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I took my kittie to the vet on Wednesday with the condition described below. I know it's tough to diagnose "over the internet", but I'll provide as much history as possible...

Female Feline
13-month short-hair Calico, Spayed
Weight - 10.2 lbs
Temp - normal
Lungs - Clear/Crackles or rales (sp?) not present
Heart - Normal
Respirations 50-60 when I took her in (about 2x normal)
Appetite - Normal
Hydration - Normal

The following was administered last year on 21 SEP 2017 with no issues:
FVRCP, Booster
Feline Leukemia Booster
Fecal Float
Feline Rabies Vaccination - 12 OCT 2017

As far as I can tell urine and fecal output is normal, though I'm just going by what's in the cat box and I hear her scratching around in there occasionally. Her sister goes in there as well, so it's hard to determine what belongs to who.

Presents with that rasping wheeze that cats have, sometimes high-pitched, as if she's going to throw up (like a gag reflex), but nothing ever comes up; no hair ball, sputum, nothing. There have been a couple of times where she had an episode right after she ate and ran around and threw up her food, but haven't seen that happen lately. This all started about 1.5-2 weeks ago, but episodes have increased. She was having 3-4 episodes/hour Wednesday morning, which prompted me to take her in. She is not "mouth-breathing"/panting for air, so I don't think she's in any kind of respiratory distress.

Thinking allergies, nothing has changed in my house for the past 13 months. I use the same detergent/softener, feed them the same food, same filtered water, use the same litter, my personal hygiene habits haven't changed...can't think of ANYTHING that might have changed. When I'm away, I have the same friend and her kids that have been taking care of them since they were kittens come over to feed them and look in on them.

Her sister has not presented with any of these symptoms, so it's not anything contagious.

After examination and the vitals presented above, the vet (who was filling in for the day) had no diagnosis. There was no evidence of infection of any sort, but as preventive measure, he injected with .45 Convenia. He also injected Dexamethasone and gave me .5mg Dexamethasone pills to administer orally or in food for approx. two weeks.

She had no episodes in the car going or coming or in the vet's office, but as soon as I got her home and got her out of the cage, she had 2 within 30 minutes. They subsided, I presume, after the meds kicked in and her respirations were back to normal yesterday.

Through the morning, from 0600-1200, she's had maybe 4 episodes. Still the raspy, gagging wheeze like she wants to throw something up, but with no production. I just checked her respirations and they're 34-36...normal. If she runs and tussles with her sister as usual, that seems to trigger this "gag reflex". Aside from not running around like she normally does though, she doesn't seem lethargic or in any discomfort...(literally) purring like a kitten. Smile

The "substitute" vet said if she didn't get any better or the symptoms do not subside completely, I might consider a chest x-ray. Personally, I think there's something in her throat or digestive system that's making her gag and have these episodes. Is there any such thing as an Endoscopy for cats? If it's hairball related, what can I do immediately to see if that's the case or ease the issue? I've purchased dry food that is a hairball/low cal formula, so hopefully that helps in the long-run.

I have a video (which I showed to the vet) of her having one of her "attacks", and that one wasn't as bad as the ones she sometimes has. If you want to see it, I'll be glad to link a One Drive video URL to your e-mail address.

That's all I can think of. If you have any questions, PLEASE...ask or shoot me an e-mail at the address in my profile.

Thanks y'all!! I appreciate what you vets do for our critters... Smile



"If you’re a leader, you lead the way. Not just on the easy ones; you take the tough ones too…” – MAJ Richard D. Winters (1918-2011), E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil... Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 5:20,24
 
Posts: 4781 | Location: NW Houston | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cats can develop asthma, and it sounds a bit like that to me. Same litter, two had asthma, four didn't. It developed between a year and two years old, and was treatable.

I'm not a vet, but I'd suggest you have your regular vet check this possibility. In the meantime, DO NOT administer prednisone or any related meds, since it can screw up blood work and other diagnostic tools for several weeks after ending prednisone treatment.


--------------------------
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
-- H L Mencken
 
Posts: 7997 | Location: Illinois farm country | Registered: November 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a cat that does the same thing! Diagnosed as asthma and we use this for attacks...
https://www.amazon.com/AEROKAT...300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

If you reward for treats right after treatment it goes much better! We also had some relief with antihistamines given in a pill pocket.
 
