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Dr. Whitehead
Dr. Whitehead, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4055
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, internship trained, with 5 years of experience in high quality practice treating dogs, cats, and some exotics.
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I have a 7yo female cat with intermittent adventitious breath

Customer Question

I have a 7yo female cat with intermittent adventitious breath sounds. Cat will be sitting quietly and hear 'grunting' of 'snoring' sounds while breathing.
Diet:taking food bid, water ad lib; "Friskies Bits" canned mixed with "Iams for 7yo" dry, am and pm.
Elimination: Stools and urine are qs.
Activity: indoor/outdoor with collar/leash while outdoor to keep safe from road and is a town ordinance.
Is a good 'mouser' and has spunk but has slightly declined in activity tolerance. Has gained a few pounds this last year and always had a "waddle" with a bulldog-like stance.
Side note: cat has always been a bit clumsy and uncoordinated.
Could this possibly be heartworm?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
FYI: Obviously the "waddle" or coordination is a side note. Not asking if they are possible heartworm. The pulmonary aspect is the concern.
Expert:  Dr. Whitehead replied 1 year ago.
Hello there. I am sorry to hear about Marley's breathing issues. I am happy to help this evening. Heart worms in cats is a concern but is not common at all. You can definitely have a heart worm test done but if it is negative it is possible that she could still have a heart worm in her cardiovascular system. The tests test for female worms and if there is only a male worm then it will not pick it up. Cats can have an infection with only one or two worms. Again not very common but should be on the list. More than likely related to feline asthma related to allergies. Inflammation in her airways due to environmental pollutents and dust and pollen and such that cause inflammation in her airway. This is common in cats her age. She should be checked out by your vet, have a heart worm test done, and have chest x rays done. If it looks like feline asthma/ inflammatory airway disease then treating with a long acting steroid like depo-medrol usually results in relief for a few months. There is no treatment in cats right now for heart worms so treating for the inflammation that the worms cause in the airways via the blood vessels in the lungs is the only way to manage cases also. So having her checked out and as long as there is no sign of infection there is a good chance steroids will help a lot. If any sign of pneumonia or infection then antibiotics will be needed.
I hope this helps and I hope this makes sense. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions or concerns. I would be happy to help. Please do not forget to rate my response so I receive credit for my time.