Are Antibiotics Helping My Cat’s Fever and Infection?

Hear what causes a cat's fever and how to help fight it.

Q: I took my 8-year-old cat to the vet because my cat had labored breathing, a fever and elevation of my cat’s third eyelids for five days. The vet gave him Convenia yesterday at about 2:00. My cat’s breathing seems more labored, and has a clicking sound coming from his nose this morning. His fever is gone, however. Should I give him Prednisone, and should I take him back or give the antibiotics more time to take effect?

A: Cat fever stems from several possible causes, the most common being some infection. Your cat clearly has some type of respiratory condition, and the fact that the fever broke after the Convenia injection (Convenia is an injectable antibiotic; a single injection lasts for 14 days) suggests that a bacterial infection is the cause.

Do not give your cat prednisone now! Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory drug that can suppress the immune system. You do not want to suppress the immune system if there is an infection.  

Whether you should take him back to your vet is difficult to say. Your cat’s fever breaking is a positive sign, but the increasingly labored breathing could be worrisome. When veterinarians hear “labored breathing,” we usually think of serious respiratory conditions that involve the lungs and/or heart.

I suspect, however, that what you call “labored breathing” is actually upper respiratory congestion, and that the “clicking” sound coming from his nose is just some nasal discharge that makes him congested. If that’s what you meant by labored breathing, then I think you should wait a little longer for the antibiotics to work; the injection was only given yesterday. If you don’t see significant improvement after two or three days, or if your cat stops eating and acts increasingly lethargic, then bring him back for a reevaluation.

Read more about how to tell if your cat has a fever.
Find out more about the causes of cat fever.

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