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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My 8 year old cat has been acting funny. I have noticed a

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My 8 year old cat has been acting funny. I have noticed a bunch of daily sneezing since she had her shots in September . We also got a new puppy that torments her a little too much . Most of the time she likes to play . Lately seems a little stressed out and over it ( All the playing) . She has a weird cough that sounds like a duck . Also she is not purring as often as well as the sneezing and runny nose . Seems to be sleeping more and not playing chase with our 6 year old cat at night like they always have done around 10:30 pm. I do remember the vet trying to charge me more for the shots and telling me they gave her the everything package that I didn't ask for since she is a 100% indoor cat. I have the paperwork .Her mood also seems down lastly , possibly a little weak . Any suggestions ? Thank you
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 9 months ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm sorry to hear that Meno has been acting ill lately. I'll do my best to help.

From your description of the sneezing and coughing, it sounds like Meno has got an upper respiratory infection. Usually these start out as viral, with herpesvirus being the most common culprit. Herpesvirus in kitties is the type of disease that can go through long periods of latency where the kitty will have no signs, and other active times where the kitty will be quite sick. Stress often sets off these viral flare ups, and sometimes bacteria jump on board and cause a secondary bacterial infection that makes the kitty feel worse and won't resolve without antibiotic treatment. When we are seeing a mild to moderate sneeze and congestion with clear discharge from the nose and eyes (the wet sneeze with no "boogers"), this is usually viral. Just like in people, viral infections can't be treated with antibiotics because antibiotics only kill bacteria. When bacteria jump on board, that's when we will see worsening symptoms and green or yellow cloudy nose or eye discharge. They can really feel quite sick when they need antibiotics.

If this goes on for a long time, it can damage the delicate tissues on the inside of the nose and also damage the body's normal defense mechanisms that would protect them from infections. In these cases, these cats can become chronic "snufflers", having frequent "colds", congestion, and potentially the need for frequent treatment with ever changing and ever longer courses of antibiotics.

Some at home care you can do would be to humidify your kitty by bringing her into a steaming hot bathroom (running a hot shower fills the bathroom with nice steam for humidification). Do this two to three times a day any time she's snuffly. You can also place plain nasal saline drops like Little Remedies Saline Drops (http://www.littleremedies.com/natural-remedies/nose-remedies/saline-spray-drops/) right into her nostrils. It's easiest to do this by tilting their heads so that their noses point straight up at the sky and placing two to three drops into each nostril.

L-lysine is a nutritional supplement that can help stall out the replication of the herpes virus. It's available at vet offices and pet stores in multiple forms - treats, gels, and powders being the most common. A typical dose for a small cat is 250mg twice a day, while larger cats usually get 500mg twice a day. I consider lyisine a "must" for any chronic sneezing or congested cat.

I would suggest having her looked at by your vet as soon as you can, as it sounds like she may need some prescription medication to get back on her feet.

I sure hope this helps - please let me know what other questions I can answer for you - we can chat until we've covered them all.

~Dr. Sara

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Expert:  Doc Sara replied 9 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Doc Sara