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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32757
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Our nine year old cat brought up a fur-ball about 3 weeks ago

Customer Question

Our nine year old cat brought up a fur-ball about 3 weeks ago and now cannot meow. He opens his mouth but no sound comes out, though he has no problem purring. He seems perfectly happy otherwise. Is this cause for concern or could it just be strained vocal chords due to the fur-ball incident?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin I don't know of any mechanism for a furball to cause a change in vocalization at this late date. You're on the right track, however, because such a change does involve the vocal chords when they're infected by either the feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) or the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica. Persistent gastroesophageal reflux (GERD, acid reflux/heartburn) is a consideration as well. Most of these cats remain normal otherwise and will remiss unaided within 1-3 weeks. As long as Ollie continues to be "perfectly happy otherwise" there's no reason to have his vet attend to him. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for reply regarding our silent Ollie. As this problem has been ongoing for 3 weeks already hopefully it will clear up unaided soon, as you suggest. Should I try a little olive oil in his drink to soothe the situation or perhaps a lick of manuka honey?

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Either are safe but neither can reach the vocal chords. Let's give Ollie another week and if he doesn't remiss by then, please have his vet look him over.