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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20910
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My almost 18 yr old Maine coon seems to act like he has a

Customer Question

My almost 18 yr old Maine coon seems to act like he has a serious cold , raspy breathing and drools heavy mucus. Our vetcould not find any obstruction in the thoat , but he does have bad teeth and signs of kidney disease , although blood work done in August was good. Is there anything that can help him? Ourvet gav him an antibotic , but if anything he has gotten worse.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know what to do with the drooling. What is the Maine's name?
Customer: Thorne
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Thorne?
Customer: Thorny is an indoor cat.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you 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 situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has he had these signs?

Any coughing, sneezing or congestion?

Does he have nasal or eye discharge?

Any ulcers or sores in his mouth?

Are his gums pink or pale/white?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count his breaths for 10 seconds + multiply by 6)?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
About three weeks
No coughing sneezing or congestion, except when he tries to eat, then drooling and spits up food.
No nasal or eye discharge.
No sores that I can see or that vet could see at last exam about a week ago. Bad teeth noted.
Gums are blackish. Maybe that is the color he was born with for mouth?
Seems to be about 40.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,

Now I have to say that I am quite concerned about Thorne.

While a sore mouth from bad teeth could make eating difficult for him, his breathing rate (which is about 1.5x over normal) could also mean he cannot spare a breath to eat. Both of these could cause his drooling and the rasping with this elevated breathing rate does raise worries of a upper airway infection or pneumonia. Of course, at his age and as kidney issues were noted, this may represent a secondary opportunistic infection taking advantage of his struggling body.

Now from what you have reported, the antibiotics don’t sound like they are enough for him. Therefore, we may need to speak to his vet about cat/kidney safe pain relief (ie Buprenorphine) to counter any mouth pain. As well, if he has breathing struggles the a bronchodilator to open the airways may help too.

In the meantime and in regards ***** ***** options, there are also some supportive measures you can try. To start, you can take him in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear some of the snot congesting him. You can also use a baby nebulizer, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces. Therefore, we can often make little ‘steam tents’ with the kitty in their carrier, a humidifier, and a light bed sheet over both to make a little steam room for him.

If he sounds congested in his nose/upper airway, then you can also use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist or Little Noses) but not anything medicated. Tilt the head back and drop 2-3 drops in one nostril. Cats hate this, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril.

Furthermore, keeping our kitties eating is important, as cats with upper airway infections that cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat as well as they should. Therefore, do try tempting him with smelly wet foods (since they are high in water). It may help to warm it up a bit in the microwave to help him be able to smell it. Offering kitten food, a liquid diet (ie Clinicare Renal, Catsure) or a calorie rich diet (ie Hils A/D) can also get more into him per bite and could avoid us needing to syringe feeding him.

Overall, I am concerned that Thorne may have a secondary upper airway infection or pneumonia causing his current signs and that they may be taking advantage of his body if it is struggling with the kidneys. Therefore, we’d want to start the above to try to ease his signs but may need to consider those other treatments from his vet to ease his breathing and help him fight this.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

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

Dr. B.

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