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Sickness that won't go away

My cat became sick with a bad cold due to the feline herpes virus.  We gave him the L-Lysine twice a day and some antibiotics once a day.  It took the full week, but he got better.  Three weeks later he starts to show signs of getting sick again...namely being a little snuffly.  Started the L-Lysine again, but no change so we took him to the vet.  Same diagnosis, same meds.

He got worse and stopped eating.  We were told he now had an infection in his head & his chest.  He was given a shot of some antibiotic at the vets, then we were given a DIFFERENT antibiotic, more L-Lysine, & something to stimulate his appetite.  He became less listless and definitely ate more.  But after the course of antibiotics he still had the snorting, snuffling, and wheezing when he breathed.  (We have been giving him hour-long vaporizer treatments too during this time)

Vet said that it sounded like his chest infection was gone, but the head infection remained.  He was given YET ANOTHER shot of antibiotics & more prescription for a different antibiotic.  That is at least 4 different types to date.  Still giving him his "sauna treatment" as we call it, and we were told to give him Afrin nose drops too.  He just finished this round, and I can't see any improvement.  He's still snorting, snuffling and making strange sounds when he breathes.  When he purrs, it sounds gravely, with a high-pitched whine when he breathes back in on a purr.

I'm wondering if this is still a head cold.  The Afrin drops go straight down his nose to his throat as if there isn't any blockage.  If he was stuff, wouldn't it take longer?  And why is it that despite constant L-Lysine and 4 different antibiotics, he hasn't gotten better?

Just to be clear, he has NEVER shown any signs of nasal discharge or sneezing.  The only signs were a change in personality, lethargy, lack of appetite, and stuffy sounding breathing.

What does my baby have and why isn't he getting better??
1 Responses
234713 tn?1283526659
Herpes is a viral infection that can cause a bit of immunodeficiency making a cat more susceptible to bacterial and other infections.  Lysine should be dosed indefinitely at 250mg to 500mg twice daily for a lifetime for chronic herpes infections.

There are many different antibiotics.  Although your cat has been on 4 different antibiotics it still may not be the correct one.  If it is a mixed infection he may have to be on more than one antibiotic simultaneously.

X-Rays, a Bartonella test, a Culture and Sensitivity from a transtracheal wash or other secretion,  and other diagnostics may be necessary to determine the cause of the upper respiratory infections.  If your cat has concurrent asthma, or another immunodeficiency disease, such as FIV the problem may be harder to eliminate.  Additionally, your cat should be on probiotics to counter the side effects of all the antibiotics.

Lastly, since he has never had sneezing before, it might be a good idea for your vet to check for a foreign body caught in the nose or somewhere in the upper respiratory system which would act as a nidus for infection.
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