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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33287
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat is not eating and sneezed and coughed last evening and

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My cat is not eating and sneezed and coughed last evening and has just sneezed and coughed again. He is washing himself but very sleepy. He is a kitten of approximately five months old
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
You've described common upper respiratory infection in a young cat. The feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) is usually responsible although the bacteria Mycoplasma and Chlamydophila are found as well. Can you tell, me, please if Willow has completed his kitten vaccines?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello. No. He is due for another vaccination on 18th February
Thank you. Because he's currently incompletely vaccinated, I have to consider the more serious calicivirus infection as well. Some of these cats will develop pinpoint ulcers on their tongue and gums which dissuades them from eating just as does the congestion in their nose. Ordinarily I would encourage "watchful waiting" because the great majority of cats remiss unaided from their respiratory infections within 10-14 days. In Willow's case I encourage your having his vet take a look at him and administer subcutaneous fluids as an outpatient in order to keep Willow nicely hydrated and send home a very palatable and syringeable food such as Hill's a/d with which you could force-feed Willow until he becomes appetent once again.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Doctor
Thank you for your reply. I think that we will follow your advice and visit our vet tomorrow. Could I just ask would this condition be fatal or is it treatable
In most cases even the serious calicivirus will remiss with good supportive care. There are severe strains, however, which can be life threatening. Hopefully the one vaccine has prevented such a strain. The less severe FHV-1 is the most common of the infections causing sneezing and coughing in cats and the great majority of cats will normalize within 10-14 days.

You're quite welcome. I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Doctor
Thank you very much for all your help
It's my pleasure. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'll speak to you soon.

Please disregard the info request.
May I have an update on Willow, please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Doctor,

Thank you for your email. After your initial consultation we kept Willow under observation on 10th during the day. He was lethargic and refusing to eat but otherwise no real problem. However at about 5.40p.m. that day he broke into a severe bout of coughing and hacking which was quite worrying.

Taking your advice I rang our local verterinary surgery and we took Willow straight there. The vet examined him and gave him an injection of antibiotics. Willow had a slight temperature. The vet also suggested that he was possible constipated and therefore prescribed some Laxapet paste whuch we have given to Willow. The vet stated that Willow should recover fully by 12th but should he not we should return to the surgery.

I am happy to say that Willow appears to have made a full recovery after sleeping quite a bit on 11th. This morning, 13th he seems his normal self and is eating everything, probably making up for what he has missed.

Thank you once again for your assistance. The information you gave us on the night of 9th really helped us to understand Willow's problem and put our minds at rest.

Best wishes,

Carol Calver

Thank you for the good update! I appreciate your taking the time to let me know.

My best to Willow!

Please disregard the info request.