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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:01 PM
labcat labcat is offline
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Question Breathing funny when purring

My cat is Bell, she is a very loving sweet girl, about a year old. No particular breed, grey DMH with faint tabby stripes.

Our vet diagnosed her with Feline Herpes as the cause to her mucus accumulation in her eyes and nose (boogers). He listened to her lungs and heard no abnormalities, she is in otherwise good health as far as I know, and is currently healthy otherwise, as far as I know.

What has me a bit concerned is that when she purrs her stomach rises and falls more than when she is breathing relaxed. Its is almost rhythmic and you can hear a difference in the sound of the purr when she is breathing in as opposed to when she is breathing out. Similar to this cat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvu6aLW0rQA . Occasionally she will also have a little cough or clear her throat when she is purring too, and last night (unless I dreamed it) she started to sound a bit extra funny and needed to open her mouth a swallow a couple times; again only while purring.
If that happens again, it will mean a call to the vet.

Is this something that is caused by the Herpes infection?
Could it be something else like asthma? [she has done the about to have a hariball-and doesn't thing a couple times, but she is on hairball control food because she did have hairballs before]

Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you
Steph and Bell
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Old September 26th, 2011, 09:27 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calgary, AB
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Originally Posted by labcat View Post
she is on hairball control food because she did have hairballs before]
I think if you mention your concerns about Bell's breathing to the vet, they might help you try to figure out what's going on. I just want to talk about that food you're feeding her. I'm assuming it's kibble, as most hairball formulas are. It's also going to be way too high in grains and carbohydrates, as ALL hairball formulas are. The best thing you can do for her overall health (which will consequently improve her ability to resist diseases like the herpes virus or asthma) is to feed her a more species appropriate food, which means WET food. No kibble. There are some decent canned foods that contain higher quality animal-based protein and little to no grains: Wellness, Nature's Variety Instinct, By Nature, Merrick, Weruva, etc. Then there are balanced raw diets (homemade or commercial frozen), which are about as close to the best food you can feed your kitty. Kibble, even the most expensive "premium" brands, are just about the worst thing you can feed. Lots of good info at this site for you to find out why: www.catinfo.org
"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain." ~ Chinese Proverb

“We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” ~ Gretchen Wyler
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Old September 26th, 2011, 09:28 PM
Jim Hall Jim Hall is offline
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mine du has the same thing my vet said not to be too concerned i also give her lysine daily to help with the herpes
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Old September 26th, 2011, 11:31 PM
labcat labcat is offline
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I am planning on giving them a call soon, as they are interested to know how the lysine treatment is helping her. And I will let them know about this when I call, but I was curious to know if anyone had seen a symptom like this in a cat with feline herpes and if it is something I should be concerned about, or if I am being paranoid.

As far as her food goes, I am sorry I was not thorough in describing her diet. She has Purina ONE Hairball Control dry kibble available for free feeding at all times, I usually give her 2-3 meals each day of wet canned food, recently almost exclusively of the Friskies brand. I like to change the flavors and textures. I give her a healthy portion of the prime filet/savory shreds/tasty treasures twice a day with her lysine treat as she does not eat the whole thing unless I hide it in her food. She also gets some more of this, or of a pate kind when she uses the litter box appropriately, as that had previously been an issue with her. I know that dry food is not ideal for a cat, but I have also been told that only feeding the cat a few large meals can mess with the pH of their urine, predisposing them to UTI's; and lead to fatty liver disease. Additionally, she used to get one big hairball a week until we switched to this food, so I am inclined to keep feeding it to her, even if it is not her principal source of nutrition. I also know that Friskies is not the ideal brand of wet food since they do use grains and animal by-products, but it is much better than the dry food as far as protein and carbohydrates go. Besides that, she LOVES the wet food, she comes running when I open the can and meowing at me until I give it to her.
Is Friskies really that bad of a brand to be feeding her? I am on a budget, but if it is for her health, I would be willing to spring a few extra dollars.
I have used Wellness and Blue Buffalo in the past for my cat who had CRF, she would sometimes eat them, but far preferred the Whiskas fish pouch things, or a simple can of tuna (which is know is not ideal either because of salt and preservatives). I can try Wellness again with Bell, but I don't know if she will like it, and would hate to spend a lot of money on something she won't eat (I don't have a lot of opportunities to go to pet stores and would either buy a bunch in one trip, or take numerous trips).

Aside from the goopy eyes, occasional sneeze, and hard breathing while purring; Bell really is a healthy girl. She loves to play with her shoelaces, mice, and little bunny; she scratches and sleeps in her scratching post; she naps on the floor, on the sofa, in my desk chair, on my bed; she stares out the windows for hours watching the birds and squirrels; she snuggles and rubs up against me and my friends and family. I love having her, she always brightens my day, and I want to do whatever I can to make her happy and keep her healthy.
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asthma, breathing, cat, herpes, purr

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