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Tang Talk – April 2013

Allergies are nothing to sneeze at… Ha Ha… get it? I’m punny…

Sneezing varies from normal to mild (ie: in response to an irritant like cat litter
dust) to severe (nasal congestion may be so bad it interferes with breathing and

When is sneezing bad enough to seek veterinary help? If your kitty is eating less
than usual, if there is discharge from the nose (white, yellow, or green), if the eyes are
affected (red, squinting or snotty) or if the breathing is fast or labored. Call your vet
if you notice these symptoms (you can borrow one of my vets at Glenora Cat Clinic if
you would like).

The most common causes of sneezing are infection and allergies. There are tests
and various treatments available for sneezing kitties.

If infection is suspected, a swab and PCR (fancy DNA detecting test) can detect
herpes, calicivirus, mycoplasma, and chlamydia. It isn’t perfect (as with many
tests, there can be false positive and negative results) but it can help deciding what
medication to treat with.

Allergies are harder to prove. A biopsy requires endoscopy or a CT scan (CT
not CAT…). Due to the cost of these tests, we often try a treatment and gauge the
patient’s response.

Please contact your vet if you have a sneezing kitty… Sophie and I cannot take
your calls but we’ll make sure our humans do. I know you humans love the art
sneezing kitties create on windows and mirrors but don’t let your kitty suffer for the
sake of art.