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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16202
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have a 11 week old kitten got from PAWS a week ago. Took

Customer Question

I have a 11 week old kitten got from PAWS a week ago. Took her to vet yesterday as she has developed a response issue. Sneezing, coughing runny eyes and nose. He gave her a steroid shot and a antibiotic shot. I have medicine to give her once a day. She is not any better today and at times she seems as though she is getting worse. Vet said bring her back Tuesday if not better. Worried about waiting until then what should I do. Do I need to give medicine longer to start working.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Poor Bella.

Now if she has signs of a respiratory tract infection (which is terribly common for rescue kittens), then we do need to avoid any more steroids. While they can reduce inflammation in the airway, they can actually dampen the immune system and could be what is thwarting her body from getting a handle on this infection.

Though depending on what you are using to treat (ideally we'd want her on an antibiotic, cat safe decongestant, eye drops if her eyes are snotty too), we would want to also start some supportive care to help Bella here. In regards ***** ***** home treatments, I would suggest taking her in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear any of the snot congesting them. You can also use a baby nebulizer/humidifier, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces. That said, you can alternatively make a little ‘steam tent’ with her in her carrier, the nebulizer, and a bed sheet.

Otherwise, if she is building up mucus that the steam isn't shifting, use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away crust and mucus you can reach. As well, you can also use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist or Little Noses but not anything medicated) to relieve her congestion. To do so, take one at a time and tilt their head back and drop two to three drops in one nostril. Cats hate this, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril.

As well, since congested cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat as well as they should. So, if she has any appetite loss, you can try to tempt her with smelly wet foods (since they are high in water). It may help to warm it up a bit in the microwave to help them be able to smell it. Furthermore, there are also OTC calorically dense critical care diets (ie Hill's A/D, Clinicare, Royal Canin Recovery diet) available from the vets that can be useful in hand feeding cats who are not eating properly. They allow you to get more nutrition into them, even if you cannot get a large volume of food into them.

Overall, I am quite concerned about poor Bella's lack of improvement (especially if she has been given steroids). So, we'd want to use the above to help her get more comfortable and give these antibiotics a chance to help her. Of course, if she has any issues breathing, then we'd want to have her seen again as soon as possible for oxygen if severe but otherwise we may need to have her vet adjust their treatment to help her get over this infection.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 months ago.
Hi Debra,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Bella. How is everything going?

Dr. B.