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Coughing blood and mucus.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH
Age: 2-5 years
Marvin has been periodically coughing up mucus with blood in it. He has a tumor of some sort on his right side about two inches by one inch just in front of his back leg and below his rib, that we were told not to worry about. What could be wrong?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I don't often see a cat who is coughing up blood. This will be a hard question for me to answer without seeing Marvin, but I'll give you a few thoughts.

First of all, it is unlikely that this is related to a tumor on his side, especially if the vet didn't think that the tumor was anything to worry about. There are not a lot of skin tumors in cats that can spread to the lungs. Usually if there is a cancerous tumor it will just look "angry".

Are you sure that the blood is coming from coughing? Could it be sneezing? It's sometimes hard to tell the difference in a cat. If a cat is sneezing and there is blood in it, the first thing I think of is an upper respiratory virus. Sometimes the force of the sneezing can cause small amounts of blood. If it is due to sneezing then it could also be due to a foreign object up the nose, a tumor in the nose (uncommon in a young cat) or a dental problem.

Is it possible that what you thought was coughing is actually vomiting? If so, then the force of the vomit could cause small blood vessels to break and produce the blood.

If Marvin truly is coughing up blood then I think it is a good idea to have your vet examine him. Your vet will likely want to take some xrays of his chest and also do some blood tests to see if he is losing blood internally.

I wish I could give you more advice! Feel free to reply and give me more details if there is anything else you can tell me about Marvin.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.