Chats with the Chatfields

Ep 42: Purrfectly Snotty: Understanding Cat Upper Respiratory Infection

April 04, 2023 Season 1 Episode 42
Ep 42: Purrfectly Snotty: Understanding Cat Upper Respiratory Infection
Chats with the Chatfields
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Chats with the Chatfields
Ep 42: Purrfectly Snotty: Understanding Cat Upper Respiratory Infection
Apr 04, 2023 Season 1 Episode 42

Welcome to another episode of "Chats with the Chatfields," where we explore the latest topics in veterinary medicine and animal care. In this episode, we'll be discussing feline upper respiratory infection (URI), a common and highly contagious condition that affects cats of all ages.

Join our expert guest, Dr. Danette Schweers, and our hosts, Dr. Jen the vet and Dr. Jason Chatfield, as we dive into the world of feline URI. We'll discuss the common causes and symptoms of this disease, including sneezing, coughing, runny nose and eyes, and fever. We'll also explore the best methods for prevention and treatment, including vaccinations, antibiotics, and supportive care.

We'll address the emotional toll that feline URI can take on both cats and their owners, and provide tips for managing the stress and discomfort associated with this condition.

If you're a seasoned cat owner or just interested in learning more about feline health, this episode is for you.

This episode is certified to provide 1 hr of PACCC CEU’s!  The unique code will be delivered during the episode, so listen up! Don’t know what PACCC is? And why would they be involved in CEU’s?  Pet lovers can get more information at

For more on My Pet's Vet clinic locations and services:

Show our sponsors some love:
FullBucket Veterinary Strength Supplements - the leader in digestive health for horses, dogs, and cats!

Merck Animal Health - the science of healthier animals

SUBSCRIBE to our show on Youtube or on our website:
Follow us on instagram @ChatfieldShow

Share this episode with a friend who needs to hear it...or might be interested in the topic...or just to make their day brighter! :)

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to another episode of "Chats with the Chatfields," where we explore the latest topics in veterinary medicine and animal care. In this episode, we'll be discussing feline upper respiratory infection (URI), a common and highly contagious condition that affects cats of all ages.

Join our expert guest, Dr. Danette Schweers, and our hosts, Dr. Jen the vet and Dr. Jason Chatfield, as we dive into the world of feline URI. We'll discuss the common causes and symptoms of this disease, including sneezing, coughing, runny nose and eyes, and fever. We'll also explore the best methods for prevention and treatment, including vaccinations, antibiotics, and supportive care.

We'll address the emotional toll that feline URI can take on both cats and their owners, and provide tips for managing the stress and discomfort associated with this condition.

If you're a seasoned cat owner or just interested in learning more about feline health, this episode is for you.

This episode is certified to provide 1 hr of PACCC CEU’s!  The unique code will be delivered during the episode, so listen up! Don’t know what PACCC is? And why would they be involved in CEU’s?  Pet lovers can get more information at

For more on My Pet's Vet clinic locations and services:

Show our sponsors some love:
FullBucket Veterinary Strength Supplements - the leader in digestive health for horses, dogs, and cats!

Merck Animal Health - the science of healthier animals

SUBSCRIBE to our show on Youtube or on our website:
Follow us on instagram @ChatfieldShow

Share this episode with a friend who needs to hear it...or might be interested in the topic...or just to make their day brighter! :)


This episode is brought to you by full bucket veterinary strength supplements the leader in digestive health for dogs, cats and horses,


Merck animal health, the makers of Nobivac vaccines.

 Jenifer Chatfield  00:18

Hello and welcome to chats with the Chatfield. This is a podcast to expand your idea of what impacts veterinarians, pet owners, and basically all animal lovers in the galaxy as humans. We are your hosts. I'm Dr. Jen the vet. 

 Jason Chatfield  00:31

And I'm Dr. Jason. 

 Jenifer Chatfield  00:32

And if you have not yet subscribed to our show, 

 Jason Chatfield  00:35

why not?!

 Jenifer Chatfield  00:36

 just go to And subscribe today. And if you want to reach us and you've got a message full of love and positivity, you can find me at

 Jason Chatfield  00:46

or for all of you other folks that have some serious questions or concerns. You can reach me at

 Jenifer Chatfield  00:53

Okay, we're gonna jump right into it because we have a very, a very good guest today. I'm excited. I'm very honored. She's joining us today. into the chat room today. Oh, I should first say friends, friends, our feline friends out there. Jason. Any cats behind you?

 Jason Chatfield  01:11

Not today. Oh, usually I have one right. Yeah, it would be apropos but not just my teenage sons Star Wars bed. 

 Jenifer Chatfield  01:18

Yeah, naturally.

 Jason Chatfield  01:20


 Jenifer Chatfield  01:21

TMI TMI. Well, anyway, maybe you can find scout on the commercial break. But we're going to talk all about cats today. And actually, we're going to focus on respiratory issues and cats. And in order to do that, we brought an expert.

 Jason Chatfield  01:37

Yeah. And it's not me. So I know.


It's my friend Dr. Danette Schweers. Yes. Thank you so much for joining us in the chat room. And I should say that you are board certified in canine and feline medicine. Is that correct?

Danette Schweers  01:55

canine and feline practice 


Practice? Okay... 

 Danette Schweers  02:00


 Jenifer Chatfield  02:00

the practice of medicine. Yes. Okay. And you. 

 Jason Chatfield  02:05

What does that mean? Hold on? Yeah. What does that mean? Canine canine feline practice? What does that mean? What's an example of that giant hard test or whatever you had to take to get all those fancy letters. That's right.

 Danette Schweers  02:19

The American Board of veterinary practitioners, so the ABVP certifies veterinarians as a specialist in in their field. And there's, there's a number of fields. And so mine is canine and feline practice. So it does include medicine, but it also includes surgery in general. Oh,

 Jason Chatfield  02:40

very. Not just Medicine, everything. That's right, the umbrella above medicine. I very cool. Yeah, that's what I thought. That's what I wanted you to say it. So we all know that we are talking to a real expert on everything.

 Danette Schweers  02:55

I got the letters.

