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Hairball over windpipe?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello. Yesterday I noticed one of our outside cats, Muffin, was breathing heavily and wheezing (no coughing though). She is up-to-date on most of her shots. I was going to take her to the vet this morning, but as luck has it, they won't be at the clinic until Monday. I checked on Muffin today and she seemed better (breathing much more regular and no wheezing), but then she shifted position and is back to breathing heavily and wheezing. My guess is that she has a hairball that is settling over her windpipe, but I really don't know. I'm not sure if I should have done this, but I put some hairball remedy gel on her paw and she licked some off. Does anyone have any ideas for what Muffin has and how should we go about helping her feel better? Thanks!
post #2 of 9
Ok the hairball gel can't hurt so no harm done - has it helped at all???

Since she is an outside cat she could have swallowed something that is now stuck in her throat. If she still has breathing problems I would not wait till Monday but take her to the emergency vet to be checked.

Better safe than sorry!!!!!!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just checked on Muffin and she is curled up and breathing better and not wheezing--however, she might just be in the right position for the hairball to not be blocking her windpipe. She does look a lot better though. I wish we had an emergency vet! As it is, we have to drive 30 miles to the regular vet so the emergency vet isn't really an option. Muffin usually sticks really close to the house and I can't think of anything that we have laying around that she would eat (unless she likes rocks or wood chips ). I'm not sure if the hairball stuff helped or she's just in a good position, but for now she seems to be resting comfortably. Thank you for your help!
post #4 of 9
Can a hairball even do that anatomically speaking? I don't think so- the espohagus and airway separate pretty high up in your throat, and the hairball is presumably in her stomach. I suppose aspiration is possible but don't know that it is entirely likely.

You should really have a vet look at her. Any time lung sounds/wheezing change when the animal changes position would have me worried.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
She seems perfectly fine today, so maybe she was just having problems with a hairball. At any rate, she is doing splendidly today. Thanks for the help!
post #6 of 9
If she had a hairball over her windpipe you'd have been able to see it, if you could open her mouth wide enough, and get it out with your fingers, just like a person. Doesn't work if it's actually in the lungs, of course, but most cats know how to puke up a hairball and it seems more likely that your cat might have asthma and have gotten into something, or something is wrong medically.
post #7 of 9
She does not have a hairball over her windpipe - hairballs form in the stomach and they are not "coughed up", they are vomited. "Coughing up hairballs" is a figure of speech, not what cats actually do.

I would strongly, strongly recommend taking her to the nearest 24 hour emergency vet hospital. There is one in the city nearest to you. Respiratory problems must always be treated as an emergency.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Muffin is fine now--just doesn't want to eat like she used to, even though she still is eating. We were going to take her to the vet today, just to be on the safe side, but they were out all day chasing bulls, so we ended up bringing her home. As I mentioned before, the nearest "city" is over four hours away, so that's not really an option. She is doing great and doesn't appear sick or anything, so I'm sure she will be fine. We're planning on probably taking her to the vet the next time we go into town. Thanks for the help!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
We took Muffin to the vet to get her spayed and she gave us some antibiotics for her--she didn't really know what was wrong with her, but Muffin is fine now. Thanks guys!
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