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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16311
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My cat is about 14 years old she has stopped grooming her

Customer Question

My cat is about 14 years old she has stopped grooming her self her coat is getting nappy .she has a squeak almost like a wheezing when she's sleeping I'm not sure if it's a purr or a wheeze. She has developed a lump in her jaw and paws at her mouth after she eats soft food .she is a indoor cat. I Am not able to take her to the doctors because she is not good with other people. And I am on a fixed income
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about your cat?
Customer: She has not had any shots since she was 2 years of age
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 8 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 8 months ago.

I am sorry to hear that your girl has stopped grooming herself, has a wheeze, has a sensitive lump in her jaw and that she paws at her mouth after eating, but I am pleased to hear that she is still eating.
The most likely causes for her symptoms are related to the lump and include an abscessed tooth root, a bacterial or fungal infection in her jawbone, or a tumor in her jaw. I suspect she isn't grooming because it is painful to do so.
I understand that she is not easy to handle and your finances are limited but this is not something you can help her with at home. She needs to see a veterinarian for an examination, sedation and radiographs of her jaw as well as collecting a biopsy and samples for bacterial and fungal cultures.

This may be a tumor given her age, but if this is an infection we need to get her on medications as quickly as possible. These infections can take months to resolve when they involve the bone, and the best chance of success is treating as soon as possible.

If a regular veterinary clinic is beyond your means financially now your other option is to contact your local shelter or humane society and see if they run a low cost clinic or know of one in your area.

If not here is a web-page that lists some that may be able to help:

Other sources of help can be found here:

In the meantime feed soft foods, add water or broth to her meals to make sure she takes in enough fluids, and try to help her groom by brushing her.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I try to brush her I used to be a master groomer until I got sick she eats dry food grain free and I make her chicken and tuna I don't drive and have to rely on my kids who are very busy for transportation
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
she drinks plenty of water I have a forever waterer
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your prompt response and help
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I will look into the information you gave me
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 8 months ago.

I would try adding warm water or broth to her dry food to make it softer and easier to chew.

As long as she is eating then just continue to do your best with her and try to get her help as soon as you can, but if she stops eating then she really needs help.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Will do thanks again
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 8 months ago.

You are very welcome, my best to your girl.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can you give a cat azithromycin
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 8 months ago.

Cats can take Azithromycin, but it is an antibiotic that we reserve for particular types of respiratory infections. It is not one I would necessarily pick for a bone infection, as it wouldn't be the best one for that.

It can cause stomach upset too.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
That's what I take it for to avoid respatory infection 250 milligrams I wouldn't give it to her unless it was safe .
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 8 months ago.

I would hold off on giving that to her, especially until we know what is going on with her.