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Babycakes has an upper respiratory virus and is back on antibiotics. I did find a new vet that will come to the house and she's great. My concern is more about what I'm doing to her. I'm scared to death for her and I can't seem to just leave her be. Can anyone tell me if an 8 year old cat can die of this and help me calm down so I stop upsetting her. Any information from folks whose cat has had this would be so helpful. I know I'm not helping but I just keep hovering. To make matters worse I was on vacation last week so our whole schedule was off balance. I don't want to hurt her. I'm even afraid of giving her the antibiotics because of the additional stress. She won't take them in food any more. She's not eating very well and I'm very worried. Please help.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." Mother Teresa

    by Pam LaPier on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 07:02:11 PM PDT

  •  Wife Who Is Ex Vet Tech Says if She Needs (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Margd, Pam LaPier, Ekaterin, zaka1, irishwitch, cany

    antibiotics and doesn't get them it's dangerous. Thing is, antibiotics don't fight viruses, they fight bacteria, but often if you have a serious viral infection there's a risk of being weakened and susceptible to the bacteria they do fight.

    Myself who knows nothing, once we had a doggie who stopped eating and then drinking after an unexpectedly complicated neutering. I finally offered him a small piece of candy to sniff and lick. He did lick it a couple times. A little while later I offered it again, he licked it more, so then I offered some water. He took it, and soon took a little mushed up dog food.

    Who knows if this could help you. Best wishes and prayers for your little one and you.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 07:11:06 PM PDT

  •  No advice but my experience (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pam LaPier, BlackSheep1, irishwitch

    One of my dearly loved cats came down with frequent upper respiratory infections associated with asthma.  Antibiotics were necessary to treat him - he simply could not get better without them.  If Babycakes has a viral infection, the antibiotics might not be that helpful, but I wouldn't want to take that chance.  

    There is an injectable antibiotic that lasts about 10 days to 2 weeks.  Perhaps your vet would be willing to try this to spare Babycakes the trauma of giving her oral medicine.

    I hope Babycakes gets better soon.

    •  I asked about that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Margd, irishwitch

      She said it's not her preferred treatment but I'm so scared of what all of this is doing to her. I don't know if I can handle something happening to her. I love my cats so much and I have 4 of them so this kind of thing is going to happen as they get older. I've got to learn to get a handle on my stress.

      "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." Mother Teresa

      by Pam LaPier on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 07:33:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, it's really hard (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1, irishwitch

        when they get old.  I lost my two aged pooties within the last year and the loss was just terrible.  The only way I could cope was to give homes to two more rescue cats.  Honestly, I couldn't bear the pain any other way.

        The injection is better than nothing.  I totally understand not wanting to stress out Babycakes with the oral antibiotics.  For what it's worth, the one time my pootie got the injection, the infection cleared up very quickly.

      •  I forgot to mention (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch, cany

        that lysine is supposed to help with URIs.  I have a friend with years of experience treating rescue cats and she swears by this.  Google it - there's a lot of support for this working.

        •  There's been some recent study done (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Margd

          on L-Lysine.  One of the results was that it did NOT seem to help with herpes-related diseases (eyes).  I had an entire population on L-Lysine for a long time and honestly, I don't know whether it helped or not.

          866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

          by cany on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:59:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's called Convenia. My vet prefers less costly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch, cany

        oral antibiotics, but to stop Alex and Kymba (who have issues with teeth) from overstress, she gives them Convenia (it gives us a break from daily oral abx). It's not inexpensive but it works well and the cats are much less stressed.

        LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:27:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pam, your sweetie will be fine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Margd, irishwitch

    URIs can make a kitty feel sick and affect appetite, but she WILL recover. I'm glad you found a vet to come to your house. As long as Babycakes is eating and drinking at least sometimes, she's doing OK.

    I was able to break my hovering habit over sick kitties when I realized that, like us, they'd like peace and rest to help their little bodies recover. Plus, they get stressed by picking up on our fears. So love her and care for her, and call the vet if you have questions.....but I think the virus will just run its course and your kitty will be good as new.

    Hugs. ♥

    •  Thanks Ekaterin (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ekaterin, BlackSheep1, irishwitch

      It's so insane. I walk around half in tears all the time. Her poor little nose is running and her eye is all runny. She's such a good little baby. I can't bear to see her go through this.

      "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." Mother Teresa

      by Pam LaPier on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 07:59:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I actually (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ekaterin, irishwitch, cany

      thank God this vacation is over. I should have just cancelled it but I thought it would be a good thing for her to have me around. Dumb me. Talk about the vacation from hell. A sick cat and torrential rains and flooding. Geez Louise!

