Chronic Sinusitis in Cats

Chronic sinusitis is a condition that affects a large number of cats throughout the world. It generally is more prevalent in younger cats, though it can affect any animal and at any age as well. There are a number of different potential causes of this condition, and treating the concern typically requires identifying what has brought it about in the first place. Read on for a brief overview of some of those causes, as well as the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment methods for chronic sinusitis in cats.

Causes of Sinusitis

Sinusitis is difficult to treat in many cases because it has a wide variety of different causes that can potentially bring it about. These causes include the following:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Virus
  • Fungal growth
  • Immune system response
  • Parasite infestation
  • Trauma or injury to the face
  • Allergic reaction
  • Dental condition
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Polyps

While some of these potential causes, like a virus or a minor injury to the face, may heal or repair themselves on their own, others are much more serious. Because of this, it's important that you not ignore your cat's sinusitis, but rather that you work with your vet to determine the cause of the condition and to then treat it appropriately.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

There are many common symptoms of sinusitis. Unfortunately for the diagnostic process, many of these symptoms are quite similar to others that are associated with other types of conditions as well. The most common symptoms associated with sinusitis include the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Discharge from the nose or eyes
  • Loss of appetite or weight
  • Pawing or rubbing at the nose
  • Facial expression changes or deformity
  • Bad breath
  • Bloody discharge

If you see any of these symptoms, or any other symptom that you think may be associated with sinusitis in your pet, it's important to take him to the vet as quickly as possible. In the case of cats with chronic sinusitis, you'll likely be more aware of the particular warning symptoms for your cat. Therefore, you'll be able to react to those symptoms even more promptly than you otherwise would.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Chronic Sinusitis in Cats

Diagnosis of sinusitis is made through a series of tests, including a blood panel, swab test and more. An MRI is helpful in detecting potential cancers or growths, and blood clotting tests can help to determine what causes any bloody discharge from your cat's nose as well. Bacterial cultures can determine the source of an infection or whether a secondary infection is causing chronic sinusitis to flare up once again.

Treatments for long term sinusitis typically involve a combination of environmental changes and direct medical treatments. Many pet owners find that adding a humidifier to their cat's environment helps to clear the condition. Working to keep your pet's face and nose clean and free of any debris is also helpful. Antibiotics and antifungal drugs can be helpful at eliminating existing infection or deterring infection from occurring as a result of a sinusitis flare up as well.

Ask your vet for additional information about chronic sinusitis in your pet.