TWO MONTHS AGO
A lady e-mailed to me regarding a
cat whose owners sought help
online as they had spent some
money at a big veterinary
So the kind soul enquired whether
I accept payments (by the owner)
I accepted the case.
Cat 5 kg. 5.1 years. 39.2 deg C.
Very painful throat.
Difficulty in swallowing food for
"My cat eats a bit, drinks a bit
but stops after a few seconds,"
the owner said.
What is the cause of dysphagia (difficulty in
swallowing). No cats permit the
vet to open the mouth and examine
for more than a minute before the
claws will flash out to scratch
the vet. In this case, a general
anaesthesia was necessary.
Sedation: Zoletil 100 at 0.05
ml IM sedated this old cat
without problems. Isoflurane gas
anaesthesia via mask was necessary
to do a proper examination of the
However, I would not just give
some antibiotics and send the cat
home as there was something wrong
with a cat not able to swallow for
two months. Anaesthesia was costly
but it needed to be done. In this
case, there was a big ulcer at the
side tooth PM4. Dental scaling and
the right upper canine tooth was
fractured and extracted.
Only the right nostril discharged
pus. This was a case of right
Not surprisingly, only the right
tonsil was inflamed and enlarged.
I palpated he throat. It was very
painful. He would die if he was
not treated. He needed to be put
under general anaesthetic for a
proper examination. Not just
antibiotic injections and
medications as the cat could not
The kind soul wanted to help the
cat by seeking out a vet who might
accept payments by instalments.
The kind lady contacted me by
e-mail. The cat recovered fully after the
dental work according to the owner
who came 2 months later. Cats
suffering from FORL (Feline
Odontoclastic Respiratory Lesions)
needs dental work to go back to
normal as they have great pain
inside the mouth.
2 MONTHS PASSED. The couple
came back for medication without
the cat. "The cat started eating
the next day. He put on weight. He
was OK for the last 2 months. Now
he has some sneezing. My wife
could have infected him."
"It is difficult to diagnose
what's wrong without seeing your
cat," I was happy for the cat who
had been suffering for the last
two months. Due to financial
reasons and the recession, many
owners simply ask for repeat
medication. The vet has to advise
accordingly. "It is not the
tablets that work," I said. "There
needs to be a proper examination."
The cat came in for an examination
because the oral medication did not
work. He had lost around 1 kg in
weight and was thinner. "He suffers from an upper
respiratory tract infection and
high fever," I informed the owner.
"Do you permit your cat to go
outdoors?" The owner said: "Just
outside the door. He will not go
further." I replied: "Other cats
may visit him if he really does
not wander further from your door
step. I doubt it. He has a viral infection
now and will need IV drips and
antibiotics." The owner decided to
bring the cat home for treatment
in the meantime. I hope the old
feline can recover this second
time of infection. A more serious
one the second time as it probably
involved a virus. No blood tests
or other tests could be performed
due to economic reasons.
He had never been vaccinated. "A
20% loss of weight," I told the
owners. "This is serious." I
taught the owner how to open the
mouth to examine for ulcers and
how to give the oral medication
and electrolytes as he wanted the
cat to be home.
Many Singaporean cat lovers
permit their cats to stray
outdoors. Vaccinate your cat
yearly to prevent the common
respiratory and other viral
infections. Yearly dental checks
help your cat to live longer.