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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16194
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Samson is 14 years old. He is experiencing coughing fits

Customer Question

Samson is 14 years old. He is experiencing coughing fits that almost look like seizures. Episodes last approx 30 seconds to a minute in duration. He will have these 3 or 4 times a day.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the veterinarian. Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about Samson?
Customer: These episodes include wheezing and almost a gurgle. When the episode ends he sounds really raspy and sometimes feels as if he may have a fever.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 month ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

How long has he has these signs?

What breed is he?

Is it quite a harsh cough or soft?

Does he seem to struggle to breathe?

Any paling of his gums when this happens, weakness, or fainting?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
He's been doing this a little over a week. I'm not sure of his breed...he's an orange cat. It's a harsh weez/cough and his body shakes. After he's had an episode he sounds very raspy/rattley. His mouth is closed when this happens so we don't see his gums. He appears weak afterward.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 month ago.

Thank you,

Now I have to say that I am quite concerned about Samson.

Coughing in cats is uncommon but something we can see with upper airway infections (ie feline herpes virus), with space occupying lesions in the throat/upper airway (ie polyps, masses, foreign bodies), with parasites like heartworm or lungworm (though uncommon in cats), or associated with lung issues (ie asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia).

With these concerns in mind, the toll this sounds to be taking on him, and how long this has already been ongoing, it'd be ideal to have his vet listen to his chest, throat, and lungs at this point. That way we can get to the root of this for him and treat those treatable options to clear that for him. So, if he is due a booster soon, consider moving that appointment up so we can get this addressed.

Otherwise, in the meantime, to soothe his throat you can administer a mild cough suppressant like glycerin/honey cough syrup (with no drugs in it) or even plain honey. Both can be very soothing to the irritated and tickly throat. Typically we will give a 0.5-1 milliliter (~1/8-1/4 teaspoon) as needed. Alternatively, you can try Robitussin DM. I would just say to make sure to use this preparation and avoid any similar syrups that may contain other medications like Paracetamol, Acetaminophen, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylephrine or caffeine (since these can be toxic). If it also contains Guaifenesin that is okay. Dose-wise, we tend to give this as 0.25-1 mg/pound of their body weight by mouth every 8 hours.

Overall, I am concerned to hear that Samson has such a harsh cough like this that is persisting. The above would be our concerns here but with how severe this is I'd be especially concerned about lung involvement. So, it' d be best to have a check at this point to allow us to get this under control for him before it can worsen.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 month ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Best wishes for Samson,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

**Please rate me by clicking on the **stars** at the top of the page as this is the only way the site credits me for helping you. Thank you!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 30 days ago.
Hi,

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

Dr. B.