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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
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Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Very worried. 5 yr old male. Very larthegic ... laying in

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Very worried. 5 yr old male . Very larthegic
... laying in same place. Won't eat. No sneezing or vomiting. Have a second cat who is kinda new to us. She has a minor respiratory bug.

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

How long has he had these signs?

Any retching, gagging, lip licking, drooling, or breathing changes?

Any coughing or discharges from the eyes or nose?

Can you confirm he can pass urine?

Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Lip licking. He seems to look like he has cotton mouth. No coughing. No sneezing. No discharge. Seems like he is urinating . Has been this way about 3-4 days.

Hello again,

Now I share your concern here; especially if this has been ongoing for days already.

Though his signs are vague and do fit with the body fighting off a respiratory bug (usually herpes as it causes throat ulcers) but also nausea (from a gut infection, something he ate, pancreatitis, etc) since both can cause lip licking and appetite loss in cats. With this in mind, we'd want to start supportive care for him. To do so, we can try to counter nausea with an OTC pet safe antacid [ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose @, Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @]. Or we could even use a liquid antacid (ie Milk of Magnesia - 0.25tsp every 12 hours) as it will help with nausea but coat his throat at the same time. Whichever you choose, we’d give this 20 minutes before offering food to allow absorption. Of course, do double check with your vet if he has a known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Afterwards, we'd want to tempt with small meals of a light/easily digestible diet like boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled eggs, or meat baby food (garlic/onion free). There are also OTC vet diets that can be used (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity) too. Of course, if he cannot be tempted, we can offer or syringe feed watered down kitten food Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise. And that we can head off him causing himself a secondary liver issue (hepatic lipidosis) here.

Since dehydration is a risk, we need to keep an eye on hydration here. To ensure he’s not becoming dehydrated, there are a few things you can test at home. Further to checking for gum moisture, you will want to make sure his eyes are not looking sunken and that he doesn’t have a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a good video HERE ( If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then that would be our cue to have him seen before this becomes an additional issue (especially as it is often dehydration that makes them feel unwell).

Furthermore, since feline herpes virus is a suspect, we can also start OTC L-lysine. This is a nutritional supplement that can help them recover quicker. This is available over the counter at vets, pet stores, and even online. They come as gels, powders, and as crushable tablets that can be mixed into food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day.

Overall, his signs do raise a few concerns. It is quite possible he has contracted herpes from this new cat but nausea is also a concern with these signs. Therefore, we’d want to start supportive care to cover all bases. Though if we cannot get him eating properly with the above in the next 12-24 hours; then we'd want to get his vet involved. They can assess his hydration, check for the above, and start him on appetite stimulants, injectable anti-nausea medication +/- antibiotics to get him eating properly for us.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

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Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you so much. We will begin these. He had been seen at vet but I wanted extra feedback. Thanks again!

You are very welcome, my dear.

Hopefully it is just a wee viral infection from the other kitty that we can help his immune system nip in the bud.

All the best,

Dr. B.

Hi Kristie,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Kristie Becker. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Well Chester is now eating a little each day and drinking. He is urinating, and moving around, also purring again and laying with me like he always did. However., he is not playful yet. Also he is swallowing hard like we do with a soar throat. Does that seem to reconfirm herpes? Throat trouble? I have been giving lysine to both cats.

Good afternoon,

As herpes old name is "viral rhinotracheitis" (meaning inflammation of the nose and trachea) that sore throat very much fits. So, it sounds like he is moving in a positive direction and we'd want to keep treating as his body subdues the virus (usually it takes up to 2 weeks to do so) and as he does I expect he will get back to playing as usual again,

All the best,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
glad. Our new kitty still is sneezing a ton. Our vet said she will have to fight it. Will the sneezing subside soon? It has been a month

Hi again,

Usually they do need to fight it off and our supportive care usually helps them to do so. But if the new kitty still has signs a month on that does make me a bit concerned for her. In that case, if there is any snotty discharge (since secondary bacterial infections can impede them getting over these) she may need antibiotics. But otherwise if this keeps up, we'd question if she has something else immune suppressing her (ie FIV, FeLV --though hopefully she was tested for those before she came home) or if she has some nasal remodelling/scaring (something we see when young kittens get herpes -- in which case they can be chronic sneezers from that because of the change in nasal airflow) playing a role here.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
She is crusty around eyes and nose. She was tested for those. May get her antibiotics
Thank you so much
Your help has been such a worry reliever without several vet trips which are costly. This is an awesome service.

You are very welcome, my dear.

I am glad I could be of help to you all. And if she is quite crusty, I'd note that we could use sterile saline (ie OTC first aid eye wash, plain contact lens solution) to flush and clear that discharge away a few times daily. As well, you can even use a 2-3 drops per nostril to help reduce any nasal mucus build up or even try steam treating her (by taking her in the bathroom while you run a hot shower) to just see if we can get her a bit clearer as well.

All the best,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok. Thanks again!

You are welcome,

Have a lovely day :)

Dr. B.

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