Chronic Contact Mucositis/Stomatitis (formerly called CUPS) is an extremely painful disease process in the dog. While the exact etiology is not fully understood, research has shown that the body is reacting violently to plaque on a tooth, which triggers an exaggerated response of an immunoglobulin (IgG). An inflammatory cascade follows, thus leading to degradation of the gingiva, bone loss, and intense oral pain and discomfort.
So why do vets continue to clean these teeth, or even worse, place the pet on antibiotics (either long-term or a variety of antibiotics)? That doesn’t eliminate the disease, it only masks it, which is also temporary.
The solution is not more cleanings or long-term antibiotics. The solution is a very aggressive approach. Teeth must be removed, and in many instances, all of them. While people cringe at the thought of their dog losing all their teeth, the outcome is always favorable for the pet. I can tell you that I have performed tens and tens of full-mouth extractions in dogs with chronic mucositis/stomatitis, and they ALL respond favorably. They return to a pre-infection quality of life, and the pain and odor is GONE.
So if your dog has been diagnosed with this very painful syndrome, consult a veterinary dental specialist. The antibiotics or routine cleanings may help short-term, but the long-term pain and suffering will return without more aggressive treatment.
Barden Greenfield, DVM, DAVDC
Your Pet Dentist of Memphis and Little Rock