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12 year old cat sneezing

by Jeff
(Louisiana)

I have a 12 year old cat that recently started sneezing all the time, many times in a row. She has been treated with Baytril and Enysil, then another round of Enysil, and thirdly with Clavamox and a salve for her runny eye (which she has had most of her life, vet said probably a clogged tear duct). Sometime now her right eye becomes cloudy. She has lost a little weight, gained some back when on meds. She started losing little clumps of hair on the top of her head, but again when on meds it grows back. Nothing has cleared up her problems, not even a little. She has had blood work and the only thing noted was her white blood cell count was a little elevated, but I was told that was because she most likely has a viral infection. I don't know what to do. The meds are not working. Now the vet wants her to have x-rays. To be honest my funds have run dry (over $400 spent so far) and nothing has helped. Have you heard of anything like this and if so what has helped. I am seriously considering having her euthanized to put her out of her misery. She barely socializes with us or the other two cats anymore, mostly just sleeps in her little cat house.

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No Easy Answer
by: Kelly

I wish I had a simple answer for you, but I can only share my story and hope something in it helps you. I faced a similar situation a year and a half ago. My 13.5 year old cat started sneezing with goopy eyes and runny nose in typical symptoms of an upper respiratory infection (URI). However, he soon stopped eating, became withdrawn, and began rapidly losing weight. The vet thought it was possibly kidney failure or a thyroid issue, so they put him on Tapazole and ran a barage of bloodwork. The results all came back normal and the vet pretty much just shrugged his shoulders and had no other ideas. I struggled with the decision to euthanize, but after 14 years I just wasn't willing to let him go. Based on the experiences of friends, I started him on L-Lysine (Enisyl-F) to try to drive off the URI, and got a prescription for Mirtazapine which "made" him eat. After about 4 weeks, he started to regain some weight and the URI ebbed, but he still kept to himself and slept all day. It was like he had given up on life. Maybe he had been sick so long (almost 4 months) that he forgot how to live. I spent hours sitting with him, talking to him, trying to hold him, even when he didn't want me around. Sometimes I think he is still here by my will alone! Very slowly, he started to recover. He did not ever return to his old self completely (but then, he is almost 15 now!) but he eats normal, has regained weight and health, and enjoys being around people again. I have to confess to having a pretty sour opinion of vets after my experience. THEY did not come up with any of the ideas that eventually helped my cat get better, despite hundreds of dollars in fees. I hope some of these ideas help, and I wish you and your cat the best.

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