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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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Fits of sneezing, lethargy, decreased appetite, some watery

Customer Question

Fits of sneezing, lethargy, decreased appetite, some watery drainage from nose. Spouse says he heard cat coughing earlier today.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Nobuki replied 1 year ago.

Hello! This is Dr. Nobuki. What color is the drainage coming from his nose and how long have the signs been occurring?

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm sorry to hear that Gustavo hasn't been feeling well lately.

The most common cause of a bit of watery sneezing and watery eye discharge and a little cough is a viral upper respiratory infection like feline herpesvirus or calicivirus. Herpes is the most common by far. Herpesvirus is a common virus in the environment and most kitties are exposed very early in their lives. Herpesvirus infection is for life, although most kitties' immune systems are able to keep the virus in latency. Sometimes in times of stress or times when the immune system is compromised (including young cats who don't yet have a well formed immune system), the herpesvirus will come out of latency and cause a watery sneeze and watery eyes. Sometimes they'll also get a fever and some lethargy as well. If bacteria jump on board, then they can get secondary bacterial infection that can cause more severe congestion and green or yellow mucus discharge from the nose and/or eyes. You can help with any congestion by humidifying your environment with a humidifier. You can also take your kitty into the bathroom to run a hot shower and get it good and steamy. If they've got really stubborn congestion you can also use plain nasal saline drops - applying 1-2 drops into each nostril to help clear them out. If your kitty is very lethargic, having any difficulty breathing, bloody boogers or tan or green mucus discharge from the eyes or nose, then a trip to the vet is in order.

A nutritional supplement called L-lysine can also help put the herpesvirus back into latency. It's available in many forms from veterinarians, pet sores, and online vendors.

I hope that Gustavo is feeling much better soon - please let me know what other questions I can handle for you.

~Dr. Sara


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