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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3924
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My cat seems have difficulty breathing - panting. she is not

Customer Question

My cat seems have difficulty breathing - panting. she is not eating very well, her stools are small, normal colour. She finds it uncomfortable to lie on her right side. She is not an outdoor cat, although she does go out into the garden. Can you help please?
Thank you,
Jayne Simmons
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, Jayne. I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. How long has Tinkerbell had these signs?Are her gums pink or pale/white?Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply that by 6)?Are you seeing any wounds or distension on her uncomfortable side?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She will not let me look in her mouth so I can't tell. Her breathing rate is 42. There are no wounds but she seems to be in some discomfort when I touch her.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,First, I have to say that I am worried about Tinkerbell.Even if we cannot check her gum color (or you can roll her lower eye lid down to look at the conjunctiva for paling), she is breathing faster then a cat should at rest. And I would note that if she is having to breath this quick, the lack of appetite and thus lack of material to pass as stool is likely just a side effect of her not being able to spare a breath to eat. So, that isn’t likely a problem in itself, but instead tells us that we are facing a more serious issue for her.In regards ***** ***** causes for her breathing signs, we’d be wary of lung issues (ie pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, lung tumors, etc), heart issues, anemia (low red blood cell volumes). That said, with her being uncomfortable when she lays down, this can be part of one of the above but also raises worries of infection in the chest (pyothorax) or possibly due to blunt force trauma (which can cause bleeding into the lungs). With all this in mind and how much she sounds to be struggling, we’d really want to have her seen urgently. Her local vet can listen to her heart, check for anemia, and xray her chest to see which of the above is present. Depending on those findings, they can start treatment +/- give her oxygen to help get her breathing better and thus able to get back to normal things like eating. Overall, these signs are very worrying to see in your lass and raise some very serious concerns. Unfortunately, there will not be much we can do at home to address this, but the quicker we act, the better chance we have for diagnosing the root cause here and treating it for her. Just in case, you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check the RCVS Register ( to find your local vets or Vets Now ( ) who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get him checked out sooner then there are options to have him seen today too Please take care,Dr. B.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you! :