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Young cat has hacki...
 

Young cat has hacking cough - what can it be?

Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 2
28/09/2021 11:50 pm
Topic starter

One of my cats, a 1-year old Oriental Shorthair, has had a hacking cough since last spring. It happens once a day, a 2 or 3-minute episode of hacking. Apart from that, he looks healthy. No vomiting, no diarrhea, no discharge.

My 2 other cats don't cough, so it's nothing contagious.

The vet listened to his heart and took lung x-rays, but couldn't find anything wrong. Just in case, she gave a prescription for a lung dewormer. But he still has his daily coughing episodes.

I asked the vet if it might be a reaction to the litter, but she doesn't think so.

Does anybody else have any ideas of what might be causing this and what to do? Thanks!

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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 31
04/10/2021 4:47 pm

Hi @3cats,

 

There are a couple of possibilities that spring to mind. One is a persistent foreign body (usually a blade of grass) stuck at the back of the throat. It's likely your vet checked for this when they took the x-rays, but it's worth checking. This usually causes sneezing, gulping, or running noses as well, although could happen with just a cough.

Whilst heart disease can cause a cough in cats, I would expect it to have other signs too like breathlessness or lethargy. Having said that, cats are excellent at hiding the signs and simply listening to the heart and taking chest x-rays wouldn't completely rule out heart disease - I'd want a cardiologist to do an echo (an ultrasound of the heart) to check it first!

However, my top differential at this point, in a young and otherwise healthy cat, is some sort of allergic reaction. These can be tricky to diagnose in cats and an internal medicine specialist might be your best bet of getting an answer. It's worth doing though - these allergies can progress and scary, acute episodes of poor breathing (feline asthma) can occur, requiring emergency hospitalisation. So getting to the bottom of it whilst it's just a cough is a good idea!

I hope that's given you some ideas. To summarise, there are a few more options for diagnostics, but if your vet doesn't have access to the equipment or isn't confident with diagnosing these diseases, a referral to an internal medicine specialist is absolutely fine too!

Good luck!

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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 2
31/01/2022 12:40 am
Topic starter

Thanks for replying. The vet prescribed 2 different treatments against lung parasites, and it seemed to help a bit. The episodes of hacking cough are still happening, but not as often. She also suggested to give him some type of asthma medication (steroids, I think) if the cough persists. I'll check to see whether there are any vets who are internal medicine specialists in my area. Thanks again!

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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
11/02/2022 10:52 pm

I've had 2 cats that had coughing episodes periodically through the day, the vet gave me antibiotics told me they had a cold or respiratory infection. Surely your vet would have checked for that.Hope you find answers to your cats situation 

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