Clinical and microbiological effects of oral zinc ascorbate gel in cats.
The clinical and microbiological effects of zinc ascorbate gel applied orally in cats were evaluated during a 42-day study period. Cats were divided randomly into two equal groups, with the treatment group (18 cats) receiving zinc ascorbate gel and the control group (18 cats) receiving a placebo (0.9% sterile saline). Clinical parameters evaluated biweekly included halitosis, plaque, calculus, and gingivitis. Aerobic and anaerobic bacterial cultures were obtained from cats in the treatment group at Days 0 and 42. There was a significant decrease in plaque, gingivitis, and anaerobic periodontal pathogens in treatment group cats. Halitosis and calculus scores were not significantly different in treatment group compared with control group cats. The results of this study suggest that zinc ascorbate gel used as an oral antiseptic improves feline oral health, and may be most effective in decreasing bacterial growth, plaque formation, and gingivitis when applied following a professional teeth cleaning procedure.