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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21197
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Sneezing?

Resolved Question:

Sneezing?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

When did Mindy's sneezing start?

Does she sound stuffed up or congested?

Any discharge from her nose or eyes?

If so, what colour? From one or both nostrils?

How is she in herself? Any appetite loss, breathing difficulties, lethargy, etc?

Is she currently on treatment for her stomach? If so, what is she on or had?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Started sneezing last weekend. Doesn't sound congested or stuffed up and breathing seems normal. No discharge from eyes or nose.

She seems lethargic today and not interested in food.

She's not on any medication at the moment. She was given an injection but refused to eat the pro-kolin+ treatment which was administered on food.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Sandra,

Now as I am sure you can appreciate, sneezing can be triggered by a range of agents. Commonly, we can see this associated with upper respiratory tract inflammation secondary to cat flu, foreign bodies (ie grass awns, seeds, etc), fungal infections, allergies, growths (less likely at Mindy's age), and polyps.

In Mindy's case, with her mild signs arising just after an immune challenge in her gut, I would be most suspicious of a brewing cat flu that her immune system cannot completely subdue. Therefore, since you are seeing no snotty discharges (since those are often an indication of needing to treat with antibiotics), I would advise supportive care for Mindy at this stage.

In regards ***** ***** care, there are steps you can take at home. If she is sneezing and has an irritated upper airway, you can take her in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. You can also use a baby nebulizer/humidifier, but often cats don’t like things held up to their faces. That said, you can alternatively make a little ‘steam tent’ with her in her carrier, the nebulizer next to it, and both under a bed sheet.

If she is very irritated and sneezing profusely, it can help to gently flush the nose. To do so, you can use saline nasal drops (like Ocean Mist but not anything medicated). Tilt her head back and drop two to three drops in one nostril. Cats hate this, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril.

Making sure she is getting food and water is important, as congested/sneezing cats who can’t smell their food often won’t eat as well as they should. Therefore, with this loss of normal of appetite, then keep tempting her with smelly wet foods (since they are high in water). It may help to warm it up a bit in the microwave to help her be able to smell it. If she continues not to eat, you can even syringe feed her using a critical care diet from her vets (ie Hills A/D) or wet kitten food (since it has more nutrition per bite then adult food). Both will go a long way even if she won't eat much.

Finally, if you suspect that she might have feline herpes virus as the cause (if you tested or she has a previous history of herpes flare up or was a stray/rescue or came from the cattery), then this can be a cause of the signs you are seeing. In herpes cats, we sometimes find the L-lysine (a nutritional supplement) can help them recover quicker. This is available over the counter at vets, pet stores, online, and at health food stores. It comes as a gel, powder, or crushable tablets to mix into food. An average cat dose is 500mg a day and can just help these cases settle faster.

Overall, we do have a few concerns for her signs. Though if she has just gotten over a GI bug, we'd be highly suspicious of a cat flu flare up. Therefore, since she has no signs of bacterial involvement, we can use the above to help her immune system overcome this quicker and get this settled before she has to go to the cattery (where they may need to put her in isolation since she could spread this to other cats).

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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