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I think she has hairballs that she can't cough up, How can I…

Customer Question
I think she has...

I think she has hairballs that she can't cough up, How can I help her?

Veterinarian's Assistant: 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 and age?

She is Minnie Girl and maybe five years old,

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the cat's name?

Minnie

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Minnie?

Just the trying to cough up something after meals.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
11/24/2017
Cat Veterinarian: Dr Gwen, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr Gwen
Dr Gwen, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 528
Experience: Ten years experience in critical care, preventative medicine, behavioral, and chronic cases in cats.
Verified

Hello, thank you for contacting us at Just Answer. I have just a few questions about Minnie to be able to help you today. Does she live indoors or does she also go out? Are there other cats in the house? Is she current on vaccines? Is she a specific breed? If you could let me know that information I will do my best to help!

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
She's an indoor/outdoor cat with four non-relatives. They have all had their vaccines. She's looks like a tortoise shell cat .
Cat Veterinarian: Dr Gwen, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Thank you for those answers. Are the other cats acting normal? Does she have long hair or short hair? Finally, has the coughing just started today or has it been going on for awhile?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
It;s been ongoing, None of them are long haired cats. She has previously coughed up long hairballs, which I suspect is her current problem, She just can't get them up.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I think she may be a bit overweight since we had her fixed.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr Gwen, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Ok, that is very helpful. If the coughing is strictly due to hairballs, there are a number of products that you can use to alleviate these symptoms. Some of them can be found at your local pet store. I have frequently advised cat owners to purchase a product called Laxatone. Most cats do well with a small amount of it once a week. It is a gel that they will readily consume that helps them pass the hairballs. There are also special foods formulated to help alleviate the hairballs as well. This is only going to help her coughing if it is due to hairballs. As there are a number of other reasons that can cause a cat to cough, I would recommend having her checked out by your vet when possible. There are some fairly serious conditions, such as asthma or heart disease, that can also cause coughing but are impossible to diagnose without a thorough exam and possibly even radiographs. I hope this is helpful and that Minnie stops coughing for you soon!

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you. I give her a little oil, melted butter (sometimes yogurt which is probably a no-no), but they seem to help the food go down. She hasn't actually coughed anything up in weeks, Would the hairballs cause her girth to increase? She has gotten bigger (around) since her surgery.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr Gwen, Cat Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Hairballs would not cause her to gain weight or look bigger. Oil and butter are really not good for cats or dogs - they just don't process fats the way we do, so you run the risk of causing problems (pancreatitis, gastritis, weight gain) when you give these, even just a little. The main reason yogurt is a no-no is because cats aren't really equipped to handle dairy. They enjoy it, and historically it seemed ok to give our cats a saucer of milk, but decades of research into their nutrition has shown that dairy is not a good item for our pets. It is more likely that she has put on some weight since her surgery - since she goes outside she also may be finding a friend that gives her treats and food as well that would contribute to the weight gain. Finally, there may be a more serious medical component to this in that if she does have heart disease, she could have fluid build up in her abdomen giving the appearance of weight gain. Based on what you have described I think this is not likely, but wanted to give you as much information as possible.

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Dr Gwen
Dr Gwen, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 528
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Experience: Ten years experience in critical care, preventative medicine, behavioral, and chronic cases in cats.

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