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Congested Cat [Jun. 27th, 2008|08:18 am]
Cat Health


[Current Mood |worriedworried]

Before I begin, I just want to thank you guys for all of the help you have given me thus far in the past two years that I have had Seamus.

So Seamus, my cat, has been congested the last few weeks. I have been bringing him to the vet, but he is not back to normal. I would like to know what you guys think about the situation.

On Monday, May 26th, my boyfriend and I returned from a two day trip to Las Vegas. We bathed Seamus (which we do monthly) and afterwards, he had the sniffles. We decided to wait to visit the vet because we had house guests and when Seamus got sick before, the vet didn't find anything and he got better himself a day or two after the appointment.

During the next week, Seamus started to sound worse and worse. He began breathing through his mouth and the congestion had increased. He was sneezing a lot, but there wasn't any discharge. He was also wheezing - it sounded like he had a hairball but he was doing it a lot more often than when he had hairballs.

So, on Thursday, June 5th, my boyfriend and I brought Seamus to the vet. The vet gave him an antibiotic shot, Lysine (1 mL a day), and Clavamax (1.5 mL a day - 30 mL total). He explained that Seamus, like all cats, has a virus which can get worse with stress and that there wasn't much that medication could do, that he needed lots of fluids and food to heal himself. The vet said that if Seamus didn't improve by Monday to call him. The vet was also concerned because Seamus had lost half a pound since he saw him six months previously (Seamus weighs close to 13 pounds, but according to the vet, he's underweight). Seamus improved a bit in the next few days, the congestion went down and the sneezing was gone but he definitely wasn't a 100% better. I called the vet on Wednesday (I was ill on Monday and Tuesday) and he said that Seamus still needed time and to make sure to feed him and to call him back the following week to discuss Seamus' status. I fed Seamus but he was reluctant to eat much.

A few days after that Wednesday, Seamus improved tremendously to the point that he was eating normally and I didn't hear any congestion, sneezing, or wheezing. However, after I ran out of Clavamax (which the vet thought was enough to cure the congestion), Seamus' symptoms - (congestion, sneezing, and wheezing) returned about a day later, though not the same level as before June 5th. He was (and still is) eating normally.

I called the vet the following Thursday, June 19th and told him that things were getting worse and I brought Seamus back last Saturday, June 21st. This time, the vet took X-rays thinking that Seamus might have an enlarged heart or some other complication. Also, even though Seamus had been eating, he had lost another half pound. The vet said that the wheezing and the congestion are unrelated and that Seamus might have asthma. He gave me more Clavamax to stop the congestion. Since then, the Clavamax has been working but not as well as it did before. Seamus still is congested and sneezes, but he isn't wheezing.

To add, I'm concerned because Seamus and I are moving and taking a plane on August 13th. Because we're landing in Massachusetts, I need a certificate of health from the vet as well as updated vaccinations. Understandably, the vet won't administer the shots until Seamus is better. I know I have a bit of time before the flight, but the way things are going, I'm worried that Seamus won't be ready.

Most of all, I'm worried about Seamus. He's playful and active just as he usually is, but I do want him to get better. Any advice you have to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

[User Picture]From: karmen
2008-06-27 04:04 pm (UTC)
If it is asthma I think the vet should have perscribed a tapering dose of prednisolone or prednisone. Bloodwork might be your next step, make sure his liver/kidneys and thyroid are all good though from what you said it does not sound like thyroid. Does he have a heart murmur? A cardiac workup is not cheap but it may be cardiomyopathy:


My other thought is heartworms, has he been tested for that? Sorry for the rambling but I am thinking out loud ... poor thing, keep us updated!
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[User Picture]From: cosmicwonder
2008-06-27 04:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the advice.

He had a bloodtest a few months ago and everything was fine, so the vet ruled out liver and kidneys. The vet also listened to his heart and didn't hear anything.

How does Seamus get tested for heartworms? What are the indications that he might have them?
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[User Picture]From: ruffian_wind
2008-06-27 06:26 pm (UTC)
Seconded for the asthma diagnosis. Predisone does wonders for my cat; after a few days on it, his breathing goes back to normal. We only have to treat him twice a year.

Also, just in case it might help, my cat recently developed a benign laryngeal polyp (a growth on his vocal cords). The growth made him lose his voice and wheeze alot. The prednisone would help shrink the polyp, so we didn't even know he had one until our vet did a more in-depth exam. He had it removed two weeks ago and is breathing perfectly now.

Yeah, give the pred a try. Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: cosmicwonder
2008-06-27 06:32 pm (UTC)
My vet wants to put Seamus on Predisone, but he said he can't until Seamus' congestion disappears.
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[User Picture]From: silaren
2008-06-27 06:47 pm (UTC)
Prednisone (or prednisolone ... slightly better for some purposes and cats, otherwise basically the same thing) is an immunosuppressant (any similar steroid will have this effect, by the way), so it's best to wait until there is no virus-y thing going on.
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[User Picture]From: ruffian_wind
2008-06-27 07:11 pm (UTC)
Good point! :)
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[User Picture]From: cosmicwonder
2008-06-27 07:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. I just wanted to double-check that my vet knows what he's doing.
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