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Please help! Cat can't breathe!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have a 12 year old Maine Coon cat who started making deep rumbly sounds while purring about 6 weeks ago. I took him to the vet and they prescribed 2 weeks of Clavamox drops. He got worse and had begun wheezing and struggling for air. I brought him back and they did xrays, put him under anesthesia and looked at his larynx but couldn't see a mass or anything. They thought it might be his teeth so I had them cleaned and two teeth removed. He got worse. Then I took him to a different vet who had endoscopy equipment and they put him under anesthesia and looked at his esophogus, larynx, trachea and couldn't find anything. They prescribed a 10 day treatment of antibiotics (zithromyocin) for a bacterial infection in case that was it. After 10 more days he was even worse. I brought him back and they put him under again and examined his soft palette carefully and did more xrays and found nothing. They ran a fungal blood panel and sent it off to the lab and we are awaiting results. They sent blood off for a heartworm test too which came back negative. He has been on a high dose of prednisone for about a month now because without it he cannot breathe. I give him a 5mg tab in the a.m. and a 5mg tab at night.
Even though the fungal panel results are not back yet we are desperate and he is running out of time so the vet prescribed an anti-fungal medication called Fluconazole (about 180.00 for 15 days). I started him on it a few days ago. He is also now on Furosamide to alleviate any edema around his heart I think? It seemed to help yesterday but today he is doing terribly.
I know that the prednisone can make a mass shrink and hard to find if there is one but it's a catch 22 because I think he'll die without it. Of all 4 doctors from the 2 hospitals that have seen him, none have them have seen any evidence of a mass and all have looked.
Does anyone out there have any ideas of what else my cat could be dealing with? I'm open to any and all ideas at this point. Thanks.
post #2 of 12
I am so sorry about your kitty. Sounds like you are doing all the right things though. I can't offer any other advice other than to keep up the good work. Sending good vibes your way for you and your kitty
post #3 of 12
This is just an off-chance guess because of allergy problems that i've been dealing with, but has the allergy angle been tried? Some cats are allergic to airborne, seasonal allergens. Have the vets suggested trying antihistamines? Might be worth a try to ask. Good luck.
post #4 of 12
You know, i was thinking the same thing. Asma is always a possibility.
post #5 of 12
Originally Posted by dragonfly183 View Post
You know, i was thinking the same thing. Asma is always a possibility.
I was also going to mentioning an inhaler but didn't think it was in good taste. The whole allergy thing crossed my mind too after I had posted. But I'm surprised your vets haven't brought it up
post #6 of 12
I'm sorry that you and your boy are going through this.

If the prednisone is helping, I would guess that it could be some sort of inhalant allergy or asthma.

Are they sure that there is excess fluid in his chest...or was the Furosemide prescribed as a test, just to see what might help?

I seem to remember some issues with giving Furosemide and Prednisone together. I'll see if I can find that.

I'm not sure if this is it or not, but this says that there's a greater risk of potassium deficiency when taking Furosemide and corticosteroids together...probably because of the increased urination that both drugs cause?

This page states that Furosemide can make respiratory diseases worse because the airways get dry...

So if he doesn't need the Furosemide, I think I would be cautious with it. If he needs it, it should help immensely. I have a cat that wouldn't be here without it.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I'm sorry to post that message and then not respond. I also posted on another cat site and forgot to check back with this one. I've sure appreciated all the help I've received from both forums!
As it turned out, I took Tiger to another vet (the 5th one) and he found either a mass or a tumor the size of a grape inside his nasal passage. He found it with a 2.5mm endoscopic camera. Tiger could breathe perfectly as soon as he woke up from the anesthesia. He has been playing and really enjoying himself for the first time in 7 weeks!
We should be getting the results back in a few days and we are praying that it is not cancer. In the meantime, our time with Tiger has been such a blessing, especially since he is not suffering.
I'll post an update when we get the results. Thanks again for everyone's help.
post #8 of 12
I'm glad to hear that the cause of his problem has been found, and am keeping my fingers crossed that it's not malignant. Thanks for updating!
post #9 of 12
I am glad its cured but am appalled at the vetinary care your cat received. The most obvious thing when any animal, including us, can't breathe is a blocked nose. They did all that traumatic and risky investigation, put him on drugs with lots of nasty side effects and left him suffering for days, and yet it was something they should have picked up on a first visit!! Why stick an endoscope down all his breathing organs except the nose? Also it must have cost you a lot for all this.
post #10 of 12
I'm sorry to hear that your cat is dealing with not being able to breath. my cat was just recently diagnosed with Ashma, it was so scary. I know how you feel,. She was on prednisolone for a few months which did seem to help, and then she got worse so my doctor recommanded putting her on inhalers. They helped so much she doesnt even need the prednisolone (which i heard can cause diabetes) anymore.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, I was on cloud nine until about half an hour ago when I got a call from my vet. The results came back as squamous carcinoma. I'm so devastated. Tiger is doing so well, I hate to think about what's coming. The vet said it could take months. He wasn't sure. Does anyone know of any natural remedies or anything that might prolong the quality of his life? My vet said there is the option of chemo but he didn't recommend it. He said it's been somewhat helpful for dogs but not very effective in cats. It's hard on the cat and expensive. Any suggestions would be so welcome. Thanks.
p.s. Ifish85, thanks for your post about asthma. I have another cat who has had asthma for years. He has been on prednisilone for a few years now. He gets 2.5mg every other day either by pill that I mush up in his food or by transdermal gel in his ear. I do have an inhaler that has a child chamber. Is that what you use? How often do you have to use it? The vet prescribed up to 2x per day as needed.
post #12 of 12
I am so sorry about the results. I will pray that you are able to enjoy him while you have him and that he does not suffer much pain

As for your question about natural remedies, I Googled it and found a link for you, I also am including th eGoogle search page so you can keep looking. There is a ton of information. No is the time to start reaserching. Good luck to you,
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