|Purred: Tue Dec 11, '12 5:43pm PST |
|My cat Mama is around 7 years old. For the past year she has had a dry cough. She has had the herpes virus her whole life but has never had a cough until this year. My vet ran blood tests on her and did a physical exam a couple months ago. He didn't find anything abnormal, but I questioned whether she might have Bordetella because shortly before her cough began, we brought in a semi-feral 10 month old kitten who's siblings were feral and living outside, and I noticed in the spring several had coughs. The kitten I brought in got seriously ill with some sort of upper-respiratory infection a month after she came to live inside. I know bordetella is not so common in cats, but I take care of a feral colony and there are a lot of ferals and strays in my neighborhood.
Anyway, when I told my vet I thought Mama might have caught Bordetella from our new kitten, he gave her medicine to treat Bordetella. But her cough never stopped. When she coughs, she stretches her neck out several times, as if something is stuck in there. I asked my vet if she could have a growth in her throat, but he didn't think she did, and he said to find out he would have to sedate her and put a scope down her throat. I decided not to do that because he said it would be expensive and I am constantly poor from the expenses of caring for so many special needs cats.
Tonight, to my horror, I noticed that Mama's tail was so thin, maybe half the amount of hair that she has always had. I found a bald spot at the base of her tail. I could find no abcesses, no sores, no sign of trauma.
Does anyone know of a connection between hair loss and a cough in a cat? I am calling the vet immediately in the morning, but I always want to get second opinions.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
P.S. I do want to add that from Nov 15th to Nov 29th I was in Florida taking care of my grandmother who fell and broke her hip. It was the first time in years that I have been away from home. I'm wondering if my absence caused Mama stress. Also, one of my other rescue cats has been going after Mama a lot, intimidating her.
Right now she's licking her tail. Maybe she's over-grooming b/c of stress? She has always been REALLY attached to me. And a strange thing is she has always slept in my bed, but in the past couple months she has been sleeping somewhere else.
Sorry I'm writing a book, but Mama is my #1 girl and I am freaking out. I should also add (sorry!) that I have recently been diagnosed with salmonella. I know this is so dumb, but often I let Mama have a couple gulps of my milk after I've eaten cereal. Could I have given her salmonella??? I know, I sound so paranoid. But it's been one horrible year. I don't know if she has diarrhea because I almost never see her use the litter box and I have 8 cats, so it would be difficult to tell. We do have one elderly cat with chronic diarrhea. No cause has ever been determined for his diarrhea. We've had his stool tested SO many times and nothing is every found in his stool or blood work. Ah! Cat rescue is so frustrating!
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