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Discussion Starter #1
Two of my parents' cats have had pain in their mouths for about two months now. They also often have this black crusty stuff around their mouths. One got it right after the other, but the other two cats in the house are healthy.

They were taken to the vet, but it's a small town vet that doesn't have the high tech resources. The vets don't really know what's wrong with them, but they prescribed prednasone. They said that it might shorten their lives, but without it, the cats may starve from not being able to eat because of the pain.

Duff has gotten much better. She was already trim when she started having problems so she got really scrawny and her coat was really scraggly and dingy for a while. For a long while, she was drooling in addition to the pain and the black stuff. I saw her yesterday and she has gained weight and her coat looks healthy again.

Luckily Bandit was fat when she started having problems. She still has a lot of trouble eating (she doesn't always take the pills) and keeps getting thinner. She was a small framed but round cat and she's probably lost around 2 pounds since this mouth pain started. She only eats very soft cat food mashed up or turkey, chicken, or beef cut into tiny pieces. She actually meows as she tries to eat the latter because she's in so much pain, but she eats it anyway because she loves the stuff so much.

Duff is 12 and Bandit is 10. The vet thinks this will be a chronic problem that they may have for the rest of their lives. He thinks it might be some sort of cancer - but that doesn't make sense to me because the way they got it right after another makes me think that it was contagious in some way.

Does anyone know what this might be and is there a better alternative to prednasone? I know that they can get a steroid shot, but that just isn't practical because the closest vet lives in another town
 

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Do you have any pictures of their mouths? We can't diagnose anything through the internet of course, but we may be able to steer you in the right direction.
 

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I know you stated that this is a small town vet and options are limited, but I'd really consider seeing a different vet.

Having a vet that is prescribing a strong steroid medication that can cause serious side effect in the long term and listening to him actually tell you that this course of treatment could shorten their lives....all the while never giving you a diagnoses, seems like bad practice to me.

You came to the right place, there are a lot of people here who may be able to help you, however I highly suggest finding another veterinarian.

Hopefully Dr. Jean will stumble upon this thread and offer you some guidance.

My first suspicion is that it maybe sometype of herpes mouth sore or something, especially since it's painful and they both got it. I'm not a doctor though...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Unfortunately I don't have a picture because the cats live with my parents. And I didn't see the vet myself - I got this info from my parents so I'm relying on them to have been accurate. My parents told me about this and I did a search for a cat forum and this was the first one that came up. I don't know why I didn't think of this when I first heard about the mouth pain - I guess I didn't even think about it because i didn't know that the vet didn't really know what was going on.
 

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Have you looked in their mouths? If your parents' cats have never had dental care, it is likely that they have significant tartar build-up and possibly cavities. I'm not sure what they crusty stuff is, however.
 
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