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Respiratory Problems

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My 6 month old cat, ZOE, has had congestion for almost 2 months now. At first the vet thought it was viral and I was told to wait it out. After a month, they decided to give her antibiotics "just in case," which didn't help. Now the vet says that it might be allergies although she really isn't sure. However, the treatment for allergies is steroids which are immunosuppresants. Sooo...if the vet was right the first time and it really is viral my kitty would end up getting a lot worse and perhaps risk developing a more serious respiratory illness like pneumonia. I would really like to see her get better but I don't want to make her worse by "experimenting" with different treatments. Does anyone have any advice?

post #2 of 13
If you are really unsure about the treatment the vet is giving you. Please go look for another vet. Sometimes they can be humans and make bad guesses. I had a very sickly cat(well 2 of them) and we went back and fourth with vets and medications. I finally had a vet who decided to try a medication called doxycycline and it worked like a charm. So, it did take 2 vets before we found the right treatment. There are tests they can do for allergies to find out for sure. You may want to look into that route too. I hope someone finds out for sure what it is.
post #3 of 13
This may seem like a really gross question, so I do apologize for it in advance, but what color is the mucus? If it is clear, white or yellow, chances are pretty good it is from an inhaled irritant, a virus, or allergy-related. If it is green, it very well may be bacterial.

If the vet has question in her mind as to whether or not the problem is viral or bacterial, why doesn't she do a culture? If it IS bacteria, then she can also do a sensitivity study to determine what the appropriate antibiotic would be.

If it is viral, I would still have labs done to isolate the virus and to determine what can be done in the way of treating the symptoms.

From the sound of things, I might also be on the lookout for a new vet...just my $.02US.

Best of luck,

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
She actually doesn't have any discharge. It's all up in her sinuses (and sometimes it sounds like it's in the back of her throat). She doesn't sneeze, have a fever or cough and doesn't have any eye discharge--just a whole lot of sinus congestion. I have a recheck appt. in a couple days and I'll ask about the culture and sensitivity.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, I just came back from the vet AGAIN. I had brought her in for a recheck two days ago. The vet agreed she was worse and put her on a different antibiotic (augmentin) along with viral therapy (alpha interferon). The vet said if she was not improved in 5 days to bring her back in to be sedated. They would then do cutlures and look inside her sinuses with some sort of scope. This morning Zoe woke up with a nasty eye infection (third lid protrusion, swelling and discharge) so I rushed back up to vet who put her on antibiotic eye drops. If her eye hasn't improved by tomorrow they are going have to check for an abscess behind the eye (i.e. hospitalizaton). THis is getting really unnerving. The vet's exact words were that "something really evil was going on." My poor little girl!!! Hopefully I'll have good news soon. --Annie
post #6 of 13
Oh Annie, I've been anxious to hear from you with an update. Thanks for posting! I declare I really do think about you guys during the normal course of my day, and I worry...

Please let me know how things go with the treatments - and if you do need to leave her in hospital for a day or so, please know I'll be keeping you both in my thoughts for the best.

Don't forget to breathe...it helps.

post #7 of 13
Poor little Zoe!

How is she doing right now? That must be so stressful for you!

I have been thinking about her too today (couldn't post earlier but have read the messages).

Please let us know how she's doing.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Just a quick update--
Zoe's eye appears to be all better now but she is still just as congested as ever. However, she doesn't act like she feels sick anymore. Before she was lethargic, wouldn't eat or drink and just looked anxious. Now she's eating and drinking well and bounding all over the house. I find it odd that she seemed to get worse when she was on the antibiotics and I am leary of putting her on a more powerful drug. Anyways, I'm bringing her in again at the end of the week so we'll see what happens. Annie
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
The mystery of Zoe's respiratory condition has been solved. It was neither bacterial, viral or allergies. It was, in fact, one monstrous nasal polyp. The vet said she was surprised Zoe could even breath at all. So the good news is the mystery has been solved, the bad news is that although the vet removed the polyp, they most often return. The only way to keep it away for good is to go to a specialist who will go in through the ear to get the 'stalk' of the polyp (for a mere $1200). Sigh. Well at least I know she isn't going to die.

Annie Steele
post #10 of 13
Thanks for the update Annie. At least now you know what she has. Did the vet say how often these things return?
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
The vet says that it will most probably return. An added complication is that Zoe developed Horner's syndrome during the excision. Horner's Syndrome is characterized by a sunken eye, protruding third eyelid, and constricted pupil. It is usually due to nerve trauma and will probably resolve in 1 to 3 weeks. in the meantime she looks kind of creepy. Has anyone had any experience with Horner's before?
Annie Steele
post #12 of 13
Yup! Mishmish has had it about a year ago. She had some sort of infection. We don't know what it was but it was probably stress related, because she was pretty shocked to meet Gezer at the time. She was given antibiotics and she recovered but developed this syndrome. I mostly remember the third eyelid showing, the rest was less remarked.

Anyway it did go by itself after a few weeks. I almost forgot all about it until you asked right now.
post #13 of 13
In regards to Zoe's lethargy on the antibiotics, we had a similar problem with Kitty last year. (The vet was giving her antibiotics before her surgery for a bladder stone.) This may sound dumb, but try to remember to remind the vet about it if they ever give her antibiotics again. (Maybe she is sensitive to that antibiotic?) It is very easy for her to get dehydrated which will make the lethargy worse (Kitty had to have a fluid injection because she wouldn't drink. Them again, she won't drink from a water bowl, so it took awhile to realize she wasn't drinking for anyone else).

I'm glad Zoe is doing better. These are our babies and it's really scary when there is trouble with a diagnosis. Of course, the pediatrician has it easier because at least their patients can talk to them some.
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