      I'm so grateful for you guys. No one in my world understands. They all think I'm the crazy cat lady. Damn right I am!

      "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." Mother Teresa

      by Pam LaPier on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:03:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Need really stinky food (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, cany

    sounds nuts but the vet told me that when cats have URI they don't smell well. And cats, apparently, are ALL about how the food smells. Get stinky food. stinky and runny wet, that way they get liquid at the same time.

    Put a little on your finger and put it in/near her mouth, the taste may kick start her eating more.

    And you might be able to get the pills down her more easily if they are in the stinky food.

    To check for dehydration, lift the skin on the shoulder blades. If it falls back quickly, all is good. If not, ask the vet to give a water shot (under the skin and they absorb it).

    I know how you feel - Grey got them all the time and it freaked me out!
    She's going to be fine, this is mostly to give you something to do, and to help feel more in control.  Hope it helps.

  •  Okay, perhaps this will help. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Margd

    I am in rescue and constantly have to deal with URIs (upper respiratory infections).  I am NOT a veterinarian.

    1.  When cats get a URI centered in its nose, it often dampens their sense of smell which can then cause them NOT to eat.  This is turn causes them to dehydrate (remember, they are getting their water either from the canned food itself, generally 78% or so H2O, OR eating drives them to drink!).

    That said, if I have a cat with URI that will not eat for 36 hours they get forcefed.  There is actually a formula based on weight that will give one the maintenance calories needed to sustain a cat AT that maintenance calorie level.   I use chicken Gerber baby food... it is 100 calories/bottle.  I do NOT use any other flavor because they are far less calories/volume.

    Dehydration is bad, bad, bad.  Cats are desert-evolved animals that evolved getting water FROM their food (think mouse) v. in addition to their food. And once dehydrated, they feel even worse causing them to want to eat even less... a true Catch-22.  There can be other problems as well.

    Sometimes, cats that have URIs (if not force fed after a MAX of 36 hours CAN and DO begin the slide go into fatty liver disease aka hepatic lipidosisyhepatic lipidosis.

    So be aware of how much the cat is eating, AND if the cat does not eat anything for 36 hours OR if you see dehydration return to the vet.  Check gums for color and refill time (response to pressure... the gum should lose it color when touched, and the response time of return to normal color is what you are looking for).  

    2.  Normally, a cat can get a URI and recover just fine WHILE ON MEDS.  Absolutely do NOT fail to follow the vet's advice and fail to give the medicine.  You may end up with an even sicker cat.  And the writer above is absolutely correct:  The meds don't treat the virus, they are meant for a possible bacterial infection that may or may not exist or develop with or because of the virus.

    3.  Try Hill's Diet canned A/D (appetite diet) which you can only get at a vet.  This food can work wonders in getting your cat to eat.  But because often they can't smell when they have a cold, you may need to take a little on your fingertips and insert into their mouths (I literally sort of spat it in the roof of their mouth gently) so they can actually TASTE it.  Remember, most of taste is smell... so when the kitty's smeller conks out they are not inclined to eat.

    If they don't eat it the first time, try again in an hour.

    4.  Let your kitty rest.  If your cat sleeps next to you on the couch, do that.  Keep kitty's routine normal.  

    And by all means, absolutely do NOT freak out.  Stressing yourself or the cat out is the last thing anyone needs.

    If you read the article on URIs, remember, look for the signs of worsening...

    --Mouth breathing.  This means vet or emergency room stat.
    --Temp.  Take the cat's temp every 4 hours or so if you are able.  Keep a record.  IF the temp tends to 104, contact your vet and let them know.  See what they suggest, which may include a visit back to the vet.  Normal temp is 101-103F.  If it's the middle of the night and the temp is 104, if it were my cat I would be headed to the emergency hospital.
    --If the cat's behavior is listless, or the cat has trouble with physical navigation (walking... wobbly) it is a trip to vet or emergency stat.

    Now, I can tell you that what I do is probably different than what you will do.  I also give SubCu fluids if I find they are even beginning to dehydrate and are not eating.  But that is something you should not do... the vet can do that in a snap OR, better yet, put them on a slow drip if they feel that is the better course of action.  Only the vet will know this.

    I hope this has been helpful.

    PS... also check stool and record urination frequency.  If cats are dehydrated, they often get constipated.  Sometimes the straining will cause a bit of blood in their stool from straining.  If you are familiar with the normal consistency, color, shape and size of their stool, it may tell you many things... or may not!

    866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 08:53:19 PM PDT

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