How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10143
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a female 15 year old cat she has upper resp infection

This answer was rated:

i have a female 15 year old cat she has upper resp infection with alot of mucos i know how to start iv to hydrate her but does it go subq or iv.gave her amox, and benadryl she isnt eating and only drinking a little water HELP me

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry that your cat isn't feeling well.

1. Can you tell me about how much she weighs?

2. How much Amoxicillin and Benadryl are you giving her?

3. How long has she been sick?

Thanks, Deb

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
she is about 10 lbs . i gave her .3 ml of amox.and .3ml of benadryl she has been this way for about 4 days i have 6 female cats all fixed and never go out side only drink poland spring water
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
my phone is out so please just email me thank you i am a med assit for 22 years i am good with people but cats do not talk. she isnt in pain at all

Thanks for the answers to my questions. My state board prohibits phone conversations anyway so this is the preferred format for me:)

Please give me time to type back a response for you. My answers tend to be a bit on the lengthy side so I'll thank you in advance for your patience. Deb

As you probably know, most Upper Respiratory Infection's (URI) or the cat flu are going to be secondary to viruses with Herpes or Calici viruses being the two most common causes of this condition in a cat.

Secondary bacterial infections can develop (the nasal and/or eye discharge can be green or yellowish in color) and when this happens, antibiotics are usually pretty effective at helping to get these infections under control. I personally prefer Clavamox to Amoxicillin since there's so much resistance to it these days but if that's all you have, then this is what I'd give.

If the underlying virus is Calici, then ulcers can develop on the nose, tongue and surfaces of the mouth which are very uncomfortable/painful. These cats will often drool or show disinterest in food if severe enough. This may be why she isn't eating as much (she's too painful) although she could also be running a mild fever.

These episodes typically last anywhere from 10-14 days just to give you an idea of the time line.

As you no doubt know, supportive care will be cricital for Bandit, especially given her age. Towards that end, the following would be my suggestions:

1. Give the fluids you have SQ since it's going to be quite difficult to get an IV catheter into her. I'd give approximately 100 cc's once or twice a day given her weight. If the fluids aren't absorbed and have pooled down her arm or the side of her body, then I'd not give any more until it is.

2. I understand your use of Benadryl (to help dry up secretions) but it hasn't proven to be that terribly effective in these patients. It also has the potential downside of causing sedation which is not a symptom we want. So, I might rethink use of this drug.

3. Use warm water to clean the eyes and nose of any discharge that builds up which you're probably already doing. Over the counter artificial tears can be used to flush out the eyes if necessary.
4. Nasal decongestant drops can be helpful although many cats don’t like them very much as you can imagine. The medicated ones (a-c below) should only be used for three days in a row, with one drop in each nostril; otherwise what’s known as a rebound effect may occur. This is one reason why I prefer"d":

a. Pediatric otrivin=0.05% xylometazoline

b. “Little Noses" Decongestant Nose Drops with phenylephrine hydrochloride
c. Oxymetazoline which is the primary ingredient in Afrin or Zicam

d. "Little Noses" Saline Spray/Drops non medicated which can be used more than three days in a row.

4. You can place her in a bathroom with hot water running so that the steam can loosen up secretions which is somewhat wasteful of water; a better solution would be use of a humidifier to moisten the air she breaths.

5. L-lysine can help with any eye issues if they're present.. Herpes viruses can settle in the eyes and cause l issues there This supplement would be given daily (250 mg) The feline product is available on the internet as either a chewable treat or a paste; the human version comes in a capsule and the contents can be sprinkled on wet food (if the patient is eating) and given this way as another option.

6. Force feeding is sometimes necessary in these cats if they aren’t eating. You can mix canned food (or human baby food but avoid onion and garlic formulations) with a lot of water in a blender and use an eyedropper or syringe to squirt some of this liquid into the side of the mouth where there's a gap. This will be especially important since she's older with fewer reserves than a younger cat would have.

7. Probiotics such as Forti Flora have been shown to help many of these cats with URI's; probiotics aren’t just useful for gastrointestinal issues. This particular product is available as a powder which is sprinkled on the food everyday (or mixed with #6) and can be purchased at many pet/grain stores or online.

Hopefully, the intensive treatment protocols as outlined above will be sufficient to get her past this. Deb

Hello again,

I'm just following up on Bandit. How is she doing? Deb

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thank you for your advice she seems to be a little better she has peed, for the first time in 4 days i am force feeding her food and water . i have given her about 200 cc of 0.9 per cent sodium chloride sq and , saline nasal spray and amox. she is walking a little more but still a little weak. i am off on friday so i will also give her more fluid sq so i can watch her.Again Thank you for all you advice and i know she will be fine she has a lot of support and 5 other females pulling for her.THANK YOU

I'm glad that I could help and that Bandit appears to be responding to your supportive treatment.

Hopefully, she'll continue to improve and will soon put this episode behind her:) Continued best wishes that this is the case. Deb

Dr. Deb and 3 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you