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Nose Spray for Congested Cats

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
My Turtle is getting another cold, it seems. (I'll be having the house visit vet see her this year, if necessary.) I read this on another site and was wondering if anyone here had tried it:

Shrink Swollen Membranes: You can give your cat Afrin Children's Strength nose drops (.025 percent). On the first day give 1 drop to one nostril. On the second day give one drop to the second nostril. Continue this pattern for 5 to 7 days.

I've already start things rolling with the vaporizer, measuring her water intake, etc. I'm praying it won't be as bad as last year around this time.

Thanks, all!

Pam
post #2 of 25
Isn't Afrin one of the nose sprays that are addictive after a few days? It helps initially but after a few days you become dependent on it; you can't decongest on your own.

I suffer from sinus problems and my ENT recommends Afrin only on a very limited basis, like when I fly. Otherwise he prescribes daily nose sprays like Flonase which I only use seasonally. My regular routine is nasal washing which I wish I could do for my cats when they are suffering. But at least I can give them the warm steam treatment at home. I feel really bad for the shelter cats, there isn't much I can do for them in their little cages. They usually get sent back to the shelter vet.
post #3 of 25
Forgot to add that the warning is to not use Afrin for more than 3 days running. So I would be concerned with the 5-7 day duration.
post #4 of 25
PLEASE do not use OTC Human meds for Cats UNLESS directed to by a VET... There is a common nose drop and gel avail at your vet
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
I neglected to say that the quote I posted was from a vet's site, although not my vet or directed specifically for my Turtle. Since I know the repercussions in humans using this type of nasal decongestant, I didn't know if it did the same thing to cats, which sounds like it does with the limit on duration of use. I have used certain OTC antihistamines in the past with my vet's approval, but they really don't seem to help much.

I did call my vet, but understandably, the nurse said I'd need to bring her in. I was just there last Thursday for shots and teeth cleaning. Financially, with my husband having lost his job two months ago and me fighting for every client I can get in my business, I was trying to do what I could at home FIRST instead of rushing her in. She's had her symptoms for less than 48 hours and she's still eating and drinking. She is a bit lethargic, has a runny eye, sneezing some (although not at much today so far as yesterday), and licking her nose a lot.

I'll definitely take her in if she gets worse (or call the home vet in since Turtle gets so stressed going out to the vet). Just trying to think ahead to some things maybe I could do myself, if needed.

Pam
post #6 of 25
Sniffing Vick's Vap-O-Rub gives my kitties some relief from congestion. The vet said it was ok, and even if they licked a little of it, it would not hurt them.
Most of the cats I have tried this for love the smell. They always want to sniff it when I am using it for myself.
It is one of those things that won't hurt if it does not help.
I hope Turtle is feeling better soon.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the Vick's idea. I don't know how she'll do with it, though, because whenever I use it, if she's anywhere close, she leaves! (I love the smell of it!!)

My vaporizer quit working on me and cleaning it with vinegar didn't help, so I'm out to buy another one; glad they're fairly inexpensive!

Anybody ever take their cats temperature?

She's still just lazing around with one watery eye and one slightly runny nostril (looks like it's only one so far) and it's clear. Sneezing a little. And getting very irritated with me always messing with her and wiping her eye when it's running a little!

Pam
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtlesMom View Post
Thank you for the Vick's idea. I don't know how she'll do with it, though, because whenever I use it, if she's anywhere close, she leaves! (I love the smell of it!!)

My vaporizer quit working on me and cleaning it with vinegar didn't help, so I'm out to buy another one; glad they're fairly inexpensive!

Anybody ever take their cats temperature?

She's still just lazing around with one watery eye and one slightly runny nostril (looks like it's only one so far) and it's clear. Sneezing a little. And getting very irritated with me always messing with her and wiping her eye when it's running a little!

Pam
I agree to what off with the Afrin until speaking with your vet. They may be able to prescribe you some drops if they think it's necessary. Optho drops are often used as nose drops for dogs and cats.

You may also want to ask your vet about doing a nebulizer treatment. The child size nebulizer comes with a variety of attachments and you can set up a little box and let the steam go directly into the box where kitty can't escape. And I know this sounds like it would scare your baby half to death, most cats give an initial jump from the sound of the machine and then settle down. They're a little ticked at the end because their fur will be damp, but otherwise only their pride is harmed, . It really helps with congestion. And if you've got one prone to colds it's worth the investment IMO.

And just use caution when taking your kittie's temperature. For some reason they don't like it, And use some sort of lubricant and just use gentle pressure. They'll relax after a few seconds so you can get an accurate reading.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNurse22 View Post
I agree to what off with the Afrin until speaking with your vet. They may be able to prescribe you some drops if they think it's necessary. Optho drops are often used as nose drops for dogs and cats.

