Stomatitis in Dogs

Understanding Stomatitis in Dogs

Stomatitis, characterized by painful ulcers in a dog’s mouth, is a condition that requires attention and care. Let’s delve deeper into what causes this oral health issue and how you can address it effectively.

What Is Stomatitis?

Chronic ulcerative paradental stomatitis (CUPS), commonly known as stomatitis, involves inflammation of the mucous membranes in a dog’s mouth. These membranes line the gums, mouth, lips, tongue, and throat. Stomatitis can lead to severe gum tissue damage and eventual tooth loss if left untreated.

Signs and Symptoms

Identifying stomatitis involves recognizing a range of symptoms, including bad breath, thick drool, swollen and receding gums, and the presence of pus on the gums or mucous membranes. Dogs with stomatitis may also exhibit reluctance to eat, weight loss, and signs of pain.

Causes of Stomatitis

While the exact cause of stomatitis may vary, it often results from an immune system response to plaque buildup on the teeth. Plaque, a bacterial film, can lead to gum disease and eventual tartar formation. Tartar, in turn, creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth, exacerbating the condition.

Treatment Approaches

Addressing stomatitis typically involves a multifaceted treatment approach. Dental cleanings performed under anesthesia can remove plaque, bacteria, and tartar, with potential tooth extractions if necessary. Oral or topical antibiotics and steroids may also be prescribed to combat infection and reduce inflammation.

Home Care

Home care for a dog with stomatitis requires dedication and patience. Regular tooth cleaning, although challenging due to potential pain, is essential to prevent plaque buildup. Special dental wipes or prescription rinses can aid in maintaining oral hygiene. Seeking guidance from your veterinarian can provide valuable insights into effective home care strategies.

The Role of the Animal Hospital of Aurora

At Animal Hospital of Aurora, we understand the importance of your pet’s oral health. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing comprehensive dental care, including cleanings, treatments, and preventive measures. If you suspect your dog may have stomatitis or require dental care, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule an appointment with our veterinary experts.

By recognizing the signs of stomatitis and taking proactive steps to address it, you can ensure your furry friend enjoys optimal oral health and overall well-being.


Merck Veterinary Manual: Disorders of the Mouth in Dogs, 5/2018

Veterinary Practice News: Causes of Canine Stomatitis, 6/28/2017

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Periodontal Disease

PetMD: Stomatitis in Dogs, 12/23/2022