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Stuffy Nose

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am the proud mother of a Snow Leopard Bengal who is 6 yrs old. We have been through the mill with him. When he was 2 he got a steroid shot for allergies. He went into congestive heart failure and almost died. He is very medication sensitive and a real dickens to treat. For the last 4 weeks we have been dealing with a chronic stuffy head. Sounds like he can't breath. He eat and drinks normally but he has so much head congestion. Thus far he has been on oral antibiotics, which made him vomit, nebulized twice which helped for about two days and two days ago he was given a long acting antibiotic injection. All seemed well until about an hour ago. Back to sneezing multiple time with snot flying every where. I was able to catch some and it looks clear with maybe just a tinge of yellow, very slight. The vet who is treating him is at wits end and so am I. She wants to sedate him and do a skull x-ray to investigate his sinus area. According to his cardioligst he should only be sedated if it is a matter of life or death. Can any one help? Please
post #2 of 16
What antibiotics have you tried? From your description it sounds like Clavamox (nausea is a very very common side effect) and then Convenia.

Have you tried azithromycin? That can prove helpful in snufflers.

Chronic snuffling is fairly common in cats and a devil to treat. Broad spectrum antibiotics and steroids can only do so much. Maybe try to find a vet with more specific experience? There are lots and lots of medications that can be tried, even those not specifically meant for sinuses. For example TrizEDTA (for ears) and NeoPolyDex (for eyes) directly in nasal passages can help immensely. I know a lot of protocols have been tried by the feline veterinary medicine community that a regular small animal veterinarian may not be aware of.

As far as the x-ray goes, why would they have to sedate him? Yes, they'll get a more clear picture if he is perfectly still, but you can still get a good idea from a non sedated image. Especially if it's something obvious like full sinuses, abnormal nasal passages, etc. I would say it's at least worth a shot. If you've been told by a cardiologist sedation is not a good idea for him then I definitely would not go that route if you aren't sure it will even tell you anything.

So basically, I say try more antibiotics before diving into anything else. If your vet is at a dead end, try another vet. A second opinion never hurts.

Best of luck to you and your baby!!!
post #3 of 16
This is not for critical situations, but have you discussed with your vet to keep your kitty on L-Lysine? It is a great immune-system booster, and it might help him to keep his overall well being...
post #4 of 16
This sounds exactly what we went through with Hannah last spring. In April, she was diagnosed with herpes after visiting the vet off and on for 3 months for a stubborn URI. Finally in January of this year, her sneezing and snot-flinging stopped after we found out that we were dealing with a pseudomonas infection. During our journey last year with her, we did several different rounds of antibiotics. We did the Covenia shot (twice!) and won't do that again unless it's absolutely, positively the last thing to try. We tried some holistic treatments. We got the prescription for Azythromycin, but never got it filled. We finally went to an all cat vet and she read the records, listened to our journey and said, "The first thing we need to do is take a sample and send it off to be tested." Brilliant!! Why didn't the other vet think to do that?

Before doing the x-rays requiring sedation, ask your vet to do a culture and sensitivity test on the drainage/discharge. This will help them identify exactly what you're dealing with (virus or bacteria) and what medications or treatment will specifically work to cure it. Then, ask your vet to test him for the herpes virus. The IDEXX Real PCR URD test will accurately test and diagnose the herpes virus in cats. It's not very expensive, easy to take a sample to be tested (usually a swab from the throat or nose), and quick to administer. It takes a few days to get the results back, but if he does have herpes, then you'll know and you can start addressing that issue.

Are you doing all the things to help clear up the congestion? If not, then start running a vaporizer 24/7 near where he sleeps most. Take him into a nice steamy bathroom and sit with him until the steam dissipates (about 15 mins.). If you have it on hand or can get it easily, add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to the vaporizer. This will help open up the nasal passages. Elevate his food and water dishes so he doesn't have to bend his head down as far. Less bending equals less snot shifting in his head/throat.

Having said all this, my Hannah still sneezes and gets congested from time to time. She has to be on an antihistamine almost daily. However, she's healthier now than she's ever been in her life. Also, the vet's told us that most likely the pseudomonas will come back as it's most likely embedded itself in the turbinates in her sinus cavities and she's most likely got long-term issues with that. We'll cross that bridge if we ever get there, but having your little guy's discharge tested will be a great starting point for you, I think.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNurse22 View Post
What antibiotics have you tried? From your description it sounds like Clavamox (nausea is a very very common side effect) and then Convenia.

