Asthma is not only a human disorder, asthma in cats can occur as well. You should have your cat checked by a vet if you suspect this disorder.
Let's dive right in.
Examining Asthma in Cats
Leaving asthma or feline asthma untreated can result in permanent damage to your cats lungs and heart.
Asthma in cats or feline asthma is an immune-mediated disease characterized by certain symptoms.
They range from infrequent, hairball-like coughing, to sudden onsets of respiratory distress (which veterinarians call "acute dyspnea").
Episodes are usually triggered by an allergen or stress, and can be accompanied or followed by vomiting, sneezing, or even wheezing like a human allergy sufferer.
Respiratory signs of asthma may be slow and deliberate (more abdominal breathing), to fast and labored.
True asthma, as opposed to bronchitis, normally responds quickly to a combination of bronchodilators, oxygen therapy, and fast acting steroids.
Diagnosis of this lung disease is usually confirmed with an x-ray, and possibly a slide cytology of the airway.
X-Rays confirm Asthma in Cats
Because asthma can mimic other feline diseases (bronchitis, heart disease, pneumonia), a veterinary diagnosis assisted by an x-ray is essential.
In many ways, asthma in cats is very similar to human asthma, although our understanding of the causes of clinical feline asthma has been growing in recent years.
Long-term treatment usually includes short or long- term use of corticosteroids (such as prednisone).
And bronchodilators (such as terbutaline or aminophyline).
While severe "episodes" of dyspnea can occur, the long- term prognosis for this disease is generally excellent.
If asthma in cats is diagnosed early, any structural changes to the lungs and airway are usually reversible, and damage can be minimized.
Recent investigation into alternative treatments for asthma include injectable steroids (for that patient that simply can't be pilled).
As well as Cyproheptadine (formally used as an appetite stimulant), Cyclosporin A (limited to severe cases), and Anti-Interleukin-5 Antibody (still experimental).
The Environment and Asthma in Cats
Removing allergens from the environment (use of an air purifier, dust free and unscented litter, no odor controlling sprays, etc.) could possibly help to relieve symptoms of asthma in cats as well.
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