|Purred: Tue Sep 25, '12 11:15pm PST |
|My cat Mama will be 7 yrs old in a couple months. I have had her since birth and in her first 3 months of life she was very sick. All her litter-mates died at 3 months old for unknown reasons. Mama almost died too, but by some miracle she survived. Since then she has been a very healthy cat (except that she has the herpes virus-I have 8 cats and they are all infected with the herpes virus).
Since the first of this year Mama has had a strange cough. This might be a coincidence, but around the time she developed this cough, we had brought a new kitten (Gypsy) in to our home. Gypsy developed a cough and other scary symptoms several weeks after we brought her inside (she was a semi-feral kitten that had gotten attacked and needed surgery so we brought her in to recouperate from the surgery, and once she was healed we couldn't bear to put her back outside, so she's been our cat ever since!)
I have been wondering this whole year if Gypsy gave Mama something that caused this cough in Mama. Gypsy doesn't cough anymore. When Gypsy got very sick right after we brought her inside, we rushed her to our vet and he gave her some anti-biotics and some other meds and within a couple weeks she was better. When I noticed Mama had developed a cough, I rushed her to the vet too. I asked my vet if Gypsy could have had Bordetella bronchiseptica (like kennel cough-uncommon in cats but not unheard of in outdoor cats exposed to many feral and stray cats)and maybe Gypsy could have passed it to Mama. My vet thought it was unlikely, but gave me medicine to treat Bordetella, which I gave to Mama. But it's been 9 or so months and Mama is still coughing!
I've taken her back to my vet several times, each time questioning what this cough could be from. My vet has said that maybe it's from the herpes, but Mama's had herpes her whole life and never had a cough before this year! So that doesn't make sense to me. None of my vets treatments have gotten rid of her cough and I'm getting really frustrated because I think somethings wrong and I want to fix it.
I took her in to my vet last week, determined to figure this out. I asked my vet to take an x-ray of her chest, but after listening to her lungs and saying they sounded clear, he didn't think an x-ray was necessary. I then asked him to please do a blood test to check for any issues. He did do that (a basic blood panel), but everything came back normal. My vets now having me give her a decongestant, but it isn't really making a difference.
I just want to explain Mama's cough so you all can get an idea of what I'm dealing with. I have a cat (Boo Boo) with asthma who coughs, but Mama's cough is very different from his. Mama sounds like a human coughing. It's a deep, hacking cough. I have a really busy schedule, so I don't get to spend much quality time with her until the evening, when I get in bed. That's when I hear the cough most often. She will cuddle up to me and start making dough, then she'll start hacking and abruptly walk away from me and go lay at the end of my bed. She also extends her neck multiple times when she's coughing, as if something is in her throat. I asked my vet if she could have some kind of growth in her throat, but he didn't seem to want to check for that. He said to look in her throat he would have to sedate her and put a scope down her throat, and it would be expensive (he knows I am pretty poor and I have so many special needs cats that I spend a lot of money at the vets on a regular basis).
I don't want you to get the wrong idea about my vet because he has been an amazing vet to my animals over the past decade. He has saved several of their lives in emergencies and he often gives me discounts when I don't have the money for certain services. But I am a little frustrated with him that he is not figuring out what's wrong with my Mama. Mama is my special girl and I obsess about her health because it was such a difficult time when all her siblings died and she was so sick.
Has anyone on here experienced coughing in their cats? What could be causing this? What sort of tests should I ask my vet to preform? I really want to figure this out because I could not handle losing Mama. It has been a really hard couple of years for me because I lost my 12 year old cat Deliah in 2010, then last year my beloved aunt Debbie lost her 7 year battle with cancer, and four months after my aunt died my 12 yr old dog Bodhi died from complications of Cushings Disease. I am still recovering from all these deaths and my heart can't handle another. I don't have a clue whether Mama has some terrible disease or if it's something that can be managed or cured, but whatever it is, I've got to get to the bottom of it!
Any advice would be gratefully appreciated!
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