Swollen lip/Rodent ulcer treatment?

sweetleo

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Hi everyone. My poor boy Leo is having another issue lately. About 2 weeks ago I noticed a raw red spot on his upper lip, which seems to have turned into an ulcer (picture 1). It then turned into his entire upper lip being swollen (picture 2). At this point we called the vet and they didn’t seem worried and just told us to try zyrtec. I asked for a flea treatment (revolution plus) just in case a reaction to a flea bite was the cause. He’s been on the zyrtec for 2 days and I did the flea treatment this morning. His upper lip is still red and now his lower lip has a lump (picture 3). He is also licking it like crazy and isn’t eating any kibble (too painful), not a huge deal because he is mostly on wet anyway.

I guess I’m just wondering at one point do I assumed that this zyrtec isn’t working well enough and call the vet again? I’m assuming this is eosinophilic granuloma complex, but not really sure what caused it. The vet mentioned feline acne from plastic bowls but he doesn’t use any. He seems to be prone to these eosinophilic reactions but I don’t really know why. He is on a rabbit only protein diet, so I don’t think it is food related. The fleas is really my only guess but the vet didn’t really think it could be that.
 

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stephanietx

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Make sure you're using ceramic or stainless steel dishes. Keep stress to a minimum in your house. You may need to use calming agents such as Feliway or Comfort Zone diffusers. Send the pics to the vet and see if they will prescribe something to decrease the swelling, usually a steroid. My girl used to get them when she was stressed. They can be very uncomfortable.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Yep, stress can be a factor in so many things that afflict our cats. Calming him will only help.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I would think if the Zyrtec were going to work, it would already be helping. Here is a search query on Rodent Ulcers with lots of threads that might be helpful. Search Results for Query: rodent ulcers

What have they done in the past when he's had an episode? Sometimes stress can bring these things out. Has he been under any particular stress lately? Any changes take place? Whatever the reason, he may need something more than Zyrtec at this point.
 
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sweetleo

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Well, he’s never had the ulcer/swelling on his lips before, but he’s prone to gut inflammation and diarrhea, which has sometimes intensified when he is stressed. He had a flare up about a month ago where he had extreme inflammation in his gut and eosinophilia. I believe it was an allergic reaction to a new food we were trying with him, but not entirely sure. He got prednisolone then and that seemed to sort him out. He was in and out of multiple vets that week so I am sure he was stressed, but the rodent ulcer showed up 3 weeks after all of that. Would that be a normal timeline for stress to cause it? We also adopted a kitten a week ago, which is probably not helping, but the ulcer showed up a few days before that. In fact, we decided to get the kitten when we did because his health and happiness seemed like it was on such an upswing, he showed no signs of stress whatsoever.

The bump on his lip is getting pretty large and unsightly so it looks like we will be heading to the vet soon. I’ve been doing a ton of reading and it seems like there’s no way around having to go the vet, which is what I was trying to avoid because he gets sooo stressed and loses soo much hair.
 
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sweetleo

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0B66DA84-8910-48D2-B5AF-76DB4E78FD60.jpeg


A picture update for reference
 
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sweetleo

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Hi, this is sort of a late update, but maybe someone else will find this useful or think of something I havent.

We ended up taking him to the vet and it was eosinophilic granuloma complex, as expected, and he was given prednisolone. He was on 1 pill a day for 7 days, then a pill every other day for 10 days. He’s only got a few pills left now. He has had multiple ulcers/growths come and go since starting the prednisolone, so it’s clear that this was probably not a “one off” and that we have no found the cause, or there is no “cause” and his immune system is just over reactive. Right now he has a nasty one on the corner of his mouth.

Here’s what I’ve done to eliminate any allergens. He is already on a novel protein (rabbit) diet, so I have been extremely strict with him getting only that and no treats. I’ve started revolution plus with him. I’ve switched out all bowls for stainless steel. I’ve changed dish detergents, gotten rid of rubber food mats, stopped using fragrances body washes/hand soaps, and probably a dozen other things that may or may not be trivial. The other day I noticed the window seal he sits on has clover mites coming through it, but supposedly those don’t bite or do any sort of harm at all, so probably not the cause but wanted to document it just in case. Anyway, I notice he also sheds more than our kitten, and his fur is also more dull then hers, but maybe unrelated. I have started carefully introducing salmon oil (iceland pure pet brand) for the omega 3s since I read that can help with this.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Has he ever been given antibiotics for this? Sometimes that helps, but your Vet would know best whether or not to try them. Also, I'm guessing he could have an allergy to the rabbit, even though it's a novel protein. Cats can have allergies to all sorts of things. Have you ever tried a different protein since this started? I know you said he had digestive issues when you tried a new food on him...was that just a different brand of rabbit? Have you tried Venison? Or what rabbit food are you feeding? Could there be something else in there that's causing this (like pea protein)? I think some of those limited ingredient food have peas in them for some strange reason.
 
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sweetleo

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He would have gotten antibiotics for it had he not been on them a month before (clavamox and metrodinazole). The digestive issues were related to trying turkey and salmon. He also couldn’t tolerate royal canin hp. We have been on the rabbit for maybe 6 months, with the last 2 months being the most consistent. His digestion has never been better, he’s eating more than ever, I guess that’s why it is hard for me to consider the food as a problem. But you are right, it could be an allergen, the food has a lot of pea in it. It could also be the rabbit, although I hope not because that’s one of the easier novel proteins to find. I am feeding the instinct Lid rabbit wet food and kibble. I am really hesistant to change proteins with him, but I do have rawz rabbit and pumpkin, some rawz rabbit, and ziwi peak rabbit and lamb. I could give one of those a try.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I would go with the Rawz first of the above, although if you can find the one without pumpkin that might be better (the less ingredients the better in this case). I know what you mean about sourcing other novel proteins. Venison isn't that easy to find. But it definitely could be the peas causing the issue.

Was the clavamox and metro for this issue, or for the digestive issue? Those might not be the correct antibiotics for eosinophilic granuloma complex.
 
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sweetleo

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They were for the digestive thing. I didn’t ask about what antibiotics he would have gotten. That will probably be our next step. I think I’m going to try to transition his food over the next few weeks, I probably won’t be able to do it fast enough to stop the next ulcer attack though (if this is the cause). It is so frustrating, the second one of them starts to heal another one pops up. His breath has also gotten really bad lately because I haven’t been trying to brush his teeth in an attempt to let things heal.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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They were for the digestive thing. I didn’t ask about what antibiotics he would have gotten. That will probably be our next step. I think I’m going to try to transition his food over the next few weeks, I probably won’t be able to do it fast enough to stop the next ulcer attack though (if this is the cause). It is so frustrating, the second one of them starts to heal another one pops up. His breath has also gotten really bad lately because I haven’t been trying to brush his teeth in an attempt to let things heal.
Poor baby :frown: :hugs: I hope the food transition helps.
 
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