My 10 year old indoor cat started to have sneezing,nasal discharge, weight loss and a runny eye since November of 08 with heavy breathing. Went to the vet, they gave him amoxicillin tablets which got rid of the heavy breathing however it is January and he has lost alot of weight, has excessive phlegm in his troat, minor eye discharge and once in a while a runny nostril. His main problem seems to be the excessive phlegm. They have him on cephalexin which is not helping. I'm afraid they are misdiagnosing him. He gags up the medicine every time I have to administer it. Is there anything I can do to get rid of this phlegm in his throat? I cant find any info helpful on the net, and I'm afraid hes going to die if I cant get rid of the phlegm. Please help. I need any advice I can get to help my cat. There has to be at least 1 way to clear a cats throat of phlegm. I just cant seem to get any help from my vet or the internet for this.
I can feel your frustration! It sounds like you are being a wonderful owner that's doing everything right! I'm glad that your vet has changed up the antibiotics when the other one didn't work. If the liquid isn't working, you need to call your vet right away. Maybe your kitty needs another anitibiotic in a pill form-tried Baytril yet? Another option is an antibiotic shot-I think one shot lasts for a whole week! In the meantime, you can ask your vet about bronchodilators for your cat to help open up his airways. They give these to asthmatic cats (and people)! Ask your vet about this. At least, this will help him to breathe a lot easier. You can also ask your vet about prednisone, which will decrease the inflammation in his airways helping him to breathe easier.
Have you had a chest x-ray? If so, what did it show? Does he have a fever? Was the white blood cell count elevated?
Another idea to help loosen the phlegm-run a very hot shower with the door shut so your cat can inhale the steam-for about 10 minutes. That may help, too!
1) Ask your vet if it's safe to give a cat Guaifenesen (expectorant, and will loosen mucus) and what dose to give or what is the equivalent in the veterinarian medicine world. Guaifenesen (I may have misspelled) is what humans take to loosen up their mucus and it is a pretty safe medication. I'm sure they have something for cats or can tell you how to dose our stuff for your cat.
2) Did your vet test for feline leukemia or other diseases? X-rays? Labs? (like zodiacqueen asked) Vitals? Breath sounds? Please ask if you're not sure what they've done, and ask for copies of this, or write it down....tests performed and results. This way, you can give this information to another vet should it come down to that. Ask your vet, not only in this case, for what signs/symptoms you should be checking for and when to call in case they mean your cat should need immediate care. I'm not at all sure what normal vitals are for a cat, specifically respiration rate, but you could ask and then count for yourself to see if that's normal. Listen for any audible wheezing too.
3) Have they given you medicated eye ointment to try?
4) I would monitor this weight loss if you can.
5) How often are they asking to see your cat? If you leave the office with instructions and your cat is not better, you should call to report this and schedule another appt. If they are not asking to see your cat, you might consider asking for another appt. They SHOULD be monitoring your cat on a regular and speedy interval as far as I'm concerned here.
6) I'd seek another opinion from another veterinarian office if I were you, if your baby is not getting better. It sounds like no one has gotten a handle on this at all.
I hope you get some answers and a quick solution soon.
I just want to ask if your cat is eating and/or drinking water. If not, you should look into syringe feeding and hydration.
Very often, cats who are congested with runny, clogged noses won't eat or drink because they can't smell or breathe through their noses. Firstly, it frightens them to eat when they can't breathe at the same time and secondly, they identify food as good to eat by smelling it and it confuses them when they can't.
Cats can't go very long without food and even less time without hydration. There is a health page article on syring/force feeding in the health pages here on medhelp (lower right of the page) that may be helpful.
Also, I would recommend getting a second opinion at a good size animal hospital. They generally have larger staffs with more experience than you can find with private practive vets.
Sorry - I meant to add, since he is gagging on the medicine - try just giving very small bits of the dose at a time. Even a drop or two at a time if you must. And the same holds true with liquid food and water.
Time consuming, but until you work out what to do about the phlegm in the throat, it should get the stuff into him.
If this doesn't work and you really can't get the medicine or anything else to be swallowed, then your cat should be put on an IV drip, which is another reason to go the route of a good animal hospital.
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