Author Topic: Feline asthma?  (Read 2497 times)

Offline Marybelle

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Feline asthma?
« on: December 15, 2004, 09:31:43 PM »
Ok, I\\\'ve taken Beaker to the vet for this once, because we were afraid he had heartworms, and I\\\'ll probably be taking him again, since it hasn\\\'t cleared up, and he\\\'s heartworm negative...  Every so often he has these \\\"fits\\\".  He sounds and looks like he\\\'s trying to cough up a hairball, only with total wheezes, and no hairball.  If I leave him be, they go on for maybe a minute.  If I get up and pet him, they\\\'re over in 15 or 20 seconds...  I\\\'m going to call the vet tomorrow, but I figured I\\\'d toss this out to you guys and see what you think.  I\\\'m pretty sure we\\\'re going to have to do x-rays and all, but I\\\'m hoping someone can shed some light...  And maybe give me ideas for treatment of asthma if that is indeed what he\\\'s got...

Offline Ravyn

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Re: Feline asthma?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2004, 12:59:28 PM »
My 1 year old cat Min has Chronic Respiratory Syndrome as well as asthma. In the first six months I had her (I adopted her at twelve weeks) she had no less than seven respiratory infections. Fortunately, they seemed to have stopped for the time being (knock on wood).

When she has an asthma attack, however, it sounds exactly as you described. She wheeze and huff with her neck outstretched and her head lowered a little, and look like she's dry heaving. It lasts about ten or twenty seconds, then stops and she continues on her way. At this stage, the vet doesn't feel any medication is necessary, and instead I manage her asthma by doing my best to keep her stresses to a minimum (the attacks get worse and the respiratory syndrome comes back if she becomes overly stressed). There are medications that can be given, however it is possible that over an extended period of time the can cause their own damage and shorten the pet's lifespan. So long as she's got good quality of life and is in no major distress, I choose not to medicate her. If her asthma worsens, of course I will then explore my other options, but so far so good.

Basically, managing a cat with asthma is like managing a kid with asthma. Find out the triggers and keep these as reduced as possible. With some cats its stress. With others its dust or sandy litter. With others, too much activity can bring on an attack.

When you catch them having an attack, watch closely. If it doesn't pass within the normal twenty or so seconds, if it appears the cat is really having trouble breathing or is seriously distressed, becomes woozy or uncoordinated, or if the gums and lips begin to blue, take them in to the vet immediately.

But definately take him in for an initial diagnosis. The vet can tell pretty quickly by listening to the lungs if the cat is asthmatic or not. If he's not, however, there may be something more serious going on that you want the vet to take care of immediately, such as heart problems or other underlying lung issues. If it IS asthma, get your options, decide what is best for your situation and your baby's health, give him a kiss on his fuzzy little head, and don't stress. :)
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Offline Marybelle

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Re: Feline asthma?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2004, 03:15:22 PM »
Thanks for your reply.  It helps to know that it\\\'s not really all that serious at this point...  I\\\'m trying to figure out what the triggers are, but so far it seems pretty random.  The only think that\\\'s really changed recently is that we got chinchilllas about a month ago, and I\\\'m hoping it\\\'s not them...   ::)

Offline BabyBlue

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Re: Feline asthma?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2004, 11:47:39 AM »
My Loki had the same thing, dry heaving, nothing coming out. When it got more frequent (about 4-5 times a week) I made an appt. My vet thought it might be asthma but thought he was awfully young for it (9 months). While we're waiting for the appt tho, he just stopped completely and didn't have a wheezing fit for the whole week. I considered cancelling the appt then went in anyway because I figured it would be good to get a check up anyhow. My vet listened to his lungs and looked him over, then said everything looked fine he seemed perfectly healthy (as a matter of fact couldn't stop raving about how wonderful he was!), and since he stopped doing it I shouldn't worry too much about it. I was wondering if it was something in the environment, but couldn't think of anything that had changed during that time. Just hoping that it won't happen again...