I have a 2 yr 8 mo old cat Milo who I am desperate to…

I have a 2 yr 8 mo old cat Milo who I am desperate to find relief for. He has been sick since I adopted him at 4 months. I was told right away by the shelter vet that he had feline herpes, and that he would always be sick, but that we could treat the symptoms. Over the next 2 years, we have found ourselves at every vet in the area, seeking out treatment options for Milo, and have also had emergency visits on 5 different occasions when Milo got to the point that he could barely breathe. Milo means more to me than anything in the world, and I have promised him that I will never stop searching and fighting for an answer to help him feel better.

Milo is getting worse as he gets older. At this point, his breathing is audible 24/7 (snoring/snorting noises with every breath) regardless of what antibiotic he’s on. He sneezes dramatically (sometimes 10 times in a row) to the point that there is snot on many of the walls/windows. He makes choking noises/coughing as if there is congestion stuck in his throat that he is trying to get out. There are times at night when I am woken by his breathing because it gets so loud. He occasionally is struggling so much with congestion that he will find a quiet place to sit and close his eyes while he mouth-breathes.

At some vet visits, he ironically ends up breathing/feeling a bit better when we get there and they’ll tell me “this is a healthy cat!” and I go home only for his symptoms to return.

However, at other visits over the years Milo has been diagnosed with allergies, asthma, conjunctivitis, viral URI infection, bacterial infections, etc. We’ve tried Benadryl, terramycin, doxycycline, L-Lysine, Famciclovir, prednisolone, azithromycin, little remedies nasal saline and nebulizing sterile saline. The next step is nebulization of Gentamycin (which I called every pharmacy in the area trying to find and ended up having to order from a specialty pharmacy.) It won’t be in until the middle of next week, and it breaks my heart to watch Milo struggle as we wait for yet another antibiotic that might not work.

Recently we found a vet who suggested they thought Milo has nasal polyps, but said that I would need to see a specialist to find out for sure. At this recommendation, I immediately made Milo an appointment 45 minutes away (and over a month wait). When we finally got in, the specialist told me that it was very unlikely that Milo had nasal polyps, as they are not common in younger cats. They offered to do some preliminary testing to rule out other illnesses first. They did bloodwork and xrays (which cost $900) and found that Milo was positive for Bordatella and Mycoplasma infections. The herpes test came back negative, but they told me that it often comes back with a false negative when the infection is chronic. They put him on an azithromycin paste which didn’t help whatsoever, and then suggested the gentamycin nebulization. They said that if Milo isn’t showing improvement after a week of the nebulized antibiotic, that we could consider a rhinoscopy and a CT scan to check for other underlying problems (such as polyps) which would run around $2600 total.

I should note that all of this is cost-prohibitive for me, but as I’m sure you can tell, I would spend every dime I had if it made Milo better. Any suggestions or recommendations that you have for us are GREATLY appreciated as I feel like we are nearing a dead end. We are 4 hours from your office but id be more than willing to come out there for your help.

Thank you in advance,
Courtney & Milo

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Krista Magnifico
2 years ago

Hello, I’m sorry this has been such a difficult road for you. Here are a few suggestions; 1. Has he been tested for felv/fiv? 2. Has anyone looked for a polyp? In my experience they are more common in young shelter cats than older cats. 3. Has anyone discussed rhinoscopy? That would be my first places to start. Some cats absolutely have chronic herpes with chronic sinusitis. They are chronically snotty cats. I have one who is 7 now. She has and always will be throwing snot on my walls. It is who she is. We live with it. As… Read more »