In this blog, our Little Elm vets discuss information about cat laryngitis, encompassing: identifying it, determining potential causes, and exploring treatment options.
Laryngitis occurs when inflammation affects your cat's larynx or voice box. Various diseases can cause this inflammation. The condition manifests as a noticeable decrease in your cat's usual meowing volume and may even cause discomfort or pain when they attempt to "speak."
Detecting this condition in your unique companion can range from easy to challenging, depending on their personality and breed, as some cats are naturally more vocal than others.
Cat Laryngitis Symptoms
Beyond a raspy and quiet meow, a wide variety of symptoms can indicate your kitty suffers from laryngitis. These can include:
- Wheezing breaths and obvious difficulty inhaling
- A harsh or dry cough
- A runny nose
- Noisy breathing
- Bad breath
- Their mouth hanging open
- Difficulty swallowing
- Reduced activity or lethargy
The specific symptoms your cat experiences when suffering from laryngitis will depend almost entirely on the underlying condition causing the inflammation of its voice box.
Cat Laryngitis Causes
Various underlying causes may contribute to the inflammation around your cat's larynx, including infections, diseases, and physical obstructions. Laryngitis in cats can stem from a range of potential factors, such as:
- Growth in the throat
- Paralysis of the laryngeal nerve
- Inflammation or infection in your cat's chest
- Inhaled irritants like dust or smoke
- Hormonal deficiencies
- Upper respiratory tract infections
- Physical obstructions in the larynx
Since the causes of this condition can be quite wide-ranging, it can be quite difficult for your veterinarians to pinpoint its exact cause unless it's pretty obvious.
Diagnosing Cat Laryngitis
Your veterinarian will begin with a thorough physical examination of your cat to assess potential underlying conditions causing your cat's laryngitis.
Following this, the vet will suggest diagnostic tests aligned with their suspicions about the root cause of this condition.
These diagnostic tests may include X-rays, bloodwork, or an endoscopy to check for physical obstructions or tumors.
Cat Laryngitis Treatments
After diagnosing your cat, your vet will develop a tailored treatment plan based on your feline friend's unique needs and situation. Depending on the severity of the condition, injury, or disease-causing your cat's laryngitis, the treatment process may range from a few days of rest to a course of antibiotics, steroids, diuretics, or even invasive treatments like surgery.
Upon your cat's return home, veterinarians will provide detailed instructions on caring for your pet. 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 drier and more painful. This can be achieved by running a humidifier or generating steam in a closed bathroom while your cat relaxes inside. Helping your cat breathe easier may involve wiping their nose with a damp cloth.
As part of the recovery process, your vet may suggest dietary changes. Switching your cat to wet food can be beneficial, as it is gentler on a sore throat than dry food. Additionally, vitamin supplements may be recommended to boost your pet's immune system.
Recovery From Cat Laryngitis
Once your cat receives a diagnosis and the underlying cause of their condition is identified, the prognosis for the majority of laryngitis cases is quite optimistic.
In instances where your cat's sore throat stems from more severe factors like tumors, serious obstructions, or cancer, prompt treatment becomes crucial for facilitating your pet's recovery. If the cause is sufficiently serious and your cat isn't diagnosed and treated early, they may never fully regain their previous health.