You may also want to ask your vet about doing a nebulizer treatment. The child size nebulizer comes with a variety of attachments and you can set up a little box and let the steam go directly into the box where kitty can't escape. And I know this sounds like it would scare your baby half to death, most cats give an initial jump from the sound of the machine and then settle down. They're a little ticked at the end because their fur will be damp, but otherwise only their pride is harmed, . It really helps with congestion. And if you've got one prone to colds it's worth the investment IMO.

And just use caution when taking your kittie's temperature. For some reason they don't like it, And use some sort of lubricant and just use gentle pressure. They'll relax after a few seconds so you can get an accurate reading.
These are great ideas. When you mention box, are you talking about putting her a box where she can't get out out having the nebulizer treatment go into the box? If that's right, would putting her in her carrier and then covering it with a big towel work as well?

I don't know if I'll have the nerve to even try to take her temp---I know she'll hate it. If I do, DH will be holding her while I take it. Lubricant, yes! I was going to see if they made a baby size one...can't remember from when my son was little (he's 21 now!).

The vet did give her those optho drops for her nose last year and I still have some (haven't expired, but obviously have been opened). Bnp drops with steroids--Neo-Poly-Dex. She said the steroids in the drops were better than orally or injected because only a small amount would actually be absorbed and steroids can weaken an immune system, especially one that's already weak from a cold!

Thanks!

Pam
post #10 of 25
Has she been tested for Feline Herpes? If not, I'd have her tested as soon as your financial situation improves. (Totally understand where you're coming from. My DH's been unemployed for almost a year.)

One of the best things I've ever done that helps my kitties when they've been congested is to put a big pot of water on to simmer and put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the water. You can put it in the little well of the vaporizer, but it gets sticky, so you'll have to clean it frequently.

You can use a sterile saline solution as drops. Here's some information I've saved from the Yahoo Feline Herpes group.
Quote:
"The saline should be buffered, ideally, and should not contain a preservative.
The solution should be isotonic, not hypertonic. Such solutions are available at pharmacies but hard to find without a preservative. The preservatives not only sting but also negatively impact the function of the cilia, the little hairs
that move things on and out of the nasal passages and can also irritate the
membranes in the eye. We don't want to cripple them. Buffered saline is better than plain saline although plain saline can also be used in a pinch but only very short term.

1. Put two cups of tap water in the microwave and bring it to rolling boil (6 to
7 minutes in my microwave)
2. Stir in one teaspoon of sodium chloride (I use sea salt)
3. add 1/4 teaspoon of sodium hydrogen carbonate (baking soda).

Since the solution has no preservative, be sure not to touch the dropper to
anything. If you warm the bottle in your hand for a few minutes, that warmed
drop can barely be felt. Saline doesn't sting, plain water would. You don't need to use a lot of restraint. If you miss your target, oh well, try again. A little salt water dropped around doesn't hurt anything."

A general recipe is 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup of water with a pinch of baking
soda (the baking soda is the "buffer"). Sterilize the water used, if not
purchased sterile, by boiling. Distilled water may be best for this purpose.
Noniodized salt is usually recommended. Most table salt is iodized but
noniodized is right next door on the grocery shelves.

I keep my saline in a sterilized glass jar and use a 1 cc feeding syringe to
administer the drop. You can sterilize a clean glass jar by filling it with
water just off the boil and allowing the bottle to stand until cool, then empty.
Or you can fill with water and microwave a minute or two just until the water
beings to boil. I draw up 0.5 cc and hold the syringe (no needle obviously :-)
in the palm of my hand to warm the solution. Sterilize the syringe by standing
in a little glass and adding water just off the boil, let cool.

Of course you don't have to make a full cup, you can halve the recipe. It's
easy enough to make up fresh frequently, there's no need to finish the bottle
before making fresh.

After I've warmed the syringe and solution, I tilt the cat's head back and
place a small drop on the fleshy part of the nose between the nostrils. A little
saline can then trickle down each nostril. And if you miss or they shake their
head, just try again later - it's only water.
HTH!
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Stephanietx, this is great information. No, she has not been tested. The whole thing is confusing to me, even after I tried to figure it out last year. If she's always gotten the Fvrcpc vaccine, how could she have the herpes virus? The FVR in that is herpes virus, right? Or is the Feline Herpes you mentioned and the herpes virus (FVR?) different things? I'll have to say, though, that her symptoms sound like what I've read for herpes--sneezing, runny eye(s), runny nose, lethargic. I will speak to the vet about it a little later down the road.

