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View Full Version : Cat colds--is urgent care needed?


Rona Y.
July 26th 08, 07:08 PM
My cat has been making sneezing sounds for a few days. At first it
was infrequent (a few times a day), and it sounded a bit like she was
clearing her throat, so I thought she had hairballs. I added
Petromalt to her food to help with that, although she doesn't have a
history of hairballs.

Since yesterday, she has been sneezing more frequently, and has been
sleeping more than usual. She doesn't even want to go outside (she's
allowed out with a harness and leash), which is very unusual for her.
Today I noticed her right eye is a little watery (it wasn't
yesterday). She's still eating and drinking (though not as quickly)
and is using her litter box normally.

At this point, I think she has a cold or respiratory tract infection,
not hairballs. I'm going to call the vet on Monday to take her in
asap (they're pretty good about getting us in last minute), but my
question is--can it wait that long?

I know if it's a cold there's not much a vet can do about it, but if
it's a bacterial infection, she'll need to have antibiotics. Is 48
hours too long to wait see the vet if it is a bacterial infection?
I'm a little worried that if it's an infection, it might develop into
pneumonia, but I do have a tendency to worry too much. I just took
her in for a last minute appointment last week (turned out to be a
minor skin irritation), so I'm trying to avoid another $200 vet bill,
but of course I'll take her to the emergency vet if she needs
immediate care.

Cheryl[_4_]
July 26th 08, 07:22 PM
"Rona Y." > wrote in message
...
> My cat has been making sneezing sounds for a few days. At first it
> was infrequent (a few times a day), and it sounded a bit like she was
> clearing her throat, so I thought she had hairballs. I added
> Petromalt to her food to help with that, although she doesn't have a
> history of hairballs.
>
> Since yesterday, she has been sneezing more frequently, and has been
> sleeping more than usual. She doesn't even want to go outside (she's
> allowed out with a harness and leash), which is very unusual for her.
> Today I noticed her right eye is a little watery (it wasn't
> yesterday). She's still eating and drinking (though not as quickly)
> and is using her litter box normally.
>
> At this point, I think she has a cold or respiratory tract infection,
> not hairballs. I'm going to call the vet on Monday to take her in
> asap (they're pretty good about getting us in last minute), but my
> question is--can it wait that long?
>
> I know if it's a cold there's not much a vet can do about it, but if
> it's a bacterial infection, she'll need to have antibiotics. Is 48
> hours too long to wait see the vet if it is a bacterial infection?
> I'm a little worried that if it's an infection, it might develop into
> pneumonia, but I do have a tendency to worry too much. I just took
> her in for a last minute appointment last week (turned out to be a
> minor skin irritation), so I'm trying to avoid another $200 vet bill,
> but of course I'll take her to the emergency vet if she needs
> immediate care.

Hi Rona. I know you'll hear answers to the contrary but I have a lot of
experience with one of my cats and URIs. She has both calicivirus and
herpes history and is now almost 4 years old.

My rule of thumb is not eating, try forcing or enticing. Always have luck
with her with people food like chicken or ham. Enough to get her eating. I
always start her on lysine at first sign of watery eyes though with her
history she should probably have it daily every day for life. She's just
hard to pill and detects it in food so that fails.

Continued not eating, vet time. If she's drinking and its the weekend I
would still wait until Monday.

Eye/eyes that are so bad they are swollen shut, vet time. Usually I can
treat her eyes with warm compresses made with sterile gauze which I always
keep on hand for her. If they get worse rather than better with the
compresses and lysine treatment, vet, but I still would wait until Monday
because being viral there's not much they can do, and my vet won't even
prescribe antibiotics without a fever going on. Eye drops are sometimes
necessary but I still feel it can wait until Monday.

Before I knew she also had calicivirus flare-ups along with the herpes, I
took her to the ER vet when I found a nasty sore on her mouth. All 4 of my
cats are fairly young and they still play hard and sometimes there are
injuries no matter how much I try to keep up with keeping claws trimmed.
Every one of them has been taken to the vet for injuries and I thought this
was another one. ER vet diagnosed calicivirus flare-up and I took her home
without any prescriptions and no treatment other than making sure she eats
and keep up the lysine.

