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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24383
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My 6 month old male spade kitten is lethargic, not eating

Customer Question

My 6 month old male spade kitten is lethargic, not eating much, and breathing heavily...any idea of what he may be suffering from? Pneumonia?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Pneumonia isn't common but other chest problems such as thoracic effusions (the chest cavity filling with fluid) are. Please assess your kitten's respiratory rate at rest or while asleep. He should be taking less than 30 breaths/minute. Let me know what you find.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The kitten is breathing heavily about 25 times a minute; he's been lethargic and breathing like this for 3 days; won't play or chase toys; stoking him doesn't seem to cause any pain reaction. Maybe he swallowed some carpet yarn?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

The respiratory rate is normal. Does breathing heavily imply an "abdominal push" - you're seeing him use his abdominal muscles more than normal?

Swallowing yarn - a "linear foreign body" might cause the tell-tale symptoms of obstruction - persistent vomiting and/or anorexia.