I am glad to hear that Lucky is not having any breathing difficulties nor signs of a full blown upper respiratory tract infection. Now when we see cats showing voice hoarseness or loss, it can be a sign of a number of issues. With its sudden onset and lack of changes to his breathing, we would be less concerned about polyps or tumors. Instead, an irritation of the throat (trachea) is more likely. And if you haven’t been seeing any associated sneezing/nasal discharge then the possibility of a curious kitty ending up with a foreign body wedged into his nasopharynx/throat is also lower on our lists of concerns.
Now in regards ***** ***** changing tracheal issues, these are often referred to as tracheitis. That said, this is a condition that can be triggered to allergies, bacterial or viral agents (most commonly feline herpes). Though again since its recent onset, allergies would be lower on our list of concerns at this stage.
With this all in mind, it is usually a case of letting the immune system do its work. Just like us, sore throats with voice loss take time to settle since the common viral causes won't respond to our antibiotics and usual treatments. That said, there are some supportive measures that can help keep him comfortable while his immune system fights this.
First, if you thought he sounded sore with this, was coughing, or swallowing a lot; then you could try him with a small dose of cough syrup. Now not all cough syrups are cat friendly, but you can give him a small amount of plain honey or plain over the counter glycerin/honey cough syrup (with no drugs in it). Typically we will give a milliliter (~1/4 teaspoon) as needed. This will aid to soothe his throat and settle any upper airway related coughing. Alternatively, you can try Robitussin DM. If you choose to use this one, I would just say to make sure to use this preparation and avoid any containing other medications like Paracetamol, Acetaminophen, Pseudoephedrine, Guaifenesin, Phenylephrine or caffeine (since these can be toxic). Dose-wise, we tend to give this as 1/2 (half) teaspoon per 10lbs of the their body weight every 8-12 hours. These will help soothe throat irritation.
For the tracheitis from feline herpes virus infection, they do tend to settle as the immune system gets the flare up under control (typically the signs pass within a week or two). But we can aid the kitties with supplementation of with L-lysine (a nutritional supplement) can help them recover quicker. This is available over the counter. It can be purchased as a gel, powder or in crushable tablets to add to food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day.
Further to this, if we were suspicious of a bacterial infection at the root of his signs, then we could have his vet dispense antibiotics. As well, for severe cases, we sometimes will use out feline friendly anti-inflammatories (ie Metacam) again to soothe the inflammation within the trachea and get their voice back faster.
So, in this case, if he is otherwise well in himself and breathing comfortably then you can try monitoring, offering soft foods (if he were struggling), plain honey/glycerin cough syrup, and L-lysine. If you do this and he doesn't settle within a few days, shows any other signs or does seem very sore with this, then you might consider following up with his vet. They will be able to help you determine which of our concerns are most likely in his case and if necessary they can start him on a course of antibiotics (if bacteria are suspected) and cat safe anti-inflammatory medication to soothe the inflammation and take the soreness away.
Please take care,
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