Have you tried azithromycin? That can prove helpful in snufflers.

Chronic snuffling is fairly common in cats and a devil to treat. Broad spectrum antibiotics and steroids can only do so much. Maybe try to find a vet with more specific experience? There are lots and lots of medications that can be tried, even those not specifically meant for sinuses. For example TrizEDTA (for ears) and NeoPolyDex (for eyes) directly in nasal passages can help immensely. I know a lot of protocols have been tried by the feline veterinary medicine community that a regular small animal veterinarian may not be aware of.

As far as the x-ray goes, why would they have to sedate him? Yes, they'll get a more clear picture if he is perfectly still, but you can still get a good idea from a non sedated image. Especially if it's something obvious like full sinuses, abnormal nasal passages, etc. I would say it's at least worth a shot. If you've been told by a cardiologist sedation is not a good idea for him then I definitely would not go that route if you aren't sure it will even tell you anything.

So basically, I say try more antibiotics before diving into anything else. If your vet is at a dead end, try another vet. A second opinion never hurts.

Best of luck to you and your baby!!!
Thanks so much for the insightful information. You are spot on for the two antibiotics tried thus far. As for the Azithromycin, he has fierce vomiting & diarreha, so we stopped the med. and moved the L/A shot. He is worse today; lots of congestion and snot. I am going to try the hot shower, antihistimine and vaporizer solutiuons. The x-ray they want to do requires sedation because they have to open his mouth and re-position him. I will go to the end of the earth before I let them sedate him. He is my special boy, but he is very difficult to treat. I'll keep you posted on his progress.

Thanks loads
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
This is not for critical situations, but have you discussed with your vet to keep your kitty on L-Lysine? It is a great immune-system booster, and it might help him to keep his overall well being...
His vet never mentioed it but I will certainly mention it to her. Thanks for the info. Stay tuned for updates.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
This sounds exactly what we went through with Hannah last spring. In April, she was diagnosed with herpes after visiting the vet off and on for 3 months for a stubborn URI. Finally in January of this year, her sneezing and snot-flinging stopped after we found out that we were dealing with a pseudomonas infection. During our journey last year with her, we did several different rounds of antibiotics. We did the Covenia shot (twice!) and won't do that again unless it's absolutely, positively the last thing to try. We tried some holistic treatments. We got the prescription for Azythromycin, but never got it filled. We finally went to an all cat vet and she read the records, listened to our journey and said, "The first thing we need to do is take a sample and send it off to be tested." Brilliant!! Why didn't the other vet think to do that?

Before doing the x-rays requiring sedation, ask your vet to do a culture and sensitivity test on the drainage/discharge. This will help them identify exactly what you're dealing with (virus or bacteria) and what medications or treatment will specifically work to cure it. Then, ask your vet to test him for the herpes virus. The IDEXX Real PCR URD test will accurately test and diagnose the herpes virus in cats. It's not very expensive, easy to take a sample to be tested (usually a swab from the throat or nose), and quick to administer. It takes a few days to get the results back, but if he does have herpes, then you'll know and you can start addressing that issue.

Are you doing all the things to help clear up the congestion? If not, then start running a vaporizer 24/7 near where he sleeps most. Take him into a nice steamy bathroom and sit with him until the steam dissipates (about 15 mins.). If you have it on hand or can get it easily, add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to the vaporizer. This will help open up the nasal passages. Elevate his food and water dishes so he doesn't have to bend his head down as far. Less bending equals less snot shifting in his head/throat.

Having said all this, my Hannah still sneezes and gets congested from time to time. She has to be on an antihistamine almost daily. However, she's healthier now than she's ever been in her life. Also, the vet's told us that most likely the pseudomonas will come back as it's most likely embedded itself in the turbinates in her sinus cavities and she's most likely got long-term issues with that. We'll cross that bridge if we ever get there, but having your little guy's discharge tested will be a great starting point for you, I think.
Geez, why didnt I think of testing his snot!! How long does a specimin last? I can tell you that last night there was a lot of discharge and it looked white/clear in color. BTW, his vet is a cat only vet but I am losing faith in her as he has been there 4 times in two weeks. Forget the money I just want him better. I will try the shower, vaporizer technique and see what happens. As for today he is zonked out with his antihistimine. Poor baby. Normal dose is 1/2 very 12 hours and he only gets 1/4 every 24 hours and it zonks him out. He is very medication sensitive. I'll keep you posted. Thanks so much for the great information.
post #8 of 16
The vet should be able to get a specimen, especially if you wait to give him the antihistamine. What are you giving him anyway? We give Hannah 1/2 of a Claritin (Wal-Mart generic equivalent) daily. If she's doing well, we try 1/4. If that doesn't work, then she'll get the other 1/4 tablet in her evening food. I don't know if the antihistamine should knock him out.

