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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My cat is almost 14 and lately she has had a runny yellowish

Customer Question

My cat is almost 14 and lately she has had a runny yellowish nose and eye good yellowish also. She has even before this been losing alot of weight. Up Till today her appetite has been great. She drinks lots of water also. But yesterday and today her breathing has been hard and fast. Now this evening I can't get her to eat or drink. I don't have a job nor electricity I can't afford a vets trip. What can I do,
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with cats and dogs. I'm really sorry to hear that your cat hasn't been doing well. It sounds like she's been sick awhile and it's been progressing, which can dertainly happen with older kitties. An upper respiratory infection can start as a mild viral infection but just like us, they can progress on to a secondary bacterial infection. This is more likely to happen if they are older or their immune system is compromised from other disease like diabetes, kidney disease, or any other chronic illness. Excess drinking can be a sign of diabetes or kidney disease, which are common illnesses in older kitties that can lead to the type of decompensation that you're seeing. I'm most concerned by your observation that her breathing is hard and fast - if she's in any sort of respiratory distress, this could be a life threatening situation. I know that this isn't what you want to hear, but if you want to give her the best chance at getting through this, she really needs veterinary care ASAP. I know that finances are tight for you, and veterinary care can definitely be a stretch. If she's in respiratory distress, as her age with the other potential problems happening, it's also reasonable to begin considering humane euthanasia for her so that she won't have to suffer. Many emergency clinics can provide this service at a lower or no cost - the same is true for humane societies and animal shelters.

While seeking emergency care ASAP would be the best thing for her - you can help with the congestion by humidifying her - either by keeping her in a small room with a humidifier or running a hot shower to steam up your bathroom. You can use plain nasal saline drops placed into each nostril to help break up the congestion. Cats who have upper respiratory congestion are less likely to eat because they really need to smell their food - which is difficult when they are so congested. You may have more luck getting her to eat canned food, particularly if you warm it up a bit so it smells stronger. Other things you can try would be tuna, coocked chicken, or baby food. We also used to stock clam juice in my hospital ICU and find that some cats like clam juice when they are ill.

I hope that this info is helpful - please let me know what other questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara

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