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He is letharic, and drooling and acting as if his throat is…

He is letharic, and...

He is letharic, and drooling and acting as if his throat is sore of difficutly in swallowing. He ate and drank earlier, but he becomes more involved as time goes. He is about 9 months old. We had an older cat who died last week with similar symptoms. She was an outdoor/indoor cat and I assumed she ate or drank something and was poisoned. However, this cat does not go outside. He also feels feverish..

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Did you see what the cat ate?

He eats Kitten Chow and adult Cat Chow that is left for them to eat as they wish. They also eat canned Little Friskies once a day.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
The adult cat lived for approximately 72 hours after symptoms began and she had diarrhea. I have not seen this cat having diarrhea
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
They were both breathing through their mouths.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
They both had an upper respiratory infection a few months ago that was successfully treated with antibiotics--runny nose and eyes, sneezing.
Answered in 11 minutes by:
3/27/2018
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,827
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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I'm sorry to hear about your fellow's lethargy, drooling, sore throat and I understand you are very concerned given your other cat having similar symptoms and passing away within 3 days.

This sounds 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 to pneumonia.

I suspect his drooling and lethargy are both due to a very sore throat.

These viruses are easily picked up as they are spread by aerosol when a sick cat sneezes or through nasal or oral secretions when kitties share food and water bowls and litter boxes or outdoor spaces. 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. There is a virulent form of Calici Virus can cause diarrhea too and can be much more lethal than the usual form.

Given that your other cat passed away I am concerned that your environment is currently contaminated by a more virulent variant and ideally he would be seen on an emergency basis tonight to start aggressive supportive care.
If your cat has an immunosuppressive virus like Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus he may be sicker, longer or be more likely to get pneumonia and need veterinary care. Has he been tested for these viruses? If not that would be something I recommend your veterinarian doing.

Some of these viruses can cause severe ulceration of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract which will interfere with eating.

If you cannot get him in tonight 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 him eat a little better.

It's also possible that he has a very sore throat and that makes swallowing painful.

Supportive care includes making sure he continues to eat. Spoiling him by warming some canned food or adding tuna or meat baby food to increase its smell and palatability is fine. Encourage water drinking and add water or broth to the food if necessary. If he won't eat and drink on his own at all after 24 to 48 hours of not eating you will need to use a syringe (medicine dropper) and force feed him. You can use canned food mixed with water or meat baby foods.
His throat may feel better if you put him in the bathroom with you when you take hot steamy showers.

If his nose gets very congested you can use sterile saline nose drops to loosen the mucous and flush it out. He probably won't like it much but it will help him to breathe easier.
You can use sterile saline to flush his eyes if he 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 him an L-lysine supplement at a dose of 500mg orally twice daily. If this is due to Herpes this will help shorten the infection's duration and it may curtail outbreaks by interfering with virus replication.
If he develops a discharge that is green or yellow that indicates a secondary bacterial infection in which case oral antibiotics will be helpful. He will need to see a veterinarian for those.
If he runs a fever more then 104F, stops eating entirely, or is very lethargic or has a bloody nasal discharge, or has vomiting and/or diarrhea he should see a veterinarian.
If the primary symptoms were a high fever, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea then Feline Distemper would be possible too, but his symptoms seem more primary respiratory given what you have described.

It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope that I have earned my 5 star rating. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). You are welcome to ask follow up questions about my response here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,827
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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