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Cat not getting over URTI.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH
Age: 2-5 years
Hi,
My cat has suffered from flu from approx 8 mths old but these days never seems to get any flu-free periods at all. He has been tested twice for FIV in his lifetime and both times the results were negative. My vet is confident that he does not have FIV so apart from easing his symptons slightly with Metacam, is there anything else to be done? My vet says not but I was just after another opinion. Thank you.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This sounds like a frustrating problem!

I do have a number of cats in my practice who are dealing with chronic upper respiratory tract issues.

You may want to ask your vet about putting him on an amino acid supplement called lysine. Lysine is known to have effects that help an animal fight respiratory viruses.

Has he been on antibiotics? It would be great to culture some material from his throat, trachea or even nasal discharge to see if there is a resistant infection present. If so, the test will tell us which antibiotics may be effective in clearing up the problem. It may be that it started as viral and now he has been fighting a resistant infection all this time.

I do have some cats with this issue that I put on a rotating schedule of antibiotics called pulse therapy. This is a little controversial because it can potentially lead to antibiotic resistance.

Has your cat also been tested for feline leukemia virus? Cats with this virus can be susceptible to illness and not recover well.

I hope he does ok.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.