GO!

Cat Coughing & Severe Hair Loss on Tail

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
(Page 1 of 2: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  
Mama

I think I'm a- princess!
 
 
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.

-Shana

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!
[notify]

Sammie

little stinker
 
 
Purred: Tue Dec 11, '12 6:38pm PST 
could be asthma, the strecthing of the neck sounds like sammie when he has a attack. is she spitting anything up when she coughs? or is it a dry cough, or, does she swallow what she is coughing up? this is the best we can think of, hope someone might have something else.
[notify]

Mama

I think I'm a- princess!
 
 
Purred: Tue Dec 11, '12 6:51pm PST 
Most of the time her cough sounds dry. But sometimes it can sound a little phlemy, but this is usually when she's having a herpes outbreak. During these times she also has some sneezing and discharge from eyes and nose. But that only happens a couple times a year. Like I said, she has had herpes all her life (7 yrs) but she never coughed. She always had sneezing and eye/nose discharge when she had a herpes outbreak, but never cough. My vet has suggested her cough is due to her herpes, but why would she start coughing after 7 years of having it? I'm so confused.
[notify]


Alex (sweet- angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
 
 
Purred: Tue Dec 11, '12 8:01pm PST 
Stress can make them pull their hair out for sure. And are you sure she doesn't have full blown asthma?
[notify]

Mama

I think I'm a- princess!
 
 
Purred: Tue Dec 11, '12 9:16pm PST 
I'm not sure about the asthma. She's never had any signs of asthma before she started coughing earlier this year. I have a cat who has asthma, and Mama's cough is very different from his. My vet listened to Mama's lungs during several visits this year and her lungs always sounded clear. When my vet listens to my cat with asthma's lungs, he always hears "something".

I'm thinking this is stress related, and I feel so bad. When we brought our 8th rescue, Gypsy, inside at the beginning of the year, I think that put our house over-ratio. Several of our cats are having issues since Gypsy's introduction. There's a lot of territorial fighting going on. It's a constant battle. I've considered trying to find a home for some of the newer cats (like Gypsy) but it's hard...all of our cats have special needs and their care is expensive and time consuming. I have all those fears that no one will care for them like I do...that they will succumb to their illnesses and die from the stress of seperation from me. I wish there was a good solution that would make everything better, but I haven't figured a good one out yet. I spend money I can't afford to buy cat pheramones to calm my cats nerves, natural remedies that I give some of them for stress...I've turned my small house into a cat house. Every room has a cat bed (actually, multiple beds) cat trees, cat scratchers, multiple litterboxes, multiple food/water stations....I've exhausted all the ways to reduce the stress of a multi-cat household. The stress of worrying about their stress is almost too much for me.

Anyway, sorry to go on and on...I guess I just need to seek advice and comfort from other cat lovers who understand what I am going through. My family and friends think I've got a screw loose and refer to me in jest (but not really) as the crazy cat lady. I guess I am a crazy cat lady. I don't think that will ever change.

Thanks for the responses. Would appreciate more feedback if anyone else has some ideas.
[notify]

Mama

I think I'm a- princess!
 
 
Purred: Wed Dec 12, '12 11:08am PST 
Update: got an appointment for Mama for Thursday morning at the vet. Hope we can figure this out! Ever since I noticed her tail the other night, I've been keeping a close eye on her and she IS licking it obsessively. Sigh. It's probably stress. But could be allergies or a parasite...hard to tell. Hopefully my vet will figure out what's wrong.
[notify]

Alex (sweet- angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
 
 
Purred: Wed Dec 12, '12 11:50am PST 
You can read up on OCD and allergies here on my site: http://www.ibdkitties.net/OCD.html. Please keep us posted and good luck tomorrow morning!
[notify]

Mama

I think I'm a- princess!
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 13, '12 1:14pm PST 
Update: Went to see the vet this morning. He said by the looks of the bald/semi-bald patches on Mama's tail, she is causing the hair loss herself by over-grooming. He said it might be from a combination of things. She's licking to relieve stress and anxiety because she's had a lot of big changes happen this year, but the vet also found one of her anal glands was completely impacted. He drained it and she immediately seemed like she felt better. Since we've been home she seems so much more relaxed. I did give her Bach flower Pet Rescue Remedy for stress before we left for the vet, but I've given that to her lots of times and it never has made her so relaxed. Anyway, I'm supposed to spray some topical spray on the bald spots every day and give her a lot of attention. Hopefully her beautiful fur will grow back and she can start feeling better!
[notify]

Alex (sweet- angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 13, '12 1:19pm PST 
Impacted anal glands hurt like heck so I'm sure that was not at all comfy for her. Glad you got that taken care of! Just so you know, sometimes that can reoccur months later so watch for that. thinking
[notify]

Mama

I think I'm a- princess!
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 13, '12 4:26pm PST 
Update: Went to see the vet this morning. He said by the looks of the bald/semi-bald patches on Mama's tail, she is causing the hair loss herself by over-grooming. He said it might be from a combination of things. She's licking to relieve stress and anxiety because she's had a lot of big changes happen this year, but the vet also found one of her anal glands was completely impacted. He drained it and she immediately seemed like she felt better. Since we've been home she seems so much more relaxed. I did give her Bach flower Pet Rescue Remedy for stress before we left for the vet, but I've given that to her lots of times and it never has made her so relaxed. Anyway, I'm supposed to spray some topical spray on the bald spots every day and give her a lot of attention. Hopefully her beautiful fur will grow back and she can start feeling better!
[notify]

  (Page 1 of 2: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2