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Dr. Ellie
Dr. Ellie, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  emergency and critical care resident
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I recently adopted a feral cat, got her spayed and

Customer Question

Hi Pearl! I recently adopted a feral cat, got her spayed and vaccinated and brought her home. Lately her breathing has been very fast and shallow
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Holly. 9 months
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Holly?
Customer: She had a slight fever the other night, and we got her some antibiotics. Other than the fast breathing everything else is fine. She is eating wet food like crazy, her pooping has gotten more regular and more solid since we brought her home, her nose is warm and wet, her gums look good, and she seems to be active and playful. The only thing that doesn't add up is the fast shallow breathing, sometimes up to 90 breaths per minute.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 1 year ago.

Hi there!! I am eager to help answer your questions about Holly today. Please allow me a few minutes to read through your question thoroughly and gather some information for you. I appreciate your patience, I will be with you shortly.

Very Sincerely,

Dr. Ellie

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** *****!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To be honest, I'm too poor at the moment to get expensive x-rays or surgeries for Holly. Are there any steps we can take at home to rule out possible problems? The vet that gave us the antibiotics checked her heart and breathing, as well as an ultrasound on the area where she was spayed and said this all seemed fine.Could the fast breathing be from stress of the new environment or change in diet? (It's hard for me to believe that my apartment could be more stressful than living outside in the city where she's been all year)
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 1 year ago.

While stress can cause rapid breathing, this is usually situational and resolves within a short amount of time. Is she coughing? Does the rapid breathing seem to happen at certain parts of the day or is it all the time? Are they made worse by activity?

In an outdoor kitty, we may be dealing with a parasitic cause, an allergic cause or something else like heart disease. Heart disease in cats has a bimodal distribution in that young cats and middle age to older cats are most commonly affected.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't heard any coughing or wheezing. I put my head on her chest and it sounds pretty normal.. of course, I have no idea what i'm listening for. We've been watching her poops for worms or anything but they keep looking more and more normal.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The breathing seems almost consistent all day. At one point, it seemed like after she ate tons of dry food, the breathing maybe sped up a bit, so I switched her to wet food. She's eating less of it.
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 1 year ago.

Since we don't have finances for a lot of diagnostics, its worth a round of deworming (with fenbendazole or Panacur) to treat possible lung worms or other parasites that have a migrating life cycle and may not necessarily show up in the stool without a microscopic exam. Aside from that, the rest of my recommendations would include radiographs to rule out heart disease or confirm a suspicion of asthma. Treatment for asthma is with steroids but steroids will make heart disease or an infectious process worse, so I don't recommend using steroids until these have been ruled out.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, we have another cat. If the new one has a parasite, can that be contagious?
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 1 year ago.

The lungworms are usually spread through the feces so as long as you have followed proper sanitary measures, she should be fine but it snot a bad idea to deworm her too just in case. Fenbandazole is very safe and usually inexpensive.

Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 1 year ago.

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

Dr. Ellie