Posts: 509 | Location: Jacksonville Beach, FL | Registered: July 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^^^^
We used a similar device, and it worked well. One cat took to it right away, the other was hesitant, but they quickly learned the correlation between the mask and being able to breathe again. One of the cats actually looked forward to it, I believe. Cool


--------------------------
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
-- H L Mencken
 
Posts: 7997 | Location: Illinois farm country | Registered: November 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by newtoSig765:We used a similar device, and it worked well. One cat took to it right away, the other was hesitant, but they quickly learned the correlation between the mask and being able to breathe again. One of the cats actually looked forward to it, I believe. Cool



Good to hear. We have one that has had steroid injections to combat it but they don't last long enough before the attacks return. I have purchased the AeroKat and will be getting the medication shortly. Once his attacks start up again, it's the inhaler for him.
 
Posts: 377 | Location: Middle Tennessee | Registered: May 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As you know well, even though I am a vet, this info is as good as what you pay for it over the web (well probably a little better).


We are smack dab in the middle of the worst of hairball season, one of my own cats started having similar episodes 2 days ago. Hairball issues are more upper respiratory and vomiting, asthma is more deep in the chest.


Having not seen the cat, I would try the over the counter hairball medicine laxatone first. It works way better than the food.

If I have more time between patients I'll check in again.


BTW I do several endoscopies on cats and dogs a week Smile


Tommy
 
Posts: 86 | Location: Midland, TX | Registered: December 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
This Space for Rent
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quote:
Originally posted by Pistolria:
I have a cat that does the same thing! Diagnosed as asthma and we use this for attacks...
https://www.amazon.com/AEROKAT...300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

If you reward for treats right after treatment it goes much better! We also had some relief with antihistamines given in a pill pocket.


My first cat had asthma and we used the Aerocat too. We had to give her the inhaler twice a day.

We found out she had asthma when she went in for dental work. The vet said the breathing tube came out with mucus and stuff. She used to look at me and hack too.

Finally took her to the local vet hospital and spent a couple mortgage payment figuring it out. She passed a couple year ago at the age of 18; 10 years after she was diagnosed. Still miss her....




We will never know world peace, until three people can simultaneously look each other straight in the eye

Liberals are like pussycats and Twitter is Trump's laser pointer to keep them busy while he takes care of business - Rey HRH.
 
Posts: 4773 | Location: N-E Ohio | Registered: April 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Indoor only? Indoor/outdoor? Has she been tested for feline heartworms, FeLV, and FIV? If so, how old was she? If an outdoor cat even part of the time, has she been in any fights? Any recent cuts/abrasions/holes/unexplained lesions? Is she a grass eater/puker? Recent change of food, bedding, or on any medications? Does she eat things, especially strings, etc, that are around the house? Any plants around inside the house that she chews or eats?

Also, does she gag, then cough, or does she cough then gag? Is it always both, or almost never both?


________________________________________________

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving."
-Dr. Adrian Rogers
 
Posts: 4929 | Location: Mogadishu on the Mississippi | Registered: February 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for all the responses.

quote:
Originally posted by slabsides45:
Indoor only? Indoor/outdoor? Has she been tested for feline heartworms, FeLV, and FIV? If so, how old was she? If an outdoor cat even part of the time, has she been in any fights? Any recent cuts/abrasions/holes/unexplained lesions? Is she a grass eater/puker? Recent change of food, bedding, or on any medications? Does she eat things, especially strings, etc, that are around the house? Any plants around inside the house that she chews or eats?

Also, does she gag, then cough, or does she cough then gag? Is it always both, or almost never both?

1. Indoor ONLY since 5-6 weeks old...she was born to the neighborhood feral who we've since trapped/spayed/released.
2. As noted above, they were examined 21 SEP 2017 and administered the noted shots.
3. No change in ANYTHING and she's on no meds.
4. To my knowledge, she hasn't eaten anything and I don't see her chewing on anything when I'm at the house. Of course EVERYTHING is up for grabs at night, but I take care to not leave things lying around.
5. It's coughing and then gagging almost every time.

Hope that helps...

********************************************

Horsedoc...would you recommend keeping her on the Dexamethasone??



