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VetTechErin
VetTechErin, Licensed Vet Tech
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience:  Published author in veterinary medical journals and on the Veterinary Information Network with a focus in toxicology
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My cat has sores all over his body, and a cough. Initially

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My cat has sores all over his body, and a cough. Initially lost weight but put on can food and coat looks healhier and put weight back on. What could he possibly have and are the sores and cough related

VetTechErin :

Hi there! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would be happy to help you with your question about Biscuit. I'm sorry it took someone so long to get back with you. Did you still need help?

Customer: Yes
VetTechErin :

I'm sorry to hear that Biscuit has been having some trouble with sores on his body and a cough! From what you describe, it sounds like he may have had an issue with food allergies. Cats can be allergic to ingredients in their food, at it may be that he was sensitive to something in the dry food that wasn't present in the wet food.

VetTechErin :

The sores and coughing may be a sign of the allergic reaction that he had to the food, or possibly even something he came into contact with, or inhaled (cats can experience inhalation and contact allergies as well, such as to pollens, molds, fungus, smoke, etc.).

VetTechErin :

Since he is still experiencing the sores and the cough after the food change, there could be a couple of things going on. It's possible that he could have a secondary bacterial infection that is keeping his skin from healing without antibiotics. Similarly, if the food switch was recent, it may take a while for his skin to clear up (sometimes it can take up to 8-12 weeks for the symptoms of a food allergy to disappear after a switch to a new diet).

VetTechErin :

Cats can suffer from coughing due to asthema, which can be brought on by allergies as well.

VetTechErin :

However, since he was also experiencing weight loss and a poor coat quality as well as a cough, it's possible that he might be suffering from an endocrine disorder. There is a disease older cats can develop called "hyperthyroidism" in which their thyroid gland starts overproducing the hormone that regulates their metabolism.

VetTechErin :

Some of the symptoms you might see related to this disease are hair loss and skin problems, poor coat quality, a sudden loss of weight, even though their diet or appetite hasn't changed, or even heart issues which can cause them difficulty breathing.

VetTechErin :

Since Biscuit is still having trouble with his skin and his cough, it would be a good idea to get him into a vet to assess his skin and determine if he requires an antibiotic, or if he needs to have some blood work done to rule out the possibility of another disease, like hyperthyroidism. If he is indeed having problems with allergies, your vet will be able to make some sugestions about medications to help with his allergies (one of the more common ones is over-the-counter plain Benadryl at a dose of 0.25-0.5 mgs per pound of body weight every 12-24 hours to help with symptoms of scratching, watery eyes and sneezing that can be associated with allergies).

VetTechErin :

Hyperthyroidism can be regulated through medication, but it can cause problems, and even become deadly if left untreated.

VetTechErin :

Since Biscuit's cough indicates that he is having a problem with his respiratory system, even if it is mild at this point, keep an eye out for signs that he is worsening. If he starts to breathe with his mouth open, if he pants, if he's breathing fast and heavily, if he becomes listless, or if his gums change from a nice pink to a blue color, this would be considered an emergency, and even something like asthma associated with allergies can become an emergency if any of the above signs develop.

VetTechErin :

If you have any follow-up questions or concerns, or if you need clarification on anything I have said, please feel free to reply to me until you are satisfied, and I would be glad to address any concerns or clarify any part of my answer. Otherwise, I hope this information was helpful to both you and Biscuit, and that he's on the road to recovery soon!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I was worried he might have feline leukemia. He had been in a fight with I don't know what but he had 4 holes in the back of his neck. I treated him with peroxide and neosporin cream. He healed just fine has a scar but was wondering if this could be the cause of his condition because it all happened after that,
If Biscuit is an outdoor kitty and was not vaccinated for FeLV, then he is certainly at a higher risk for contracting FeLV. It is transmitted through bodily fluids, and a bite from another cat could transmit it through saliva.

The incubation period (which is the period of time between infection and when the symptoms start to show) is about eight weeks, so if he developed his symptoms RIGHT after the bite, it is unlikely that the bite itself caused the transmission, but that does not preclude him from having been exposed to the virus at a previous date. Since he does go outdoors and can possibly have interactions with other cats, it's ALWAYS a good idea to have him tested. Many vets will even recommend yearly testing for cats who go outside to be on the safe side.

Some of the symptoms you might see are recurring respiratory infections, difficulties breathing, skin infections, poor hair coat, swollen lymph nodes, and sores in their mouths (called stomatitis) that can cause them difficulties with eating dry food.

There is a blood test that most vet clinics can perform in-house to determine if your cat has contracted FeLV or FIV. If Biscuit comes up positive, that does not necessarily mean that there is nothing you can do for him. Your vet will be able to go over your options with you based on how aggressively you would wish to treat, how far the disease has progressed, and if you live in a multiple-cat household where there may be risk of transmission to your other cats (in such a case, you would want to test all of your cats, as if one has contracted it, there is a possibility that they all could have done so).

Treatment can range from chemotherapy to steroids and anti-viral medications, all of which can help reduce the impact of the disease on Biscuit's body. However, the first step would be to have a blood test done at the vet to determine if he has contracted the virus.
VetTechErin and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Vanessa,

I just wanted to check back up with you and see how Biscuit was doing! What were the results of the testing?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Biscuit had a urinary tract infection and a skin allergy is on antibiotics and doing much better
Thank you for the update! I am so glad to hear it was nothing serious! I hope he continues to get better! :)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
:):):):):)