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Respiratory infection and nebulizer

barbja

Savannah Super Cat
#1
My 5 month old F2 Sabrina has had an upper respiratory infection since we brought her home at 10 weeks old. Originally it was a little sneezing that my vet said would go away in a couple of weeks, but here we are 10 weeks later and she's worse. She doesn't have any eye or nasal discharge, but the poor baby is always sneezing and coughing.

My vet wants me to start using a nebulizer 1-2x per day. You put her in a small carrier all wrapped up in Saran wrap with the nebulizer going for 20 mins. That seems so torture chamber-ish.

Has anyone else had to nebulize their cat before? How about having to deal with one of these infections that just won't quit?
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#2
If you haven't done so already, you should run a PCR Upper Respiratory Disease panel so that you know exactly what you are dealing with. If this is an ongoing infection I would guess that you are dealing with feline herpes, which unfortunately is most often a life long condition. Most cats recover from the acute phase but remain carriers, some unfortunate ones develop chronic ongoing symptoms.

If it is not feline herpes then hopefully the PCR will help your vet choose a more effective antibiotic. Speaking of which, what antibiotics have you tried so far? Or is he now thinking that your kitten has asthma? What medicine are you using in the nebulizer?

As for nebulizing the kitten, I know it seems tortuous, but nebulizing meds is a very efficient way to deliver antibiotics and other medicines directly into the lungs without having to absorb them systemically. I have had to do this in the past, but not for many years. The problem in my case was the nebulizer machine was so noisy that it freaked out the poor cat. If you have a quiet model that doesn't bother your cat then she should be okay with it, as long as she doesn't freak out about being in a carrier in general.
 

Wyldthingz

Savannah Super Cat
#3
Most are quiet now and leaving her in a carrier for a short treatment isn't torture as long as it isn't an all day thing. There is no real way to benefit from it other than using a mask or "tent" like what you are talking about. Did you ship this kitten in or did you pick her up? I am unsure why you would take a sick F2 home at all and why the breeder would let her go like that. Buyers need to stand up for what you know is right and tell a breeder like this that the cat shouldn't go home sick. I know that some upper respiratory infections are latent and will come out later with stress but I wouldn't take home a visibly sick kitten. :(
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#4
I agree with Patti that doing the PCR Upper Respiratory panel may help you know what you are treating for... as if Herpes is the culprit then an antibiotic is not going to help. And if it is Mycoplasma you would use a different antibiotic than you might use for another respiratory infection. And yes, what does your vet want to use in that nebulizer?
 

Medesha

Savannah Super Cat
#6
Most are quiet now and leaving her in a carrier for a short treatment isn't torture as long as it isn't an all day thing. There is no real way to benefit from it other than using a mask or "tent" like what you are talking about. Did you ship this kitten in or did you pick her up? I am unsure why you would take a sick F2 home at all and why the breeder would let her go like that. Buyers need to stand up for what you know is right and tell a breeder like this that the cat shouldn't go home sick. I know that some upper respiratory infections are latent and will come out later with stress but I wouldn't take home a visibly sick kitten. :(
Aside from taking a noticeably sick kitten, taking her home at ten weeks seems a bit odd. Most every breeder I looked at wouldn't let a baby go before 12 weeks, regardless of how big or well developed they were.