Good luck and I know how worrisome it can be!

Cheryl

Rona Y.
July 26th 08, 08:59 PM
Thanks, Cheryl!

She's still drinking and eating, but drinking more than eating (we
have to add water to her food, so she has to drink in order to eat,
anyway). I guess that's good, though, because if she does have an
infection, she needs to keep hydrated. She's sleeping now, and still
isn't interested in going outside. During summer she always wants to
go outside (if she's not eating or using the litter box, she's
outside), so it's very unusual behaviour for her.

Other than being a natural worry-wart, I'm also worried because when
we got her from the Humane Society, we were told that she had some
kind of URI when she was found (some dumb-asses got rid of her during
one of the coldest winters in decades--like -40C temperatures plus
windchill and her poor ears were frostbitten, too!). I think I read
that once a cat has had a URI, they're more likely to have a
recurrence. When we adopted her (she was found in February or March,
and we adopted her in July), they gave her some kind of vaccination to
help prevent recurrences, but we were told it may not be 100%
effective.

I'll just keep an eye on her, and if I see that she's not eating or
drinking anymore, she'll go to the emergency vet. We don't free feed
her, so it's pretty easy to see if she's eating or drinking.

Thanks, again! (BTW, I hope all your kitties are fine! How many do
you have now?)

rona

blkcatgal
July 26th 08, 09:56 PM
I think you have a good plan. If she continues to eat and drink, you
probably can wait until Monday. If she stops eating totally, you may want
to consider the emergency vet.

I hope she's feeling better soon.

S.
--
**Visit me and my cats at http://www.island-cats.com/ **
---
"Rona Y." > wrote in message
...
> Thanks, Cheryl!
>
> She's still drinking and eating, but drinking more than eating (we
> have to add water to her food, so she has to drink in order to eat,
> anyway). I guess that's good, though, because if she does have an
> infection, she needs to keep hydrated. She's sleeping now, and still
> isn't interested in going outside. During summer she always wants to
> go outside (if she's not eating or using the litter box, she's
> outside), so it's very unusual behaviour for her.
>
> Other than being a natural worry-wart, I'm also worried because when
> we got her from the Humane Society, we were told that she had some
> kind of URI when she was found (some dumb-asses got rid of her during
> one of the coldest winters in decades--like -40C temperatures plus
> windchill and her poor ears were frostbitten, too!). I think I read
> that once a cat has had a URI, they're more likely to have a
> recurrence. When we adopted her (she was found in February or March,
> and we adopted her in July), they gave her some kind of vaccination to
> help prevent recurrences, but we were told it may not be 100%
> effective.
>
> I'll just keep an eye on her, and if I see that she's not eating or
> drinking anymore, she'll go to the emergency vet. We don't free feed
> her, so it's pretty easy to see if she's eating or drinking.
>
> Thanks, again! (BTW, I hope all your kitties are fine! How many do
> you have now?)
>
> rona
>

Cheryl[_4_]
July 26th 08, 10:15 PM
"Rona Y." > wrote in message
...
> Thanks, Cheryl!
>
> She's still drinking and eating, but drinking more than eating (we
> have to add water to her food, so she has to drink in order to eat,
> anyway). I guess that's good, though, because if she does have an
> infection, she needs to keep hydrated. She's sleeping now, and still
> isn't interested in going outside. During summer she always wants to
> go outside (if she's not eating or using the litter box, she's
> outside), so it's very unusual behaviour for her.

Scarlett doesn't go out, but she definitely sleeps more when she has a
flare-up. I'm glad she's drinking. For the few days before you can get to a
vet if you need to, the drinking really is more important than eating. I
know all about hepatic lipidosis with Shadow's problem, but I think a couple
of days isn't going to hurt her if she isn't overweight and as long as she's
drinking. Of course still try to entice with food if she goes off.
>
> Other than being a natural worry-wart, I'm also worried because when
> we got her from the Humane Society, we were told that she had some
> kind of URI when she was found (some dumb-asses got rid of her during
> one of the coldest winters in decades--like -40C temperatures plus
> windchill and her poor ears were frostbitten, too!). I think I read
> that once a cat has had a URI, they're more likely to have a
> recurrence. When we adopted her (she was found in February or March,
> and we adopted her in July), they gave her some kind of vaccination to
> help prevent recurrences, but we were told it may not be 100%
> effective.

