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Adopted an older cat, worried about his health.

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Attackonliv, Jan 10, 2019.


  1. Attackonliv

    Attackonliv PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all!

    Recently my husbands grandmother passed away, and left a lovely 15 year old tom behind called Sultan. We're the only people in the family who keep cats instead of dogs, so we offered to take him in. So far he's been getting on fine with our young 1 year old female cat Salem. However, we're taking him to the vets next week, and the family have been unable to provide any vet records.

    I've noticed a few things that have me worried; he has a strong wheeze and sneezes a lot. He also have quite runny eyes, and what looks like a mole beneath his left eye. I know these can be symptoms of feline herpes or an upper respiratory infection, but I won't know for sure until we get him to his appointment next week. Does anyone have any advice for anything we can do in the meantime to help alleviate these symptoms (regardless of the cause) and any steps we can take to stop Salem catching it? Salem is all up to date with her vaccinations, and both are neutered.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi, a strong wheeze, frequent sneezing and runny eyes are, as you say, symptoms of possible feline herpesvirus or of an upper respiratory infection. In view of his age I would want him to be seen by the vet a.s.a.p. and hopefully your vet will prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat a possible URI (my vet certainly would, for such symptoms).

    If it is feline herpesvirus then Salem could catch even though she has been vaccinated against it, but the symptoms would probably be more mild (though still unpleasant for her). The same applies if were to be Feline Calicivirus (the other main cause of "cat flu").

    A 'mole' beneath his eye could be a concern too. Does he have white fur below his eyes?
     
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  3. Attackonliv

    Attackonliv PetForums Newbie

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    Hello again cat guru!

    We're taking him to the vet Tuesday. I rang up today and they have no records for him, which is frustrating as we were told this is the vets he was registered at. I'm in the process of calling family to see if they know anything. Tuesday is the earliest we can take him unfortunately - do you think Salem will be ok until then?

    The fur isn't white per say, it more looks aged. Almost like it's been worn down I guess? He's definitely not blind, but his eyes do seem a bit glossy. The mole has no discharge, and is the same black colour as his nose - if anything it looks like it's part of his features I guess? He's got a big huff, and he does sneeze a lot. He definitely seems to have some issues breathing, which is our main concern. I'm working on getting him on the insurance now.
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello again :)

    Tbh it is worrying to hear he has issues with his breathing. And if he actually pants at all e.g. on exertion, I would treat is as an emergency and get him seen by a vet today, somehow.

    But I wouldn't wait until Tuesday really, as that's another 4 days away, and too long to leave him as he is, in my view. Depending on which part of the UK you are located in, there may be vets near you who open on Saturdays and Sundays e.g. Vets4Pets or Companion Care. No need for him necessarily to see a vet he has been seen by before.

    The breathing issues suggest it is a URI, and if so the sooner he can have antibiotics the better, especially in view of his senior years. Apart from the risk of the bacteria spreading down into his lungs and making him very ill, he will also be feeling very uncomfortable not being able to breathe easily, bless him. He ought to have a veterinary anti-inflammatory medicine (such as Metacam) as well as antibiotics.

    The more Sultan's symptoms are unabated the more exposure Salem will be to the illness, so the more risk of her catching it from him. Though it is possible she might have caught it by now, if she was going to. She may be lucky and have very good resistance :)
     
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  5. Attackonliv

    Attackonliv PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for the fast response! I would have taken him today but due to financial restrictions the earliest we can go is Tuesday. He doesnt have issues breathing when hes walking or sleeping, it seems to be almost like a coughing fit and sneezes and then he goes back to normal. He huffs a lot but I have been told he has always done this so Im unsure if its related? Thank you again for your advice, hes eating and drinking normally and is meowing and wanting hugs so Im hoping he isnt in too much pain. I will speak to my husband and see if theres anything we can do to get him there earlier
     
  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I am glad he is eating and drinking normally, so at least the respiratory problem doesn't seem to be affecting his sense of smell. (appetite in cats is mainly driven by their sense of smell).

    The huffing and coughing could possibly be due to asthma. if so he will need treatment for it, and he could also have a URI as well.
     
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  7. Attackonliv

    Attackonliv PetForums Newbie

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    I'll see what I can do between then and now regarding the vets. The only issue currently is funds, and his insurance hasn't come through yet either. He's still acting normal, very loving and doesn't seem uncomfortable - as I said, he is eating and drinking fine, and outside of these coughing fits and sneezing, he just huffs every so often, a little like a grumpy old man (which I suppose he is!). I'm more annoyed that this wasn't looked after sooner. Hazel was ill for a long time, and her two children who looked after her and her home didn't ever feel the need to check on Sultan, or even give him a groom. I just want to make sure his last few years are happy.
     
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  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Attackonliv

    Most pet insurance policies have an excess on them. All my policies have an excess of £65 per treatment which was stipulated by the insurance company. Most of my trips to the vet with my cats are not covered by the insurance (i.e. the charges are below the £65) so I can't make a claim. Routine dental work (cleaning and polishing) is not covered either, on most/many policies. I keep the policies going just in case any of mine should ever need expensive investigations such as X-rays or MRI scans (which can cost hundreds of ££'s ) or expensive surgery.
     
    #8 chillminx, Jan 12, 2019 at 12:20 AM
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 1:01 PM
  9. Mrs Funkin

    Mrs Funkin Human mother to Oscar

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    Plus @Attackonliv don’t forget, you’ll probably have to pay 20% of the vet bill, as well as the excess as Sultan is over 10 years old. Sounds like it will be cheaper to at least just get an initial consultation done for him sooner rather than later.

    Hope you’re feeling perky today Sultan and are settling in :)
     
    chillminx likes this.
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