Alice M. Wolf, DVM, DACVIM, DABVP
The etiology of this unusual condition in cats is not known.It probably falls into the category of other lymphoproliferative disorders of cats.
Disease of the oral cavity is a common problem, particularly in middle-aged to older cats. Some disorders (e.g. lymphoplasmacytic gingivitis/stomatitis) may begin very early in life in some purebred cats.
Feline herpesvirus1 infection is most noted for causing URI disease and oral ulceration. Latent, persistent infection will occur in about 30% of affected cats. Vaccines do not prevent feline herpesvirus infection nor carriage or intermittent shedding of the virus. Recrudescence of signs or new lesions may occur with stress or concurrent illness.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is common in geriatric cats but often appears stable for long periods of time. Several studies have evaluated prognostic markers in cats with CKD, but few have identified which ones precede disease progression. The aim of this study was to find a marker which would predict deterioration of renal function in cats newly diagnosed with CKD.
Whether you call these patients geriatric, or "mature", special considerations are required in evaluating, examining, hospitalizing, and generally caring for older felines. Veterinarians and owners must understand that OLD AGE IS NOT A DISEASE, IT IS A STAGE OF LIFE.