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Old May 17th, 2010, 11:48 AM
mountainme mountainme is offline
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Kitten Wheezing-mystery!

I have a kitten with a hard to figure out problem! I got him from a shelter about 3 weeks ago, he had a little wheeze then, and had just been neutered, and had a undescended testicle, which that had to pull down to fix him, because that's the shelters policy before adoption.
They told us he came from a house with 60! cats, that was busted up a few months earlier, he was just a baby when it happened. The kitten, Butters, is 15 weeks old now. I took him to the vet and they put him on Clavamox for 2 weeks, but they didn't give me enough meds and I ran out in 11 days...Dr. didn't want to do another round of antibiotics, even though he is still stuffy and wheezing.
He has no discharge from the nose, eyes very slightly watery once and awhile, no sneezing or coughing. Butters eats well and plays, but wheezes a lot when he is running around. So the Dr. is not much help, they don't know what is wrong, his mom was tested for Feline leukemia/AIDS, and was negative. They tested Butters last week for the same and he was negative. He has been getting L-lysine for a week, doesn't seem to do anything but we're keeping it up.

I would love to help this poor little guy! Anyone have any ideas?
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Old May 17th, 2010, 11:55 AM
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ancientgirl ancientgirl is offline
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I'd take the little guy to another vet. Doesn't seem like the one you took him to has much interest. I don't believe a kitten that is healthy should be wheezing.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 12:23 PM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Could it be asthma? Do you smoke, use carpet deodorizer? I agree with your vet, your cat probably doesn't need the antibiotics as it also may be viral.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 12:41 PM
mountainme mountainme is offline
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Nope, we don't smoke, use all natural cleaning products, try to keep a chemical free house. We feed him wellness kitten food which I think is pretty good stuff too.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 01:00 PM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Yes, Wellness kitten Canned is a great food. Kibble is not the best for your kitty. I compare kibble to eating crackers all day, everyday, then only being able to use your tongue to get water into your body. Not very efficient in hydrating the body in my books .

Here is a terrific website:
http://www.catinfo.org/

This is my favourite on kitty nutrition:

http://www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm


I would talk to the vet about asthma if it doesn't clear up on its own. And you are right, the L lysine doesn't hurt.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 01:43 PM
mountainme mountainme is offline
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I feed him canned wellness primarily, with some kibble hanging around in the bowl so he can stuff himself as necessary, he's a little underweight.
The vet said I could mix some A/D in there too, which I am going to get today...

Is there much you can do for kitty asthma? It is spring, and beautiful out here so I have the windows open...it is better to shut in the asthmatic kitty?
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Old May 17th, 2010, 02:38 PM
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Don't bother wasting your money on the A/D, it is not as good quality as Wellness and more expensive (check the ingredients on the can )

There are a few members who have cats with asthma and yes there is an inhaler you can buy for them.

I would wait to see if he clears up. If he is eating/sleeping/playing/pooping/peeing OK, then it is not an emergency right now.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 03:04 PM
mountainme mountainme is offline
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Thanks, it is not as good, how messed up is that? He is OK in other ways so I'm going to wait a bit, and then I think get a chest xray if it doesn't clear.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:37 PM
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rjesak rjesak is offline
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There certainly are inhalers if your kitty has asthma. One of my cats has had terrible asthma most of his life (he also wheezed from the day I brought him home from the shelter). The vet should be able to get a good idea by listening to his lungs. An X-ray can also show if there is congestion or obstruction in the lungs although neither of these methods will tell you why it's there.

Basically, the best way to determine if it's asthma is to treat it like asthma and see if it responds.

You could try working on ruling out allergens but it sounds like that's not really an issue in your house. Wellness IS a good food and it sounds like your cleaning supplies are actually clean! What about litter? Use a low dust litter - I currently use Swheat Scoop but there are even lower dust litters out there. What you really want to stay away from are those horribly scented ones like Fresh Step - they practically cause ME to wheeze and I don't have to climb in the box with it!

The only other allergens you could check for are in the food. Although you use a good quality food, if your kitty is allergic to fish or wheat products, those products may still be in it. You could try another brand that has an unusual protein source like rabbit and see how he responds. If it helps then you can start introducing other ingredients and see where you end up. I'd stay away from wheat products regardless which means checking the Wellness you buy (only some of theirs are wheat free) and losing the kibble. Kibble is usually mostly grain which many cats are allergic to.

ESPECIALLY if your kitty ends up being on steroids, getting the kibble out of the diet becomes very, VERY important. That situation is a trifecta for urinary tract infections, bladder infections, etc.
  1. You have a male cat which is more susceptible to these infections by nature of being male
  2. Steroids can increase the chances of getting these types of infections
  3. Dry kibble means kitty gets less moisture increasing the chances of getting these types of infections.


One typical treatment for asthma are steroids (usually taken orally). These can have side effects so you don't want your kitty to have to stay on them too long. In many cases though, you can clear up the asthma, taper down the dosage, and end up with a pretty healthy kitty. I was never so fortunate so I have to keep inhalers around for Oscar although I took him off the oral steroids - the side effects with him were quite bad.

The vet may also try an allergy treatment medication like Singulair. This wasn't particularly successful with Oscar but it's worked well with some cats.

That's about it. You should probably try to find a vet who's a little more interested in finding out what's wrong with him. Untreated asthma will shorten his life span unnecessarily.

In Oscar's case, although he's still living, asthma has more or less won. We reached a point where we decided we were doing too many horrible things to him every day and not getting him any relief. We were giving him shots, pills, and liquid medications every day, having procedure after procedure, and taking him to specialists of every variety and he never improved very much. We finally decided that we'll give him the inhaler when he's struggling but we've taken him off the other meds and stopped taking him in to the vet for that particular problem. This is fairly unusual though - most of the time asthma can be treated very effectively without much trouble to the cat. I wish you the best of luck with yours!
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  #10  
Old May 18th, 2010, 10:16 PM
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Has anyone checked his throat to see if he has something caught in it? Silly question but I had that happen to one of mine when he was a baby. His name is Wheezer.
I hope you find something to help him soon.
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