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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28424
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I got a 9 month old female kitten from the shelter. She sounds

Customer Question

I got a 9 month old female kitten from the shelter. She sounds like she has a stopped up nose. When she sneezes all kinds of stuff comes out. They gave me antibiotics twice now. It seems to get better then all of a sudden she sounds stopped up again. I don't know if it's just in her nose or in her lungs too. What else can I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
These kittens can be quite frustrating. The feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) is the most common infectious agent found in sneezing shelter kittens. It doesn't respond to antibiotics and so any improvement you've seen is likely due to a secondary bacterial infection being addressed by those antibiotics. In most cases, kittens will remiss from FHV-1 in a few weeks. In some cases, however, symptoms can persist for months or even indefinitely.
To answer you directly, you can certainly have her chest X-rayed to see if pneumonia has arisen and is responsible for her relapsing. Perhaps just as important, however, is to determine which infectious agents are present in her and then treat them more specifically. This is done with PCR (a DNA-based) testing. We're primarily interested in FHV-1, Mycoplasma and Chlamydophila. If either Mycoplasma or Chlamydophila are detected by that testing, doxycycline administered for a month would be prudent. If neither bacterium were detected, FHV-1 is likely the culprit even though testing for FHV-1 can be falsely positive due to prior vaccination against FHV-1.
Treatment for FHV-1 would involve the systemic antiviral drug famciclovir +/- an antiviral drop or ointment such as one containing cidofovir or one of the newer antiviral drugs. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Hi Katherine,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin

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