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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21709
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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He is panting for air. We know he needs oxygen. He has fluid

Customer Question

He is panting for air. We know he needs oxygen.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the cat?
Customer: He has fluid around an enlarged heart. He was in the animal clinic 2 weeks ago overnight- got oxygen , LASIK and they took X-rays. He us 15 and has heart problems and perhaps a mass. He was given prednisone for the last 2 weeks and rallied- was like himself. Friday night he started showing symptoms again. I don't want him to suffer but if we could just get him some oxygen...
JA: Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the veterinarian has to say. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Zephyr
JA: Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about Zephyr?
Customer: He is big- 20 pounds- part Maine Coon and the sweetest guy
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  petdrz replied 9 months ago.

Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am Dr Z. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with a reply ASAP.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you. We have access to an oxygen tank and are wondering if we can use it for Zephyr.
Expert:  petdrz replied 9 months ago.

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Zephyr today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 30 years of experience and would be happy work with you.

Has he been receiving lasix since the vet visit 2 weeks ago as well as the prednisolone.?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No- he hasn't seemed to need it as I was giving him prednisone. I was going to ask our vet tomorrow if he could get that.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have his patient report and it details what they gave him. Is there some way I can take a photo of it?
Expert:  petdrz replied 9 months ago.

If he has an enlarged heart and fluid in his chest, the prednisone would be doing very little for that and it is likely that the lasix he received then was what helped and that it has just now built back up again to the point that he is having trouble breathing. What he most likely needs most is to get that fluid off out of his chest. Oxygen will only help so much because if he cannot expand his lungs due to the fluid, he won't be breathing that much oxygen in.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
He got dexamethazone - 2 mg/ml
Depo medrol - 40 mg/ml injection
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
That was on 10/24
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  petdrz replied 9 months ago.

The problem with the oxygen also is administering it to him. In most cases, they do best in a oxygen cage. Cat's don't like a mask held up to their muzzle, especially if they are having a hard time breathing.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We have a large litter box with cover- could we try that?
Expert:  petdrz replied 9 months ago.

Not being able to catch his breath can lead to a lot of anxiety as well for Zephyr, which further complicates the situation. If you were able to enclose the litterbox to keep the oxygen concentration up, it may help some, but what he really needs if there is fluid in his chest again is an injection of lasix today.

The medications he received would do very little if his previous breathing problem was due to heart disease with fluid. Those are most effective if treating airway disease like asthma.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What about lasix in pill form?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Can you give me a call?
Expert:  petdrz replied 9 months ago.

That is not usually as effective as an injection and I wouldn't want to tell you that would be OK to give as I do not know his full medical history or what his diagnosis is.

I am sorry that I am not able to provide the phone call service.

Expert:  petdrz replied 9 months ago.

If he is open mouth breathing, this should be treated as an emergency and he should be seen tonight at an ER facility.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  petdrz replied 9 months ago.

You are welcome. That is really the best course of action for Zephyr and cases like this should not be treated as an outpatient until he is more stable. Good luck with him.