Vet Now or Vet Tomorrow
December 6, 2013 5:09 PM   Subscribe

Should we go to an emergency vet tonight, or can it wait until tomorrow?

Last night, we noticed that our cat was a bit lethargic and had some brown discharge coming from one ear. So we called the vet and made an appointment for tomorrow morning. Tonight (conveniently after the vet closed), we noticed that his breathing is weird. He's breathing through his mouth in little short breaths.

Also perhaps relevant is that he's about a month past a four-month upper respiratory infection, which had months of sniffling, but not the short breaths we're seeing tonight.

Does anyone have experience with symptoms like this? Do we need to get him to a vet before the morning?
posted by freshwater to Pets & Animals (34 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I would say call the local ER vet and see what they say. I'm guessing they will tell you to come in. My gut instinct would be to get him to a vet right away.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:11 PM on December 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here is a chart from a cat hospital: Is it an emergency?

I would honestly take your cat in right now.
posted by lalex at 5:12 PM on December 6, 2013 [20 favorites]


If his breathing is impaired I'd take him to the vets tonight.
posted by Ranting Prophet of DOOM! at 5:13 PM on December 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I always check this chart and recommend it to others: Is it an emergency?

On the chart it says if the symptom is panting while at rest, take the cat in immediately.

on preview: exactly what lalex posted
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:14 PM on December 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I would consider it an emergency.

It could be nothing, but it's a 'how okay is it to be wrong?' moment.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:15 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: We're on our way to the vet!
posted by freshwater at 5:26 PM on December 6, 2013 [21 favorites]


Cats crash disturbingly quickly. Go in.
posted by Danf at 5:57 PM on December 6, 2013


I know you're on the way, but yeah, going in is the right thing to do. Danf is right - cats hold it together until they don't, and then it's acute emergency time. The panting/short breaths are very unusual and I have only seen cats do it in extremis. Go go!
posted by Miko at 8:11 PM on December 6, 2013


Response by poster: I'm glad we took him to the vet. Unfortunately, the news was bad. He had a congenital problem with his diaphragm, which affected his heart and lungs. But we got to be with him, and make sure he didn't suffer. Thanks for sending us to the vet. Best cat ever.
posted by freshwater at 10:53 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, freshwater. I'm holding you and your cat in my heart tonight.
posted by missmary6 at 11:29 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh no...I'm very sorry, freshwater. I am glad that you were able to be with him and make sure he didn't suffer.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:47 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Freshwater, my thoughts are with you.
posted by SillyShepherd at 1:30 AM on December 7, 2013


Oh, shit, I'm so sorry.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:29 AM on December 7, 2013


Oh, I am really sorry, freshwater. Hugs to you and yours.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:48 AM on December 7, 2013


So sorry. I am sure this was much easier on him to be where he could be supported and I'm glad you were able to get him to the vet so you could have some more knowledge and the support of the care team. I had a bad feeling because my cat had a similar panting behavior on the last day of his life. My heart goes out to you (and what a sweet character he was, in his little cape...)
posted by Miko at 5:37 AM on December 7, 2013


Oh man, I'm sorry to hear it. Good thoughts to your family.
posted by absquatulate at 6:54 AM on December 7, 2013


I'm so sorry, freshwater. I'm thinking of you and your family. What a beautiful cat he was.
posted by Defying Gravity at 8:02 AM on December 7, 2013


Much love to you guys freshwater.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:21 AM on December 7, 2013


I'm so sorry.
posted by Sassyfras at 8:47 AM on December 7, 2013


I'm also thinking of you & your family, freshwater. He truly was adorable.
posted by AthenaPolias at 9:08 AM on December 7, 2013


I saw your question last night and just came back to check in. I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. He looks like he was a great cat.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 10:30 AM on December 7, 2013


Me too I came back to check in...I'm super sorry for your loss... that picture is adorable, he has the me-fi community's prayers. Hugs.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:33 AM on December 7, 2013


My grey/taupe tabbies send their love and condolences as well.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 10:42 AM on December 7, 2013


My condolences, as well. What a great-looking cat.
posted by trip and a half at 2:14 PM on December 7, 2013


My kitties and I are sending warm thoughts your way. Be kind to yourself in this time. *hugs*
posted by kathrynm at 2:56 PM on December 7, 2013


I'm so very sorry.
posted by auntie maim at 4:20 PM on December 7, 2013


We had the same thing happen with our cat almost a year ago. Took her to the vet because of panting, news was very bad. It was shocking to go from "should we take her to the vet?" to mourning our cat in under 12 hours.

I didn't answer your question because I didn't want to be alarmist or freak you out, but I feel for you and am so sorry that things turned out this way. :(
posted by torticat at 4:48 PM on December 7, 2013


Oh, dear. I am so, so sorry.
posted by Lexica at 8:18 PM on December 7, 2013


I'm very, very sorry about your little friend, freshwater. Sending you a hug tonight.
posted by aryma at 12:13 AM on December 8, 2013


How shocking for you, and how sad. My sincere condolences.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 3:08 AM on December 8, 2013


My cat is the best cat ever, too.

At least the pain we feel when somebody is gone lets us know that we've shared something really special with them. We're lucky to have loved somebody so much, that it can hurt so much when we lose them.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:09 AM on December 8, 2013


I'm so sorry to read your update. My condolences to you. Your kitty was beautiful and looks like he was a character.
posted by Wet Hen at 5:42 PM on December 8, 2013


I'm so sorry.
.
posted by Salamandrous at 6:14 AM on December 9, 2013


I'm so sorry, freshwater.
posted by getawaysticks at 10:22 AM on December 9, 2013


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