Many cat owners consider rhinitis in cats a mere trifle. “How cares about running nose? It’s not even a sickness” – say most of them as long as the cat’s condition doesn’t deteriorate. We recommend taking these signs of sickness seriously.
There are many reasons for a running nose, such as: bacterial infections, viruses, trauma, foreign body in the nasopharynx, parasites, hypothermia, allergies, irritating odors and volatile chemicals particles. Chronic rhinitis in cats may sometimes be barely noticeable and is characterized by scarce discharge of transparent color. Other symptoms of the common cold are:
- Discharge from the nose from scarce to abundant, clear or colored in pinkish, grayish or yellow-green;
- Reddened and inflamed mucous membranes of the nose;
- Itching or rash (cat is constantly scratching its nose, rubbing the nose against the furniture, shaking its head);
- Enlarged lymph nodes (dense swellings appear under the lower jaw);
- Shortness of breath, snoring, snuffling, snorting.
If a foreign body got into the nose, the discharge is noticeable from one of the nostrils. First it can be clear mucus, sometimes with blood. A few days later usual rhinitis in cats becomes purulent. When a foreign object is visible to the naked eye, you can try to help your cat on your own, rinsing the nose with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. If the object can’t be washed away, it is necessary to contact the vet. The vet will use special tools to extract a foreign body.
If the symptoms of rhinitis in cats manifest themselves with abundant bilateral discharge, thick and murky, uncontrolled sneezing, lethargic condition and refusal to eat – you should take your cat to the veterinary clinic urgently. Rhinitis in the acute form is often a symptom of viral infection, requiring immediate treatment. Purulent rhinitis in kittens often is a sign of panleukopenia (plague) infection, so the kitten if untreated is likely to get quickly exhausted and die, sometimes in just two days.
Bacteria, fungi or parasites “settled” in the cat nose, provoke bilateral chronic rhinitis in cats. Mucous get inflamed glands are working at their limits producing a huge amount of fluid in an attempt to wash away the “settlers.” Nasal passages become narrow, the nose is constantly flowing, lymph nodes increase, cat is constantly sniffing and scratching its muzzle.
If the symptoms of allergic rhinitis symptoms in cats manifest themselves year-round, it is called persistent. It is characterized by watery discharge from both nostrils, mostly transparent and abundant. The cause of allergy must be sought in the surroundings – it may be cigarette smoke, dust, chemicals, parasites, cat litter etc. Intermittent rhinitis in cat is caused by the allergen, so it appears seasonally. As a rule, it is a reaction to the pollen of a plant, growing outside or inside the apartment.
How to get rid of rhinitis?
Treatment of rhinitis in cats should be appointed by a veterinarian. To facilitate breathing, cat’s nose can be washed with warm boiled water, which will help to remove crusts and discharge with the gauze pad. It is forbidden to use any human medications without consulting your vet. Some of them are toxic to cats and may lead to paralysis or even death, while others may just eliminate the symptoms but not the cause of rhinitis – the disease will progress unnoticeable to the owner.
Two days before the veterinary clinic visit you shouldn’t use even such harmless drugs like potassium permanganate or Streptocid powder. The use of any drugs may make it more difficult to diagnose the disease. Treatment of rhinitis in cats is appointed by the results of general examination, blood and urine tests, and nasopharyngeal swabs. The doctor will select symptomatic restorative and narrowly focused drugs eliminating the cause of rhinitis.