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Coughing after spay.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH calico
Age: 6-12 months
My cat was spayed 6 days ago. At first she was great.Incision looked great and still does. Then she started coughing everytime she drank water and has slowly been getting worse. Today she stopped drinking water so I watered down her food(she is still eating a littl)with pedialyte and she drank a little then the coughing started again. It is a cough/wheezing like she has something caught in her throat. Then today she was moaning a little and sitting hunchbackeed and won't eat that much.She also feels hot around her head. She was not given bordetella but did get rabies.(She was spayed at the humane society.) She has always been an indoor cat and had two distemper shots and one of her leukemia. I am trying to treat her at home because we both lost our jobs recently but will take her because I don't want to lose her. Can I give her a humane antibiotic? Is it ok to give her pedialyte?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

These are definitely not normal symptoms to see in a cat after a spay.

As this was asked in the free question section, you likely have resolved the issue by now (as it takes a week or more for me to get these questions) but I will answer the question in case it helps other people who are searching for information.

Some animals can have a mild cough after having a surgery. For most surgeries there is a tube placed in the animal's trachea to help them to breathe. Sometimes this tube can cause some mild irritation which can cause a mild cough for a few days.

However, in your case, your cat does not want to eat or drink and this is always a cause for concern. Mild irritation from an endotracheal tube would not cause a lack of appetite. It sounds like there may be something more serious going on. One thing that could be related to the surgery is if your cat had aspirated something into her lungs. This could cause a serious issue called aspiration pneumonia.

In any case, whenever a cat is refusing to eat or drink and it goes on for more than 24 hours it is very important to have her see a vet.

It is not right to give her human antibiotics. If she needs antibiotics your vet will advise you on the dosage and type.

I really hope that she is 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.