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vetmom4, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1916
Experience:  30 years as cat and dog veterinarian, 28 years as practice owner, Past President of SCAV
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Azithromycin for cats

Customer Question

My cat is sneezing, hiding, not eating. He is on azithromycin. I am worried he has cat liter in his nose. What do I do?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.

As you may already know sneezing is one of the way the body cleans the nasal passages from dust or allergens. It can also be caused by infections, polyps, etc. This is what you can do:
1- Open the hot water in the bathroom and allow him to breath the vapor/steam for 5-10 minutes. This will clear and hydrate the nasal passages.
2- You can apply a drop of sterile water in each nostril to clear the nasal passages.

Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

Dr. Peter

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The cat weighs 10 lbs or so. The vet gave him 80 mg of azithromycin about 24 hrs ago. Is this too much azithromycin? Would this make him nauseated?

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 5 years ago.
The dose in cats for azithromycin is 5-15mg/kg once a day, your cat received 17mg/kg which is slightly higher then the high end of the dose, but, should be ok. This should not cause any problem.
Any antibiotic can cause nausea. You can supplement with a probiotic (fortiflora) which will help with possible nausea. In addition, give the antibiotics with some food.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It all started about 1 week ago. The cat had a loose tooth, which was sticking out. This was going on for 1 month or. The vet came to our house and the tooth fell out on its own. The vet gave him cortisone, vitamin C, and penicillin, and 150 cc of fluids. He repeated the shots 2 days later. Then 4 days later he cleaned his teeth. He used a metal object to do it, it did not look very sterile and used his hands to pull off some of the plaque. He sedated the cat with something and also pulled out all his matted hair. It took 2 days and then the cat woke up. But I gave him soft cat food, and I am scared it went in his nose. Because then he got swelling around his nose and has been sneezing. Then the vet came out and gave him azithromycin and now the cat is not eating.


1. Should he not have pulled out the hair matting?

2. Why does my cat have a sinusitis now? Could he have aspirated a food particle, or did the vet give him a cat virus?

3. He will not take food now, or any more antibiotic. The cat has been traumatized by all this and I think he will probably just get better on his own. I feel like the vet may have made things worse for him in the last few days. Will he get better on his own?

Expert:  vetmom4 replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I am vetmom and I will happy to help you today with your cat.

I attend many continuing education courses on feline medicine.

I will try and answer your questions:

1 - I would pulled out the hair matting while I had the opportunity of having the cat sedated.

2 - Was there a hole where the tooth fell out? If there was, a piece of food or debris could have entered the nasal cavity. I don't think the veterinarian gave the cat a virus as most virus do not live very long outside the body.

3 - I would try soft canned strongly aromatic food such as fish flavored or sardines

because he cannot smell. I cannot answer if he will get better on his own but I would stop the antibiotic because it could be causing the nausea and inappetance. He may need more fluid therapy if he is not drinking.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Would you stop just the azithromycin or the penicillin as well?

Do you use azithromycin for sinusitis/rhinitis in a cat?

The vet gave our 10 lb cat 80 mg of azithromycin last night. How long before he is eating better?

Do you think he needs antibiotics to resolve the sinusitis/rhinitis? Could this just get better on its own? I don't understand why the cat had all this happen to him after a dental cleaning. The tooth that fell out was in the lower jaw, but he did have one fall out from the upper jaw several months ago.

If he has food in his nose could this be doing this? How would we get it out?

Expert:  vetmom4 replied 5 years ago.

I would stop both for now. Yes, I like azithromycin for cats with respiratory problems.

It may take 24-48 hours before he is eating better.

This may resolve on its own. It is hard for me to say 100%. If a cat is beginning to lose his teeth, he could have a bone infection in his sinuses. There is a 2 week antibiotic injection called Convenia that may be useful for your cat.

Foreign objects in nasal passages often will dislodge themselves or the white blood cells will eat them. Sometimes however, they need to be flushed with a sterile saline solution. You can use pediatric saline drops to help him 2-3 times daily. Not as forceful as a flush but does not require anesthesia.

Hope this helps and he gets better! Kindly, vetmom

vetmom4, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1916
Experience: 30 years as cat and dog veterinarian, 28 years as practice owner, Past President of SCAV
vetmom4 and 2 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. You answered all my questions. This was worth the money. You were great.
Expert:  vetmom4 replied 5 years ago.
My pleasure. vetmom