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My 11 year old cat seems out of sorts and is gagging a lot,

Customer Question
also seems to have lost...
My 11 year old cat seems out of sorts and is gagging a lot, also seems to have lost her voice.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Cats have coughing problems all the time but it is worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Moo
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the cat?
Customer: No other medical issues she's never been sick before
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 26 minutes by:
7/28/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,122
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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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.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about Moo's loss of his voice, gagging and out of sorts behavior, and I'd like to help.

This does sound like an upper respiratory infection. Symptoms can range from a sore throat, loss of voice, lethargy, fever, nasal and/or eye discharge, sneezing and coughing. These are easily picked up as they are spread by aerosol when a sick cat sneezes. Just like a cold in us most of these are caused by viruses. Most respiratory infections clear up with supportive care and don't need any sort of medication. For the most part these viruses run their course in 7 to 10 days. There are some viruses however that are more virulent or aggressive than others.
If your cat has an immunosuppressive virus like Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus she may be sicker, longer or be more likely to get pneumonia and need veterinary care. Has she been tested for these viruses? If not that would be something I recommend your veterinarian doing if her symptoms persist beyond a couple weeks. Not an emergency if you don't have other cats at home but it will be something you want to be aware of as it will affect her health.

Some of these viruses can cause severe ulceration of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract which will interfere with eating and cause them to gag. If she isn't eating well to help reduce the amount of gastric acid being produced (which makes these ulcers more painful) you can give Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of 1/4 of a 10mg tablet per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight every 12 hours. This may help her eat a little better.

Supportive care includes making sure she continues to eat and take in fluids. Spoiling her by warming some canned food or adding tuna or meat baby food to increase its smell and palatability is fine if her appetite is off. Encourage water drinking and add water to the food if necessary. If she won't eat and drink on her own after 24 to 48 hours then you will need to use a syringe (medicine dropper) and force feed her. You can use canned food mixed with water or meat baby foods.
She may breathe easier and help her throat feel better if you put her in the bathroom with you when you take hot steamy showers. If her nose gets very congested you can use sterile saline nose drops to loosen the mucous and flush it out. She probably won't like it much but it will help her to breathe easier.
You can use sterile saline to flush the eyes if she gets a lot of mucous in them and artificial tears several times a day to keep them hydrated and comfortable.
Sometimes these viruses will become a chronic problem leading to on and off episodes of sneezing or eye discharge.

Two common respiratory infections are caused by Herpes virus or Chlamydia. You can give her an L-lysine supplement at a dose of 500mg orally twice daily to help shorten the infection and it may curtail outbreaks by interfering with virus replication.
If she develops a discharge that is green or yellow that indicates a secondary bacterial infection in which case oral antibiotics will be helpful. She will need to see her veterinarian for those.
If she runs a fever more then 103.5F, stops eating entirely, or is very lethargic or has a bloody nasal discharge she should see her veterinarian.
Because she is an older girl other possibilities for her symptoms are a nasopharyngeal polyp or a mass in her larynx so if she's not improving at all after a week she should be seen by your family veterinarian.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your kitty. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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