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Old 12-08-2004, 05:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cat Hacking, but its not hairballs

My cat is going to be 2 yrs old and has had a recurrent daily hacking cough. I've taken her to several vets and they keep on telling me it's hairballs. Problem is that she doesn't vomit any hairballs and doesn't vomit at all. Only on occasion, when she eats too fast or something, but those are rare instances. What could this be? Anyone have any problems with this before? Other than that she is a perfectly fine cat. She has had this for a long time and I can't stand seeing her hack like that. I've tried all the hairball treatments and suggestions from the vet without any success. I also comb her daily.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have they done bloodwork? My cat would often make noise like he was trying to get a hairball up, but to no avail. Turns out he's got heartworm. So he's on steroids now and going for a recheck this Friday (fingers crossed!!).

You may want to have them run some tests to see if they can come up with anything, as feline heartworm checks usually aren't in a normal exam.
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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They haven't done any blood work. They are not worrying about it because she doesn't have signs of anything else and she is eating fine and going to the bathroom well. They told me that they'd run more tests if she stops eating or pooping, because then that would mean a blockage. She doesn't have the sounds of asthma or bronchitis either. They gave her antibiotics just in case of an upper resp infection but she's still the same and everything sounds clear. It's just very frustrating. I've owned other cats before and I never had that happen. It's like she has a "mystery hack".
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hookworms also can cause a hack like this.....it is the life cycle of the larva.
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Old 12-09-2004, 10:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well my cat was completely fine too until the hacking started. Heartworm isn't treated in cats like it is in dogs. They just gave me steroids to keep the inflammation in his lungs to a minimum and this had greatly helped. I never hear him cough anymore.

It could be nothing though, but next time you bring him in (for any reason) you may want to ask them to do a heartworm check.
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Old 12-10-2004, 01:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The most common cause of non-hairball coughing in cats is asthma. It is diagnosed by x-ray.

Heartworm, lungworm, and other parasites can also cause coughing, and rarely heart disease does it too (though more in dogs than cats).

Keep looking until you find a vet who is willing to take you seriously and actually put a little effort into discovering the cause.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
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Old 02-05-2005, 08:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Did you ever find out what was wrong with your cat?

Mine does the same thing and has had a normal X-ray. Normal heart size and lungs look good.
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you have a vet who isn't concerned about your cat's hacking, get another vet.....

Cat's have so few ways of telling us how they feel and this is an obvious sign something isn't exactly right. Just as you aren't satisfied, neither should a vet be, until the cause is discovered.
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Old 02-07-2005, 10:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Actually, yes. I switched vets and we found out that she has allergies and some asthma. The vet gave her a cortisone shot and I have her on a hypoallergenic diet of venison & green pea and she has not hacked once since the visit. The asthma he said is most likely caused by the allergies and that it was very little wheezing so I don't need to treat her at this time for it. All is going well for now.

Thank you for asking.
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