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Cat is dry heaving and constantly gulping - what's up?

Melisende
June 10th, 2012, 01:45 PM
Hi all,

My lovely kitty gulped down her food insanely fast 4 days ago and about an hour later, sneezed/coughed/heaved without vomiting. It actually looked like she brought it up and swallowed it again (sorry if this sounds gross)

Afterwards, she kept gulping regularly. It looks the same as when humans have a very mucus-y cold and keep trying to swallow down something stuck in their throat.

I called the vet and they suggested I fast her 24h to see if it may pass, since she seemed to have a harder time of it right after eating. That was completed yesterday evening when I fed her again a small portion. She coughed (very mucus-y sounding too) once and went to bed gulping but without heaving.

I also checked her mouth and under her tongue and saw no foreign objects. She goes to the box no problem.

This morning, I fed her a small portion again, she sneezed that snotty sound once and that was it. Now, after the noon small feeding, she vomited. I didn't catch her in the act but it didn't seem to be as if all the portion had come up. There was a lot of saliva and what I think may be mucus. Later on she retched without bringing anything up.

Now she sleeps most of the time since she hasn't had her full servings since yesterday. She's hungry though and will eat enthusiastically whenever offered with food.

She's a 5yrs indoor domestic shorthair. Eats 4 3/8oz of Wellness chicken in 4 servings per day. She's never had issues with hairballs in the past and we've had another long-haired cat in the house for over a year.

Anybody's go a clue what could be bothering her? The vet suggested she may have breathed in some food and is now trying to clear her lungs/throat.

Thanks,

marko
June 11th, 2012, 07:58 AM
The vet suggested she may have breathed in some food and is now trying to clear her lungs/throat.

This is exactly what my instinct was. I don't not know what the consequences are though. I do know that liquids that get in the lungs are very serious...

I'd be curious to know what other members suggest. Personally, unless my vet could allay my fears by phone, I'd likely bring the cat in for a checkup.
Good luck!

Barkingdog
June 11th, 2012, 10:51 AM
This is exactly what my instinct was. I don't not know what the consequences are though. I do know that liquids that get in the lungs are very serious...

I'd be curious to know what other members suggest. Personally, unless my vet could allay my fears by phone, I'd likely bring the cat in for a checkup.
Good luck!

This came to my mind right away too, that some food got into the cat lung. I agree with you, bring the cat in for a check up. The vet may be able to tell if the lungs are OK just by listening to cat .
I found this link that tell what happen when people inhale food into their lungs ,
I would think it would be the same with our pets.

http://www.drugs.com/cg/aspiration-pneumonia.html

Kasianni
June 11th, 2012, 01:05 PM
That's exactly what I thought too. Sounds like she got some food in the lungs. I would take her to the vets right now personally if she is still doing this and not feeling well.

Rgeurts
June 11th, 2012, 03:07 PM
Hi there :)

So sorry your baby is having these issues. I would highly recommend a visit to the vet. It sounds like Aspiration Pneumonia to me. My dog aspirated with a seizure once. He ended up with Pulmonary Edema (fluid filling the lungs) and was hospitalized for several days. We almost lost him due to the infection. If she does have Aspiration Pneumonia, she needs to be seen ASAP. If there is an infection, she can die. There are a few things your vet will do to determine it. I have a hard time understanding why, if that was their first thought, they didn't have you bring her in immediately. This is a list of symptoms common with aspiration/Aspiration Pnuemonia:

Symptoms

Symptoms of aspiration pneumonia include breathing difficulties, swallowing difficulties, coughing, fever, discharge from the nasal passages, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, a bluish tinge to the skin (cyanosis), and a possible intolerance to exercise due to weakness. An altered mood, vomiting, loss of appetite, and regurgitation may also be present, depending on the underlying reasons for this condition.


Keep in mind that not all animals will have every symptom, but it sounds as though your kitty has a few, which would really concern me.

There are different types of Aspiration Pneumonia, depending on the circumstance. Our boy vomited into his lungs, which is the worst. They told us he probably wouldn't make it because stomach contents are very hostile to the lungs. Fortunately, thank the lord... he made it through. If it was just that your kitty inhaled food into the lung, it can still be bad as there is bacteria involved. Please see your vet and let us know how kitty is doing. Lotsa :goodvibes: and :pray:'ers sent your way.

Jim Hall
June 11th, 2012, 07:35 PM
yup, once they stop eating and start sleeping. its time for the vet. sounds like the vet is pretty helpful though best of luck

Melisende
June 12th, 2012, 06:37 AM
Hi all,

Thanks so much for all the feedback! I just wanted to let you all know how Morrigane was doing.

I introduced food back to her this weekend in very small amounts (1/4 oz at a time) spaced over the day. Everything stayed down and the symptoms (gulping mainly) slowly decreased. She's active again with no eyes or nasal discharges and has not coughed for the past 24h.

Since she's such a quick eater, I mash the food all over the bowl and raise it up slightly. Added to smaller portions, it helps her get the food down where it ought to be!

For now, we keep a watchful eye for any progression (or worsening) but it seems the worse might be over. Thank you so much for all the insightfull responses, this community is amazing!