 Jenifer Chatfield  02:56

That's right. And she still is a practicing veterinarian. So you are the Field Medical Director. Is that right? For my pets vet


Danette Schweers  03:06

for my pets vet? Yes. And so I not only work at our location in San Antonio, but I also consult and work with our veterinarians in other locations.


Jason Chatfield  03:20

All right. You know what's funny, it's got nothing to do with the podcast or animals in general. Just a funny so you're in San Antonio, Florida. No. I mean, I messed it up. You're in San Antonio, Texas. I am take a wild guess where I am.


Danette Schweers  03:36

Are you in San Antonio, Florida.


Jason Chatfield  03:40

That's crazy. All right. What a shock! I lobbed myself up and whiffed.. All right.


Jenifer Chatfield  03:46

Yes, exactly. Let's roll on. Okay. So


Danette Schweers  03:50

I don't know where San Antonio, Florida is.


Jason Chatfield  03:52

You and every other guest and person listening right now.


Jenifer Chatfield  03:57

Okay. So all right. So so you are appropriate to engage in a conversation all about respiratory issues and cats. And so we aren't gonna focus on that today. So I actually have a question. People ask me this all the time. And so I'm just gonna start off with it. Okay. Which is, yeah. Do cats get, like, respiratory illness?


Jason Chatfield  04:26

People ask you that all the time. Do they? Do they see? And they're like,


Jenifer Chatfield  04:29

yeah, it's actually one of the things they asked everyone to cats gets sick. And when they get sick, do they get regulatory infection? Like it's it's true? Yeah.


Danette Schweers  04:38

Yeah, yeah, actually, I am. I was I was trying to kind of package up how common it is. And it's like one of the top 10 reasons cats come into the vet as far as respiratory infection. So definitely happens. One of our more common ones. Yeah,


Jason Chatfield  04:56

I mean, I'm gonna guess a client doesn't come in and say hey, my cat's got a for respiratory infection, right? That's not to say my cats not being my cat, right? Yeah, pretty much.


Danette Schweers  05:05

Yeah. Yeah. And I mean often they'll they'll describe some symptoms. So we might see like some, some sniffles, some sneezing, maybe some watery eyes or some squinting. I think that might be one of the more unique things about the feline upper respiratory infections is that it also also includes like some conjunctivitis and some ocular signs. Don't do that. Do



you think? Yeah, scratchy? scratchy eyes. Yeah, yeah. So like, I don't know, like, I guess when I think of a cat with respiratory stuff. So for all of our listeners, Dr. swears is also like an emergency medicine extraordinaire, right. And that's how she and I know each other is working in the ER, but you know, people would come in and, you know, it wasn't an emergency. Okay, but I didn't care because as soon as they came in, and they're good, I'm nervous. I'm gonna come in and the cat is like, their eyes are like crusted shut, and there's like, crusty stuff that I could like, peel off their nose, you know? And they're like, well, it just started today. No, but you might have just noticed it today. And it turns out whoever in the family was supposed to fill the cat bowl every couple days. hasn't had to fill it. Because


Jason Chatfield  06:21

appetite hmm,



yeah. And so I guess that's what I think of as the most common is kind of like the whole face


Danette Schweers  06:28

is a mess. Yeah. Right.



But I don't know if that is the most common. So it's just my


Jason Chatfield  06:37

presenting sign. Is that what you're most Yeah. Most,



most often the presenting sign for me is that, but I think that's an ER skew. Right?


Danette Schweers  06:46

Yeah. And yeah, maybe I mean, I think there's kind of a large range of the degree of illness. So it could be really mild. And, you know, just



naturally, it's cats. So they all do something different. Right?


Danette Schweers  07:01

It's kind of kind of like cold. So in some people, you know, it's, it's minor and you know, 357 days out, you know, you're over it. And yeah, mon, but sometimes it lingers, sometimes,


Jason Chatfield  07:15

I would just, I hate to side with an hourly side, but agree with with chin on on almost anything, right? It's just not what I do. So I do what I can to have the opposite view, but but I would imagine people, they love their dogs and other cats, but the cats pretty much do what they want to do. And so the one thing you will notice is is absolutely not eating as, as cat food as much, I guess something may be wrong, and he put your pay attention to it rather than some of the other stuff. Because Oh, that's just you know, Scout being Scout, whatever. Right? So I don't know.


Danette Schweers  07:47

Yeah, no, I can agree with that. I think cats are subtle when they're sick. You know, that mean? The dog jumps up on you dogs in your face, on your shoes. This is kind of over in the corner, like just being a little more quiet than usual. You know, hiding a little bit more than usual. Also, cats are really, really subtle when they're when they're ill, I think and so we have to be astute and to pick up those signs.



And I guess that that is one of the big issues with that for cat owners is when when do they bring the cat to the vet? Like when? When is my cat actually sick enough? I need to bring them you know, and so often that's the first time I'm seeing their cat is when they're sick because they don't bring them. You know, so many people don't. So I guess you know, what if? What are the things for you that? Tell me okay, my cat sick? Like, I need to seek some care here.


Danette Schweers  08:47

Yeah, so I think definitely some of the things she said like, if the cat's not eating, I think that's a big red flag. You know, and I want to I really need to see the cat at that point to understand how how bad this is. Yeah, so definitely going off the food. Major changes in behavior, like, you know, normally he's out with the family, but he's been under the bed for two days. I really want to see that cat too. And be able to take his temperature. See what's going on?



Yeah. Okay, so I was just gonna say take his temperature, what categories for that? Like, no, no,


Jason Chatfield  09:28

no consent given on that. That's right. Thank


Jenifer Chatfield  09:31

you very much. So all right. So that's really subtle. I guess you really have to be paying attention. Because, I mean, I don't. When I used to have cats. I didn't see him eat all the time. I mean, it's like they it's like they didn't want an audience are very private. Sure. So yeah,


Jason Chatfield  09:51

but you notice if you haven't if you fill the bowl up every day, and one day you don't or you had to fill it up just a little bit less. it's not that you notice the cat not Going to the food, but you absolutely will notice, you know, he's not eating the same amount. I mean, it's something that listen, I can only speak from personal experience and my cats always hide. I have two of them. They're always doing whatever, I have no idea what's happening in their life zero. Yeah. And I do know if they're eating or not because they only want to eat the food. And if it's not, that I have to fill it up more than more than once a day. I'm like, Ah, either someone else's net or if I have to fill it up once every two days, they're not eating enough, and I absolutely will notice that I might or might not notice the depression, or the hiding more often just might not I'd be like, 


Jenifer Chatfield  10:33

How can they hide more? 


