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Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 8281
Experience:  Veterinarian for 29 years
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My 8 pound cat appears to have an upper respiratory infection,

Customer Question

My 8 pound cat appears to have an upper respiratory infection, with yellow nasal drainage. Can I give him cephalexin? If so, how much? (i have 500 mg capsules I originally got for my dog.)
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Rebecca replied 11 months ago.

RebeccaVet :

Hello,

RebeccaVet :

I am sorry to hear about Whiskers.

RebeccaVet :

My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

RebeccaVet :

Many upper respiratory infections in cats are viruses, and antibiotics will not work against viruses, only bacteria.

RebeccaVet :

And, most of the bacterial infections in cats respond better to doxycycline. Cephalexin is not an antibiotic I use in cat respiratory infections.

RebeccaVet :

So probably the cephalexin will not help, and could give him vomiting and diarrhea.

Customer:

If I have some, how much should I give him?

RebeccaVet :

If you want to try it, the dose for an average sized cat would be around 50 mg twice a day, so you would have to divide your capsules into tenths, which would be hard to to accurately.

Customer:

Of the doxycycline?

RebeccaVet :

Sorry, just doing some research.

RebeccaVet :

The dose of doxycycline would be about 50 mg once to twice daily. Doxy is tricky in cats, because the pills can get stuck in the throat and cause a stricture of the esophagus, which is fatal. So giving it as a liquid, or making sure a pill is swallowed by chasing it with food or water is critical.

RebeccaVet :

I checked a veterinary drug book, and cephalexin is not listed as a drug to use for cat respiratory infections.

RebeccaVet :

It is used more for skin infections, and sometimes urinary infections.

RebeccaVet :

I have used doxycycline in cats a lot ( there are diseases like plague and tularemia in my area and that is the only effective antibiotic) so it can be used safely, you just have to be careful.

Customer:

ok, thanks.

RebeccaVet :

Is there anything else I can answer?

Customer:

I don't think so...

RebeccaVet :

I will check back with you to see how he is doing.

RebeccaVet :

Kindly rate my answer, but only if all your questions have been answered.

Customer:

I don't have any doxy, is there anything else I can do?

RebeccaVet :

If this is viral, it will just run its course.

RebeccaVet :

Keep him eating, and drinking, and well hydrated. Offer broth, watered down cat food, warmed food, what ever it take to keep him eating.

RebeccaVet :

Nose drops like Little Noses, and NaSal which are available over the counter, may help.

Customer:

ok. I appreciate your help.

RebeccaVet :

You are welcome. Most of these infections are viral, so this may help.

RebeccaVet :

If not, you will have to have a visit to a veterinarian, to get the doxycycline.

Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 8281
Experience: Veterinarian for 29 years
Rebecca and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for the good rating!

Rebecca
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Can I give him some decongestant, like benedryl? if so, how much? I have 25 mg tabs or 10 mg claritan.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 11 months ago.
Benedryl and Claritin ( not Claritin D, just plain Claritin) are anti histamines, not decongestants. You can give a cat 5 to 10 milligrams of Benedryl twice daily, or 2.5 mg Claritin once daily.

The safest decongestants would be the nose drops Little Noses, or NaSal.

Rebecca
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I would get ripped to shreds trying to do nose drops. He has all claws and would not hesitate to use them. Would a decongestant be better than antihistimine? Is so what kind and what dosage?

Expert:  Rebecca replied 11 months ago.
I would use the antihistamine first.

The only safe over the counter oral decongestant would be some form of pseudoephedrine, but it would be hard to get the dose right. The average cat would take about 4 to 5 milligrams, but it is sold as a pill that is hard to divide that is 30 mg, so it would be hard to accurately break it into sixths. If you can find a liquid over the counter form, you should be able to get the dose correct. It has side effects like hyperactivity. I have never given it to a cat, but this is the published dose in a veterinary drug book.

Rebecca

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