- Mar 2, 2013
- Reaction score
Eosinophilic granuloma (rodent ulcer, labial ulcer)This unsightly condition is unique to the cat. It may be found in cats of any age, and occurs three times more often in females than males. The exact cause of rodent ulcer is unknown, and there is actually no direct connection with rodents. The presence of eosinophils suggests an allergic reaction, parasite problem, or immune problem. It is thought to be part of the eosinophilic granuloma complex. Hypersensitivity is strongly suggested, with causative agents including insects, environmental substances, and diet. Flea allergy should always be considered as a possible cause. Some cases are associated with dental infection. An underlying genetic predisposition is suspected.
Our last cat had that a few times, and the suspected cause was a food allergy, which can develop at any time.This is a chronic ulcerative area occurring on the lips, usually where the skin joins the lining membrane of the mouth. The affected part is relatively localised but the area gradually becomes larger. It is usually found in the region between the mid-line cleft of the lip (philtrum) and the canine tooth on the upper lip. The problem may occur on one side or both and occasionally may be seen elsewhere. The edges of the ulcer are hard and raised and the broken skin irregular. The base of the ulcer is salmon-pink. In most cases the problem is a cosmetic one rather than presenting any real disability for the cat, but sometimes very deep ulcers may cause pain and reluctance or inability to eat, and the animal may be unable to groom itself. A number of causes have been suggested for this problem, including continual irritation by the rough tongue, infection or food allergy; there is little to support these propositions.
A wide variation of treatments have been applied in cases of eosinophilic granuloma, reflecting the lack of any one uniformly successful treatment, and the unsatisfactory outcome of treatment in many patients. It would seem that the most successful approach is a four to six week course of the steroid prednisolone.