Sphynx Cat Illness

When Luna was delivered to us from her breeder, she came with a nasty surprise. Within two days she was in an animal emergency clinic being treated for cat flu after a massive temperature spike caused her to fit. As you can imagine this was terribly frightening and we feared the worst at the time. The vet diagnosed her as having cat flu (probably the herpes based one but did not take a swab). The breeder swore there was no cat flu in her cattery, yet it was clear that Luna had incubated the flu somewhere before she even reached us.

Luna recovered after treatment and antibiotics and we kept an eye on her since because she will always carry it and could again have a flare up.

Fast forward to when Pierre was mauled by the dog next door and it became apparent during his recovery that the stress of the attack and recovery had caused him to have health issues too. With red runny eyes and occasional sneezing the vet advised this was possibly chlamydia, another contagious illness, and started him on antibiotics. That seemed to work and he was back to his crazy self after a couple of weeks.

Then came Lucy into the house and illness has raised its head again. This time both Pierre and Luna have serious respiratory issues (bronchial pneumonia) and are on some strong antibiotics and expectorants. Pierre and Luna are exhibiting completely different symptoms which doesn’t help with a firm diagnosis. Pierre has an “impressive” cough, the vet’s description not mine, and is listless with a slight temperature. Luna is sneezing, spraying mucous from her nose, listless and has developed small pinprick sores on her face.

What is most worrisome is that Lucy today started sneezing and has one runny eye and the vet has put her on antibiotics too.

The plan is to monitor carefully and if any deterioration then it will be time to sample the lung expectorate. I’ll keep you informed.

[update – I did post more about Pierre’s illness which turned out not to be Chlamydia but Mycoplasma felis . Click on the link to read about it]

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7 Responses to “Sphynx Cat Illness”

  1. Donna says:

    Finger’s crossed for your babies. Hugs and good thoughts from Pecia and Dermis. Keep us posted!

  2. Oh no Allison…I am so sorry to hear of the cat health issues. It really is scary, especially when you’re not sure what you are dealing with. Has your vet suggested nebulizing? We do that with many of the cats with respiratory issues and often include antibiotics. It really seems to clear up the symptoms & their causes more quickly than just oral antibiotics.

    Really hoping everyone is better soon! Gentle pets to them all & a big hug to you!

    Allison Reply:

    Thanks Corrine ! Yeah the vet didn’t but I have been giving then the old steamy ensuite and they seem relieved and more energetic when they come out. Luna seems to have turned a corner over night and is more perky. Pierre is still lethargic and though not coughing, is not himself at all.

  3. Joanne Trask says:

    Hi Allison,
    I was just doing some searching on the net and stumbled across this website and your letter.
    I am a Sphynx breeder in Aust and am sorry to hear of the problems you are having. One of my first Sphynx I purchased ended up having horrible yucky eyes, sneezing and a temp. I took her to the vet and they put her on antibiotics – I also asked them to do a PCR test. The test came back negative but she was still having these outbreaks and I seemed to be at the vets all the time. A breeder suggested Zithromax (It is a human drug for herpes). I rang the vet and they said it was a wonderful drug and I asked them to order it in for me. I gave her an eight of a tablet and have never looked back – she has never had a problem since I gave her the Zithromax.
    I just thought this information may be helpful for you or you could have a chat to your vet about it. Has your vet done a PCR test? Hope your kids are well soon and back to their happy, healthy, self.
    Regards
    Joanne

    Allison Reply:

    Hi Joanne, thanks for the comment, very helpful.

    Yay for a fellow Australian Sphynx owner dropping by! I will certainly keep the Zithromax in mind if this pops up again. It looks like it’s mostly over with Luna going off of antibiotics, but Lucy and Pierre going through another course while the last of their symptoms disappear.

    We took the “House MD” approach which was treat first and see how things went. I will definitely be getting a swab next time just so I have peace of mind as to what it is.

    I hope you keep dropping by!

  4. Emily says:

    “Fast forward to when Pierre was mauled by the dog next door and it became apparent during his recovery that the stress of the attack and recovery had caused him to have health issues too. With red runny eyes and occasional sneezing the vet put it down to possibly chlamydia, another contagious illness, and started him on antibiotics. That seemed to work and he was back to his crazy self after a couple of weeks.”

    Not that I don’t enjoy reading your blogs about your sphynx kitty stories, but the part where you say “With red runny eyes and occasional sneezing, the vet put it down…” could very easily be taken the wrong way, if you get what I mean. Anyone who is not a careful reader, might take it as though you had the cat put to rest. :/
    I know that’s not what you meant or did at all to your cat, but it would probably be better to use another set of words, like such as “the vet diagnosed him with possible…” blah blah blah.

    Allison Reply:

    Gosh you are right Emily ! Oops … I’ll edit that right now ;)

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