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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 16873
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My cat Archie had a snack of a grassy plant this morning,

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Hi, my cat Archie had a snack of a grassy plant this morning, which he couldn't quite get out of his mouth and spat it out on my bed (delightful). He then threw up 10 mins later (which isn't uncommon for him after eating grass,so wasn't worried) however he hasn't stopped gagging all day. I wondered if he has something lodged, he wouldn't let me look so I fed him 1/2 pouch of wet food in the hope it would dislodge anything if anything was stuck, he gobbled it up but still gagged almost every 15 mins. Left him to sleep for a few hours (he wasn't his usual needy/playful self) and fed him at tea time as normal which he also gobbled up. So, pleased that he has kept everything down but he's still gagging every half an hour/when he gets up from snoozing to re-arrange? Should I try to look in his throat again? Has it just been irritated? TIA
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks, ***** ***** your reply.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear that poor Archie ate some grass, vomited it back up and is now intermittently gagging and unable to comfortably snooze.

The good news is that he is able to swallow and keep food down, so that means an obstruction is very, very unlikely.

But his continued gagging means that something remains that is irritating him and causing him to gag.

I suspect that when he initially vomited he did so with enough force that a piece or two of grass got refluxed up into the back of his pharynx/nose or stuck on his soft palate, and that is causing him to gag. The concern is that sometimes they can gag or snort enough that the piece(s) get pulled up into his nose or sinuses and that can lead to inflammation and a chronic stuffy nose/discharge.

Ideally he would see a veterinarian. They can sedate him and take a look behind his soft palate and flush his nose out to remove any plant material before the grass gets embedded.

This is far back enough that you won't be able to see or remove the plant material yourself unfortunately. And the sooner this is addressed the better.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As its a Saturday night (and the vet isn't open till Monday) my gut is telling me to wait and see how he is tomorrow? He has calmed down dramatically the last 2 hours and seems a lot more loving than he did at midday... He's currently purring and sat on my lap. He's also recently moved house with me 3 weeks ago, so I've heard that they can be stressed too? Wondered if this was also a cause? He eats grass all the time but this morning it was a grassy plant (which is more spikey/dense than average turf)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What i mean is as the plant is quite sharp, is it likely that he has scratched his throat and therefore discomfort is making him gag ? He seems to gag when he's eaten (or swallowed just generally as you do)
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I'm glad to hear that he is more comfortable. Stress should not make him gag, but it could affect his appetite so I am glad to hear that he is eating.

It is possible that the sharp grass cut his throat/esophagus as he swallowed or when he vomited. So I would feed him soft foods this weekend. But in many cases with a persistent gag we find a piece of plant material caught up behind the soft palate.

I had one kitty that gagged for a couple weeks and ended up sneezing out part of a pine needle. We couldn't pull it out so we ended up sedating him and found the other end was wrapped around his soft palate.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh god! That sounds traumatic. I think I will wait till Monday and watch him closely, will feed him soft food as you've advised. He's not as playful as usual but he's also a massive baby and expects the world to stop if his dinner his 10 mins late. So he might just be feeling sorry for him self!!! He's just popped outside for the first time since this morning and popped back in for a drink so all looks good. If he's still gagging tomorrow evening I'll take him in on Monday morning. Does that sound reasonable?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

That sounds like a very good plan.

It can be hard to tell how concerned to be when they are big babies, (I have one of those too), but you know him well so I am confident that you will know if things still aren't right by Monday and get him in.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help! I hope you get to go to bed as its late on a sat eve. I feel silly for worrying because it's probably nothing and he's a pretty ruthless (massive at 1m long nose to tail) all black cat! I like to refer to him as the panther, he's not far off! Thanks again. This is a great and good value service! Sophie
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome. It's hard not to worry when they cannot talk, and seem so uncomfortable, of course they make us concerned. Take care, and please let me know how your "panther" comes along.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ha ha will do! He's definitely got the wrong name really he should be called Bagheera but had warning of how big he would grow! Thanks again and will update you in due course.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Oh my, he is gorgeous! I look forward to getting an update from you in the next few days, my best to your fellow.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Archie has been absolutely fine other than the normal neediness of a spoilt cat �� thanks for your help the other night, I was very worried and this is a great service. All the best!
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I am so pleased to hear he is fine. He is so handsome. That face is a combination of I am gorgeous and I know it and you are annoying me human.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks! I am biased but I totally agree that he is gorgeous and why not spoil him :). Is this service something I can subscribe to for future (minor/similar) issues?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I agree. They bring so much joy to us, it's hard not to do our best to repay that.

Yes, there is a subscription option. I'll let the part of the site that handles the financial end know that you may be interested and they can contact you and give you options.

Dr. Kara and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great. Thanks again and really appreciate the time you've taken to reply to me numerous times! Archie also says goodbye but he's too busy cleaning his private areas for a picture (ha ha he is shy) thanks again. Sophie :)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi! Not sure if this is related to 2 weeks ago, but Archie is now sneezing every time he cleans himself, not at any other time. This has only come on in the last 2 days, he's eating normally, acting normally and no discharge as I thought he had a cold. Just seems suspiciously close in timeings to his latest run-in with the grass situation.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm sorry to hear that he is sneezing when cleaning himself. That is strange. It is possible that with lots of cleaning and swallowing he is irritating a still sore throat, leading to a bit of tearing and post nasal drip causing him to sneeze.

But it's possible too that there is something caught in the back of his nose/throat that gets tickled when he licks and swallows.

If this is a mild respiratory infection it should come and go pretty quickly (within a week or so).

But if this persists I do think sedation and a peek behind his soft palate is best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok great thanks for your advice yet again! Will see how the week goes and take him in whatever the weather if it doesn't subside!
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Sounds good, please let me know how things go for him.