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Narrowing of the Nasal Passage in Cats

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Nasopharyngeal Stenosis in Cats


Nasopharyngeal stenosis, a narrowing of the nasal section of the pharynx, occurs due to the formation of a thin but tough membrane in the passage of the nasal cavity. Any of the four portions of the nasal cavity may be affected and narrowed, including the common, inferior, middle, or superior portion. Chronic inflammation and subsequent fibrosis (the formation of excess fibrous tissue) after suffering an infection is one probable cause. Inflammation of the nasal tissues after chronic regurgitation, or vomiting of acidic material are also suspected to be causes of this problem. This disease may be seen in cats of any breed and age.


Symptoms and Types


  • Whistling or snoring noise
  • Extreme difficulty with breathing
  • Breathing with open mouth
  • Nasal discharge
  • Aggravation of symptoms during eating
  • Failure to respond to conventional therapy, including antibiotics




  • Upper respiratory infections and diseases
  • Foreign body, or any irritant contacting the affected area




You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, including a background history of symptoms. After taking a complete history, your veterinarian will conduct a complete physical examination. Standard laboratory tests including a complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. The results of these routine laboratory tests are usually within normal ranges. Outward symptoms will suggest a need for radiographic studies, including X-rays and computed tomography (CT-scan) to diagnose the narrowing of the nasal passage. Your veterinarian may also pass a catheter through nasal passage or use a bronchoscope for further confirmation.





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