Dumbasses is right!! Grrr.... I'm glad you have her now. Don't worry too
much. These viral infections unfortunately are very common in cats.
Scarlett was one of a litter of 4 (I have one of her male littermates, too)
and all 4 were very sick when found. They were abandoned by their mom under
someone's shed, or she died and left them, which is also likely given where
they were found. All 4 kept reinfecting each other and the people who found
them could no longer keep them healthy together as much as they wanted to
keep them all together for 9-12 weeks, so I got Scarlett and Rhett earlier
than they planned. It took a while to get them both healthy. Rhett never
has flare-ups anymore, but Scarlett has frequent ones.
>
> I'll just keep an eye on her, and if I see that she's not eating or
> drinking anymore, she'll go to the emergency vet. We don't free feed
> her, so it's pretty easy to see if she's eating or drinking.
>
Good plan and good luck and purrs for kitty!

Thanks, again! (BTW, I hope all your kitties are fine! How many do
> you have now?)
>
I have Shamrock, Bonnie, Scarlett and Rhett. And two pet mice, Annie and
Madison.

Rona Y.
July 28th 08, 02:54 AM
Thanks blkcatgal and Cheryl.

I can't figure out if she's better or worse today. She seems to be
less lethargic, and even wanted to go outside a couple of times
today. She also seems to be hungry and asks for food, but when I give
it to her, she doesn't want to eat it. She just looks at it for a
bit, then looks at me as if to say, "What the heck is this? I want
food!" She eventually drinks all the water, but doesn't eat much of
the actual food. I think maybe she's congested and can't smell her
food, so she doesn't want to eat.

She's definitey off to the vet tomorrow.

I just realized I may have been a bit misleading about how long I've
had her. We actually adopted her July 2000, so she has been URI-free
for 8 years! Yay Kitty!

Cheryl--wow! 4 cats and two mice! I remember when Bonnie was a
scared little cat. I hope she's more relaxed now, and not bullying
any of the other cats! ;-) Or those two mice!

rona

CatNipped[_2_]
July 28th 08, 03:48 PM
"Cheryl" > wrote in message
. ..

> with her with people food like chicken or ham. Enough to get her eating.
> I always start her on lysine at first sign of watery eyes though with her
> history she should probably have it daily every day for life. She's just
> hard to pill and detects it in food so that fails.

Hi Cheryl. I remember you writing about this before and I found a method I
thought I'd pass along so you can see if it works for you...

Remember I told you that we crush the pills and stir it into their canned
food? Well that got a bit tedious, especially in the mornings when I was
rushing to get ready for work. Ben got the bright idea to "pre-crush" the
pills - then his eye drifted over to our electric coffee bean grinder (we
got this at Wal-Mart for about $15) and I could almost see the lightbulb
going off on top of his head! ;>

We take the whole bottle of L-Lysine, dump it in the coffee bean grinder
(after washing it really well) and grind the tablets into a fine powder that
we keep tightly sealed in a small Tupperwear bowl. We use a tiny measuring
spoon to get the right amount and then sprinkle it into their Fancy Feast
(which is smelly/tasty enough to cover the taste of the L-Lysine). With it
being so finely ground (to a powder-like granularity), it is easy to stir it
into the food well enough to be undetectable by my clowder.

The problem with using the L-Lysine only at outbreaks is that the Herpes
virus has already reproduced and the outbreak will still last 7 - 10 days,
just like a cold, although the L-Lysine will keep the outbreak from being
too severe. Using the L-Lysine prophylactically keeps the Herpes virus from
reproducing at all and prevents outbreaks.

