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Coughing Cat Advice Please...kinda' long...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm at a total loss of what is going on with Max. If I may, I'd like to give a quick run down...

He's only 1 1/2 years old and has always coughed, but in the early stages I passed it off as a purr ball that he just couldn't move. As time went on, it got worse and I began to do some research on the internet. Well, I soon got him to the vet after realising it could be something more than a fur ball. His honking, goose-like sounds might be something very serious.

He's been to the vets time and time again. Blood work was fine, stool sample fine, his heart and lungs sound fine, the only thing left to do are x-rays. (I was recently laid-off so money is an issue right now. So that might have to wait.) The vet has also said that heart worm and lung worm are not possible in our area. He was first put on Clavamox as the vet though it might be a Tracial or Lung infection, no change. He's now on Prednisone (something I though long and hard about). For the first few days he seemed to not cough (or maybe we weren't around to hear it, I dunno). Now he's back to coughing every other day. I'm still giving him the Prednisone though.

The vet has said it's simply a process of elimination. A very expensive one at that! I wasn't very happy with his statement. We've cut out all possible allergins. No smokinging the house, no sprays & as dust free as possible. My thinking is this, if it was an allergy, wouldn't the Prednisone help keep his lungs open? Wouldn't that do the trick? I've noticed that it starts most often when he's sleeping.

It's so heartbreaking to see him go through this. Besides the coughing he's a perfectly happy healthy cat. Eats tons, regular bowl movements...etc.. As soon as a coughing fit has passed he's right back to purring immediatly!!

My question is this, could it actually be a purr ball that he can't move? Could it be that simple? Is my vet just trying to milk my off every penny with this "process of elimination"? I know that's a horrible thing to say. But I'm at a loss.

Thanks so much for reading. Any advice before our next visit to the dreaded vets?

Narciss (Max's worried mom)
post #2 of 11
This belongs in health and nutrition, I'll move it there for you.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
thank you
post #4 of 11
By purr ball, do you mean fur ball? A furr ball is not something that is consistent unless he is a long-hair who constantly grooms himself and pulls out hair.

You said you don't smoke in the house-so I am assuming you do smoke. I know, I am very bright! If you have smoked near him or around him, this could be the cause of his coughing. Second-hand smoke not only settles in cat's lungs, but also on their fur and when they groom themeselves, they can swallow the smoke again. Think of them like a big hair filter trapping all airborne particles on their fur.

If it were me, I would ask the vet to scope the kittie's trachea and see if there is some sort of collapse happening.
There is also a few parasites that can cause chronic honking coughs in kitties as well. nemotodes are one of those. Perhaps others will know of the rest. Kitty could have bronchitis, asthma, heart or lungworm. You can lessen the irritation to her throat by providing her with moist kibble instead of dry and feeding her canned cat food. Make sure she has clean water at all times and break up her kibble with a hammer before she eats it. Also try elevating her food bowl a few inches off the ground to help her relax her throat.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I can't belive I said "purr ball" not once, but twice! I think I hang around here a bit too much! Purr ball! OMG

Anyway, the vet did mention the scope but he said it's rather extream and finds that the results are often inconclusive. Those were his words. I will ask him again though. Wouldn't the parasites you mentioned have been caught with the bloodwork he had done?

He does eat more dry food than wet. Perhaps I'll get the hammer out and bash some frustrations out on the dry food! LOL

No I don't smoke, but we have friends that come over quite often that do. I cut out the smoking in the house...they still visit, so that's a good thing.

Fresh water, always!

Do you think they might want to up the dosage of Prednisone? He's 14 lbs and on 5 mg's a day?

What you said makes sense though. I really think there is something Asmtha related, but wouldn't the Prednisone have helped him? That or a Trachea/throat problem. Oh I wish I was a vet!

Anyway, that's so much for your input. I really appreciate your insight!! I'm just totally stressed out by all this!
post #6 of 11
One symptom of asthma in cats is that they do a lot of open mouth breathing.

I would caution you to not depend on predisone to supply all the answers for you. Long-term use of the drug can cause a lot of problems for Max more than just what coughing is doing to him now. It can also cause him to change his behavior and eating and drinking and elimination habits. It can also mask what is really going wrong with him too- another danger.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
That's exactly why I hesitated before agreeing to put him on it. I read loads before hand and know all about the side effets...lowered immune system, kidney damage...etc...The vet said exactly what you did about it masking the real problem.

In regards to the open mouth breathing. He used to stop and pant after he'd have a hard play session with the other kitties. He no longer does that. The vet is aware of all this and more.

I guess it's back to the vets in the next few weeks. I just wish he was well!

Thanks again!
post #8 of 11
My cat, Midnight, (deceased) developed asthma when she was 11 years old and was treated with Pedinsone. From what I understand, if Max has asthma, an X-ray of his lungs is necessary before a diagnoses can be made.

You said the Predisone seemed to help for the first few days but now Max is coughing again, it could be the doseage needs to be adjusted. You need to determine the exact amount of Predisone Max should be getting as his maintaince dose. Your vet could probably help you with this over the phone.
post #9 of 11
your cat most likely has asmatha. My baby died on Feb 5th from it.
he was on the same drug that you are doing for your baby, plus he was on
Terutaline which seem to work fine, but the asmatha got the better of him.
Keep him out of the cold no smoking no sprays try to keek all thing dust free
post #10 of 11
Welington has just been put on prednisone for suspected asthma, and I also an not happy about long term effects. But until I have a confirmed diagnosis from the Xrays I am keeping him on it for awhile. In the Xray my vet could see an enlarged brachial tube, but is taking a second opinion. Wellington is not open mouth breathing though, he is wheezing and having dry coughing spasms. Has anyone here had experience with inhalers for cats?
post #11 of 11
I hope you soon will get some answers and help for you kitty.
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