"If you’re a leader, you lead the way. Not just on the easy ones; you take the tough ones too…” – MAJ Richard D. Winters (1918-2011), E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil... Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 5:20,24
 
Posts: 4781 | Location: NW Houston | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The only downside to the dexamethasone is it can suppress the immune system at high dosages. With no noted signs of infection probably won't hurt. Although it does tell us a little about the vet that saw her, a lot of old school vets use dex as a "silver Bullet" to treat everything.

However, if your not noticing it helping within 2-3 days it's probably of little benefit.

If it's hairballs like I suspect, the hair from grooming irritates the throat going down, they then cough in a response to the irritation and gag as a result of the coughing or the hair trying to come back up.

The laxatone is a mineral oil based gel that is highly palatable to most cats (which means yours will probably hate it). It basically works by lubricating the GI tract and soothing it as the hair passes. Contrary to the name it does not cause diarrhea or watery stools.

If you don't feel she is not in immediate danger I would give that a try. If you do feel she is in danger I would get a second opinion from your regular vet and maybe do some diagnostics.


I will admit that I treat conservatively by nature, I can't escape my farmboy beginnings. But I'm not afraid to go hog wild with diagnostics if the situation warrants.


Tommy
 
Posts: 86 | Location: Midland, TX | Registered: December 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Saw the video, looks like the cough happens first as you said, and occurs during the early to mid phase of inspiration. Retching at the end of coughing is usually due to lower airway disease, as a general rule, so a foreign body (even a hair, piece of kibble, etc) in the lower airways could do that.

I saw where you said she'd been vaccinated, but what I wanted to know was whether she's been tested for any of those things. A heartworm moving around in the lower airways would do it. So would lungworms, etc, which could have been asymptomatic for quite a while before being seen.

Might be worth a deworming with fenbenzazole to get any worms in there, and might be worth getting a test done for heartworms. There is a SNAP test many vets have (we do) that is a 3 way test for feline HW, FeLV, and FIV. I'd look at that. IF it is a food foreign body or similar, it might dissolve with some more time, but an xray of the chest would be on my short list if she were my patient. Could be a simple hairball, but I usually don't see them cough so much with hairballs-they usually skip straight to the gagging.

Hope some of this helps!


________________________________________________

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving."
-Dr. Adrian Rogers
 
Posts: 4929 | Location: Mogadishu on the Mississippi | Registered: February 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
That absolutely helps!! I'm going to continue the steroid through Monday morning and then I'm going out of town...will be back Thursday evening. My friend that takes care of them when I'm on the road will continue the Laxatone and keep an eye on her progress. When I get home next week, I'll take her in for a chest x-ray.

Thanks!




"If you’re a leader, you lead the way. Not just on the easy ones; you take the tough ones too…” – MAJ Richard D. Winters (1918-2011), E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil... Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 5:20,24
 
Posts: 4781 | Location: NW Houston | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm glad a couple real vets showed up! Cool

I'm curious about the hairball suggestion -- coughing and hacking, but not vomiting up an actual hairball? That's something new to me.

erj_pilot, I forgot that you travel nearly all the time. Is your friend living at your home (significant other or roommate?). If not, I don't thing I'd leave the cat alone for the several days you will be gone. I'd consider asking the friend to take her in, or maybe boarding her at the vet until she's feeling better. I'm afraid any kind of choking could become serious if she's not attended.


--------------------------
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
-- H L Mencken
 
Posts: 7997 | Location: Illinois farm country | Registered: November 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
My friend and her kids live 2 doors down. They'll come over in the morning and evening to feed them, clean the box, and just generally check on everything. She was much, much better yesterday and seems to be even better today. Still has a hacking episode but had maybe 3 or 4 ALL DAY as opposed to 3 or 4 in an hour like it was the other day.

They both kinda freaked out when I put the Laxatone on their paw, but they ran out of the room and started licking it off. I'll continue the Dexamethasone through Monday morning and then I'm outta town until Thursday night. I will still pursue a chest x-ray and possibly an Endoscopy next week if this still carries on even once or twice a day. But I think my little trooper is gonna be OK!!

Thanks for all the comments, suggestions, and general concern!!!



"If you’re a leader, you lead the way. Not just on the easy ones; you take the tough ones too…” – MAJ Richard D. Winters (1918-2011), E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil... Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 5:20,24
 
Posts: 4781 | Location: NW Houston | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's good news! Smile


--------------------------
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
-- H L Mencken
 
Posts: 7997 | Location: Illinois farm country | Registered: November 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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