this method, she has to undergo ananesthesia. On average, the doctor takes a total of about six images of the mouth, teeth and jaw.

Is there a prophylaxis to avoid the disease?

So far, the exact causes of the disease’s eruptation are considered unexplained. Unfortunately, there is currently no special prophylaxis to prevent the disease.

Experts discuss why the animals’ own cells destroy their teeth. They noticed a disturbed calcium balance in the diseased animals, which brought the food into their focus. Here they investigated the calcium-phosphorus ratios.

But why the carcasses lack calcium from the teeth and not pull it out of the bones remained unclear. On the other hand, it is considered certain that gum inflammation and tartar promote the disease and its course. It remains to be seen what the next studies will reveal.

From this point of view, the following are suitable for prevention:

  • the early start and retention of cat mouth care.
  • Regular veterinary checks on the mouth and teeth.
  • early and regular removal of tartar by the veterinarian.
  • giving special Dental feed. They are used to prevent tartar.
  • high-quality cat food in dry and wet form. Dry food can prevent tartar, while wet cat food encourages the formation of the same. If the cat is constantly provided with dry cat food, this slows down the formation of tartar. With the daily fed wet food, the cat also receives fluid, which can stimulate the kidneys and the immune system.

Can FORL be cured and what does the treatment look like?

This disease can be alleviated and slowed down, unfortunately it does not heal.

Due to the progressive properties determined by own cells, only the complete removal of the affected teeth helps. The operation is performed under anesthesia and with the support of X-rays before and after tooth removal. In this way, the doctor ensures that he has been able to remove all parts of the tooth and root. The veterinarian in the course of surgery to remove tartar and clean the teeth.

The following therapy with antibiotics can prevent further secondary bacterial infections and reduce existing gum inflammation. Giving painkillers helps the sweetheart after surgery and makes it easier for him to eat.

The amount and type of removed teeth may require a change of feed from dry to wet. If few teeth were affected, there are rarely problems with eating. Wet food can be eaten better with a few or no teeth. It puts less strain on the gums and jawbones.

Are there any homeopathic alternatives?

Unfortunately, there are no alternatives to pulling the teeth.

Various homeopathic remedies are suitable for gum inflammation and/or to relieve pain in mild infections. The question of the suitable globuli and/or tinctures for the cat must be discussed with the veterinarian by a veterinary practitioner. He has to examine the little darling closely and use the Materia Medica to determine the right remedy for him.


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