Jason Chatfield  10:35

Yeah, because it's hard to hide more when all you do is hide? Yeah. Hide from the dog so


Jenifer Chatfield  10:39

Yeah, okay. All right. So we now have established two things. We've established that cats do get sick. People listen, cats get sick. And they may have very subtle signs of any illness, let alone respiratory illness. So we're gonna take a quick break. When we come back, we're gonna get into what can cause illness first illness in your cat. What you can do about it? And we might we might play a rousing game of Never Have I Ever with Dr. swears. Okay, so hang out. We'll catch you guys on the other side of the break. 


Jenifer Chatfield  11:18

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Jenifer Chatfield  11:49

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Okay, and we're back and Dr. Danette Schweers with my pets vet is here chatting with us. And okay, so listen. So now I think my cat is sick. Right? Let's say I think my cat is sick. And it's only six years old has never been to the vet because that happens. People take your cats to the vet. Okay, your cat needs to go to the vet at least once a year. All right. Okay. Anyway. But no, so not eating, maybe you're not drinking. And I, you know, you determine that there's a respiratory infection, I guess, of some kind. Maybe he's got scratchy eyes and nasal discharge. What like what are even the causes of this is just so foreign for most cat owners that their cat gets sick, let alone respiratory infection. But so what kind of what kind of causes are you looking at for respiratory infection in cats?


Danette Schweers  13:46

So definitely, there's a group of viruses, and there's a few bacteria are our most common and like, far and away the most common causes and I think this is like 80 to 90% of cats with a respiratory infection. It's one of two viruses so Feline, Khaleesi virus so yeah, or feline herpes virus. So those are those are the top two you know herpes loves





Danette Schweers  14:26

we're gonna get it from your cat.



Okay, say that again for the right. Are you getting herpes, right? If you have herpes don't look at your cat.


Danette Schweers  14:36

Yeah, and in this case, what?


Jason Chatfield  14:40

Yeah, that's right. Don't look at you can look somewhere else. Cause as to the cause, yeah. The viruses


Danette Schweers  14:47

are kind of grouped into these families. And herpes virus is one of those and it's really based on like, what kind of cell wall they have or what kind of genetic material they have. It doesn't always it doesn't always work. late to how the virus manifests in an animal. So, in this case, you know, the feline herpes virus is purely a respiratory thing.



That's interesting. Because, I mean, yeah, like going into an exam room I have had to say herpes to a client before and I have to like brace people for that. Like when I say that when I'm when I'm listing like what are the causes could be for anything in a pet? If I'm gonna say something like herpes, or chlamydia, or whatever, like I have, like, I gotta brace them. I gotta warn them a little bit. So yeah, I would


Jason Chatfield  15:38

have I would have expected a different another group recently to free to say, but maybe that's not. We don't we don't see the Coronavirus very often. I don't know that actually causes in cats, because that's my terrible veterinarian. But



five to 9% of you listen to our podcast episode on COVID in cats. Oh, yeah. Anyway, um, yeah. So so it's, it's cats are not going to give you COVID Please don't be worried about that either. But so you said Khaleesi in her?


Danette Schweers  16:10

Yeah. Yeah. Viral causes. Right. And the one thing I think is significant about feline herpes also is that it it can be like a lifelong infection. So it can show symptoms, and then their symptoms can go away and virus kind of recedes to the the ganglia, so like these little nodes in the nervous system where it lives and then, and then it can re surface so it can flare back up. Or it can be chronic. If my cat Benji makes an appearance, he would be a case so I won't be surprised he jumps up and walks across the keyboard at some point. He he does habit and he's got like this little eye that gets weepy every once in a while. But overall, it doesn't really affect his quality of life in the picture.



Yeah, okay, so. So it could be herpes that your cat has, it could be Khaleesi. But Khaleesi can be much hotter than herpes, right? Like, because I know there's, um, there are a couple kinds of Khaleesi viruses and cats and some are more severe than others.


Danette Schweers  17:25

There are some more rare variant strains. And back, you know, from our emergency days, I would have to say if I hospitalized a cat for care of an upper respiratory infection, I was more suspicious of Khaleesi virus just because it can be really intense and severe, it can make their little airways hurt to where they actually have trouble breathing and have pain from breathing. So yeah, that one can be a little more intensive and require more care.



Oh, okay. So I just think of little cat airways hurting. Now. I know. Okay. So that's our viruses, and then the bacterial causes, because you said there's some bacteria. I know mycoplasma is on the list. Like I said, there.


Danette Schweers  18:15

Yeah. It's in there. And then you mentioned chlamydia earlier, which is also



Oh, I wasn't actually thinking of cats. But I was thinking of birds. So that's interesting.


Danette Schweers  18:29

Yeah, I think that's actually something I might ask you. Because often, I don't think of chlamydia unless we think that there's like a bird exposure, I'll say, but do you see that? Like, are you do you think you're more likely to see a cat with chlamydia? If he's got exposure to say pet birds or wildlife?



I mean, no, like my short, like, my short, quick answer would be no, not necessarily. Because also, I think it's a it's different enough, because I think that's why they go back and forth with classifying it. The Klamath Afula versus chlamydia. So what we're talking about, folks is what we call silicosis and birds, which is produced by an infection with the bacteria that used to be called chlamydia. Now it's called Chlamydophila. So I think they've reclassified it. I don't think that we don't see it that often. Encounter at least I don't know of it. I'm sure the internet will let us know if that's wrong. That's not what I jumped to right away. Yeah, because usually the people are the ones disturbing the dander in the litter and that and so I think it's people more often that will be our sentinels. Yeah, that's a good point.


Danette Schweers  19:46

That the only the only case I can think of where I thought that was really high on the list of possibilities was there was a case where these people had parents and some people in the house were also getting In respiratory diseases, and their doctor had suggested that and then there got sick so I like me. Maybe I don't. Yeah, I think the testing and the testing was challenging enough that I don't think we ever got like an answer.



But yes, yeah. Interesting. Interesting. Okay. So so we have chlamydia that can produce that. And mycoplasma, right, that I mentioned, and we're talking about bacteria, and mycoplasma that went I don't know is this. So I'm most as I remember this from school, I most often associate mycoplasma infections and cats with like, big categories. And then I think to myself, I don't even know like, do those even exist anymore? Big? You know how, like, tell it they tell us in school like, I've never seen one. Yeah. Because I love cats. So I want to be in Academy, I would love to walk into a category, because it was just filled with lovely cats.


Jason Chatfield  21:02

That's weird. I don't know what to say about that. Who wants to walk into a category?



I don't know. Like, anyway, I do. Yeah.


Danette Schweers  21:11

I didn't read an article recently on feline pneumonia. And actually SP like lower airway disease, of which it kind of bunched it into allergic disease, infectious pneumonia, and then aspiration pneumonia. And in the cases that they found micro plasma the most, were the, the non aspiration pneumonia is and so the thing was, is that these cats usually had a duration of illness that we would measure in weeks. Oh, I remember off the top of my head because like they were, they were kind of like, a little bit sick for like four to six weeks before they actually went to the vet and got a diagnosis. And, and they so they had kind of chronic airway disease, and those were the ones that had mycoplasma, so we think it's more of an opportunist slash normal Flora than causative agent. Oh, that's interesting. That makes sense.



Yeah. So it's just hanging around, and it's normally up their nose and in their respiratory tract, and then it waits for an opportunity where the cat's immune system gets a little bit distressed, and then it says, Uh, now we'll take over.


Jason Chatfield  22:28

You guys lost me we're talking about mycoplasma. mycoplasma started talking about all kinds of stuff. And I was like, Well, I don't know what you're talking about, but mycoplasma, opportunistic infector and causation of lower respiratory. Not necessarily upper respiratory or both?



Well, but I guess I see. No, I know. I've seen it. I've diagnosed it in upper respiratory infections in cats as the problem. And the only way I guess the only reason I know that, or that I worried about that was to drive treatment choices. Right treatment selection. So your professional segue? Yeah, well, I mean. Um, so yeah, but are there so before we transition to what we're going to do about this situation when the cat is finds itself at the vet, and it knows it's already made a mistake by telling us it was sick? Yeah. Never do that again. So so we have viruses, we have Khaleesi we have herpes. And then we in bacteria land, we have mycoplasma, we've got chlamydia. And then did you mention another one already?


Danette Schweers  23:36

No, I can't. I can't remember that. Yeah. Did I think could there be beyond that? And, you know, we're talking about other things like funguses. Those are kind of like, weird and rare, but I mean, you know, anything that can get in the cat's nose,



really? Yeah. Anything there's snuffling. Okay. So yeah,


Jason Chatfield  23:59

which is actually a good, a good, good point. So if you have birds, don't let your cat go on the bottom of the birdcage. You've had, you know, plants and whatnot, where all this I know I had a lot of problems with, with decaying plants and, and fungus. So I'm sure that they're there too. Don't let the cat Yeah, rifle around in the bottom of the plant either as a way to do so.



And then better. And then what about because if we say if we say respiratory disease in pets, people immediately think of either Bordetella some people call it other names,


Jason Chatfield  24:30

right? So I know you want to say it, so I'm not gonna say it.



I'm not saying it. Jason. Why don't you want to say it? Because I don't want to say it because I want to eliminate that phrase from vocabulary globally, because everyone will recognize it. They do. Okay, so Bordetella is most often referred to as kennel cough. But your dog does not have to go into a kennel in order to get kennel cough. But what about cats to cats get Bordetella


Danette Schweers  25:00

You know, it's always been like a textbook thing. But like, yes, cats can get Bordetella. But I actually saw a case within the past year, where I'm pretty sure this cat had it. So this family had one cat when, you know, it was their only pet and they got a new puppy. In the first week of that puppy being home that puppy came down with respiratory illness. And and then within a week, the cat had the same. So I am like, 99.9% sure that that puppy brought Bordetella into the house and got it, which it was a little bit surprising, because if not, if it was more prevalent, it would be something that we would vaccinate for there is there is a vaccine for cats for Bordetella. But we just never see it. So in our typical pet, you know, household pet cat, we're not we're not vaccinating for that. Because it's Yeah, rare.



Right? I wouldn't Yeah, I like I don't. I've never vaccinated a cat for Bordetella that I know of. I can tell you one more thing that I have vaccinated cats for. And it's my favorite. We can't talk about respiratory, anything without bringing it up. Dr. Jason, you want to say?


Jason Chatfield  26:17

I don't know. Could it be influenza? It? Yeah. Yeah. nervous for a minute. Yeah, I was not nervous.



I guess now that now we have to now say COVID-19, right. Because, you know, data says that cats actually come down with it more often than we thought. And then then we have to say influenza, because cats do get influenza. So okay, so now I think we've got it all. Right.


Jason Chatfield  26:45

Probably not all, never say all but most of it, we got it almost all covered. 99%. True.



True that True that? And do you know? Like, because I'm not sure about this answer. But do you know, like we know in dogs, I guess now we recently net know, that upper respiratory disease in dogs is almost always multi pathogen. Right? It's, it's we used to think like, I guess 30 years ago, they were like, No, it's only there's one bacteria that's doing it. And now we know well, that's not exactly true. It's usually a combination. Is that the same? Is the same true in cats? Is it multi pathogen? Or single? Or do we know?


Danette Schweers  27:27

I can't say I've seen like a big study about that. But I can say from in house, when at my practice when we've done and we usually get more than more than one. And we're doing like a PCR panel. So I sample, send it to the lab, and it checks for most of the known viruses, but it can also check for mycoplasma and chlamydia. So yeah, I do think more often than not, it's a complex and not a single agent.



Yeah, that makes sense. Also, that makes it easier to remember if they're both the same. You know, dogs and cats have complicated respiratory systems. Yes. Okay. See, I'm looking out for your JSON. I'm trying to look for commonality so we can remember stuff.


Jason Chatfield  28:12

I guess there's a first time for everything.



Anyway, okay. All right. So, um, let's talk about treatment. How are we treating those cats that come in for that? I mean, what's your favorite like, go to, like, you know, for instance, a cat that you were talking about that you think may have contracted Bordetella? From the new puppy? Would you would you do with that cat?


Danette Schweers  28:34

Yeah. So, you know, first off, I let I let clients know that often in the exam room, there's not really an easy way to tell the difference between a viral cause and one of our bacterial causes. They're not they're not really distinct based on clinical signs. So we don't, we don't know. And, and what we also have to know is that viruses are not going to respond to antibiotics. So there's a chance we could put your cat on antibiotics. And if his cause is, at least in part, a virus, we're probably going to wait for that virus to run its course, which is about five to seven days. So I don't really have



a lot of choice in that. Like pets, like we're choosing that. We don't really want a choice,


Danette Schweers  29:17

right, but I don't I don't want them to think that treatment is failing because at day five, their cat still has symptoms. That's probably my number one treatment choice is going to be doxycycline which will get mycoplasma the hard thing is doxycycline. You have to give it at least once a day. Sometimes we dosed it twice a day, and I am the first to recognize that having to medicate your cat is a great interference with your relationship with your cat. It can really change your relationship. So I'm a Were that and I'm cognizant of that in some cats. It's a deal breaker. So I'll have this conversation with the client and say, you know, if we were to do a medication, I would probably do doxycycline. But this is what you're in for. And, you know, you can, you can choose to medicate, or we can just kind of keep an eye on him and recheck him in a week. And if his symptoms have resolved, we're okay, I'll give him like red flags, if the nasal discharge is changing color, if he stops eating, you know, anything like that, we want to recheck him in the hospital and see if it's time to time to get him on this meds.



Yeah. So clients often will ask me about using a long acting injectable for respiratory infections, especially if they're kind of not responding, right to supportive care, like, you know, give them a little extra opportunity for hydration, giving them their favorite food. So then, you know, we're supporting the cat system so that it can clear it. And so if they're not responding, do you ever consider giving, you know, a long acting injectable antibiotic?


Danette Schweers  31:14

I mean, I will if it's the only choice, but I'll let them know. And you know, of our long acting antibiotics, it's really not my first or my second choice antibiotic. It might help with a secondary infection if we think that's part of the problem, but it's probably not going to be really effective against our primary issue.



Yeah, well, it definitely is not going to get mycoplasma. No, so yeah, so it's tricky. But you're right. Like, the major complicating factor is that it's a cat and mouse. I mean, medicating cats is tricky. And especially consistently, because you might get the first two days in, and then you can't find the cat.


Jason Chatfield  31:56

I think I think one of the major complicating factors is people people clients want to do something right. 90% of the of the problems are viral, there's, there's, they're, they're getting better. We're educating everybody, you know, better that there's not much you can do except palliative care. And for sort of help your cat along. So the best course of action may be go isolate your cat or think talk about that, or do whatever and just keep them comfortable and not give them anything however, you know, people really want something so sometimes as veterinarians, we feel like we have to do something both and and it's a hard sometimes a hard conversation, you can get that really persistent. Really, I came here for this, you gotta tell me you gotta give me something help my cat. So it's, it's difficult, right? So,


Danette Schweers  32:40

yeah, yeah. And thank you for saying that. Jason, about isolating because I think that is really important. You know, that we help clients recognize that. As long as the cat is showing symptoms, he is potentially contagious to other cats in the household to physically separate us and keeping what's and people in case case him one of those. Yeah, yeah,



don't don't don't snuggle your snarkily like snotty


Jason Chatfield  33:14

you're not snuggling the cat anyways, the cats deciding to snuggle you. Probably you're


Danette Schweers  33:19

probably sleeping and they jump up and your face on Yeah. Yeah, one thing that I find that I sometimes advise clients can do to help their kitty at home is to humidify their airway. So that physical humidification can kind of sue the airways and help them clear out any flap. And so how can they


Jason Chatfield  33:44

do it? With a cat like with a kid you just say land Ben breathed this air machine. But how do you do that with


Danette Schweers  33:50

with my cat? I'm gonna I'm gonna set him in the bathroom and run it. Oh, very smart. That's why you're on a hot shower.


Jason Chatfield  33:57

This is hot, warm, humid. Yeah,


Danette Schweers  33:59

I had one client that swore that her cat loved it. Like he looked forward to it. He was like, oh, it's time it's time for



some cats like a good steam apparently. Yeah, that's


Danette Schweers  34:17

probably good for the hair too.



Maybe? Yeah. Well, you will get no argument for me one of my favorite and what I think underutilized modes of pharmaceutical delivery is the nebulizer for Respiratory Care. I nebulized everything. Anything comes in there like coughing a little bit. I'm like, oh, and we're gonna nebulize you at least once while you're here. If not prescribe it for every day. Because I just feel like it's such an effective way to deliver drugs to the target tissue. So I like it. And then I don't have to hold the cat. I don't get to shove pills down its throat. I just have to get him in a box and And you know what to


Jason Chatfield  35:00

do? Yeah. Although it's sounds rough, but that's a whole lot better than, you know. Putting something out. It's don't they don't see exactly. A lot of weapons those catch.



Exactly. Yeah. So yeah, so ask you about about nebulizing. Right, please do, right. Okay, so we do that. What's your line in the sand? Because I know every that has one. What is your line in the sand for hospitalizing a respiratory kitty? Like when if I go to the vet and and they're telling me blank, I should be mentally getting ready that my cats probably going to have to stay? Or do you have one for cats? Oh, I


Danette Schweers  35:40

think it's like a vague line in the sand. Because again, we we want to consider that individual is is hospitalizing going to totally stress this cat out, you know, that additional stress of hospitalization is something that we want to consider. And it's it's just not an option for some cats that it's going to be more stress than benefit. And some cats that just don't like to be handled by strangers or don't like to be out of the home. And so, but I definitely would say, you know, high fever, and you know, not eating to the point that they're losing weight, probably a complicating infections. So if I do a little bit of lab work, and we've got a really high white, white blood cell count, and I want this cat on IV antibiotics and IV fluids, that's that's the point we hospitalized.



