Fortunately, you can treat your cat’s asthma. While it may seem to be a terminal condition, the prognosis is usually good. You should discuss your options with your veterinarian.
Feline asthma is a respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the airways. Symptoms may include coughing, wheezing, and shallow breathing. These symptoms may occur suddenly or periodically. If not treated, it can lead to sudden death.
Feline asthma is caused by an overreaction of the immune system to an allergen. Allergens include cigarette smoke, dust, house dust, and aerosol sprays. The allergic reaction causes the immune cells to release histamines, which trigger spasms in the bronchi.
Feline asthma is usually treated with anti-inflammatory medication, bronchodilators, and corticosteroids. In severe cases, supplemental oxygen may be required.
The diagnosis of feline asthma is usually made on physical examination and x-rays. Your veterinarian may order bloodwork or a tracheal wash to look for bacteria and inflammatory cells in the lungs. Your veterinarian may also order tests to rule out heart and lungworm disease.
Feline asthma may occur spontaneously or be triggered by an allergy. It is believed that some cats are genetically predisposed to the disease. The severity of the disease varies from cat to cat.
The severity of the disease can vary from occasional wheezing, coughing, and retching to life-threatening dyspnea. Your veterinarian may prescribe medications or prescribe an inhaler to relieve your cat’s symptoms.
Asthma can also be triggered by a parasite infection. Your veterinarian may order a fecal examination to rule out lungworms.