Objective: To study the effects of oral administration of bovine lactoferrin (LF) on intractable stomatitis in feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-positive and FIV-negative cats, and phagocytosis of neutrophils in healthy and ill cats, simultaneously.
Animals: 7 ill cats with diagnosis of intractable stomatitis (4 FIV positive and 3 FIV negative) and 7 healthy, FIV-negative cats.
Procedure: LF (40 mg/kg ot body weight) was applied topically to the oral mucosa of cats with intractable stomatitis daily for 14 days and improvement of clinical signs of disease (pain-related response, salivation, appetite, and oral inflammation), expressed by scoring from 1 to 4, were evaluated. Assay of neutrophil phagocytosis was examined before and 2 weeks after starting LF treatment, using nonopsonized hydrophilic polymer particles (2 microns).
Results: Oral administration of LF improved intractable stomatitis in all 4 respects. Phagocytic activity of neutrophils increased after LF treatment. This effect was observed in healthy and ill (FIV positive and FIV negative) cats.
Conclusion and clinical relevance: Oral administration of LF improved intractable stomatitis and concurrently enhanced the host defense system. Topical application of LF to oral mucous membrane is useful as a treatment for intractable stomatitis even in FIV-positive cats.