Hairball? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2005, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 334

Hey all. I'm probably being neurotic because we recently lost Aggie to (we think) a dog. So I'm going to be ovreprotective for a while.

Aggie's sister, Eowyn, is behaving as if she has a hairball. I've seen kitties with this trouble before. But she seems to really be struggling. She also sounds very hoarse when she attempts to cough it up (which is an assumption on my part). She's a short hair, by the way.

I've never heard a cough like this accompanying a hairball. We've started giving her medicine and I thought I'd also ask you all if over the counter hairball treatment is safe. We've used it before and never had trouble, but I don't want to find out the hard way that it isn't safe.

How long should I wait to see if it clears up before wisking her off to the vet? Or should I wait at all? You guys may remember the episode with Sarah a month or so ago when she mysteriously stopped eating and it turned out she'd swallowed a wad of thread. So, I'm definately on edge right now. It's not been a good few weeks for our kitties. But I don't want to overreact and run up another bill if it's just a hairball.

Eowyn is still eating, she's playful. But she just stops more and more often to cough and behave as if there's a hairball a-comin'.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2005, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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From what you describe the safest thing would be to call for an appointment ASAP and have your vet check out your kitty.
Coughing can be caused by many things, here are a few:
a respiratory infection;
inhaled irritants such as smoke and chemicals;
foreign objects such as grass seeds and food particles;
pressure from tight collars;
growths arising in the air passages;
chronic bronchitis;
acute bronchitis;
feline asthma;
heartworms, lungworms and fungus diseases;
heart disease.

By listening to the heart and lungs your vet can start to determine what the problem might be and then do other diagnostic work as necessary to arrive at a correct diagnosis.
Personally, I don't believe this cough has anything to do with a hairball.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-23-2005, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Wisconsin, USA
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If she's eating AND pooping, and not vomitting, I don't see any problem with waiting to see if the hairball remedy works. It is safe, when given according to directions. Be sure not to give any less than a couple hours before eating. And if there's vomitting or diahrrea, then stop.

But are you sure this isn't an upper respiratory infection? You say the coughing sounds different than usual for a hairball and also that she's hoarse.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2005, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2004
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We haven't heard her gag or cough all day, so phew. She's eating, drinking, playing, etc. So, it's probably just us being really overprotective. And can you blame us?

We'll be keeping her on the med for now to make sure it's all cleared up.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2005, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 150

My 2 yr old cat has had coughing that sounded like a hairball, but nothing came up and no OTC hairball remedies worked. She did vomit from time to time. I took her to the vet and they diagnosed her with a mild case of feline asthma and he said the asthma could be triggered by a food allergy. I currently feed her Natural Balance Venison & Green Pea food and she is having less bouts of coughing and her vomitting has ceased too.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2005, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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catgirl....I just want to offer my sympathy for the loss of your Aggie.
My Bosco was attacked and killed by a dog and I know how painful that is to go through...I am glad you have another cat to love!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2005, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 334
I thank you for the sympathy. I have a post for poor darling Aggie in Over the Rainbow Bridge. I've lost three cats in the past year. I'm allowed to be a little nutty about the ones I still have.

That bit about the asthma now has me worried, because she did throw up for a few days (we assumed it was also hairball related and still might be). Eowyn also pants a lot, but then, she plays a lot. She's funny because it's like she doesn't realize she's worn out until she stands still for a minute. Then she topples over and falls asleep. Sometimes right in the doorway!

We'll be keeping an eye on her and, of course, if things get terrible it's off to the vet. But she seems alright for now.
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