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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10147
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My 18 year old female cat started sneezing yesterday and I

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My 18 year old female cat started sneezing yesterday and I have just noticed a little blood coming from her nose. She is an indoor cat generally and keeps fairly well apart from getting a little thinner in the last year . Should I just keep an eye on her ? She is a nervous cat and I know from trying to get her to the vets a few years ago she doesn't travel well at all . Thanku
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today. I'm sorry for this concern for your older cat. At this point, I probably would continue to monitor her if she's otherwise doing well...eating, drinking and pretty much her normal self. The blood is most likely secondary to small capillaries in her nose which have ruptured secondary to the force of her sneezing; I wouldn't worry about it too much unless it becomes profuse.There are a few possible explanations for her sneezing, though, which I'll describe below:1. Some cats with residual herpes infections from upper respiratory infections they developed when they were younger can show symptoms years later after their exposure. This is actually the most common reason for cats to sneeze and cough. However, if she's never sneezed in her 18 years, then this seems less likely especially since she's an indoor cat.2. Some cats with sinusitis will also sneeze; they often respond to antibiotics such as Clavamox but would have to be dispensed by a vet, unfortunately.3. There are other reasons, too, such as polyps in the nose or foreign bodies (more commonly seen in outdoor cats) .4. Given her age, I'd have to include cancer on the list although it gives me no pleasure to do so.5. Infections in the mouth which might have caused a fistula into the nasal passages might also explain her sneezing.6. Dust secondary to construction or forced hot air heating, litter....although, again, not likely given her age if nothing new is happening in her environment. Treatment options will be limited but you could try the following:1. Antihistamines may be effective and are safe.Benadryl at a dose of 1/2 of a 25 mg tablet given twice daily orChlorpheniramine at a dose of 2-4 mg orClaritin at a dose of 2.5-5 mg orZyrtec 5 mg once or twice a dayIt is important to ensure that the formulations used contain ONLY the antihistamine and are not combination products (e.g. Claritin-D contains pseudoephedrine, which could cause very significant adverse effects in a cat).Sedation is a common side effect with these kinds of drugs.2. Nasal decongestant drops can be helpful although many cats don’t like them very much as you can imagine. The medicated ones (a-c below) should only be used for three days in a row, with one drop in each nostril; otherwise what’s known as a rebound effect may occur. This is one reason why I prefer "d":a. Pediatric otrivin=0.05% xylometazolineb. “Little Noses" Decongestant Nose Drops with phenylephrine hydrochloridec. Afrin (oxymetazoline)d. "Little Noses" Saline Spray/Drops non medicated which can be used more than three days in a row.3. A humidifier may help since the air tends to be quite dry this time of year. I'd probably continue to monitor her for a few more days but if the sneezing worsens and/or she stops eating and/or becomes lethargic, then a vet visit may be prudent.I hope this helps. Deb
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanku so much for ur help
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
You're more than welcome.Best of luck with her. Kind regards, Deb
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