Treating Cat Cough with Guaifenesin

Cat cough is a relatively minor disease in that it rarely poses a real risk for the affected animal, although it can be an uncomfortable affliction, and it can easily pass from cat to cat. One of the many treatments available for cats that suffer from cat cough is a drug called guaifenesin. Guaifenesin is usually only used in more severe cases of respiratory infection, and it is sold over the counter in most drugstores.

Causes and Symptoms of Cat Cough

Cat cough can be caused by a range of things, including simple and temporary problems that do not require treatment, such as hairballs or mild throat irritation, as well as more persistent problems, such as bacterial infection, viral infection or allergies. Of course, the most obvious symptom is coughing. You can recognize that a cat is coughing when the animal makes frequent hacking noises from his mouth or throat. Coughs can be either dry and hacking, or moist and slimy. Other possible symptoms that cats may display when they are suffering from cat cough include nasal or ocular discharge. Sometimes, affected felines will also run a high fever, but this symptom is rarely detected by pet owners because it requires an anal thermometer reading to detect.

Treatment with Guaifenesin

Guaifenesin is classified as an expectorant drug, which means that it works by both reducing the amount of phlegm and mucous secreted by the trachea and bronchi in the cat's respiratory passageways, and reducing the viscosity of the remaining secretions. In this way, guaifenesin relieves chest congestion and opens up the respiratory tracts, making it easier for the cat to breathe. It is speculated that, by reducing respiratory secretions and making them more fluid, this drug also increases coughing efficiency, because it is easier for the cat to cough up the reduced amount of excess phlegm.

How to Administer Guaifenesin

Guaifenesin for cats comes in liquid form, so the best way to give guaifenesin to your cat is to mix the syrup in some wet food. The recommended dose depends on the cat's weight: half of a milliliter of guaifenesin for every pound that the animal weighs. Guaifenesin rarely produces any side effects, but cats that were given the drug have been known to experience nausea and vomiting. In very rare cases, cats have been recorded to be allergic to guaifenesin. Some possible allergic reactions to this drug are irritated, itchy rashes with hives, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, or swelling of the face, particularly the mouth area. If your cat displays any symptoms of an allergy to guaifenesin, discontinue administration immediately.

If your cat is suffering from a case of cat cough, do not be too quick to administer medication, because cat cough is not a very dangerous disease, and it often resolves itself after a few days on its own. However, if your cat is suffering severely from a case of cat cough, and the symptoms do not seem to be going away, you can administer drugs such as guaifenesin to help relieve some of your pet's symptoms.