So, just thought I'd pass this along and see if it helps.

Hugs,

CatNipped

cybercat
July 28th 08, 06:07 PM
"CatNipped" > wrote
> So, just thought I'd pass this along and see if it helps.
>

Great idea! They sell powdered Lysine too.

CatNipped[_2_]
July 28th 08, 06:48 PM
"cybercat" > wrote in message
...
>
> "CatNipped" > wrote
>> So, just thought I'd pass this along and see if it helps.
>>
>
> Great idea! They sell powdered Lysine too.

I did not know that! Thanks!

Hugs,

CatNipped

cybercat
July 28th 08, 06:51 PM
"CatNipped" > wrote >
> I did not know that! Thanks!
>
>

I only know it because the shelter send me home with a baggy with a bit of
it when I adopted Gracie, isn't that a great idea? They said stress causes
Herpes to surface, so to use it as a preventive measure. They said they got
it at a health food store.

CatNipped[_2_]
July 28th 08, 10:27 PM
"cybercat" > wrote in message
...
>
> "CatNipped" > wrote >
>> I did not know that! Thanks!
>>
>>
>
> I only know it because the shelter send me home with a baggy with a bit of
> it when I adopted Gracie, isn't that a great idea? They said stress causes
> Herpes to surface, so to use it as a preventive measure. They said they
> got it at a health food store.

Yep, just like humans and "cold sores" stress does play a large part in
break-outs.

I get the L-Lysine from the vitamin aisle in Wal-Mart - I don't ever go to a
health food store (though gawd knows I probably should).

Hugs,

CatNipped

cybercat
July 28th 08, 10:42 PM
"CatNipped" > wrote

>
> I get the L-Lysine from the vitamin aisle in Wal-Mart - I don't ever go to
> a health food store (though gawd knows I probably should).
>

No, because they are usually too expensive. GMC is ridiculous. I do get my
vitamins at Vitamin Shoppe, but I have never looked for Lysine there.

Cheryl[_4_]
July 28th 08, 11:14 PM
"CatNipped" > wrote in message
...
> "Cheryl" > wrote in message
> . ..
>

<snip great instructions>

> The problem with using the L-Lysine only at outbreaks is that the Herpes
> virus has already reproduced and the outbreak will still last 7 - 10 days,
> just like a cold, although the L-Lysine will keep the outbreak from being
> too severe. Using the L-Lysine prophylactically keeps the Herpes virus
> from reproducing at all and prevents outbreaks.
>
> So, just thought I'd pass this along and see if it helps.
>

Thanks CN. I've tried crushing with a mortar and pistol but she can still
taste it even in FF. I like the way your DH thinks with crushing up a whole
bunch at once! I wish that would work here. I have some Pill Pockets and
that worked for exactly one dose. FYI, Lysine is effective for calicivirus
too. I don't think I ever read that anywhere but the ER vet suggested it
and by God it worked and the sore she had went away. She's had to have one
tooth removed and so far our vet said she got off lucky because she said
normally when she sees a young cat with the problem caused/exacerbated by
calicivirus that Scarlett had with her tooth , she normally has to remove
most if not all of the teeth.

Cheryl[_4_]
July 28th 08, 11:16 PM
"cybercat" > wrote in message
...
>
> "CatNipped" > wrote
>> So, just thought I'd pass this along and see if it helps.
>>
>
> Great idea! They sell powdered Lysine too.
>
Thanks cc. Where do you find that? I used to get Lysine in capsules but I
can't find them any more. It used to be Twin Labs brand at Safeway.
Checked all grocery stores and even health food stores and can only find
tablets. The Twin Labs had no taste. I tried it once and couldn't detect
it.

Cheryl[_4_]
July 29th 08, 12:45 AM
> Thanks CN. I've tried crushing with a mortar and pistol

I've had a giggle over my misspelling. lol Gawd I really wish I'd learned
elementary school spelling.

Outsider
July 29th 08, 01:44 AM
"Cheryl" > wrote in
:

>
>> Thanks CN. I've tried crushing with a mortar and pistol
>
> I've had a giggle over my misspelling. lol Gawd I really wish I'd
> learned elementary school spelling.
>
>



Well that would sure grind up the pill (along with the mortar and the
counter top and your hand maybe .....

Cheryl[_4_]
July 29th 08, 01:54 AM
"outsider" > wrote in message
...
> "Cheryl" > wrote in
> :
>
>>
>>> Thanks CN. I've tried crushing with a mortar and pistol
>>
>> I've had a giggle over my misspelling. lol Gawd I really wish I'd
>> learned elementary school spelling.
>>
>>
>
>
>
> Well that would sure grind up the pill (along with the mortar and the
> counter top and your hand maybe .....
>
>
Shush you. Now I'm laughing again about shooting a pill.

CatNipped[_2_]
July 29th 08, 02:34 PM
"Cheryl" > wrote in message
. ..
> "CatNipped" > wrote in message
> ...
>> "Cheryl" > wrote in message
>> . ..
>>
>
> <snip great instructions>
>
>> The problem with using the L-Lysine only at outbreaks is that the Herpes
>> virus has already reproduced and the outbreak will still last 7 - 10
>> days, just like a cold, although the L-Lysine will keep the outbreak from
>> being too severe. Using the L-Lysine prophylactically keeps the Herpes
>> virus from reproducing at all and prevents outbreaks.
>>
>> So, just thought I'd pass this along and see if it helps.
>>
>
> Thanks CN. I've tried crushing with a mortar and pistol but she can still
> taste it even in FF. I like the way your DH thinks with crushing up a
> whole bunch at once! I wish that would work here. I have some Pill
> Pockets and that worked for exactly one dose. FYI, Lysine is effective for
> calicivirus too. I don't think I ever read that anywhere but the ER vet
> suggested it and by God it worked and the sore she had went away. She's
> had to have one tooth removed and so far our vet said she got off lucky
> because she said normally when she sees a young cat with the problem
> caused/exacerbated by calicivirus that Scarlett had with her tooth , she
> normally has to remove most if not all of the teeth.

Wow, she must have great taste buds. I guess I'm lucky that mine will eat
it that way - I couldn't imagine getting a pill down all five of them twice
a day!

I've never had any of my cats get a calicivirus - is it related to the
herpes virus (off to google)?

Hugs,

CatNipped

Outsider
July 29th 08, 09:12 PM
"Cheryl" > wrote in
:

> "outsider" > wrote in message
> ...
>> "Cheryl" > wrote in
>> :
>>
>>>
>>>> Thanks CN. I've tried crushing with a mortar and pistol
>>>
>>> I've had a giggle over my misspelling. lol Gawd I really wish I'd
>>> learned elementary school spelling.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Well that would sure grind up the pill (along with the mortar and the
>> counter top and your hand maybe .....
>>
>>
> Shush you. Now I'm laughing again about shooting a pill.
>
>


:)

Rona Y.
July 30th 08, 12:05 AM
Kitty went to the vet today (she couldn't get in yesterday), and she's
in fine health! She does have a URI, but she's recovering, so the vet
didn't see any need to give her any medication. She's not sneezing as
much, and her eating and drinking are almost as usual. Her right eye
isn't watering as much, either. Her temperature was perfectly normal,
as were all other things checked. I do have to keep an eye on her
appetite, and must also keep an eye out for green mucous which may
indicate a secondary infection, but for now, she's OK!

Thanks for all the help!

cybercat
July 30th 08, 12:09 AM
"Rona Y." > wrote in message
...
> Kitty went to the vet today (she couldn't get in yesterday), and she's
> in fine health! She does have a URI, but she's recovering, so the vet
> didn't see any need to give her any medication. She's not sneezing as
> much, and her eating and drinking are almost as usual. Her right eye
> isn't watering as much, either. Her temperature was perfectly normal,
> as were all other things checked. I do have to keep an eye on her
> appetite, and must also keep an eye out for green mucous which may
> indicate a secondary infection, but for now, she's OK!
>

YAY, kitty! Thanks for the update.