Okay, that I mean, that makes perfect sense. Because, you know, if you put once you put that IV in, I don't even have to touch the cat now and I can consistently deliver the medication on time. We know they get the whole dose, they don't Barfoot part of it, you know, in the classroom closet or something like that. Right? So yeah, so that's a good point. Good point. Okay, so that's treatment. Jason, you got anything about treatment? You want to ask? No,


Jason Chatfield  37:07

but I always like to talk about stress. And so stress is important. So decrease the stress on your on your cat because it really it really helps them heal. They don't have to worry about you have to worry about anything except fighting whatever is causing the problem. So whatever you do distress distress the situation for the cat. Don't put them in a room with all the puppies. That's not not Oh, yeah, don't do that. are little kids, right? Because I want to play play



because they seem the same. I feel like they do. Okay, so now we get to my favorite topic, which is prevention. Yay. Cuz now like, if your cat's never seen the vet and you're hearing all this the first time you're considering the cat's actually do get sick. You should get the to the vet, because you're gonna want to prevent any of these things. And so how many can we prevent doctors? Where's


Danette Schweers  37:53

that? Okay, well, so in our, our core vaccines, of course, the feline herpes virus and Khaleesi virus are included in our core vaccines. So you definitely want to get those on board. One thing? I don't know if I've gotten off track, but do you want to do we want to talk about like, sterilizing immunity versus protective immunity?



We I mean, we can touch on it if you like, I thought you were like, we're gonna go off track because I'm gonna mention heartworm prevention. I was like, I thought you're gonna go up with that. Because, I mean, you know, can


Danette Schweers  38:33

you know, it's just, you know, the idea that vaccines send vaccines, like, totally eliminate the chance of you getting a disease like your rabies vaccine. Right. Right. That's


Jason Chatfield  38:46

about right. Yeah,


Danette Schweers  38:47

but but



I think it's the only isn't it the only one that produces sterilizing immunity is the baby think


Danette Schweers  38:53

and canine parvo feline PN link? I think that is also



Oh, okay.


Danette Schweers  39:02

I, you know, now that I said it, I'm not sure I need to look at


Jason Chatfield  39:05

it. I will tell I will tell you that the general population thinks every vaccine Oh, yeah, silver bullet, and that's given the events of the last couple of years, maybe not so many, because it becomes a very good discussion about Wow, so you know, just making a lot. How, how does that even make sense? It's pretty remarkable that we have anything that we can simply inject into the body, and it kills whatever whatever it wants. I mean, it's



that so here's the thing. So when we're talking so right, so we're talking about sterilizing immune immunity, which means if you're vaccinated, there's zero chance No matter your circumstance, that you're going to get this disease versus protective immunity, which says that in most cases, you won't get the disease, but in some cases, you may manifest some mild disease, right but but it's certainly not life threatening, right, decrease the severity of it. And so sterilizing immunity is what I agree Jason like I think the whole entire world whole world thinks it's every vaccine. And after COVID-19 I think everyone should realize, you know, exactly,


Jason Chatfield  40:08

I mean only song. It was good to bring it up and yeah, you know, but only so but I'm but



I would say sterilizing immunity is such a holy grail, such a white whale in the world of Preventive Medicine, that even though we think that the rabies vaccine produces sterilizing immunity and internet, don't kill me, and you'll be like, well look at this dude, look at this data, I'm going to look at our actions in that even if you are vaccinated and your or your dog is vaccinated, even if you are vaccinated for rabies. If you have a known exposure, we vaccinate you again. Right Like you, we have to keep that up. And so I think that the concept of sterilizing immune sterilizing immunity is a great one to think about. But it's always best to err on the side of protective assuming protective immunity only because then we're much more aggressive in how we prevent exposure and then behave afternoon exposure. So I think that's our safety net. Right is not presuming sterilizing immunity.


Danette Schweers  41:21

That's probably a good approach, I think.



Because, like, any vaccine person, like vaccine manufacturer will tell you, no vaccine is 100% in the face of overwhelming exposure, like, like, don't go play in a pit filled with Parvo contaminated poop, and then say, well, I'm testing my vaccine. Just just not a good plan. Not a good plan. Yeah. And so and I think with cats, it's, it's, it's even more so because we frequently don't know what cats do on a daily basis. So their exposure, you know,


Danette Schweers  41:58

yeah, yeah. And so now, I don't know, bring us back, Jen. What were we talking about?



We're talking about prevention. Right? And so we have vaccinations available for Khaleesi virus and for Feline herpes, feline herpes. But that doesn't necessarily mean your cat will never ever have a little sniffle. Right,


Danette Schweers  42:23

right. I mean, like if they were to get a really high exposure, so they were to have like a cat play date.


Jason Chatfield  42:31

Yeah, they went to visit.



You know what it's called? You know what it's called. It's called Saturday adventure when someone left the back door open. That's what that's called. Right? You might come back with the herpes, you go out for Saturday night adventure, you might come back with


Jason Chatfield  42:47

me talking about cats or what's okay. Yeah.


Danette Schweers  42:52

So that that's kind of a fun thing to think about, I think because a lot of a lot of households are kind of closed as far as they have their their one cat or their two cats or their eight, you know, that that live there. But usually, they don't get a lot of exposure to other cats unless they go outside. And then, you know, if you're like my neighborhood, there is like a whole nother population of cats. And they're just disease rates are a lot higher. Yeah. And, and so if they interact with these outdoor cats, then you've gotten an exposure exposure, and then they can bring it inside to the other inside cats.



Yeah. So I think that that's very true. Which is also why if you haven't already, listen to our episode about should cats be kept indoors? With Dr. Margie sharp, you should check it out. Because we talk about we talk about that. Because because you just locking your cat up in your house isn't fair, you got to do some some stuff to make your cat healthy and happy while they're in your home. But you should consider keeping them inside, or at least away from other cats that are unknown, also known as disease reservoirs.


Jason Chatfield  44:05

Yeah, I mean, only if you want to live a longer and healthier life. That's that's if you don't



that's it. Okay, so, so I think that's fabulous. So yeah, so get the to the vet at least once a year. And you can start at any time. It's okay, if your cat's older cat never seen the vet take them. Right let's get started. And make sure that you get that lifestyle assessment risk assessment for your cats preventive care. Yeah. Okay, so now we're gonna play a fun game. Are you ready? Is everybody ready? Unless Dr. Shares had one any any other facts you want to like lay out in the chat room for us here because I feel like you've laid out all the tools


Danette Schweers  44:44

No, I know. I don't I don't have any any burning me to speak out on my own.



Okay. Okay, so, we are going to play Never Have I Ever and this isn't the request of our guests was like oohed. Lee Never have I ever on the podcast feel


Jason Chatfield  45:04

like I feel like I'm being set up to just lose kind of scared.


Danette Schweers  45:10

I'm kind of scared actually think there's no losers in this game Jason,


Jason Chatfield  45:14

what kind of game is it?



Okay. Okay, so, um, so I will like, share that I had to look up the rules. Dr. swears


Jason Chatfield  45:25

done Never have I ever like I'm gonna have to say the game again.



Right? Yeah. Okay. Um, so So the rules according to the internet, and you look at


Jason Chatfield  45:35

what's happened in here, like, what is this? Why is this game? So? is it just something that the kids are playing nowadays? Because it sounds very disturbing. If the, if the teenage population is playing this game.


Danette Schweers  45:46

Learn it and you will be cool that to your kids. Oh,


Jason Chatfield  45:50

well, I don't understand why. Why don't you think I already am that maybe cooler dad. All right. Yeah. All right. Never have it right. My mind's not she



says, Okay. All right. So here's how we played Never have I ever a player will share a statement about something they've never done. So and then. Okay, so we're anybody who has done that? User put Okay, so I guess we hold up. Fine. Like your hand with five fingers. Okay. Oh, so and then cap. I had to do six. Yeah. So somebody says Dartmoor. They say a statement. They say Never Have I Ever and it's something they've never done. And if you've done that, then you put a finger down. Okay, and I guess the winner is whoever has a finger left up after like a couple of rounds of questions. Maybe. Okay. Okay.


Jason Chatfield  46:42

Now these questions gonna be



oriented. Yeah. Last one where the finger up. I guess wins, I guess is what we'll say. Okay.


Jason Chatfield  46:50

Are they cat oriented questions? Definitely.



I think it will stay on top. Okay. Okay. So we'll stay on topic. Look at look at the guest regulating Okay. Dr. Sears says we're staying on topic. So we're holding up our fingers, my fingers. And we're gonna say Never Have I Ever something. Right. So I have one more


Jason Chatfield  47:09

question because I like to win stuff. Okay, so can it be something that I myself have done, but know that you guys have never done? Even though I had said never have?


Danette Schweers  47:19

Yes. Because I think some of my questions are going to be like that,


Jason Chatfield  47:22

like I've seen it, but I know you guys have it. So really asking you guys a question. And so if I say something, I haven't done that I have to put it down. So why would ask a question? Put a finger down? Okay. I know. Is that just a really dumb question? Yeah, sorry. Whatever. Okay. But you're saying Never Have I Ever



Right? Like so like, so like the I guess the question is I so I'm gonna say this. I'm gonna say Never have I ever had a kid. So if you had a kid, if you have a kid, why would your finger down?


Jason Chatfield  47:50



Danette Schweers  47:53

Trying to put down three fingers, cuz I've never never


Jason Chatfield  47:55

had never have I ever got this game. So backwards. Okay, I'm gonna, I'm just gonna fail. Can I just be the moderator? So each



of you puts a finger down. Right? Yeah, each of you puts a finger down because you've had to put my hands down for each kid. No, no, although y'all would be even.


Jason Chatfield  48:13

Not really. I've never had a kid. Oh, is that correct? Or maybe? Maybe, maybe we shouldn't go there right now.



Oh, no.


Jason Chatfield  48:21

I'll let it be. I'll just let okay.



Okay, so now Okay, so is it? Whose turn is it now? Is it dead? Because I still don't. Okay, doctors. Where's your turn?


Jason Chatfield  48:31

Yeah, but that's got nothing to do with cats.


Danette Schweers  48:34

Never Have I Ever seen a cat. Cos


Jason Chatfield  48:38

Oh, now we had to put her hands down talk about stuff. So my putting it down. If you've never seen that cough



if you've seen a cat cough put your finger down. I don't think I've ever seen a cat cough. I'm trying to think big cat.


Danette Schweers  48:58

I was gonna ask about like, I think I have to say your big exotics. Well, they



call I think I've seen shark cough. Which is scary. The tiger.


Jason Chatfield  49:08

Sounds like it. I'm gonna call it okay. If I have seen it, right?



Yes, yes. Have you seen it?


Danette Schweers  49:15

Most of the time? If I've ever had a client say their cat was coughing I'm like we'll talk a little bit it will not and it'll turn out it was a wretch. Yeah, more gak





Danette Schweers  49:29

not a real not a real



Yeah, but but I think I have seen a big I've heard and seen a big cat do it. Okay. Like a big cat. You know, like people get cats like cheetah paint. They're like big cats. Okay, so I'm gonna say so I'm gonna say that.


Danette Schweers  49:47

That it sounds like a human cough



No, but it was a whole body situation. Like it was a whole like, it's a deep cough like it's it was getting tired. Yeah, okay.


Danette Schweers  49:59

I just love it. episode of Seinfeld where were



pukes, they had a


Danette Schweers  50:05

dog and he coughed but he called like a human



you Craver. It gets Kramer took him to the vet because Kramer started coughing. Yeah, totally. Okay. Jason, your turn.


Jason Chatfield  50:16

I don't understand this game. Never have I ever had to be calculated fed my cats and watched a cow give birth on the same day. See, I had cats. And I've done that. So what do I do? Oh, I didn't know.



You can't say that. You have to pick something you've never done. Oh, I try. I didn't get we get to put down an extra finger just because Jason can't seem to get the rules. Yeah, okay. No, Jason. Sorry. Jason puts a finger down. Sorry. Oh,


Jason Chatfield  50:49

I'm closer to being out. Yeah, this is great. Great.



Okay, so I will say I'm never have I ever been bitten by a cat at work.


Jason Chatfield  51:01

Oh my god. So it reminded me one more time. I have never been bitten by a cat at work.



So you leave your hands up? Yeah. But didn't you have a kid finger that's supposed to be down to


Danette Schweers  51:13

Oh, did he cheat that one? Cheater.



Okay. It's trying to be a cheater. Okay, yeah, I've not been bitten by a cat. Not at work. Actually. Not at work. They hurt not even an adult.


Jason Chatfield  51:25

That's raise our other hand if we believe Dr. Jin.



I work with excellent stuff. I don't get Oh, also I have cat like reflexes. Okay. Did it your turn


Danette Schweers  51:41

Never have I ever tried to scare my cat with a cucumber.


Jason Chatfield  51:48

I've never done that. I did it. A chamfer. Got us four minutes. I think we were playing the game.



The Internet entered the TIC tock fixation of scary your cat with a cucumber. Was he scared?


Danette Schweers  52:03

No. My cats don't care.



are super brave. Actually.


Danette Schweers  52:09

One of them just kind of like scowled at me and the other one started playing with cucumber.


Jason Chatfield  52:13

Oh, okay. Never have I ever and I don't know how the game is played. Still woken up with both of my cat sleeping on my head. So does this mean I've never done that?



That's correct. I have I have I have had on my face


Danette Schweers  52:33

my head. Yeah. Now my cats will be on my feet.


Jason Chatfield  52:38

It doesn't happen often on my head. Both of them.



You asked it wrong again.


Jason Chatfield  52:44

I'm playing the game. Right? Okay, whatever you're not. Okay.



So it's my turn again. So if I say, let's see. Oh, I'm gonna say it but never have I ever. Never have ever done a C section on a cat. But I have some putting the finger down. Oh, have you seen touching the cat? I say


Jason Chatfield  53:07

yes, I did. Yep. She's excellent. It's rare,





Danette Schweers  53:10

Am I losing or winning?



out if you're like, I'm only winning by one finger. Okay. All right. Your turn did it. Jason has


Danette Schweers  53:24

never have I ever seen a cat with heartworm disease.



Oh, yeah. Yeah, I have


Jason Chatfield  53:32

done that kill the show.


Danette Schweers  53:34

I know.





Jason Chatfield  53:42

I see why they gave us so popular with the kids.



With well, because you're supposed to think of stuff that super crazy town that you wouldn't want to admit to people. But then because you have to put a finger down. You have to admit you've done it. That's like that's the key to the game. But um, yep. Yeah, I have seen a cat with her own disease. Yep. So. Okay, well, that was a rousing game. We're not really sure if we got the rules, right. But there was a soccer game but holy moly. Okay. Uh, well, the coughing thing


Jason Chatfield  54:14

is interesting. And the heartworm thing was interesting. Yes. Right.



So I guess we'll have to have British tourists come back and we'll talk about heart disease and cats. Yeah, because it's weird. And but just know like, for this before we get to that episode, you should just know you should be have your cat on heartworm prevention. I don't care where you live. I don't care where your cat lives. You have monitoring prevention. It's easy. Okay, so and also if


Jason Chatfield  54:39

your cat is coughing film it on your phone. I'm not kidding. So you can show if you can't show



me a video now and send it to us because we'll put it on the YouTube. So you get some? Yeah. Okay, next question is


Jason Chatfield  54:56

what is Dr. swears drinking that is Dr. swears. Water. Yeah,


Danette Schweers  55:01

in that cup


Jason Chatfield  55:03

from Russia, Russia water.



Yeah, the Russian water from the potatoes. So this is, this has been a super fun episode with Dr. Jeannette squares from my pets vet. And tell us quickly tell the friends the chatterboxes at home. Where are you guys clinics located? You got one in San Antonio, Texas where you are?


Danette Schweers  55:24

Yeah, so I work mostly in San Antonio, we're about to open a second clinic here. We've got three clinics in Atlanta, and two in Ohio.



Okay, so you're


Jason Chatfield  55:36

apt to go those places are where do everything by zoom? Or



what does she goes? Oh, that's


Jason Chatfield  55:41

awesome. She's the Field Medical





Danette Schweers  55:45

in the field,


Jason Chatfield  55:47

nowadays, but that's awesome. So you get to travel all over the place. Okay. And



we're in Ohio.


Danette Schweers  55:54

Mason, Ohio, and I were opening a new one in east gate. So those are both kind of Cincinnati area.



Okay, so Cincinnati, Ohio, listen up Atlanta, Georgia, and San Antonio, Texas. Go check out my pets vet. Don't worry, we're gonna put a link in the show notes to their clinic website so that you can locate them quickly. And maybe you might run into Dr. swears at the clinic. Yeah. So thanks so much for joining us to talk all about Kittie upper respiratory disease.


Danette Schweers  56:26

Thank you. Thank you for having me on. It's been it's been fun. I was good to talk with you to always have a good time. Even if we're talking about disease.



Yes. I mean, if you can't make disease, and you're not trying anyway, so I guess that's all that we have for everyone today. So keep your pet keep your cat in for that cough. I'm Dr. Jen the vet and I'm Dr. Jason. I will catch you all on the next episode. The professional Animal Care certification council or pack brings independent testing and certification to the pet care services industry is your dog's daycare or boarding kennel or a groomer manned by pack certified professionals don't know if you don't know you got to ask look for the pack emblem at your facility to make sure that your pets receiving the highest level of professional pet care because we all know it's safer and a pack your pack CE code for this episode is cc 220079.



This episode is brought to you by full bucket veterinary strength supplements the leader in digestive health for dogs, cats and horses,



Merck animal health the makers of Noby vac vaccines