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Tough upper respiratory infection.

Species: Cat
Breed: Bengal
Age: 3-6 months
We picked up Indigo from a breeder on June 13th. He sneezed occasionally throughout the 7 hour car trip. His left eye was weeping as well. He also had diarrhea, which the breeder stated had just started that morning.

We stopped at the emergency vet once we arrived home (it was the weekend and our regular vet was closed). They prescribed Amoxicillin which we used for about a week before visiting our regular vet.

Since Indigo was not improving, he recommended Clavamox and we used that for a week. Additionally, we started using Neo-Poly-Dex drops in his nose.

After we saw that wasn't clearing up his problem, the vet prescribed Cefa-Drops, which we used for a week (while still giving the nose drops).

Finally, this Wednesday we saw the vet again. Indigo is still sneezing, but at least the vet stated the infection has not moved into his chest. We are now giving him Clindamycin Hydrochloride (1/2 ml twice a day for a week). Additionally, they did a fecal exam and found Giardia, for which he prescribed Panacur.

After 2 days of taking this new medicine, he sounds worse to us. He's sneezing more and producing more mucous (thin and yellow) from his nose. His breathing sounds more raspy too.

My wife and I are both concerned about the respiratory infection. We've never had a pet with one that was so hard to beat, and we're worried that it might be something more serious. The cat eats and drinks well, and he has a lot of energy. so he seems otherwise healthy.

Our vet told us that this antibiotic is the last step to try. Is there something else he could
be checking?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, poor Indigo! He's been through a lot.

I have seen a few cats with respiratory tract infections that were very difficult to clear up. It is quite uncommon for a cat to die after this type of problem, but I have seen some who have struggled for a long time.

I have a few thoughts for you. Has Indigo been tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV? An animal that has one of these viruses will have a defective immune system and have a very difficult time clearing an infection.

You may also want to ask your vet about an antibiotic called azithromycin. I will sometimes use the pediatric form called Zithromax. It usually works *very* well for upper respiratory tract infections.

Another thought is to ask your vet about culturing some material from the respiratory tract. To do this, Indigo would likely need to be off of antibiotics for a few days. But, what the culture would tell us is if there is a type of infection that is resistant to certain antibiotics or needs a combination of antibiotics to clear up.

Another thing would be to ask your vet if they are able to give nebulized antibiotics or refer you to somewhere that does. This would mean hospitalizing Indigo for a few days in a chamber where antibiotics are pumped in through the air. These nebulized antibiotics sometimes get to the source of infection better than oral antibiotics.

And finally, you can talk to your vet about putting him on an amino acid solution called lysine. Cats on lysine are able to fight viral infection easier.

Hope he does well soon!

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. 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.

Customer reply:

Thank you very much for your feedback. I felt like I was cheating on my vet, but he didn't seem to mind. :) I thought I would let you know that we finally isolated the problem and the reason the other antibiotics were not working. They did a culture on his mucus and found mycoplasma felis, so we are starting Indigo on Doxycycline and we hope he'll finally be healthy. Also, he tested negative of several different viruses including herpes, so yeah!

Thanks again,

Dean and Melinda Helsley

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Yeah! Thanks for the update. I'm glad Indigo is doing well!

Dr. Marie.

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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.