Hi, Last April, my 16-year-old long haired cat, Geisha, began experiencing frequent sneezing and congestion. Her …


Last April, my 16-year-old long haired cat, Geisha, began experiencing frequent sneezing and congestion. Her symptoms worsened gradually. Her nasal breathing sounded wheezy and her purring sounded like duck quacking. We took her to the vet who treated her with antibiotics (Amoxicillin) and anti-histamine (Chlorpheniramine). When her symptoms did not improve, the vet then gave her a different antibiotic (Convenia) and a steroid (Dexamethasone). When her symptoms still did not improve, we took her to a specialist. The specialist ruled out rhinitis because Geisha’s bloody nasal discharge only occurred from her right nostril and concluded that Geisha possibly had a polyp or nasal tumor. They recommended performing a CT scan, rhinoscopy, and biopsy. They prescribed Geisha a steroid (Prednisolone) while we thought over their recommendations. Within a day, Geisha’s symptoms began to dissipate and after a couple of days, all her symptoms disappeared and she was fully recovered.

Unfortunately, in January of this year, Geisha had another relapse of the same symptoms. We brought her to the vet on 1/9/2020, who after hearing her previous history, prescribed both Clavamox and Prednisolone. They also administered a blood test, the result of which we were told was unremarkable.

Geisha’s recovery last year came after she was put on 1 tablet of 5mg Prednisolone per day. Unfortunately, the same medication regimen this time did not improve her condition. After weeks on medication with no signs of improvement, on 3/6/2020, we brought Geisha to a specialist referred by the vet. There she was given another blood test, the results of which was once again deemed unremarkable. During the same visit, we were told that only a CT scan along with a biopsy would conclusively identify the root cause of her symptoms. We agreed to the CT scan on this basis alone.

After spending close to $2,500 on the scan, we were told that the CT scan did indicate a mass but that the nature and identity of the mass could not be determined. The specialist informed us that the biopsy results did not indicate that the mass was cancerous. However, he stated that it is his opinion that the mass was cancerous, without any supporting evidence and despite the contradictory biopsy results. It is his opinion that the biopsy results are incorrect due to poor sampling. His conclusion is that we should consider pursuing radiation treatment since that would be the only resolution. So, basically, after a $2,500 expense, the vet is just as clueless about the nature of Geisha’s issue as he was before.

Geisha was returned to us after the CT scan with Prednisolone medication. We were instructed to increase her dosage to 1.5 5mg Prednisolone per day. With this increased dosage, Geisha’s condition has improved. In the month that has passed, while her condition has improved, she is still mildly symptomatic and not fully recovered and thus is still on the same medication regimen.

Naturally, my wife and I are very disappointed that we still have an inconclusive diagnosis despite having been assured that the costly procedures would be justified by the precise root cause that they would deliver. We also don’t understand why we spent money for procedures such as the biopsy only for the vet to completely disregard the results and formulate his opinion purely on conjecture. This all seems to fly in the face of the scientific method that all science is based on.

I would love to get your opinion on what you think is the issue with Geisha and what you believe the best course of action for her is based on her past year of symptoms and treatment history and also taking her age into account.

Thank you so much for your time.

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Krista Magnifico
2 years ago

Thank you for posting! I am working on a long list of options and recommendations for cats like Geisha. I will add it as it is written. I am always here for you. Wishing you both health and happiness. Be safe.