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Dry Heaving Or Coughing?

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by Kburns, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Kburns

    Kburns Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    4
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    Jul 12, 2018
    I'm concerned about my 6 month old kitten because he keeps making these noises (see video). At first, I figured it was just a hairball but he has not vomited or even coughed up any thing. My next guess is the noise is actually him coughing. I first noticed the noise about 5 days ago. He has been eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom regularly and has not shown any signs indicating lethargy or anything out of the ordinary. Am I overreacting or should he be seen by a vet? He was seen by a vet about 2 weeks ago for neutering and to finish up with some vaccinations. He will go through spells in which he coughs several times in a row and then seems fine. This occurs a few times a day. Thanks in advance!


     

  2. mayabear

    mayabear TCS Member Young Cat

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    96
    Feb 17, 2014
    New York, NY
    Aww... If it's happening a few times a day, I would take him to the vet. Or maybe you can email the vet that video first? My cat started coughing like that once in a while, then it became more frequent like a few times a week, and when I took her to the vet she was diagnosed with asthma. Hope he feels better!
     

  3. Neryo

    Neryo TCS Member Kitten

    11
    2
    Jul 25, 2018
    Hi Kburns,

    I'm actually in the same exact boat as you right now except my kitten is older and this has been going on for 4 months (i just made a post to ask the members about it). I took her to the vet though, and they said asthma in a kitten so young is very rare (which is good because asthma can be life threatening). She then hypothesized that it was some sort of acid reflux and we tried giving her a quarter of a Pepcid once a day for over a week as per the vets orders. We saw no change. Now like you I'm wondering if I should take her back because I know they're going to put her through extensive testing. I hope we can find answers!
     

  4. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

    3,683
    4,260
    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    Hi. In the video I can kind of see a tad bit of gulping after one of the coughs. Although it could be anything, it sort of looks like he is trying to cough up a hairball. Not always do cats actually throw up the hairball, sometimes the coughing dislodges it and it moves on through the digestive tract. You can also check his poo to look for hair.

    If your cat will eat it, you can give him a dab of Vaseline off of your finger for a few days in a row and see if the coughing stops. If he will eat it and it does stop the coughing, you can continue to give him a couple of dabs each week from there on.

    Do you brush your cat regularly? Sometimes that will help reduce the amount of hair being digested through licking.

    If the coughing doesn't stop - or gets worse - time for a vet visit!
     

  5. She's a witch

    She's a witch TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Feb 21, 2018
    Europe/WA, USA
    It doesn't have to be asthma, but it can be some other Lower Airways Disease, eg. chronic bronchitis, my cat has it since she was 1yo and she coughs similarly. It is not rare at all, around 1% of cats have it (higher % in siamese/oriental breeds). Before she was diagnosed, two other vets seeing the video assessed this is hairball. I took her to the cat only clinic and it was best decision ever. Now she is treated and the change is so relieving. In most cases xray is enough to tell, provided the vet knows how to see the changes in the lower respiratory track. If the cats cough so often as you two describe and they never produce any material, chances are their lower track is inflamed for some reason. Sometimes it can be bacterial or viral inflammation and can be treated by antibiotics, but in most cases it would be allergy related and steroids would be needed. If i could turn back time, I would have the vet insurance sorted before the diagnosis as the inhaler medication she is on is sooooo expensive in the US, although there are ways around it.
    The part of the diagnosis is checking for heartworms/lungworms/other parasites as they also can cause the cough, but if your cats are dewormed regularly it should not be the case.
    Please, do not assume this is hairball and have it checked thoroughly. Find a different vet if needed, not all vets know about the lower airways diseases in cats.
     

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