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Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14484
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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MY CAT IS BREATHING WEIRD, MOUTH OPEN, LAYING AROUND, WONT

Resolved Question:

MY CAT IS BREATHING WEIRD, MOUTH OPEN, LAYING AROUND, WON'T EAT he seems lethargic
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 6 years ago.

Rebeccavet :

Hi JACustomer,

Rebeccavet :

I am sorry to hear about Breyer.

Rebeccavet :

Open mouthed breathing is a sign of a veterinary emergency. He may have asthma, fluid in his lungs, or a heart condition, but he almost certainly needs immediate medical care.

Customer:

Don't know what to do. He's breathing weird, mouth open, and I think lethargic. Won't eat

Rebeccavet :

Cats don't breathe with their mouths open, unless there is a lot of the lung unavailable to take in oxygen.

Customer:

Can it wait til tomorrow

Rebeccavet :

He should get to a veterinarian as soon as possible. I truly could not promise you he will survive the night. He might, of course, but he is telling you that he is in real trouble, from what you describe.

Customer:

is there anything I can do. Try to see if he will eat, give him water. How do I tell if he has a temp. His gums look fine color

Rebeccavet :

The only way to tell if he has a normal temperature is with a rectal thermometer. Normal is 101 to 102 F. If he is 103 or higher, or under 100, he is in need of medical attention.

Rebeccavet :

If this is an asthma attack (does any one in the house smoke cigarettes? That is a leading cause of asthmatic cats), he needs steroids, and NOW. If this is a lung infection, he needs antibiotics. If he has fluid in his lungs, it may need to be drained.

Rebeccavet :

He may need to be in an oxygen cage.

Rebeccavet :

It is a good sign if his gums are pink, at least.

Customer:

He was fine yesterday, this morning I notice him sort of coughing and when I put dinner out and called his name he didn't come. He does go outside. I thought he was outside, but wasn't and he has been inactive, breathing weird, etc since

Customer:

what would hit so fast?

Rebeccavet :

Asthma is the most likely cause of a young cat suddenly having to breathe with his mouth open. However, without being able to examine him and listen to his lungs with a stethoscope, I could not say for sure what his problem is.

Rebeccavet :

Or, when he was out, he could have had some trauma that has caused fluid (blood, for instance) to leak into the lungs.

Customer:

does asthma occur that quick

Customer:

can it go away on its own?

Customer:

could I wake up tomorrow and he be back to normal

Rebeccavet :

Yes, asthma comes on in hours, or less. It starts with coughing, and progresses to open mouth breathing.

Rebeccavet :

Yes, you could wake up tomorrow, and he be alright, but I would not count on it. There is a chance you will wake up and he will be dead. I hate to put it so harshly, but I have seen many cats die of an asthma attack in less than 12 hours.

Customer:

ok thank you pray i will get him to the vet in time

Rebeccavet :

Do you have any more questions about Breyer? I hope he is looking better, not worse.

Rebeccavet :

I think going to the vet is your best bet.

Customer:

he is the same. thank you for your help I will definitely take him.

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