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Animal Dr. M
Animal Dr. M, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 371
Experience:  Boarded, licensed, and accredited veterinarian. Interests: general medicine, ophthalmology (eyes).
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My girlfriend just woke up to her cat lying on it's side, breathi

Customer Question

My girlfriend just woke up to her cat lying on it's side, breathing extremely labored, mucousy discharge from the mouth, taking huge gasping breaths. I've suspected her to have feline asthma for a while but she appears to be suffocating on the mucous nearly. Is there anything I can do at the moment? The nearest available vet is 90 minutes away. Is it possible to suck the mucous out to ease her breathing with a baby nasal sucker?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Animal Dr. M replied 1 year ago.
Hello, as a licensed veterinarian I am happy to assist you. Yes, you can try to remove some of the buildup with a nasal aspirator, but I strongly urge you to do this while on the way to the vet- it sounds like PNT needs urgent care, likely including oxygen support and medications so I would try and get her to a vet as soon as possible. Unfortunately, if the discharge is from the mouth (how is her nose?), this suggests possible congestion in the lungs which can be life threatening if left untreated and can lead to rather fast deterioration.Cats certainly can get asthma, which can be managed well generally speaking with medication, so if this is the case, the vet can discuss treatment options for her going forward, but the first urgent need is to clear her airways and get her breathing better.Please let me know how she does and do not hesitate to respond with additional questions.Best,Dr. Drea
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her breathing has improved significantly however her respiratory rate is still 54 bpm. The vet opens in five minutes and we are two blocks away.Unfortunately I didn't get a good look at whether the mucous was coming from her nose but it was definitely coming from her mouth and heavily. It was clear or possibly cloudy, no green or yellow tint, and she isn't fond of me so I didn't want to get too close to check her gums for color and risk stressing her more. We have a large bathroom so I had my girlfriend turn on the shower as a humidifier and that seemed to snap her out of it very quickly. For a few minutes after you could hear cracking and popping in her unobstructed breathing.
Expert:  Animal Dr. M replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thank you for that update! Given that new information, I wonder if the mucous you are noticing is simply her drooling a lot and foaming up her drool with her labored breathing (cats can do this sort of thing), which makes me feel a little better about the state her lungs may be in. That said, the fact that she was clearly in distress and has crackling/popping sounds while breathing (suggesting congestion in her respiratory tract), a trip to the vet is still important. Cats can have respiratory signs for a variety of reasons including infectious diseases such as feline herpes virus, to pneumonia, and like you've noted due to asthma- a trip to the vet will help determine the underlying cause and get her on the appropriate treatment path. Depending on the diagnosis, there may also be some preventative measures you can take to prevent future episodes. I hope that helps, please keep me posted! -Dr. D
Expert:  Animal Dr. M replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

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

Animal Dr. M