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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 13yr old cat Liza is pretty sick. For over a year now she's had chronic nasal congestion, with nasal discharge along with sneezing. We have treated it with all kinds of antibiotic. Nothing has worked so when she suddenly stopped eating we decided to do a nasal flush and culture on the bacteria. The vet said there was no sign of cancer but they got a fairly good understanding of what antibiotic to prescribe. This is called Zeniquin.

Well we brought her home thinking that she'd start to feel better with this prescription and a clear nose. She is worse now than she ever was before the nasal flush. Very congested snoring constantly and nasal discharge. She is eating infrequently and will not take her pills with the pill pockets anymore. We took her back to the vet yesterday and they said lets try her on steroids. I was hesitant but thought we'd give it a try. So they prescribed Prednisolone they gave her a shot to start her off and I was to continue the antibiotic along with the steroid. Well she won't take the pills with the pill pockets, I had to crush the pill up in her food she ate a little this morning. She also started to cry at high pitch at odd occasions like she's in pain.

I don't know what to do next the vet said we could do x-rays to determine if it's a mass but she thought it was unlikely as the culture didn't show any indication of cancer. I'm fed up and frustrated I hate seeing my dear old cat like this and I'm paying all this money and not getting anywhere to make her feel better. I'm annoyed at the vet they should be making her feel better. What do we do next? Anyone else had a similar experience what was the outcome?

Thanks for reading my long post.
 

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I'm very sorry for what you and your cat are going through. It sounds like your cat really needs to be seen by a specialist with more thorough diagnostic capabilities than your local vet has to offer. I strongly recommend you find the nearest university vet school clinic and get her there ASAP. That's where you will find the veterinary specialists and diagnostic equipment capable of diagnosing and treating your girl without wasting more of your money on "best guesses".

I wish you and your old girl the best possible outcome.

Laurie
 

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Very few, if any, private vet clinics can afford to purchase or maintain the diagnostic equipment available at vet schools. It's great that your vet specializes in cats, but that's not the same as specializing in pulmonary, cardiology, endocrinology, hematology, oncology, or any of the other specialties that you'll be likely to find at a vet school. The great thing about a vet school is that you've got all of those veterinary specialists available under one roof available to consult on your cat's case, if necessary.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well the nearest Vet school is like 3hrs away so I don't know how convenient that is especially if she needs to be there for tests.

Would you spend the money to have x-rays done to see if there's a mass somewhere. The vet said the culture didn't indicate anything other than bacteria but I'm unsure.
 

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I would at least do the X-ray to see if there is anything abnormal. We had one done on Ziggy and it showed there were some masses. The vet kept saying she didn't think it was cancer. Ultimately we opted for a surgery so that samples could be taken for biopsy, which indicated that he did have cancer. I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though the vet may be telling you that it's probably not cancer, they can be wrong. An X-ray is not invasive and may help you catch something in time before it becomes really serious.
 

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Here's what I would do. I would call the vet school and see if they offer telephone consults. If so, you could have all of your cat's test results so far forwarded to the vet school prior to the phone consult, then see what the vets at the vet school recommend in terms of further diagnostics or possible diagnosis. Be prepared to pay for the phone consult, if the vet school provides that option. That, at least, will give you a second opinion and may point you and your vet in the direction of other diagnostic options.

I have sought out telephone consults with veterinary specialists for my animals several times and have always found them enlightening.

Laurie
 

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They cultured the bacteria they got with the nasal flush and so ideally the Zeniquin should help. Often with these well-established upper respiratory infections you need to be giving the antibiotic for 2 or 3 weeks, maybe more, in order to really kick that bug. 7 or 10 days is often simply not enough. Also it sounds like you are hiding her pill and hoping she will eat it, either with a pill pocket or crushing it up. Have you ever learned how to pill her by hand, to ensure that she gets the whole pill? As long as your cat isn't totally uncooperative, this isn't actually that hard to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Laurie - They have a direct phone # so i will call to see if they can do a phone consult.

Lucas - Yes, we are leaning towards an x-ray just to make sure.

Rachel - Thanks, well the vet said you should see an improvement fairly quickly as the dose they gave was pretty strong. She has been on it a week before the 2 day break when she wouldn't take the pill. Giving pills is hard going with her she is very feisty and she attacks.

I just wish I knew what this was. It seems like it's more viral which in that case can never be cured. I'm getting frustrated with my vet as she won't give me a clear answer as far as long term.
 

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I can understand your frustration as I am living with a chronic upper respiratory kitty myself. In Chica's case, a month long course of Doxycycline combined with adding a humidifier and daily "steam treatments" when I take a shower did wonders for her.

I keep extra doxy at home now... most of the time her sniffles are a viral thing and I supplement her with L-Lysine on a daily basis. At times, especially when the weather gets dry, it proceeds into secondary bacterial infections (with the green, sometimes even blood-tinged discharge) and that's when I am glad to have extra doxycycline on hand. I also occasionally use a saline nasal mist spray when she seems clogged up.

So if you haven't tried these things I would add them to your list
-Add humidity to her environment
-Steam treatments (A good excuse to take long hot showers ;-) )
-L-Lysine (comes in gels, and pills, but Chica prefers Enisyl-F Lysine treats. I would highly recommend them, they seem to help keep the viral part of it somewhat at bay)
-Saline nasal spray (seems to help the backed up mucus drain)

Amazon.com: Enisyl-F Lysine Treats for Cats, 6.35oz: Pet Supplies
 
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