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Persistent Upper Respiratory Infection

September 17th, 2010, 02:19 AM
My 23 1/2 year old cat passed away several weeks ago. My 8 year old daughter has brain cancer and I wanted to soften the blow by going to the shelter and getting a kitten. We ended up with two 2 month old Tabby's. Both were examined at the local VCA and treated for ring worms.

The 1st Tabby is a troublemaker and will fit in fine around here!

The second one has a persistent URI. I have been treating her with Gentamicin from the Vet, a warm cloth to clear the nasal passages followed by very, very small drops of nasal drops, and Similac for hydration and vitamins. KRM doesn't seem as vitamin packed and other sites recommend Similac.

She doesn't seem to be getting better and it has been a week. Her eyes are glazed, but she fights back pretty good when I treat her. She does eat and drink on her own, but not enough. I also have a humidifier in the room and she has learned to sit close to it and it helps her breathe. Expecting that she has a secondary bacterial infection I have Bactrim, but grape flavored wasn't appreciated. :(

I don't know what else to do short of taking her back to the shelter for a refund and a certain death. With the cancer I am pretty broke but I love cats so dearly that I just cannot give up just yet. I have a 13 yr. old Russian Blue and a Calico that I am keeping away, and the cage mate from the shelter is being given Gentamicin prophylactically. Keeping Buddy away from Bella is an act in itself. He hears her squirm and comes running to her aid. My daughter stays clear as well.

What are my options?

September 17th, 2010, 06:49 AM
I am so sorry to hear about your kitty and daughter :grouphug::grouphug:

How old is your sick kitten? Are giving human baby formula, Similac? If so, that is intended for humans, not kittens, please stop immediately, KRM is formulated for kittens.

What nasal drops are you giving your kitten? I have never heard of any for cats.

Were the antibiotics from the vet? The most common and very safe for cats is clavamox.

Your cat may have the herpes virus which can come back, usually when the cat is stressed. Supportive care is the normal course of action, lots of fluids and quality food and quiet time.

September 17th, 2010, 07:19 AM
Some L-lysine powder added to the kittens wet food might help. You can get it at most pharmacies or health food stores. I would start with 250mg twice a day, perhaps going up to 500mg twice a day if symptoms are really bad. Some people also give a maintenance dose of 250mg/day once symptoms subside. It would be fine to give it to both kittens. I also wouldn't keep them separated because that could be adding to the stress of the sick one, and like Love4 mentioned, stress can be a factor. Plus, the other kitten has likely already been exposed to the virus anyway. He just might have a stronger immune system and that's why you don't see symptoms.

More info for you:

September 17th, 2010, 02:23 PM
Thank you for your replies. And thank you for your condolences. Lucky was a wonderful lady that was rescued from the middle of the street in a blinding rain storm. I stuffed her in my jacket and rode her home on a motorcycle. She was very sick and I nursed her back to health. While in the hospital with my daughter Lucky got an abscessed tooth that was critical. She waited for me to return home and the solution was painfully obvious. But I am so much richer having Lucky Bear as my friend. We live in the mountains overlooking Southern California and she was laid to rest next to a new, growing pine tree.

The sick kitten is ~2 months old. The only medication being given by the Vet is Gentamicin. Reading many other forums I came across Similac as a better substitute for KRM but can accept that KRM may actually be better. I couldn't find any. But Bella is not being treated with an antibiotic. Just Gentamicin. The same with pediatric nasal drops and they allow her nasal passages to open up. I have managed to go from green discharge to not so green to clear. But she is still very congested. The humidifier really helps and I'll go in and find her sprawled in her bed on her back just breathing. Bella is eating and drinking, but not wet food. She puts up a good fight and meows pretty good, too!

She was so cute this morning. As much as I wrap her in a towel to protect myself, and I am sure that Bella hates me at this point, I found her sleeping next to me. Buddy decided that he wanted to play and used my now bloody nose as a launching pad. Like I said, a troublemaker!

September 17th, 2010, 02:30 PM
Awwww, what a great person you are to rescue this kitty.

So is Similac the human baby formula? If so, it does not have all the essential amino acids that a cat requires such as taurine, which can cause heart failure if a cat does not get it.

Your kitten is loosing a lot of fluid and should really only be on a canned diet. Wellness kitten canned is the best you can buy. It is sold internationally at quality pet food stores. You can add some KMR to it to add some fluid.

If the discharge is green and any variation of green you need to see a vet. This indicates a bacterial infection.

Please only give meds to a cat that have been prescribed by a vet. Some very minor human meds can kill a cat.

L lysine may help in keeping the herpes virus (kitty colds) at bay, along with a very good, high quality diet.

Here is a great website on cat food:

September 17th, 2010, 02:35 PM
I have a 3:30 appointment at the Vet. We live in the mountains and pet stores aren't anywhere close by :) I've made some progress with her, just not enough. And I don't want to give up. Every cat I have ever owned has been a rescue. Same with dogs. Pound puppies.

September 17th, 2010, 05:22 PM
But Bella is not being treated with an antibiotic. Just Gentamicin.

Gentamicin IS an antibiotic:

Good luck at the vets! Let us know what they say.

September 17th, 2010, 07:48 PM
Bella has lost 1/2 a poind since Monday but the Conjunctivitus has cleared up. The Vet injected her with Convenia that is an antibiotic that is supposed to last for 14 days. It has nearly two hours and I have not noticed an improvement. Peak action time in cats is supposed to be two hours. But the doctor is ok with pediatric nasal drops, a humidifier... She gave me Nurturall-C that I swear smells and looks just like Similac :)

The only problem that I have is helping Bella get rid of the stuff in her nose. I don't have a bulb or syringe with a small enough tip to place into the nostril to pull out the goobers. If I position my smallest syringe over the opening and get a good seal I can get some out but I have to be gentle.

I sincerely hope that Bella makes it.

September 17th, 2010, 08:02 PM
krazybob both my young cats I adopted last October had this virus and it took a good month for things to clear.

They both take lysine (500mg/day) for preventative now but were taking 1000mg/day during the flare up. :thumbs up

I stopped Ziggy's eye drops because they were really really irritating him and they were not getting better :(

As for the snotty nose, I gave them Claritin but I do not remember the dosage. :shrug:

I joined and received many many helpful hints and relief from this group...

There are many knowledgeable people there. They might be able to help with the dosage. Don't despair...your kitty will be just fine, I am sure :goodvibes:

September 17th, 2010, 11:35 PM
Try using a warm washcloth on the kittens nose to help clear it up. A nasal syringe is not made for a kitten's nose. I doubt you will find one that will fit up the nasal passage sufficiently to do any good.
At two months old it is not necessary to give the kittens milk of any kind. Water is sufficient. Unless, of course, you are having issues trying to get the kitten to eat enough to help. As L4H mentioned the best food available is kitten Wellness. It did marvels for my latest gang.
Please watch the kittens closely after administering Convenia. There have been some very severe reactions to that medication.,1905168,page=1
Have you tried taking the kitten into a small bathroom with you and letting the shower run on hot to steam up the room? That may help to loosen all of the mucus and make her feel a little better.
As L4H said, I also caution against using too many human meds. Most are just not safe. :shrug: