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Does my cat have laryngitis?

If you notice your cat seems to be in pain when they try to meow, or if they seem to be refraining from meowing altogether, it may be a sign they have feline laryngitis. In today's post, our Mandeville vets discuss what owners should know about laryngitis in cats, including the causes, signs, and treatment options.

Can a cat get laryngitis?

The simple answer is yes. Just like humans, cats can experience this condition which can cause them a great deal of discomfort when trying to be vocal.

Feline laryngitis occurs when inflammation affects your cat's larynx (or voice box). Various diseases can cause this inflammation, but ultimately cause a noticeable decrease in your cat's usual meowing volume and may even cause discomfort or pain when they attempt to "speak."

Depending on the personality and breed of your cat (as some cats are naturally more vocal than others), this condition may be harder to detect in some cases than others.

Cat Laryngitis Symptoms

Beyond a raspy or quiet meow, if you think your feline friend has laryngitis, you may also notice:

  • Wheezing breaths and obvious difficulty inhaling
  • A harsh or dry cough
  • A runny nose
  • Noisy breathing
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Their mouth hanging open
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hyper-excitability
  • Panting
  • Reduced activity or lethargy

The specific symptoms your cat displays will depend almost entirely on the underlying condition that is causing the inflammation of their larynx. If you have any suspicions that your cay may have laryngitis, contact a vet right away to confirm your suspicions.

Cat Laryngitis Causes

Various underlying causes may contribute to the inflammation around your cat's larynx, including infections, diseases, and physical obstructions. Some possible causes for feline laryngitis include:

  • A growth in the throat
  •  Paralysis of the laryngeal nerve
  • Inflammation or infection in your cat's chest
  • Inhalation of irritants like dust or smoke
  • Hormonal deficiencies
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Physical obstructions in the larynx
  • Trauma
  • Cancer

Since the causes of this condition can vary, you should take your kitty to the vet so they can diagnose the cause and provide an appropriate treatment option.

Diagnosing Cat Laryngitis

Your veterinarian will begin by conducting a thorough physical examination of your cat to rule out any underlying conditions that could be causing your cat's laryngitis. The vet will most likely recommend diagnostic tests based on their suspicions about the underlying cause of this condition.

These diagnostic tests may include X-rays, bloodwork, or an endoscopy to check for physical obstructions or tumors.

Cat Laryngitis Treatment

After your cat has been officially diagnosed with laryngitis, your veterinarian will create a treatment plan that is tailored to your feline friend's specific needs and situation. Treatment for laryngitis in cats can range from rest to antibiotics, steroids, diuretics, or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.

When your cat is ready to return home, your vet will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for them. Be sure to follow the vet's instructions carefully. The specific guidelines will vary depending on the underlying cause of laryngitis but often involve increasing the humidity of your cat's environment to prevent the throat from becoming more dry and irritated.

As part of the recovery process, dietary changes may be necessary. Switching your cat to wet food can be beneficial, as it will be softer on their throat. Additionally, vitamin supplements may be recommended to boost your pet's immune system.

Recovery From Cat Laryngitis

A majority of the time, the prognosis for the majority of laryngitis cases is quite optimistic. Most cats who just require rest, antibiotics, or steroids to treat the condition will have a full recovery in a few days or weeks.

However, if your cat's sore throat is caused by a more serious condition such as tumors, serious obstructions, or cancer, prompt treatment is critical to ensuring your pet's recovery. If the cause is serious enough and your cat is not diagnosed and treated promptly, they may never fully recover their previous health.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you worried that your cat may be showing severe signs of laryngitis? Contact our Mandeville vets to get your kitty immediate medical care.

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At Riverside Veterinary Hospital, we are always accepting new patients. Our veterinary team is passionate about the health and well-being of companion animals in Mandeville. Book your first appointment today.

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