One good thing about Hannah is that if it's something triggering her allergies, she also gets a weepy eye. If it's an URI or something else, we just get sneezes and snot. There were times in the fall last year that I was wiping her nose ALL THE TIME!! And then I'd have to clean up the floor, the walls, the cabinet doors after the sneezes. I felt so bad for her as she's not a huge cat and she'd sneeze and sneeze and sneeze and they'd build in intensity. She did sneeze out a big honkin' nasal plug once that scared me to death. The vet was quite impressed, though!
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
The vet should be able to get a specimen, especially if you wait to give him the antihistamine. What are you giving him anyway? We give Hannah 1/2 of a Claritin (Wal-Mart generic equivalent) daily. If she's doing well, we try 1/4. If that doesn't work, then she'll get the other 1/4 tablet in her evening food. I don't know if the antihistamine should knock him out.

One good thing about Hannah is that if it's something triggering her allergies, she also gets a weepy eye. If it's an URI or something else, we just get sneezes and snot. There were times in the fall last year that I was wiping her nose ALL THE TIME!! And then I'd have to clean up the floor, the walls, the cabinet doors after the sneezes. I felt so bad for her as she's not a huge cat and she'd sneeze and sneeze and sneeze and they'd build in intensity. She did sneeze out a big honkin' nasal plug once that scared me to death. The vet was quite impressed, though!

Just a note about the PCR test, I definitely agree it's a great idea to know what you're actually treating rather than basically throwing things at it and hoping you're aiming for the right thing. Antech has got a PCR test that tests for several of the more common URI that runs around $90. However, the samples are pretty specific and it's often very VERY hard to get a proper sample without sedation. Hey, I wouldn't like a swab being stuck up into my nasal passages and not understanding why either. But it's definitely worth asking your vet about! At the clinic I work at the samples we have gotten without sedation always come back inconclusive because it either isn't sterile (dirt from the outside of the nose) or it isn't a large enough sample since you can't get very far into the nasal passages.
post #10 of 16
I don't know much about respiratory illnesses, thankfully I have never had a cat with them, but when one of mine gets a little stuffy, I let them smell the Vick's Vap-O-Rub. It is not a cure, but may provide some temporary relief. I have never had a cat that did not love the smell.
I hope your baby gets better.
post #11 of 16
I went through exactly what you are going thru from last July until this past March with CJ. The vet tried the same antibotics, the time release shot, etc. FINALLY in March, she put him on Baytril for 30 days. Baytril is an antibotic but he had absolutely no side effects from it like other antibotics, it worked great! As a precaution, she put Ava and Oliver on it too for 30 days. Come to find out, it takes antibotics 30 days + to penetrate the sinus cavity in cats. The steaming in the bathroom from the shower always helped him a lot, so I would recommend trying that too. Best of luck to you and your boy!
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNurse22 View Post
What antibiotics have you tried? From your description it sounds like Clavamox (nausea is a very very common side effect) and then Convenia.

Have you tried azithromycin? That can prove helpful in snufflers.

Chronic snuffling is fairly common in cats and a devil to treat. Broad spectrum antibiotics and steroids can only do so much. Maybe try to find a vet with more specific experience? There are lots and lots of medications that can be tried, even those not specifically meant for sinuses. For example TrizEDTA (for ears) and NeoPolyDex (for eyes) directly in nasal passages can help immensely. I know a lot of protocols have been tried by the feline veterinary medicine community that a regular small animal veterinarian may not be aware of.

As far as the x-ray goes, why would they have to sedate him? Yes, they'll get a more clear picture if he is perfectly still, but you can still get a good idea from a non sedated image. Especially if it's something obvious like full sinuses, abnormal nasal passages, etc. I would say it's at least worth a shot. If you've been told by a cardiologist sedation is not a good idea for him then I definitely would not go that route if you aren't sure it will even tell you anything.

