Is my cat asthmatic?

Feline Asthma

Feline asthma, is also known as feline allergic bronchitis, is a health condition that affects about 1% of cats around the world. It occurs when the airways constrict, causing wheezing, coughing, and trouble breathing in cats.
Causes
Asthma attacks in cats are most commonly triggered by air pollutants. These include;
• pollen,
• dust,
• smoke,
• industrial pollution,
• different kinds of sprays,
• dust from cat litter.
• In some cases, the exact cause may not be found.
• Siamese cats and cats with heartworm disease are more susceptible to having asthma attacks.
Symptoms
Asthma attacks symptoms in cats include; trouble breathing, coughing, and wheezing upon exhalation. More severe attacks cause cats to gasp for air while lying on their chest or sitting down in a hunched position. The cat’s gums may also be pale or purple due to low oxygen levels in the body.
Diagnosis
In order to diagnose feline asthma, all other possible causes must be ruled out. Fortunately, there are only three health conditions that have the same clinical signs as asthma in cats.

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• heart failure,
• pneumonia
• hernias located in the diaphragm.
A physical exam and some x-rays are the basic requirements for diagnosing feline asthma. During the exam, the veterinarian will use a stethoscope to check for wheezing or crackling in the lungs. The radiographs will then be evaluated for abnormal lung patterns.
Treatment
Anytime your cat is having difficulty breathing, emergency veterinary attention should be acquired. Epinephrine, bronchodilators, oxygen, and cortisone injections are the common treatments used in emergency cases. If your cat’s asthma is chronic, your veterinarian will develop a long-term treatment plan to control the condition. Most of the time, treatment includes a bronchodilator and low doses of oral corticosteroids.
Management is also part of treatment, as it can help prevent future asthma attacks in your cat. This is how you can Help your cat
minimize your cat’s exposure to triggers include;
• Avoid using perfume, carpet powder, sprays, and other scented household products.
• Try switching to newspaper shreds or potty pads in case the cat litter is a trigger for your cat.
• Consider getting an air purifying filters in your home to reduce pollutants in the air.
• Vacuum carpet on a regular basis and clean around the home as often as possible.
• Wipe your cat down with a damp cloth at least twice daily to remove dust, debris, and other pollutants from his coat.
If you would like our vet to check your cat for Asthma.
Ring our Coromandel Valley Clinic on 08 83703500