Lymphocytic-plasmacytic stomatitis in Cats (Felis) | Vetlexicon
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Lymphocytic-plasmacytic stomatitis

ISSN 2398-2950

Contributor(s) :


  • Should not be considered a specific disease but a syndrome.
  • Although the etiology is not known, is probably multifactoral.
  • A chronic disorder of the cat.
  • Can affect any age, breed or sex, but more common in young purebreds.
  • Clinical picture represents an excessive inflammatory response.
    Print off the owner factsheet on Feline stomatitis Feline stomatitis to give to your client.



  • Not known.
  • May involve trauma, bacterial, viral or fungal agents.


  • Excessive immune response to repeated antigenic exposure.


Client history

  • Anorexia.
  • Dysphagia.
  • Salivation.
  • Weight loss.

Clinical signs

  • Halitosis.
  • Proliferative or ulcerative lesions on the oral mucosa.
  • Lesions found especially around gingiva but also tongue, hard palate, fauces, cheeks.
  • Poor coat condition due to lack of grooming.
  • Ptyalism.

Diagnostic investigation




  • Biopsy of gums to show plasma cell and lymphocyte infiltration.
  • Rules out other conditions.


  • White blood cell count may be low, normal or high in individual cases.


  • Possibly hypergammaglobulinemia.
  • Check for systemic disease, eg renal failure.

Confirmation of diagnosis

Discriminatory diagnostic features

  • Look for underlying cause.

Definitive diagnostic features

  • Biopsy samples which will reveal infiltration with plasma cells and lymphocytes.
  • Culture of oral cavity.

Gross autopsy findings

  • Careful examination of oral cavity, including teeth, tonsils, tongue, regional lymph nodes. Also rule out systemic disease, eg renal failure.

Histopathology findings

  • Fix affected and unaffected oral mucosa, plus pharyngeal tonsils, tongue, transverse nasal planum, regional lymph nodes.
  • Dense infiltrate of plasma cells, with lymphocytes, often at interface zone.

Differential diagnosis


Initial symptomatic treatment

Standard treatment




  • Poor.
  • Relapse common.

Reasons for treatment failure

  • Many cases will not respond.
  • Insufficient duration or dose of medication.

Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Wiggs R B, Lobprise H B, Matthews J L et al (1993) Effects of preactivated MC540 in the treatment of lymphocytic plasmacytic stomatitis in feline leukaemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus positive cats. J Vet Dent 10 (1), 9-13 PubMed.
  • Harvey C E (1991) Inflammatory oral disease in cats. JAAHA 27 (6), 585-91 VetMedResource.
  • Reindel J F, Trapp J L, Armstrong P J et al (1987) Recurrent plasmacytic stomatitis-pharyngitis in a cat with esophagitis, fibrosing gastritis, and gastric nematodiasis. JAVMA 190 (1), 65-67 PubMed.
  • Johnessee J S & Hurvitz A I (1983) Feline plasma cell gingivitis-pharyngitis. JAAHA 19 (2), 179-81 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Guilford W G (1993) Disorders of the gastrointestinal system. In: Textbook of Feline Medicine. Pergamon Press. pp 153.