She's still not real bad as far as her nose. Seems like just one eye and one side of her nose are running. But her nose is starting to get red from the licking. And she's had several sneezing "fits." Not eating as much, of course, but some. Not drinking as much, but some of her food is canned mixed with some water, and she did drink all the tuna juice from a whole can.

I tried baby saline drops last year, and don't remember having much success getting it in! But the syringe idea with this solution and dropping on the center part of her nose sounds like a great idea!

Pam
post #12 of 25
My vet forbids us from taking our cats' temperature. Unless you are trained and skilled, you can cause a perforation. So please don't try it!

The saline drops stephanietx suggests should help. You're aiming to get a nose-clearing sneeze when you do it, so keep a tissue handy.

I, too, wonder if your cat has herpes. There are different strains, the vaccines don't always work, and my vet doesn't recommend testing because you can get false negatives and positives, as well as nonspecific results — and the test isn't cheap.

If you and your vet suspect it's herpes — recurrent colds, runny eyes, etc. — try giving your cat L-lysine supplements every day. It can take a few weeks to see results, but it can help suppress the virus and prevent more outbreaks down the road. There are a lot of posts about L-lysine on this site, and some of us find it at good prices on Amazon. The powder is easy to mix in food and some people put it in their cats' water. Make sure you don't get any kind with other additives.

Good luck! I hate fussing with and cleaning my vaporizer, by the way, but they really do the job when you need 'em!
post #13 of 25
Forgot about the temperature taking thing! I bought a mid-price digital in the ear thermometer and use that on my cats. Gently pull back and a little up on the ear flap, then put the thermometer in the ear, not too far down the ear canal, then click the button and wait for the beep, which takes less than 30 seconds. It's fairly accurate and easy to use. At one of the clinics where we took our cats, this is what they use for the temperature on the general wellness check. They will do the "official" temp taking if they suspect your cat is ill or you know your cat's not feeling well.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the long post, but...

I decided to take her to the vet after all because both eyes are runny now and with the weather we're supposed to have tonight and tomorrow--on top of the snow we've already had--I wanted to go on in. Well, I got to see the main vet, the owner. I brought up with the nurse, and then him, the possibility of the vaccination causing this since it happened exactly three days after her vaccination last year and exactly three days after this year. He agreed 100%. After we talked about her age and lifestyle--indoor cat only, no other animals in the house, etc--he wrote on her chart to only give her the rabies shot from now on--nothing else. He said it's kinda like some people when they get a flu shot start complaining a few days later that they have the flu. It can give you a minor version of the real thing especially if your immune system isn't real strong; same here.

He said she wasn't dehydrated, didn't need any meds, no fever...and he didn't charge me, said she was still under warranty! (I guess since she was just there for the shots last week). Showed me how to tell if she was dehydrated. Said I could come by if her runny nose turns green or something (well, not her actual nose, the stuff coming out of it!) and he'd give her some antibiotics and to please call if she got worse instead of better (which I obviously would). Glad it's Tuesday and we have the rest of week.

I'm going to whip up some of those nose drops. The idea someone gave to heat the canned food and put a little on her nose so she'll lick it off and maybe then want to eat has really worked! Mixed a little water in, too. She doesn't normally eat canned.)

Now, any ideas to help her poor little red nose caused from her licking it? The runny nose makes her lick it!. The vet said there wasn't really anything to do about it because anything you'd put on it she would immediately lick it off. But I could try vasiline, that it wouldn't hurt if she ate some of it.

Thanks, all!

Pam

Oh, I forgot...the temperature thing. He said it was perfectly fine to take her temp as long as I had someone helping me. I still might not ever do it, but last night I did get a digital one that's supposed take an accurate temp in 8 seconds. I never could get the hang of using those ear ones with my son many, many years ago, but they may be better now. I'd get a different temperature depending on which way I angled it!
post #15 of 25
Good for you for taking her in to see the vet and I'm glad you got to see the head vet. I have no advise on the nose thing as they're just so pathetic when they're like that. I really just want to walk around behind them wiping their noses! Sometimes, I wish I could just hold the tissue to their little nose and say, "Blow" and make it all better for them.

To get her to eat, you can also try elevating the food dish. That way, she's not having to bend her head down as far, so the snot isn't running out her nose and she'll not be deterred from eating. You can try using a small box or a stack of books or even a thick phone book if you live in a metro area.
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
Good for you for taking her in to see the vet and I'm glad you got to see the head vet. I have no advise on the nose thing as they're just so pathetic when they're like that. I really just want to walk around behind them wiping their noses! Sometimes, I wish I could just hold the tissue to their little nose and say, "Blow" and make it all better for them.

