Dear Catster reader,

Almost two years ago, we invested numerous resources and rebuilt the Catster community. With new hardware, software and personnel, we did our best to satisfy the many users who shared their thoughts, pictures, questions, and love for and of their pets with us and friends. It was a thriving community with many users. We hoped, however, there would be more like you.

Times and habits have changed and we are sad to announce that the Catster community will be closing down on July 20, 2019.

Catster magazine, and the associated social media sites are NOT shutting down. We encourage you to continue reading the content found in the pages of the magazine and the web sites, commenting through the mechanisms provided and sharing your ideas and comments with us and your fellow readers.

Instructions for accessing pet profiles were shared with everyone in 2017. The instructions can be found elsewhere within the forum. AFTER JULY 20TH, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS THIS CONTENT. And, effective immediately, we are no longer able to answer questions about the community.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to serving you through our magazine and website.


Can the anesthesia tubing in cats damage the vocal cord?, my cat got spayed and she tries to meow bu

The female cat got spayed at Humane Ohio. Since then she did not meow anymore. I have been observing her and noticed she tries to meow but it comes out soundless, no noise, just the air pssing through. Is possible the vocal cords or vocal nerves got damaged? Is there any treatment? is this damage reversible?. She still can purrs and hiss. How can I find out if there is permanent or temporary damage?- Please, help.

Best Answers

  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    I'm not a vet, but I would guess that if the larynx spasmed during the intubation, it's quite possible that it was damaged. Here's what I would do if it were my cat: I have a "family" vet, so I would take my cat to my vet. If you don't already have a vet on board, now would be a good time to find one for her. I would ask my vet to examine her throat to look for damage. Let the vet diagnose whether there is damage, if it's temporary and if anything can be done other than just waiting for it to heal. If damage was done, ask them if they think you should notify the humane shelter where the spay was done. If someone is doing damage while intubating animals, retraining might be necessary for that technician. Even if it was a fluke, something should be done for your kitty by the shelter, even if helping pay your vet bill. Was she a "loud" meower previous? Some cats don't make much noise when they meow. But I would have her examined by your vet just to make sure.
  • JEN ATKINSJEN ATKINS Member Posts: 123
    Accepted Answer
    Damage to the larynx during intubation is definately possible - on accident, by an untrained staff member, by using too big of an intubation tube, etc. Where I live, the low-cost spay/neuter clinics allows & encourages its clients to call them in case of any complication. Not only will they treat the problem, but they also do not charge for any treatment rendered due to a complication of surgery. This may very well be the case with the Humane Society in Ohio as well. Please get her checked over to make sure she is not in any pain or in need of medical care. Best of luck to you both :)
  • Jill BorkowskiJill Borkowski Member Posts: 1
    Accepted Answer
    Hi, my name is Jill Borkowski and I'm Humane Ohio's part time marketing manager. First of all, thank you for choosing to spay/neuter and for keeping a close eye on your baby following the procedure! I wanted to share a response with you from our veterinarian and Medical Director, Dr. Kelly Ann Rada: "Sometimes endotracheal tubes can cause a little soreness for a few days after surgery, and occasionally a mild cough. If it has been longer than a few days, your baby should definitely be seen by a veterinarian for evaluation because the most common cause of voice change in dogs and cats is a problem with the nerves that supply the vocal cords. Or, that may not be the case, but I'd always rather be safe than sorry. We'd be happy to have your kitty in for a re-check at no cost. Please feel free to call me at 419-266-5607, x104 if you'd like to schedule an appointment."


  • Docsinnovent just signed up to Catster so are a little late with an answer!! but as a very sensitive subject we feel compelled to respond. The endotracheal tubes (ETTs) that are placed into your cats trachea to administer gaseous anaesthesia can potentially damage the larynx (voice box) and the trachea wall by stripping the delicate cilia lining it. This will cause trauma to varying degrees from the very common simple inflammation and mild cough (which can last up to 10 days) to major rupture of the trachea on rare occasions. These ETTs have been used for decades and up until now vets have had no other option. However there are new devices on the market called v-gels, which allow vets to gain a safer airway in our cats. Because the device does not touch the larynx or trachea and has an extremely soft cuff securing the airway, it does not cause the damage seen in ETTs. More information can be found at or facebook (search Docsinnovent Ltd
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to the new Catster Community!

Introduce the community to your pet with our Pet Profiles and discover how to use the new community with our Getting Started pages!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!