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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21419
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Just adopted a 10 week old kitten yesterday from SPCA. He

Customer Question

Just adopted a 10 week old kitten yesterday from SPCA. He sneezes and has a runny nose, clear discharge, and watery eyes. Also clear. What can I do to help him?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the kitten's name?
Customer: Dipper
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Dipper?
Customer: He seems a bit underweight
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 months ago.

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

Now based on his signs, we'd be quite suspicious of cat flu (aka feline upper respiratory infection) here. This is very common to see in the first few weeks when a rescue kitty comes home. And if the discharge is clear, we'd be most suspicious of viral agents like herpes or calicivirus. With these in mind, we can try some supportive care at this stage. Of course, if you see any snotty/green/yellow discharge from his eyes or nose (a sign of bacteria) at any point and if its one sided (usually a clue something is stuck up the nose) then we'd need the local vet involved as antibiotics would be indicated.

That said, in regards ***** ***** measures, we can start with steam treatment for Dipper. To do so, you can take him in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear discharge from the airway. You can also use a baby nebulizer, but often they don’t like things held up to their faces. So, if you find that to be an issue, you can make a little ‘steam tent’ with him in a carrier, the nebulizer next to that, and a bed sheet over both.

Furthermore, if he is building up mucus that the steam isn't shifting, use a cotton ball moistened with warm water to wipe away crust and mucus. As well, non-medicated saline nasal drops (ie Ocean Mist or Little Noses) can be used. To do so, just tilt the head back and drop 2-3 drops in one nostril. Not a favorite, 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.

Making sure he is getting food and water is important, as congested cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat as well as they should. Therefore, if need be, try offering smelly wet foods (since they are high in water). It may help to warm it up a bit in the microwave to help him smell it. And if he is underweight, do make sure he is wormed monthly until he is 6 months, but also consider supplementing his diet with extra calories via Nutrical paste, Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet to her daily feeds. All of these are critical care diets that are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise

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, this does sound highly suspicious of an upper respiratory based infection with wee Dipper. Therefore, you can try the above to help give him some relief. Of course, if these signs linger or are severe, then we'd want the local vet involved. They can confirm our concerns and dispense cat safe decongestants (since human ones are toxic for kitties) +/- antibiotics to help us nip this in the bud.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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