Raspy Cat Breathing - Pharynx Bacterial Infection?
by Michael Brand
Reader Question: I have a 14 year old female tortoiseshell calico cat who has had a breathing problem for months now. She has a raspy sound when breathing, and she's obviously straining to breathe. It's worse when she's purring, but less pronounced when she's calm and still. She takes Tapazole for a hyperthyroid problem and eats Prescription Diet k/d for kidney balance. Our vet did some tests and believes she has a bacterial infection in her larynx. When she makes the snoring, raspy sound when breathing, it sounds like it's coming from her nasal cavity, but when I feel her throat the sounds feels like it's in her throat area.
Our vet has tried Chlorpheniramine, Chlorpro, Aminophylline, and Cyproheptadine, and saline nebulizer treatments, but nothing has alleviated her problems. She has no nasal or eye discharge, doesn't sneeze or cough, and is otherwise healthy and behaving normally. I worry each night that she won't wake up in the morning.
I'm trying to find out from the vet what type of bacteria she found in her larynx, but in the meantime, has anyone had experience this and does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks in advance.
Grapevine, TXCat Health Guide Editor Comment:
A cat breathing problem can occur for various reasons, but as you mentioned, your cat doesn’t show any symptoms such as sneezing, cough, discharge or other similar symptoms that are related to infections or inflammatory problems.
The symptoms you describe can also occur due to a sort of allergy, so this should be excluded by your veterinarian as a possible cause.
Snoring and raspy sounds while breathing or purring without any
of the symptoms mentioned above are usually caused by some sort of blockage. Accumulation of fat around the throat, the dilation of the throat muscles and problems related to an anatomical malfunction of the larynx and throat muscles might cause the breathing symptoms you describe.
As far as bacterial infection in the larynx is concerned, it might be in its very initial stages. Your cat has not yet exhibited any of the symptoms related to this type of infection.
Some of the drugs that you administered are bronchodilators (Aminophylline) while others are anti histaminic drugs. I fear bronchodilators might have only worsened the condition, though they are necessary for clearing any throat blockage.
We'd suggest that you get detailed X-Rays of the throat. This will reveal any throat problems or the accumulation of any fatty substances.
The X-Rays would suggest what kind of specific treatment your cat might need i.e. surgery, mandibular splints or any other therapeutic option. Note that Mandibular splints is a type of Dental/Oral device used for different purposes such as the treatment of anatomical disorders of the mandibular joint and for snoring as well. It pushes the lower jaw outwards, which causes a stretch in the muscles of the throat. Tightening the throat/laryngeal muscles can help to control raspy sounds/snoring. For pets, it is relatively difficult to use and is annoying. Also, if needed ask your veterinarian about administering antibiotics for any developing throat infection.
In the case of your cat, Natural remedies such as AmazaPet
and/or Get more info on Respo-K
might be a better option to control any nasal and throat blockage or symptoms like snoring and raspy sounds.