So basically, I say try more antibiotics before diving into anything else. If your vet is at a dead end, try another vet. A second opinion never hurts.

Best of luck to you and your baby!!!
Well, I steamed him and he got some relief!! What a simple but effective remedy. Also, spoke to another vet and she said to try childrens dose of Zyrtec,(5mg). Does anyone have experience with cats and Zyrtec? No matter what I will keep trying. No sedation for this boy! Thanks
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfish29 View Post
I went through exactly what you are going thru from last July until this past March with CJ. The vet tried the same antibotics, the time release shot, etc. FINALLY in March, she put him on Baytril for 30 days. Baytril is an antibotic but he had absolutely no side effects from it like other antibotics, it worked great! As a precaution, she put Ava and Oliver on it too for 30 days. Come to find out, it takes antibotics 30 days + to penetrate the sinus cavity in cats. The steaming in the bathroom from the shower always helped him a lot, so I would recommend trying that too. Best of luck to you and your boy!
Thanks for the tip on Baytril. Haven't tried that yet but will ask vet. For now, he is resting comfortably. Combo steam bath and antihistimine.
post #14 of 16
I use OTC Claritin, the generic Wal-Mart variety. We started out with 1/4 pill daily to see if it had ANY effect. It helped some for several days, so we upped Hannah's dose to 1/2 pill daily. If her allergies aren't bad, and she's not been sneezing, then we go back down to 1/4 pill daily. The vet she'd most likely have to be on it, or something similar long term. She still gets sneezy, but it's a VAST improvement!!

I'd still get the snot tested to see exactly what you're dealing with and I'd have him tested for Herpes. If he does have herpes, then steroids are a big no-no as it just helps the virus procreate. Switching to grain-free food is also a big help.

Also, you might try adding the Lysine. I can't remember if this has been mentioned. I give Hannah 500 mg daily if she's doing well, 1000mg (500mg 2X daily) if she's sneezy and her eyes are weepy.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
This sounds exactly what we went through with Hannah last spring. In April, she was diagnosed with herpes after visiting the vet off and on for 3 months for a stubborn URI. Finally in January of this year, her sneezing and snot-flinging stopped after we found out that we were dealing with a pseudomonas infection. During our journey last year with her, we did several different rounds of antibiotics. We did the Covenia shot (twice!) and won't do that again unless it's absolutely, positively the last thing to try. We tried some holistic treatments. We got the prescription for Azythromycin, but never got it filled. We finally went to an all cat vet and she read the records, listened to our journey and said, "The first thing we need to do is take a sample and send it off to be tested." Brilliant!! Why didn't the other vet think to do that?

Before doing the x-rays requiring sedation, ask your vet to do a culture and sensitivity test on the drainage/discharge. This will help them identify exactly what you're dealing with (virus or bacteria) and what medications or treatment will specifically work to cure it. Then, ask your vet to test him for the herpes virus. The IDEXX Real PCR URD test will accurately test and diagnose the herpes virus in cats. It's not very expensive, easy to take a sample to be tested (usually a swab from the throat or nose), and quick to administer. It takes a few days to get the results back, but if he does have herpes, then you'll know and you can start addressing that issue.

Are you doing all the things to help clear up the congestion? If not, then start running a vaporizer 24/7 near where he sleeps most. Take him into a nice steamy bathroom and sit with him until the steam dissipates (about 15 mins.). If you have it on hand or can get it easily, add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to the vaporizer. This will help open up the nasal passages. Elevate his food and water dishes so he doesn't have to bend his head down as far. Less bending equals less snot shifting in his head/throat.

Having said all this, my Hannah still sneezes and gets congested from time to time. She has to be on an antihistamine almost daily. However, she's healthier now than she's ever been in her life. Also, the vet's told us that most likely the pseudomonas will come back as it's most likely embedded itself in the turbinates in her sinus cavities and she's most likely got long-term issues with that. We'll cross that bridge if we ever get there, but having your little guy's discharge tested will be a great starting point for you, I think.
It is exactly as you described. A pseudomonas infection. Results came in today. We will treat him with Baytril and see what happens. It.s been a long road. Thanks for the tip and support. BTW, what do you know about this pseu. infection?
post #16 of 16
I answered your other post. PM if you want more info. I have lots to share!
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