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Q. My cat has wheezy breathing, his third eyelid is almost half closed, lots of the time his eyes look tearfilled, phlegm in back of throut he coughs up

Answered By
DR. DUSTIN HENWOOD, DVM

A. Wheezing, hacking, and eye tearing in cats is often the result of a viral upper respiratory infection. Symptoms may include sneezing, eye or nasal discharge, nasal congestion, eye squinting, lethargy, and inappetence. Common causative agents include herpesvirus and calicivirus. An exam with your veterinarian is recommended to make sure that his vital signs are normal, including a normal temperature. If he'll let you check his temperature at home, you can. I suggest lubricating a thermometer and checking his temperature rectally. A normal body temperature for cats will range between 100.5 to 102.5. If his temperature is 103 or higher you should consider bringing him in to your vet. Additionally, if you see yellow/green discharge from the eyes or nose, increased frequency of sneezing, lethargy, loss of appetite, or open-mouth breathing I suggest bringing him to your vet right away. Viral infections, just like in people, can weaken the immune system allowing bacterial infections to occur, which requires veterinary prescribed antibiotics. If there are any other cats in the house, I recommend temporarily isolating them from your sick cat until his signs resolve. Minimizing environmental stress is also recommended for his recovery. If you have any other concerns or are interested in additional information I'm happy to follow-up with an online consultation.


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