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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29041
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My kitten is 5 months old with an upper respiratory infection

Customer Question

My kitten is 5 months old with an upper respiratory infection since Friday. The vet gave her an antibiotic through one injection. She was spayed yesterday (while pregnant). Her breathing seems to be worse. Sneezing is less but now she sounds congested. I hear fluids when she breathes.
JA: IÂ’m sorry to hear that. We need to be extra careful with pregnancies, so we'll need to connect you with the Veterinarian ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your kitten?
Customer: She is eating a little but seems to have a hard time drinking.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Since she is a kitten and just had surgery I'm concerned that her body will have a hard time fighting the URI. Is there anything I should do? Yesterday, the vet said that if she wasn't better (in regards ***** ***** URI) by the end of the week, I should take her back in to get another medicine...possibly an oral one. She is uncomfortable from the surgery but I'm assuming its the URI that making her so lethargic. Should I keep watching her till the end of the week?
Drinking water seems uncomfortable (drinks very little) and all she wants to do is sleep.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I have a few comments, questions, and concerns...1) Feline Uuper respiratory infection at 5 months of age is most often due to the feline herpesvirus (FHV-1). The bacteria Chlamydophila and Mycoplasma can exist as sole entities of infection or appear concomitant with FHV-1.2) None of the above infections are addressed satisfactorily with the one injection long-acting cefovecin (Convenia) which I believe is what she was administered.3) She was likely to have an endotracheal tube placed down her trachea and hooked up to a gas anesthetic machine when she was spayed. That tube can irritate the trachea in the best of instances and even more if a tracheitis existed due to FHV-1. The liquid sounds you're hearing are likely to represent mucus in her irritated trachea (windpipe).4) Why was a cat suffering an upper respiratory infection stressed by surgery and a general infection? The standard of care is to perform an elective surgery on a well patient.5) So what to do? In the great majority of cases these cats will remiss unaided within 1-3 weeks and so the choice of antibiotic may not be important. If another is chosen, however, a tasty suspension of doxycline would be the antibiotic of choice because both Mycoplasma and Chlamydophila are susceptible to that antibiotic. FHV-1 doesn't respond to antibiotics but does respond to an antiviral drug such as famciclovir...which is usually not prescribed unless it's apparent that my patient isn't recovering as quickly as expected - within 3 weeks.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I appreciate you explanation of the different things that could be the cause of her URI and the medications that are appropriate. I really wish my vet would have talked about this with me before quickly injecting her and later telling me what it was.
Would a vaporizer help her?
Any home remedies to help her get through the next week or 2?
Are there symptoms that I should be on the look out for that may indicate she is getting worse?
Thank you so much! I wish I would have taken her to someone truly knowledgable like you!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
A vaporizer might be of value. I would vaporize normal saline rather than any drug. Moisturizing the inside of the nose can help mobilize mucus and assist her sneezing it away. That's the best home remedy although you can also instill saline nasal drops into her upturned nostrils. She won't be thrilled with that but if you tell her it's for her own good maybe she'll understand. You must avoid the poorly tolerated oral decongestants in cats. Watch her respiratory rate. Over 40 breaths per minute while she sleeps would be worrisome for lower respiratory involvement and respiratory compromise.You're quite welcome. Thank you for your kind words. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin