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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 28555
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Our male cat (about 6 years old) has developed a wheeze

Customer Question

Hello
Our male cat (about 6 years old) has developed a wheeze which is most pronounced when he purrs. He suffers a little from choking from time to time, which we have always put down to fur balls. Does this sound like something we should take up further?
I should be most grateful to know your thoughts on this.
Martin Abbott
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.

Martin, the two main considerations in wheezing cats are infection with the feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) and feline asthma. FHV-1 is expected to go into remission within 1-3 weeks but can recrudesce (relapse without cure in between events) periodically. It's a more upper respiratory disorder which is more likely to cause the choking you've witnessed. Asthma is a more chronic and persistent lower respiratory disorder. These conditions are approached very differently and so Trevor's vet will want to carefully auscultate (listen to) and X-ray Trevor's thorax (chest) in an attempt to clarify which of these disorders or if another less common disorder is present. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.