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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20619
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My Annie Cat seems to gulp a bit when she swallows. She also

Customer Question

My Annie Cat seems to gulp a bit when she swallows. She also gulps a lot when she purrs. This started a few weeks ago and I'm concerned. Annie and I have been best friends for awhile now 😉 and I want to make sure she is okay. She didn't used to do this. Annie is an 8 year old gray and white shorthair mix. She has had dental surgery recently (a couple of months ago) and the vet noticed a little bit of what appears to be stomatitis in the back of her mouth when I brought her in for a check-up a few days ago. My other kitty with stomatitis gulps a lot when he purrs, but I had also a kitty a few years back who exhibited throat symptoms and ended up having throat cancer. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

Have you noticed her having any coughing or sneezing?

Any changes to Annie's voice? Increased breathing noise or snoring when sleeping?

Any change to her breathing?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
A bit of changes in her voice--it sounds hoarse. She had bordetella awhile back, but she seems to have recovered from that just fine, so I don't think its that. She hasn't been coughing or sneezing. She just gulps more frequently. I haven't noticed any breathing problems.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you,

Now I am glad to hear that she recovered from that bacterial infection without issue, since it can be quite severe for cats. With that aside, if her voice is hoarse alongside the gulping (which makes the stomatitis less likely to be directly involved on its own) we do have a few concerns. The most common reason will be a mild flare-up of feline herpes virus. This is a life time infection that can flare-up from time to time. The virus can cause stomatitis as well as throat irritation/inflammation. And if she has exposure to another cat with similar signs, then its quite likely that this is our culprit. So, we could try her on on OTC L-lysine (500mg daily) to try to reduce the effects of a possible herpes infection.

Of course, if she isn't settling over the weekend, then we'd want to consider having a check with her vet to be safe. This is because it is possible to also see these signs with any throat based inflammation, polyps (benign) but also throat based cancers. And if we do have her seen, then an xray could just allow us to make sure there are no growths in her upper airway that may need to be addressed. If there are, your vet can discuss surgical options. But if only inflammation is seen, then they can start her on kitty safe anti-inflammatories +/- test/treat for herpesvirus.

Overall, her signs do raise a few concerns. Herpes would be our top suspect but we do have some other potential causes at her age. So, the above approaches would be ideal to try to settle this but ensure we don't let this linger for her.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.
Hi Dominique,

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

Dr. B.