An Interesting Case of the Sniffles

As a feline specialty hospital we often see patients for second opinion visits when symptoms persist despite medical therapy at another practice. Last week was no exception. 

Draya is a 6 month old domestic short haired cat. Her owner described symptoms of loud upper airway sounds and difficulty breathing through her nose which prompted her to see her veterinarian. She was prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, but her symptoms persisted. This prompted her to seek out the opinion of our Feline Specialist, Dr. Diane Steinberg.

Upon first review of the record, Draya's case looked like dozens of routine cases that we see each month. Upper respiratory infections(URI) are extremely common in cats, and often don't respond to antibiotic therapy similarly to the common cold in people. Something seemed different with Draya's physical examination that prompted Dr. Steinberg to investigate further. While cats suffering from URIs often have difficulty breathing through their noses, Draya didn't display the nasal discharge or sneezing that often accompany this common illness in cats and kittens. Dr. Steinberg knew what diagnosis was at the top of her list, but there was only one way to be sure.

Little Draya, waking up from sedation with her polyp 

Little Draya, waking up from sedation with her polyp 

Draya needed to be sedated for Dr. Steinberg to get a closer look. The 6 month old kitten was monitored closely by our feline care team, and Dr. Steinberg found what she had suspected, a large ball of inflammatory tissue in the hollow area in the back of her throat that was nearly obstructing the air flow through her nose. This mass is called a nasopharyngeal polyp. Luckily for Draya, the treatment was quite simple as Dr. Steinberg gently plucked out the polyp, restoring air flow through her nasal passages. 

We're happy to say that Draya is expected to make a full recovery. 

For more information about Feline Nasopharyngeal Polyps, visit the Cornell Feline Health Center