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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16324
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My cat is suddenly sneezing and is lethargic. He is young

Customer Question

My cat is suddenly sneezing and is lethargic. He is young between 3 & 5 (a rescue) and is an indoor cat. I believe he has had all his shots, but I am not sure. I have another cat, also young, also a rescue who HAS had all of his shots. He is sneezing, too. They are indoor cats. This has been going on for a couple of days. What should be worried about? Thank you!
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help your cat. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your cat?
Customer: They accidentally got outside once a couple of weeks ago, but they didn't get more than 25 feet from the house. The sneezing is the most pronounced change as all cats are lethargic until something motivates them!
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
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand that you are concerned about his lethargy and the amount of sneezing that your young fellow has been doing the past couple of days. I understand that his housemate is also sneezing and that both cats snuck out for a short period of time a couple weeks ago. A sneeze simply means that something is irritating his nose. It can be dust, pollens, an irritating, strong smell, increased tearing draining into his nose, a viral, bacterial or fungal infection or a foreign body, a tooth root infection or nasal mass irritating the nasal mucosa. If this were a one time thing then dust, pollen, a strong smell, or increased tearing would be most likely. Since this is lingering and a housemate is also affected I would be more inclined to think of an infection (fungal, bacterial or viral).If he has no, or a little clear, nasal discharge, is eating and drinking normally, and his nose conformation is unchanged (no swelling or bumps) then it may be a viral infection, in which case this should pass on its own. You could try giving both kitties an amino acid supplement called L-lysine at a dose of 500mg orally twice daily. If this infection is due to the Herpes virus (one of the more common causes of respiratory infections in cats) this amino acid interferes with virus replication and will shorten the infection's duration and severity. Good supplements to try are made by the Viralys brand which comes in a powder to add to the food or a tasty gel. In the meantime using a humidifier in the room they sleep in most of the time, and/or taking them into the bathroom with you when you run a hot bath or shower to breathe in steam/humid air can help. If his housemate improves but he continues to sneeze beyond the usual 2-3 weeks that these infections run their course the next step would be sedation, dental radiographs to look for bad tooth roots, a nasal scope and skull radiographs to look for a foreign body or mass. It may be helpful to collect samples for bacterial and fungal cultures as well.But I suspect that when they snuck out they were stressed (weakening their immune systems) and may have been exposed to virus particles left behind in the environment. If that's the case they should improve with time and supportive care, just like we do with a cold.Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your kitty. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****