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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30398
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Both cats are coughing, but not often. Maybe once every 2-3

Customer Question

Hi both cats are coughing, but not often. Maybe once every 2-3 days that we hear- has been going on last 8 weeks. I have a video clip of one of them coughing. Both seen by the vet within last 3 weeks. no fever, no discharge from eye or nose. Both eating okay and active. they are indoor/outdoor cats. Reason to worry? Vet at clinic suspects a low grade upper respiratory issue that should resolve on its own unless symptoms get worse. Any thoughts?
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. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the cat?
Customer: I prefer a veterinarian to comment
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
seems the video clip I have is 17 mb
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Coughing cats are either suffering from the feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) or are asthmatic. Because it would be unlikely for two cats in a household to be asthmatic and FHV-1 is highly contagious, FHV-1 geta my vote for what ails them. In most cases , FHV-1 goes into remission unaided within 1-3 weeks. Because both are stilll symptomatic, a secondary bacterial infection (Mycoplasma/Chlamydophila, e.g.) should be considered. These, too, should go into remission unaided but it wouldn't be unreasonable to treat them with doxycyline - the antibiotic of choice for those bacteria. If you didn't see a positive response to the doxycyline, the antiviral drug famciclovir can be considered in an attempt to put FHV-1 back into its carrier state.

You'll need to upload videos to YouTube or similar app and then give me the link to it. Make sure that you didn't mark the video as private.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
https://youtu.be/wbxaYVpmxDQ
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Thank you. Give me a moment to take a look, please...

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Thank you. A shallow cough more likely to arise from the upper rather lower (lungfields) respiratory tree. Again, FHV-1 +/- secondary bacterial infection is most likely. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is it possible to have a secondary bacterial infection but no fever?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Certainly. Not all infections are pyrogenic - fever producing.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Since they are coughing infrequently and eating well, do you think waiting another week or two is ok? the last cough we heard from this cat was 7 days ago.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I do, yes. I don't see any urgency to do anything more than continuing to monitor particularly because the last cough was so long ago.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
thanks and final question... if they both continue to cough 1-3 times a week only,how many more weeks do you think it is okay to wait to treat with Doxycyline.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

In that case, I wouldn't wait more than another week because they'll have been coughing for a total of 9 weeks.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I appreciate your help
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.