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Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) Won't Go Away

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping that someone can provide some insight into an issue that I am having with my 10 yo Calico.

She was diagnosed with mammary cancer a few months back and was undergoing chemo. Unfortunately, a latent virus kicked up and she developed a URI that we cannot seem to defeat.

To date she has been on two different antihistamines, Clavamox and Bactryl antibiotics, has undergone a sinus flush, but all to no avail. We have also been using a nebulizer with little effect.

Last night she became extremely congested after her nebulizer treatment and we had to run her to the vet. She was only able to breath through her mouth...both nostrils were completely clogged.

Does anyone have any experience with the use of Medrol or other steroids to reduce the inflammation in feline sinuses?

I'm drawing upon my own allergy/URI treatments and steroids are the only thing haven't been tried yet. I'm also open to any other treatment options that you may have seen have an effect on what I've described above.

Thanks in advance for your help. I'm out of ideas.
post #2 of 11
Welcome to TCS!

There are other antibiotics that could be tried....Clavamox isn't overly strong, IMO it's kind of a "general" antibiotic. I'm not familiar with Bactryl, did you mean Baytril?

You could also try Orbax, IMO it's one step up from Baytril. Another one to talk to your vet about using is Tetracycline.
post #3 of 11
The thing to do is doing a culture and sensitivity test to find out what kind of organism is causing the infection. If it is one that requires treatment with a cephalosporin antibiotic, for instance, it will not respond to clavamox and other antibiotics. It is crucial to do a culture and sensitivity test because the results will tell what kind of organism is causing the infection and which medication(s) it will respond to.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry...I should have mentioned before. When they did the nasal flush, they did a culture and found two different strains (pseudomonas & one that the vet was less worried about) and yes, it was Baytril that she was put on for the second round after Clavamox proved ineffective.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
BTW, thank you for the insight into the use of Orbax and/or Tetracycline. I'll discuss those as new options with her Vet.

I asked about the Medrol simply because in humans, most of the time URIs are treated with an antibiotic, antihistamines, and a steroid such as Medrol or Prednisone (esp if the root cause was allergic rhinitis). Was just wondering if it translated over into the feline world as well.

Agan, thank you for your insight and assistance. It's very much appreciated!
post #6 of 11
Getting rid of a pseudamonas infection is difficult. My Hannah had a pseudamonas infection in her nasal passages almost 2 years ago and the vet treated her with Zenequin, 25 mig. We did a 21-day round, twice a day, then did another culture and sensitivity test. The test showed that the infection was better, but not within acceptable levels, so we did another 21-day round. The vet also gave us Gentamicin nose drops, which also helped clear up the infection.

I don't want to be a downer, but pseudamonas is one of the most drug-resistant infections. It can lead to death in humans and cats. Hope all goes well and your girl gets better!

ETA: If you have questions, you can inbox me.
post #7 of 11
How long has she been on Baytril? Was told min is abt 3 days before you see if the antibiotics is working.

My little girl had pneumonia but no discharge to do any culture. She was also given Clavamox initially, no effect so we changed to Baytril a week ago. The pneumonia is starting to clear up now.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
As of today, she's been on it for two weeks and we really haven't seen any improvement. I am going to ask about the Gentamicin nose drops mentioned earlier by Stephanietx and see if a two pronged attack might improve our odds.

The last update from the vet this morning is that she is breathing again and was able to self feed last night. I'm trying to keep my hopes in check as we've been down this path already where she looks like she is turning the corner and then crashes again a day later.

Thank you for your advice, it is very much appreciated!
post #9 of 11
Something else to remember is that your kitty's immune system is already under attack from the cancer, so it's going to take her longer to recover from any type of illness. Do all the things you would do for a healthy cat who has an URI (vaporizer, steaming, elevating the food dish, warming up wet food to enhance the aroma) and give her lots of TLC. One other thing you might want to talk to your vet about is an appetite stimulant. Oh! And ask about feeding her Science Diet a/d food. That stuff is like kitty crack!
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just got an update from the vet. She's going to start her on Interferon and is going to consider the Gentamicin nose drops to use in conjunction with the other antibiotics. Thankfully she's already on Cyproheptadine for her appetite so hopefully once the new meds kick in she'll be ready to eat.

Keeping my fingers crossed!
post #11 of 11
Have your cat tested for Bordetello. It's what causes kennel cough in dogs. I had a very rough 3 months with some kittens last year with upper respiratory infections. We finally figured out through testing that it was bordetello causing it. Once they knew they were able to treat it correctly and get rid of it.
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