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DrChristineM, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3713
Experience:  6 years in small animal medicine, focus on feline medicine
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My cat sneezes huge quantities of snot (green) hourly. He

Resolved Question:

My cat sneezes huge quantities of snot (green) hourly.

He has been seeing multiple vets for this problem for the last 5 years and has been given multiple treatments. First he was given monthly injections of steroids which helped a little. Later he began taking those daily at home. He is on 5mg of Prednisolone a night (going on 4 years now) and amitriptyline (for an obsessive humping behavior following a bout of FLUTD a year ago). In the past, he has also been on Zeniquin and clavimox. The zeniquin was for a long time, with not much improvement and the clavimox was off and on. He just finished a clavimox course 2 weeks ago after being diagnosed with a gum infection. One time, a vet put him on an anti-depressant for sneezing, but it did not help. In the past, he had oral absesses, a granuloma growth, and teeth removed (no improvement, although the oral granuloma growth was removed and never returned). He had FLUTD last year, but has had no problems since. He also has cracked/blistered pads on his paws, which often bleed and cause limping. All his nasal discharge is from the right nostril, and the right eye is also runny off and on. Occasionally, he will sneeze blood. Neg FIV and other cancer. One Xray and no tumors visible there.

We moved to a new apartment last week and he was initially not sneezing for the first 3 days, then yesterday he began violent sneeze attacks with HUGE and HARD chunks of what I think is mucous (but maybe other calculi/calcified matter similar to tonsillotlihs) coming out. These “boogers” are hard, but can be squished in a paper towel. They’re almost grainy in texture and were sometimes brown, sometimes a pinkish white color mixed with green snot. This went on all night and there was still a little this morning.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  DrChristineM replied 6 years ago.

Believe me, I know from first hand experience how frustrating this can be. My own youngest cat, Beastly, has a problem with nasal discharge, and it often gets so bad he is sneezing blood all over the house. I feel like I have done everything on earth for him, except MRI and I can't get rid of the problem. But in the end, if your cat has a chronic sinus infection, then managing symptoms may be the best we can do.

Ok, so what can you do? There are a large number of tests out there that you can do if you want to verify exactly what is going on with Milo. You can culture the discharge to get an idea what is growing up there. You can take a swab and do a viral test to check which of the viral infections may be causing these signs. You can do advanced imaging such as CT or MRI to make sure there is no polyp, fungal mass, bony loss, etc that is complicating or causing these problems. But in the vast majority of cases of cats with nasal discharge, the end result is going to be a chronic sinusitis. Viral infections can be nasty, and they are hard to deal with, because we can't "cure" them. Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections. Viral infections require the immune system to knock them out (think of us with the flu, for example).

You may already have done some of this, but bear with me:

Step 1--Make sure Milo isn't immune compromised. This involves FeLV/FIV testing, etc. His immune system has to be 100% to help us fight this.

Step 2--Treat any bacterial infections, if present. This may require culturing the nose, topicals for the eye, if they are affected.

Step 3--Consider anti viral medications (although $$$). I have used Famcyclovir in the past in my cats, but there are others. Also, the supplement L-Lysine is safe and the powder form can be sprinkled on the food daily (sold over the counter).

Step 4--Nasal drops--cats HATE these, but when Beastly gets really bad, I will sometimes treat with either children's neo-synephrine (one drop in alternate nostrils every day), or when he gets really bad, I do sometimes use a preparation of ophthalmic antibiotic in saline solution that I drip into the nose (you would have to discuss doing this with your vet--it's not a common thing to do, I learned about it from a feline vet who has been in practice for 20+ years).

Step 5--Hope that these things will allow the symptoms to subside, and be prepared for any flareups when and if they occur.

I hope this helps a bit, please let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks fir this response. If he is on prednisolone, is his immune syst compromised already? He takes five MG of pred and he is also on amitryptiline. Are the things u mentioned safe for him with these meds in him daily?

He has never sneezed such LARGE CHUNKs of calcified like matter at this rate. He didn't sneeze for like 2 days so maybe it built up? Should I be worried that the large chunks have been goig on for 24 hours?
Thank you so much!!!
Expert:  DrChristineM replied 6 years ago.
Sorry for the delay--I had gone off line when you replied. The amitryptiline shouldn't be an issue with anything. The pred will lower his immune system--if this is being used for the nasal issue, I would consider taking him off of it--I never find that it helps very much (in some cases, I will use injectable Depo-Medrol, but the oral form is useless, and long term use is not recommended).

As gross as it is, their noses are very similar to ours. If we are sick, or have allergies or whatever, there will be more phlegm and more discharge--does this worry you if it is you? Probably not too much. It is the same with him. It is a sign that something is going on, and should try our best to relieve it. I have nasal allergies and am always stuffed up--it doesn't mean there is something sinister going on, just that my body is overreacting to things I need to take measures to counteract that. THe symptoms wax and wan, and the measures I take follow along. Very similar with cats, only with them, it is probably not allergies, but a viral infection.
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi again. I wanted to conti ue our coveration because you are helpful and knowledgeable.

Tybalt has had the center of his lower lip swelling up for the past few days. He sometimes gets oral infections like this, but since it happened the day after his huge sneezing fits (Whig have subsided and back to normal sneezing and snot) I'm wondering if they are related. He is a bit drooly when he purrs ( not entirely unusual, but still). He is eating regular tho he did have a bit or diarrhea yesterday and has not had a bowel movement today. Any thoughts? He slept a lot today, but e is a cat so hard to know if it is abnormal. Also he is not hiding and is behaving the same as always. Thanks!!!
Expert:  DrChristineM replied 6 years ago.
This may just be side effects from his big flare up--I know sometimes when Beastly has a big flare the symptoms and side effects can be seen for quite a while (a week or more) and he is a cat that I have finally gotten this problem pretty much under control in. With Tybalt, his body is still hyperreactive to anything and everything--flares are going to be worse and last longer than in a cat in "remission" as it were.

I would monitor him for a few more days. There may be some aspect to this that is allergy related--cats generally don't do well with oral antihistamines such as Benadryl (they cause severe drooling and oral irritation), but if the drooling and lip swelling continue, you may want to ask your vet about a Benadryl injection. It may help.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You had mentioned something before about pred pills not helping much. He used to get injections but then they gave me oral 5mg daily to give at home. Do you think this is not helpful or there is something better? He has been on it for about 4 years and it is for sneezing.

Thank you!
Expert:  DrChristineM replied 6 years ago.
It is generally not very helpful. It may sometimes be helpful for acute flares, but it isn't helpful (in my opinion) when used daily. The only other options are those I listed.
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