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Scott Nimmo
Scott Nimmo, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15853
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS.
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Yesterday my male cat started drooling and smacking his lips.

Customer Question

Yesterday my male cat started drooling and smacking his lips. He does go outside, and comes in at night.
This morning the drool was all over his neck, so I took him to the vet who gave him sucralfate and clavamox. He didn't know what was causing the drooling and thought it was a lesion on his tongue. Since then he has also become very lethargic, sleeping all day and won't eat or drink, still drooling.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Scott Nimmo replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the question.

While I cannot diagnose this over the internet I can tell you the following :

1. What you are dealing with sounds like a calici virus infection, this virus is one of the cat flu viruses and such infections are common in young cats. There will normally be ulceration on the tongue and perhaps elsewhere in the mouth and such cats will drool saliva and will be lethargic and not have any appetite.

2. As this is a viral infection it will just run it's course in a week or so and antibiotics may help as they reduce the chance of secondary bacterial infections. While these cats are sorry for themselves and uncomfortable deaths would be very rare and most cats recover. The trick is to keep them eating and drinking during the course of this disease, soft foods may well help as the their mouths will be sore.

3. Here is a link to an accurate and informative web site which covers this disease in depth. LINK

If I have not covered your question fully enough or you would like to ask more I will be online for the next hour or so and I will be at your disposal.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS
Scott Nimmo, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15853
Experience: BVMS, MRCVS.
Scott Nimmo and 3 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Is this contageous to my other cats? what causes it?
Expert:  Scott Nimmo replied 4 years ago.
Hello again,

1. It could spread to your other cats. This is a very contagious condition but not all exposed cats will get it, some will have been previously exposed to the virus at some point in their past and others will have immunity via vaccination.

2. This is a viral disease which is caused by cat to cat contact of some kind mainly via coughing or sneezing. A bit like human flu in this respect.

Regards,

Scott
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
my cats are 15 and 21and the 21 yr. old really won't be able to handle getting sick. what should I do?
What is the incubation?
Also there isn't any discharge from the nose or eyes, or coughing, sneezing.
Expert:  Scott Nimmo replied 4 years ago.
Hello again,

1. All you can do here is to keep an eye on the older cats and get them to the vet at the first sign of disease. If they have been in contact with your sick cat then the chances are they will be incubating the disease already but as I said not all cats will show symptoms as they may have previous immunity of some kind. The incubation period would vary from around three to ten days.

2. Not all cats will have coughing or sneezing, many present with drooling and lethargy as the oral ulceration will be the main symptom in those cases.

Regards,

Scott

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