How to Deal With Runny Nose in Your Cat

By June 16 | See Comments

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The throat is at the end of the two main air passages in the mouth and begins at the nostril. Fine bone scrolls called turbinates fill the passage. They have a mucosa (pink tissue) covering, just like the lining in the mouth. As air passes through the bone scrolls, it is warmed up and filtered en route to the lungs. The mouth is separated from the nasal cavity by the hard palate, or the roof.The sources of nasal discharges are the upper respiratory organs, like the sinuses, nasal cavities and the postnasal area. However, if your cat has a digestive tract problem or a swallowing disorder, it can force secretions into the postnasal area. If you see secretions from the eyes, it might be because of nerve damage to the middle ear.The nasal discharge might be thick, watery and mucus-like. It might also have blood or pus in it. A nasal discharge occurs when chemical, inflammatory or infectious invaders irritate the nasal passage. It could also be due to a foreign object lodged in the nose. If your cat has a disease of the middle ear, it decreases the normal secretions and causes the body to secrete a lot of mucus. Bear in mind though that it is normal for a cat to have a nasal discharge. You only need to start worrying if it is chronic or severe.

Symptoms
  • Inflamed eyes
  • Diseases teeth
  • Reduction in air flow in the nasal cavity
  • Dried discharge or secretions on the muzzle hair or the forelimbs
  • Swelling of the hard palate or the face (due to an abscess or tumor on the fourth premolar)
  • Polyp (it might be visible on a routine ear exam, or by pushing on the soft palate during an oral exam)
Causes
  • Dental disease
  • Foreign bodies (seen mostly in outdoor animals)
  • Infectious agents (fungi, bacteria and viruses)
  • A weak immune system
  • Chronic pneumonia
  • Chronic steroid use
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Chronic ear inflammation
  • Cancer
Diagnosis
  • Rhinoscopy (examination of the nasal cavity)
  • Dental exam
  • Nasal cavity biopsy
  • Bronchoscopy, if coughing accompanies the discharge
  • Blood test, including a coagulation profile
  • Tear test to look for nerve damage due to a chronic ear infection
Treatment

Treatment for the condition depends on the cause of the nasal discharge. Bacterial infections will be treated with

antibiotics

. If the cause of the infection is fungal, your vet will prescribe anti-fungal medicine. He/she might also advise decongestants to clear up the block. If the upper respiratory infection is due to a virus, the doctor might recommend an

anti-viral

.Dental work, including the extraction of diseased teeth, might be necessary if bad teeth are the cause. Polyps and tumors might have to be removed surgically. If foreign bodies are found, they must be removed as well.

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