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Older cat with congestion.

Species: Cat
Breed: female/tuxedo
Age: 11-15 years
First, thank u for your input on my cami that past on previous question.my husband had given her to me years ago but he passed 2yrs ago from cancer which made it even harder because it was like part of him again leaving but the bright side is I have my son and other animals I love dearly too..

My question now is on my older cat Prissy she is 13 and she sounds very very congested, runny nose at times I see her still licking nose and using paw to clean..you can constantly hear her breathing through her mouth very noisy at night when she sleeping. This has been going on a couple months I was hoping was allergies..I took her to the vet blood done first nothing major showing and they did a head scan that dr did not think anything like a turmor was there but he wanted to ask someone else that was more experienced in that field and he also agreed no tumor in head..but the luck I have with cats as u see not always good..when I went to pick prissy up dr had to anesthetic to do head xray..my cat had a reaction to this and was blind dr said first cat he had ever had this happen to that it was a very low dose and had only had a dog happen to one other time...well I took her home and prayed her vision would come back because dr didn't know if it would or be permanent....thank god Prissy vision was all back within 2 days....That's my dilemma dr said he would have to refer her to state vet that has equipment to do mri I think to try to diagnose more specifically...my vet gave her antibiotic/steroid shot and that worked for about 2weeks then it has all come back again and at times I see dried blood on nose..i try to clean for her and try to use salt/water saline but not as easy task...Any suggestions??..I know this could be something life threatning but if I go to state vet they will also have to put her to sleep to do xrays that my fear since her reation and she is overweigh 12/14 lbs. Have you had any experience with this would appreciate your knowledge...thank you again..carol



Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh dear. It really sounds like Prissy is having a rough time. What you are describing sounds like something very serious.

I always get concerned when an older cat develops congestion. It's not likely to be alelrgies. The biggest concern would be if there was some type of a tumor affecting the nasal passages. There are other possibilities such as an ongoing bacterial infection or something called mycoplasma (see a similar question here. If mycoplasma is the case then often a medication called doxycycline could help.

It's hard to explain why Prissy had the problems that she did with her anesthetic. In my career I have had one cat have issues with blindness after an anesthetic. We believe that this cat may have had a stroke under anesthetic.

Cases like this are really tough. If there is a tumor, then as your vet mentioned, the only way that we will be able to see it is by MRI. An MRI is very expensive, requires an anesthetic (which I would be reluctant to do) and even if we do get an answer we are not likely to be able to do much about a tumor that is in this place.

If this were my case I would be doing what I could to help keep Prissy comfortable. If steroids and antibiotics helped, then you can talk to your vet about doing this long term. Unfortunately there's not likely to be an easy cure for this.

Please let me know if you have more questions.
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.