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12 yr old cat making gurgling sounds and drooling

April 28th, 2012, 11:03 PM
Vet has her on now 3 rd round of antibiotic..1 st was doxicycline,second was azithromycin,now she is trying amoxicillan along with liquid suspended prednisone x 2 daily.
She runs to food bowl but can't eat. She sounds so congested and also is drooling. She is active and alert but can't eat, drink and can only groom herself barely. I also have been giving her 50 mls of sub q fluid a day as she keeps getting dehydrated. I also feed her wet food mixed with cat cal a few times s day by with s syringe.

Any other suggestions?
Vet has not done any blood work. Kitty is indoor only.

April 28th, 2012, 11:08 PM
Did the vet check her teeth? Does she have a broken/abcessed tooth? Does she have ulcers in her mouth? Any lumps on/under her tongue?

What was the reason she was put on antibiotics without supporting bloodwork?

April 28th, 2012, 11:16 PM
Vet thought it was an URI so prescribed wide range antibiotics. Seems to he responding to prednisone though.
Getting second opinion Monday another vet mentioned possibly polyps.

April 28th, 2012, 11:46 PM
Is the congestion & drooling something completely new or has she had these symptoms in the past?

Have the vet on Monday do a thorough exam of her teeth & mouth. Since she's running to the food bowl that suggests she's hungry & even if she couldn't smell the food (from being congested) she should still be eating, the pred would also increase appetite. The drooling & not eating despite being hungry suggest a tooth/mouth issue not just a URI :2cents: URI may be secondary.

Any vomiting?

I would also suggest having a full geriatric blood & urine panel run to make sure there isn't something out of range - it's a good idea at her age anyways to get baseline values.

The pred would help because it's steroid that's just suppressing the body's immune reaction, to aid the antibiotic in working on the possible infection.

April 29th, 2012, 12:49 AM
Welcome to the forum, willow007! (sorry that it's because of this, though)

The fact that you feel she's responding to the pred might support the possible polyp diagnosis - it will shrink a polyp and 'open things up' somewhat. Of course, that can't work long term.

One thing, willow007 - you did say prednisone, right? Here's a quote from our resident your cat on prednisone or prednisolone?...Just a note on prednisone. Prednisone is an inactive form that must be actively transformed into prednisolone, an active metabolite. There are some species such as cats who are thought to be deficient in this tranformation. This is out of the North American Companion Animal Formulary: "Use prednisolone for cats; prednisone may not be effective."

I would bring that to your Vet's attention if I were you...I know you've seen improvement, but I would wonder if it's working to its max.

I have been speaking with someone else lately about a possible polyp diagnosis, so I'll pass along the references I provided her. They'll give you a better idea of what you're dealing with.

I'm really concerned about her not eating. There is a real danger of her developing a life-threatening liver condition with a severely reduced caloric intake. Cats, unlike us, do a very poor job of 'living off body fats', their livers can't metabolize it quickly enough and things become very critical very quickly. If she's able to take food via syringe, I'd get a special food from the Vet Hill's a/d Critical Care ( and use that. It's the highest protein and fat canned available and taste-wise is irresistable to cats. You can but won't need to add water for the syringe. (When assist-feeding like that, you have to be super careful that she doesn't "choke" on it, because if she aspirates it, you'll have yet another threatening condition to deal with.) You also really need to be feeding her more than "a few" times a day....small meals, several times a day. I'll give you a link for that as well down below.

I'd suggest speaking with the Vet about having a feeding tube "installed" because she's already been on a prolonged period of reduced, if you proceed through surgery for a polyp removal, there'll be an extended period after that when she'll need food intake support.

Polyps (there are four pages in this article, the annoying initial popup window has a 'close window' button at the bottom)

April 29th, 2012, 06:00 PM
Wow I can't thank you enough. To clarify she is being given Prednisolone twice daily 4 mg each dosage..
Again that was some great reading thank you!
This other vet wants to really take a look for blockages...
Today she is doing somewhat better and has taken a first drink of water on her own..also has licked at the wet food bowl as well! I understand that is the prednisolone opening things up and that once I ween her down she will probably go back to having more difficulties...unless we discover any polyps and get them removed..

Feeding tube I will talk to her about.

Thanks again!

April 29th, 2012, 10:36 PM
Just a quick reply for you....

Great news that you see some relief and improvement for her!

HOWEVER, her "licking" at her wet food is NOT going to cut it nor keep her from developing Fatty Liver Disease - you absolutely have to ensure you're getting the calories into her.

You should puree (blender) the wet food she likes into a slurry (no lumps) with the Cat Cal for now - till you can get some of that Hill's a/d from the Vet - use the syringe, put it on your finger and use any of the other tricks from that assist-feed website. That site will also tell you how often to do it. (Assist-feeding is so critical in these situations that there are special self-help groups on the Web just for this subject alone!) Remember, you also have to do some "catch-up" with her, getting in those calories that she missed prior to your starting with the syringe.

And, of course, small amounts, never down her throat but into the corner pockets of her mouth.

Will be thinking of you!

April 30th, 2012, 09:37 AM
willow007...I've sent you a message

April 30th, 2012, 09:17 PM
The vet let me watch as she sedated her and looked in her mouth. Sadly enough there were no teeth problems, how I wish it were that easy. She did point out to me that starting in the back of her throat all the way down her throat was a large mass which was not a polyp. Its not something that can be easily removed and I am glad she let me see for myself. Its as though her throat has grown into itself in some strange way leaving a very narrow passage which is why she can't eat or drink well.
So she said that since the prednisolone seems to be helping her I should keep her on it with a different dose....however it will eventually not be enough. I am buying her high calorie wet food tomorrow along with the Cat Cal and will continue to assist feed her...she is drinking water on her own which is great.
I know I am probably going to great lengths here in keeping her around with me, but she is so active still and still wants attention. She waits for me in the middle of the steps for her meals...

its a tough decision but I am sure I will make it the right decision when the time is right..
Thank you all for your kind responses and links...I am researching the assist feed link now...

The vet also said she could have put in a feeding tube but unfortunately she is just not sure exactly how far back the blockage goes down her throat so it might not actually work at all...

May 1st, 2012, 01:35 AM
Oh my, not welcome news at all.

I think that being there to see for yourself was indeed a gift. I know that personally, I have struggled to accept diagnoses. That struggle, I believe, made dealing with the totality of those situations much more difficult.

One thing you said caught my eye. It had to do with the kind of feeding tube you seem to be describing. There are several types of feeding tubes, some that are inserted in neck areas and others which goes directly into the stomach/intestines - three of these are described in clear language in this article - if the restriction in her throat would make that area questionable...perhaps the stomach entry would be a better alternative.

One huge benefit of feeding tubes - they can maintain a cat's quality of life while allowing easy administration of nutritional and medical support.

I doubt if anyone here will question how far someone will go to keep a kitty happy - but I can tell you that I have seen friends and families who will do worse. Those, however, are people who just don't "get it". We are the only ones in a position to make these calls - and we are the ones who will understand when the time is right. It sounds like you are very much in tune with what she wants...perfect.

*Just as a PS - you can get notifications of messages by using "edit" in the "settings and options" area of the User CP

May 1st, 2012, 08:19 AM
I'm sorry you've gotten such bad news, willow :grouphug: :(

May 1st, 2012, 10:05 AM
So sorry to read the news was not good...lots of positive thoughts to you and Mia...You will know in your heart when the time has come..
good luck with the assisted feeding.:grouphug: