Can I Cure My Cats' Upper Repiratory Infections Myself?

CatChannel veterinary expert Arnold Plotnick, DVM, shares reasons why cat owners should leave medical treatment to cat vets.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM | Updated: April 29, 2015, 5 p.m. EST

Printer Friendly
Cat Upper Respiratory Infection
Q: I have 10 cats: three cats over age 5, two between ages 3 and 5 (adopted cats) and four aged 16 months (an adopted cat litter). All are indoor cats and have been spayed or neutered.
 
Earlier this week, one of the younger cats had serious coughing like a hairball, but wasn’t expelling or passing anything. I gave my cat two does of hairball medicine and that has stopped. Now, all four young cats have problems. One cat started with the sneezing and now all are sneezing a very wet sneeze, two cats have slightly weepy eyes and cat has a slight runny nose.  The cats’ appetites are still good and the cats still drink water and want cat treats.

With 10 cats, I can’t afford to take them to a vet. A friend had pets with upper-respiratory infections and said its sounds like my cats have the same thing. This friend said a local feed store sells antibiotics with syringes. She said if one of my cats has an upper respiratory infection that they all will get it and, left untreated, it could kill them.

A: It sounds like you have an outbreak of cat upper respiratory infection going through your menagerie. These fast facts explain what to expect:
  • Upper respiratory infections are usually caused by a virus, either the herpes virus, the calici virus or both.
  • Sneezing is the most common sign, as well as a discharge from the eyes and nose, drooling, congestion and decreased appetite.
  • Treatment of cat URIs requires supportive care mainly with oral antibiotics. Stubborn cases might require antiviral drugs and medicated eye ointments. The amino acid lysine is often beneficial in helping cats recover from URI symptoms caused by the herpes virus.
  • Your friend is not correct in assuming that ALL of your cats will come down with it. It depends on how virulent the strain of this particular virus, the vaccination status of the cats in the house, and each cat’s individual immune system.
  • Your friend is also incorrect by saying that your cats might die if the infection is untreated. I suppose if one of your cats was severely affected and stopped eating and drinking for a few days, it could theoretically die from the infection, but it would be rare.
  • Ideally, all of your affected cats should be examined by your veterinarian, but with 10 cats, I suppose that can be difficult, logistically, as well as financially. I would NOT go to a local feed store to get antibiotics. I imagine these antibiotics are meant for food animals, not cats and dogs. Even if the owner of the feed store tries to explain to you how to adjust the dosage to make it appropriate for cats, do NOT do this. The antibiotics might not be suitable for cats, and there is a high risk of overdosing your cats.
  • I think your best bet is to take the sickest one or two cats to the vet and have your cat vet prescribe medication. Technically, your cats’ veterinarian is not allowed to prescribe medication to a cat that your vet has never seen before, but if the affected cats have been to your vet in the past, and you tell your vet that a URI is spreading through your household, your cat vet may dispense antibiotics for the other affected cats. Certainly, your cat vet can dispense lysine to all of your cats; it is just an amino acid supplement.   

See more articles by Arnold Plotnick, DVM>>

Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
Can I Cure My Cats' Upper Repiratory Infections Myself?

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments

Dona    International

5/14/2016 8:27:07 AM

I have heard of him before, but after watching the documentary “Last Days of Left Eye” I was turned on to the full story

about Dr uwa. He is a man who has the Cure for AIDS,Cancer, Sickle Cell, Herpes,warts,lupus, Diabetes and every kind of

illness, through a whole foods vegetarian diet and natural herbs, what he calls Electric Foods. He never went to school,

college or medical school but has thousands of testimonials of healing people with HIV and AIDS, Herpes and several other

illnesses. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of TLC was cured of Herpes by him and she was so moved by his knowledge that she went on

to spread the word about him in every way she could. She also opened a Cultural/Healing Center for Children in Honduras

before she passed away tragically. This all inspired me that i had to contact Dr uwa, because i was having Herpes

which could not be cure but was only managed, when i contacted Dr. uwa, he sent me some herbs which i took, and now i can tell you, i have be totally cured of Herpes, My Name is Jasmine, I am from the South Carolina, Please if you have any form

of illness especially STD,Infertility,HIV etc. you can contact him immediately through his Email Address



Name: Dr uwa

Email: druwaherbalcenter@gmail.com

PHONE/WHATS APP : +2348063930531

Elane    International

5/6/2016 10:53:13 PM

I'm so grateful to DR. BULUKONA. I was told i have diabetes in 2015, i have been taking different kinds of medication until i saw testimonies of DR. BULUKONA curing herpes and other disease. I made up my mind and contacted him, i told him about my diabetes he advised and encouraged me and gave me medicine which i took according to his dosage information. Now I'm so happy I'm cured from diabetes my heart is so filled with joy, thank you so much DR. BULUKONA. If you are reading this and you have diabetes or any kind of disease Email: bulukonasolutiontemple @outlook. com ,Website: bulukonasolutiontemple .webs. com, call or text +2347068047006

Elane    International

5/6/2016 10:46:56 PM

I’m so grateful to DR. BULUKONA. I was told i have diabetes in 2015, i have been taking different kinds of medication until i saw testimonies of DR. BULUKONA curing herpes and other disease. I made up my mind and contacted him, i told him about my diabetes he advised and encouraged me and gave me medicine which i took according to his dosage information. Now I’m so happy I’m cured from diabetes my heart is so filled with joy, thank you so much DR. BULUKONA. If you are reading this and you have diabetes or any kind of disease Email: bulukonasolutiontemple@outlook.com ,Website: bulukonasolutiontemple.webs.com, call or text +2347068047006

eric    International

4/26/2016 8:11:59 PM

I'm Eric johnson, I contracted Herpes(hsv-2) in 2009, my doctor said there's no cure for Herpes. I saw someone post about Dr. Mapipa,so many people was talking about him ,so decided to try ,so i contacted him via his email.drmapipaherbalmedicinehome@gmail.com,so he replied me,and told me that he will cure me within 18days ,then i purchased the herbal medicine and he sent the herbal medicine to me , and I took it for 18 days after then I went for check-up and I was totally cured. The medicine has NO SIDE EFFECT, there's no special diet when taking the medicine. He also cures , HEPATITIS B,ALS,MND,EPILEPSY,LEUKEMIA,ASTHMA,CANCER,GONORRHE- A,,EMPHYSEMA,GENITAL WARTS and lots more. is real viewer,just try and see for yourself ,.....you can also check this website to know more .www.drmapipaherbal.weebly.com

View Current Comments


Top Products

ADS BY GOOGLE