specialized home-care for cats
Feline Asthma is a respiratory condition that involves inflammation
and excess mucous build-up in the airways. Airway muscles spasm,
causing constriction of the airway and resulting in respiratory
distress. Feline Asthma shares some characteristics with human
asthma, including symptoms.
Signs of Asthma
Signs of Feline Asthma may be as mild as an occasional soft cough
and/or a wheeze. At times it may seem as though your cat is trying
unsuccessfully to bring up a hairball. In extreme and chronic cases,
one might notice a persistent cough along with labored, open-mouth,
harsh breathing. At this point, an asthma ‘attack’ could culminate in
a life-threatening crisis.
Many other diseases including infection, heartworms, lungworms,
and cardiomyopathy may mimic Feline Asthma; therefore it is vital
for you to take your cat to your veterinarian for a thorough exam and
medical work-up. Feline Asthma is typically diagnosed through
clinical presentation, radiographs (x-rays) and lab work. Once
diagnosed, your veterinarian will work with you to determine the
optimal approach to treating your cat.
There are a number of treatment options which might include oral
medications, inhalers similar to those used in human medicine, and
nebulizers. These serve to help with daily prevention and also
manage more severe episodes as they occur by reducing inflammation
and helping to relax the muscles of the airway.
Whimsy Thought: for a perspective on what it might feel like to have asthma, try
breathing through a straw for a few moments
Even though the exact causes of Feline Asthma are unknown, it is
believed that allergies could play a part. In addition to medical
management, it may help to watch for possible triggers in the
environment. Consider whether your litter is low-dust and
unscented. Be careful when using household products such as
aerosols, cleaners and polishes. Reduce exposure to vapors from
garages, work areas, and special projects. Vacuum frequently and
wash bedding often to help reduce dust mites. Watch for areas where
mildew and mold may build up. If you notice seasonal occurrences,
be mindful of open doors and windows. Watch for reactions in
stressful situations and limit exercise when appropriate. You may
even want to discuss your cat’s diet with your Veterinarian.
Always be sure that you have your emergency supply of medications
on hand at all times as well as an emergency action plan since an
episode can occur with little warning.
If you suspect that your cat has Feline Asthma don’t ignore the signs.
This can be a very frightening, uncomfortable, and potentially life
|© 2008 Whimsy Cats LLC All rights reserved.
LIVING WITH FELINE ASTHMA