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Chronic Sinustis without all symptoms?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My indoor/outdoor, once a stray, male cat, Inky, that I estimated at 14 yrs old, who is being treated for the hyperthyroidism since 10-2007 has a sinus problem that has progressed over the past couple of years. Many years ago, I vaguely recall complaining to the Vet that Inky was making a gulping noise, like he had a nasal drip. He was given an antibiotic and it went away. I only mention this because I understand Feline Herpes can remain dormant for years. About a couple of years ago, Inky started with coughing spells and swallowing hard, once again like he had a sinus drip. Periodic visits to the Vet never indicated lung congestion. Their suggestion was to try an antibiotic, but I figured it was allergies and didn't want to medicate him unnecessarily. This year-round condition eventually progressed into including severe sneezing bouts, sometimes with nasty mucus discharge (no blood) and watery eyes (no signs of conjunctivitis). His breathe was consistently bad, no doubt from the mucus drip and infection. So I put him on Clavamox and things settled down, but came back pretty quickly once off the meds. I just figured this is one of those chronic conditions that will keep recurring. Well his last bout was so severe and his breathing became labored. I took him in for treatment and the doc said she heard a slight wheezing. He got a shot to open up his air passages and also an anti-inflammatory and is back on Clavamox. The doc mentioned possible cardiomyopathy, which really alarmed me. It's now day 6, his breathing appears normal and he hasn't had a coughing or sneezing attack (just a tiny infrequent short cough or little sneeze) since the Vet visit, but he has been really lethargic. He never stopped eating or drinking throughout the ordeal. So now that you have the details, here is my problem. I can't figure out for sure what condition Inky has since he doesn't exhibit all the symptoms of Sinusitis or Rhinitis. I am afraid once he is done with the Clavamox, the problem will surface again like it did before. I don't like the idea of giving him an antihistamine, but what other options do I have to control this so as to not develop into another infection? I've tried L-lysine supplements and immune balance supplements, but they didn't help (although I never gave him these supplements when he was clear of problems). The Vet mentioned having him get a cardiogram or something to the tune of $350 to $400. I am unemployed and just cannot afford that and don't necessarily think that is his problem. Anyone have a cat problem like this and what do you do? Sorry this was so long.
post #2 of 4
I'm going to put this disclaimer out here first - none of us on this site are vets, and even if we were, there is no way that any way that even a vet could diagnose the problem without examining your cat. But I hear your frustration and will try to offer something to take back to your vet.

Did your vet mention why they thought of cardiomyopathy? Some symptoms of that would include a heart murmor, fatigue and coughing. I would ask them why they suspect that disease, and talk about treatments and prognosis if it turned out he had it.

I had a cat with chronic herpes who would get temporary relief from antibiotics. He wheezed and sneezed up massive amounts of phlegm most of his life. While herpes is viral based, when a condition like this becomes chronic, it often lowers their immunity to the point that bacterial infections settle in, thus the reason why antibiotics can provide relief. But overusing antibiotics can cause a cat to develop a tolerance to it, and I used them with extreme caution and switched what I gave him regularly. When this cat was very old, I had to switch to more stronger antibiotics. You might want to talk to your vet about switching them out and going for something stronger. Clavamox is overused by a lot of vets. And herpes never fully goes away, but can remain dormant for long periods of time. My cat's herpes got worse as he aged, simply because his immunity was so worn down.

A lot of diseases may have a number of symptoms, but that doesn't mean that a cat is going to show all of them. My cardiomyopathy cat showed signs of a thrombosis with no signs of a heart murmor.

Did they look at the possibility of asthma?
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your helpful reply. My original post was long so I didn't include that Inky does indeed have a heart murmur on his left side. So with that and some of the other symptoms, I can understand cardiomyopathy being mentioned. But the fact Inky has been suffering for couple of years with a variation of coughing and/or sneezing and eventual infection, I would think the doc's first diagnosis would be a viral condition not a heart condition. Inky's labored breathing and slight wheezing (only heard via stethoscope) was not present at his last office visit about 2 months ago. The doc also suggested doing a allergy study, but considering Inky goes outside, I figured finding and eliminating the allergen would be impossible.

I definitely do not want to overuse antiobiotics and will continue to try and find natural products to build up Inky's immune system. But for my reference, could you advise me as to what stronger antibiotics you have used. No matter how many times I mention to my Vet that I am unemployed, she has suckered me into things like an acupuncture procedure, a herbal remedy and Vitamin O. When I had to pay the bill, I was a bit stunned. I know I can get the Clavamox at half the price she charges. So should Inky have a chronic condition and develops an intolerance to Clavamox, I would like to be prepared with the other drug options.
post #4 of 4
Originally Posted by twogreen2c View Post
But for my reference, could you advise me as to what stronger antibiotics you have used.
It was many years ago that I lost my chronic respiratory boy and I honestly don't recall all the different meds that he was on. Baytril and Zenequin come to mind.
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