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He is gagging like he has a hair ball. Pickles and 4, I also…

He is gagging like...

He is gagging like he has a hair ball

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?

Pickles and 4, I also just got a kitten that had an upper respiratory infection

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Pickles?

He is sleeping a lot, and I'm not sure if he is getting fluids

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Answered in 2 hours by:
11/12/2017
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 23,020
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long has he been showing signs?

Is he bringing anything up?

Can he eat or drink at all?

Any coughing, sneezing or changes in breathing?

Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

Could he have eaten anything harmful (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, human meds, etc)?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
For the last three days, I haven't seen anything come up, but he keeps swallowing. No coughing, sneezing or changes in breathing. Gums are pink, can't tale if moist or sticky. I did see him drink this morning. No to eaten anything

Hello again,

Now the gagging does raise a few concerns. Given his signs and your history, especially if the kitten has had an upper respiratory infection, I would be primarily suspicious that Pickles has a mild case herpes virus. This is so often spread by new cats in a household and in adult cats (who are more immune robust) they tend to just get mild signs (and this virus is know to cause tracheitis/throat inflammation). Of course, we'd also have to keep a possible GI upset (bacterial or viral gut infection, pancreatitis, parasites, etc) in our minds.

Given these suspicions, we can consider some supportive care. To soothe the throat from irritation, we could try him on a mild cough suppressant like glycerin/honey cough syrup (with no drugs in it) or even plain honey. Both can be very soothing to the irritated and tickly throat. Typically we will give a 1-2 milliliter (~1/4-1/2 teaspoon) as needed. Though if you are concerned he has some nausea, we can cover both angles at once with a liquid antacid (ie Milk of Magnesia -0.25tsp every 12 hours). That will coat the throat but also reduce upset in the gut.

Furthermore, since feline herpes virus is a suspect, we can also start OTC L-lysine. This is a nutritional supplement that can help them recover quicker. This is available over the counter at vets, pet stores, and even online. They come as gels, powders, and as crushable tablets that can be mixed into food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day.

Finally, its not totally clear if he is not eating (or that you meant he hasn't likely eaten anything harmful - my suspicion to what you meant) but if he has any appetite loss I'd note that we can offer canned kitten food, Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are critical care diets that are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise when they have appetite loss. So, that could be used as well if needed.

Overall, this does sound highly suspicious of herpes virus causing mild signs in an adult cat. Usually they settle without much intervention within a week or so. But you can try to ease Pickles signs with the above Of course, if these signs linger or he developed those other signs, then we'd want the local vet involved to confirm our concerns and dispense cat safe anti-inflammatories to reduce throat inflammation (since human ones are toxic for kitties) +/- antibiotics to help us nip this in the bud.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you, ***** ***** try this

You are very welcome, my dear.

Have a lovely day,

Dr. B.

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Please rate me with the **STARS** (or leave a written rating of 1-5; 5 being great) as this is the only way I am credited for my work by the site & this allows me to continue to help here. This is included in your question fee. Once you rate, your question will not close & you can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you. : )**

Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
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Satisfied Customers: 23,020
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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