2010 18 Oct

Sinusitis in Cats

Inflammation of the sinuses in the head, known as sinusitis, can be a particularly troublesome problem in cats. It is often linked with cat ‘flu or other infections of the upper part of the respiratory tract. The sinuses themselves are air-filled hollows within the structure of the skull. It is not unknown for inflammation in the case –, of the maxillary sinus to be due to a tooth abscess. Once your vet has established the cause, then appropriate treatment can be given.

Sinusitis is a distressing and potentially long-standing condition in cats. The symptoms include discharge of pus from the nostrils and partially closed third eyelids (in the corners of the eyes).

My cat has a recurrent sinus problem. Can anything be done?

It may be worthwhile having tests run, just in case your pet is suffering from a depleted immune system. Older cats in particular may have difficulty overcoming infections. Dosing your pet with additional vitamin C for a week or so can be beneficial.

Are there any alternative treatments I can use to make my cat more comfortable?

Cats do feel very out of-sorts when afflicted by sinusitis. You can soothe the inflammation within the nasal chambers with a herbal treatment such as golden seal nose drops. Homeopaths often recommend Lemna minor 6c, administered three times daily for five days. Long-standing cases of sinusitis are more likely to benefit from Silicea, at a potency of 200c, given three times each week for a month.he clear nasal discharge associated with upper respiratory tract infections often develops into mucus as the course of the disease progresses, and this is a warning sign that sinusitis may have developed.

A cat suffering from sinusitis will appear to be very miserable, with its third eyelids clearly visible. There may be an intermittent discharge of pus from the nostrils and the cat’s appetite is likely to be reduced, partly because its sense of smell will be impaired. The problem of sinusitis appears to be most common in breeds of Oriental origin such as the Siamese, although any cat can be affected by the problem.

TREATMENT

Antibiotic treatment can be given, but this is not always successful, partly because it is difficult for the drug to reach the site of the infection, which is effectively walled off in a chamber in the head. It may therefore be necessary for your vet to flush out the sinuses with an antibiotic directly, rather than relying on a course of tablets. There is also the difficulty that not all infections of this type are caused by bacteria, and so when Aspergillus fungi are involved, for example, regular antibiotics cannot be used as a cure. In the case of a tooth abscess treating the underlying problem by removing the tooth usually overcomes the problem rapidly.

  • A cat can appear to make a full recovery from sinusitis, but the condition may recur again when the cat is not well. This is because the cause of the infection has not been totally eliminated, and so it flares up again.
  • A cat suffering badly from sinusitis may develop swellings on its head which are painful if touched. This is the result of the inflammation within the sinus.
  • Repeated sneezing with no apparent cause is often indicative of a sinus problem.

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