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Discussion Starter #1
We brought Gazoo home last Sunday. The shelter said he had a URI, and they sent us home with drops for his eyes (tobramycin), nose (gentomicin), and some doxycycline.

On Thursday, I took him to the vet because I had run out of the nose drops and was getting concerned that he didn't seem to be getting any better. She prescribed a tube of L-Lysine paste (2.5 ml to be given daily) and suggested that we stop by the drug store and get some saline for his nose. She also said that he had a slight heart murmur.

I thought maybe he was starting to improve because he has clearly had much more energy the past couple of days. He's running, jumping, and playing like a kitten should, which seems to be an improvement over the first few days after he came home where he was pretty lethargic and sleepy. Today he's been coughing as if he has a hairball, and of course still sneezing (although less than days prior) and one of his eyes is still watering.

Based on the notes from the shelter, he's now had this for about 9 days. Has anyone had a cat with a URI? How long did it take for it to go away, and does it sound like he's improving at all?

I'm worried because I lost one cat 5 weeks ago, and have gotten attached to this little guy in just a week and don't want to lose him too.
 

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When I brought Egypt home, she wasn't a kitten (2 years old, but petite and emaciated), but lived in a shelter for some time and came home with a bad URI. Her eye was swollen and goopy for weeks and she sneezed and coughed a lot. She was like that for 2 weeks after starting antibiotics. The antibiotics weren't for the URI per se, but to treat any secondary infections. She was given Terramycin for her eyes. The eyes were the first to clear up. That took about 10 days.

After she finished her 2 week regimen of antibiotics, which of course, brought on the bouts of diarrhea, her airways didn't clear for a good month or so. After that, she gets Herpes flare-ups when under extreme stress. I did give her L-lysine for the first year or so while she was with me (at least 500 mg/day and 1,000 mg/day when she was sick). After that, she hasn't really had any problems, but when I take her to the vet, she can hear the raspyness of her breathing. She got some permanent scarring to the tissue of her lungs, and she's a sneezy cat. If there is any dust or allergens in the room, she starts sneezing repeatedly.

Unfortunately, you simply need to work to boost the cat's immune system and wait it out. There is no cure for an URI. Good nutrition is also key. I would get some EVO 95% canned to make sure he gets all the right nutrients to help him, just transition the food slowly. You want to avoid any unnecessary stressors.

Another tip I learned on this cat forum was to also put kitty in the bathroom for a good 15-20 minutes with the hot water running on the showerhead to get the room nice and steamy and let kitty breathe that in. It's a home made kitty humidifier, which will help him breathe better by clearing his airways.
 

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The fact that he's running and playing when he was initially lethargic is a good sign. You don't say how he's doing with eating...if he's eating fine, then I think you just need to ride it out. If he's not eating well, try the steam trick mentioned above just before a meal...it will help clear out his nose...cats won't eat if they can't smell.

I do have to say, shame on the shelter for adopting out a cat that they knew was sick. Most shelters won't let them go until they know they're well on the road to recovery.
 

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Cats are extremely susceptible to viral illnesses and there are no quick ways to cure a viral illness (think common cold, flu); they just have to run their course and the vet gives you ways to support your cat's immune system until the virus is pushed out of the cat's system. Yes, it can take a month or more before that virus is defeated.

I agree with Marie: as long as he is eating well, playing at least a little and eliminating normally, your cat is on the mend. The cornerstone of recovery is good food, love and physical care in keeping his eyes and nose clear of mucous (where they shed the virus). If you are still looking for something more you can do, you can get your cat a probiotic supplement (one of those powders) to replace the good gut bacteria he may have lost to the antibiotics and to help boost his immune system with amino acids and trace elements.

Healing always takes time, and with a virus, it takes twice as much time as with a bacterial only infection.

I am sorry to hear about your previous loss. Cherish your memories and celebrate your time with your lost cat. Each individual is one of a kind, never to be again on the face of the Earth. Celebrate sharing your life with that individual.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I feel better after reading some of the responses. He is eating pretty well, although he is only interested in the Blue Buffalo dry food we have. I've offered him several flavors of wet food - Blue Buffalo kitten, Blue Buffalo Wilderness kitten, Wellness kitten and the only thing he had even a remote interest in was the Wellness. He took a few bites but left most of it. I thought I'd offer some more wet food when his sinuses clear up and he can actually smell it. At this point I figure that we're doing pretty well as long as he'll eat SOMETHING, and the dry is better than nothing. I did pick up a can of EVO 95% today along with another can of the Wellness kitten. I'll try again this week to see if he had any interest.

We did try the steamy shower thing the other day, he cried the entire time, and for such a little guy he sure is loud.

He was supposed to go in to be neutered today, but the vet said to postpone it until he was better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well he's feeling better, running around like a wildcat, and eating the Wellness and EVO 95 wet food. One of his eyes is still a little watery at times, but he's not really sneezing much and he's no longer wheezing when he breathes. If I had to guess I'd say he's well over 3 pounds now.
 
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