To get her to eat, you can also try elevating the food dish. That way, she's not having to bend her head down as far, so the snot isn't running out her nose and she'll not be deterred from eating. You can try using a small box or a stack of books or even a thick phone book if you live in a metro area.
Ha, I know what you mean...I want to follower to wipe her nose AND her eyes! If they could only blow their noses! The vet said sneezing helps get stuff out of their noses, so I guess it's good she's sneezing a bunch today.

Yeah, I read that tip about elevating the food dish on here last year when Turtle was going through the same thing. A couple of times she was eating and one of her eyes was slowing dripping in the food dish! Poor baby!!

Pam
post #17 of 25
A little dab of plain petroleum jelly, as your vet said, will help an irritated nose.

Good luck with your nursing! I hope Turtle has a swift recovery. Having been through a similar virus recently with two cats, I found it helpful to post checklists on my fridge for all the treatments we had to do. I kept a little "nursing station" (an old cookie tin packed full of everything) set up in the kitchen, too.
post #18 of 25

Hi, I read online that Vicks Vap-O-Rub is toxic to cats.  Menthol is from mint, and we all know how cats love mint - catnip is in the mint family and its folk name is catmint.  What I read if I remember right was that the camphor is what's toxic to kitties.  Just wondering since you wrote that your vet said it was okay and I was often tempted to try it with my kitty - until I read online that it's toxic to cats - do you know anything about this?  If you type into Google "Is Vicks Vap-O-Rub toxic to cats?" you should see what I did.  Would appreciate any more info!  Thanks.

post #19 of 25

Thank you for the information!  I had some saline at home and tried squirting some both into my kitty's nose and at the center as you suggested.  She wasn't thrilled and I'm not sure how much if any got in, but I think it actually helped!
 

post #20 of 25

P.S. I'm new to this site and when I clicked Reply immediately below somebody's comment, I thought it would be clear whose comment I was replying to, but it doesn't look that way once it's posted, so FYI, both of my previous posts were intended as replies to Stephanietx - thanks for the info about the saline (second reply) and the question about Vicks Vaporub (first reply).  P.S. I have been running cool vaporizers for my kitty too, but since one wore out and another one broke, leaving only one left that's more like a humidifier (doesn't give a lot of moisture I can feel), I just ordered a steam vaporizer for her; hope it helps!  Will continue trying the saline.  Thanks again!

post #21 of 25

To KrazyKat, I read online that Vicks Vaporub is toxic to cats - it's not the mint, which is okay (catnip is in the mint family), but the camphor.  I'm surprised your vet said it was okay?! 

post #22 of 25

P.S. Sorry, Stephanietx, about the Vicks I should have been replying to Krazykat instead, which I just did.  My replies about the saline and vaporizers were correctly addressed to you, though.  Thanks.

post #23 of 25

This is a really old thread!  LOL  Glad the info helped you, though.  I have used Vick's on my kitty with good success.  I put it out of the reach of her tongue and she was so ill she wasn't grooming herself.  Don't know if they still make the plastic tube, but that works, too if you lay it close to where the kitty is sleeping.  The vaporizor (warm mist, not cool mist or a humidifier) is a dream!  Also, you can steam your kitty in the bathroom frequently.  Just get the bathroom nice and steamy, sit in the bathroom with the kitty until the steam dissipates. 

 

If you need more info or help, you might want to start a new thread.
 

post #24 of 25

To Stephanietx, thanks so much for replying!  I realized it was an old thread when I saw the 2009 dates of the posts, but I just replied anyway.  I will start a new thread if/when I want to contact anybody about the same subject.  Meanwhile, I was glad to hear from you about the vaporizer - since two of my cold mist vaporizers conked out on me after using them a lot for my kitty for the past few months, I just ordered a hot steam vaporizer.  Kaz had it on sale for $9.99 and by joining their free Savings Circle, I got another dollar off and free shipping, so the total was only $8.99.  Looking forward to receiving it and hoping it will help her.  I will check with my vet about the Vicks and try it if they say it's safe.  Thanks again!  Best, gailcats

post #25 of 25

I am excited to find this site.  i need answers and also have a lot of answers. I m a foster mom, mostly to kittens so i constantly am searching for good healthy tips and answers.  about taking a pets temperature i have found just a digital thermometer in the crease of the hind legs almost pressed into fold gives a very close reading  it may not be quite accurate but it will let you know if your pets temp is elevated  Also whoever suggested the saline in the nose works perfect  I see them do it at the shelter but its not to gentle  so i did one tenth ml in kittens nose and it caused him to sneeze some junk came out so thanks for the kinder way.  see you guys lots

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