My cat has asthma: how can I help him?

My Cat Has Asthma: How Can I Help Him?

Cat asthma is also called feline asthma. It is a disease that can be very serious and therefore requires veterinary monitoring. Not all cats are equal when it comes to this respiratory disorder. Siamese are more affected than other breeds. Often an asthmatic cat suffers from allergies. The disease cannot be cured. However, it is possible to help your little companion. How ? Here’s how.

Everything You Need To Know About Cat Asthma

Asthma in cats is a bronchopulmonary disease that can affect all cats regardless of breed, age or sex.

What Causes Feline Asthma?

The causes of respiratory disease are the same in cats as in humans. They include:

    • outdoor allergens (pollen, dust mites, dust or mold),
    • respiratory infections,
    • respiratory irritants (tobacco smoke, pollution, aerosol, smell of litter),
    • the cold air.

Asthma in cats is a serious pathology because it harms the animal’s well-being. It is important that the disease be diagnosed as early as possible. Thus, with the veterinarian, you can adopt good habits so that your cat has fewer asthma attacks. This is especially the case if your cat is almost permanently exposed to allergens. Indeed, some cannot be completely eliminated from your small animal’s environment.

How To Explain Cat Asthma?

The best way to help a cat with asthma is to understand how bronchopulmonary disease develops. During the first contact with the allergen, the cat’s immune system defends itself and creates antibodies which bind to immune cells such as granulocytes to become cellular antibodies. Once this phenomenon has occurred, as soon as your cat comes into contact with the allergen, his body releases histamine or prostaglandins. These lead to inflammation of the immune cells. Here are the stages of an asthma attack.

    • The bronchi shrink.
    • Inflammatory fluid forms.
    • The muscle and epithelial cells of the bronchial structures multiply.
    • Fibrosis forms (body tissue turns into fibrous tissue).
See also  Blood Pressure In Cats: Why Monitor It?

An asthma attack forms in just a few minutes. The frequency of these phenomena depends on exposure to the allergen. When attacks are frequent, we speak of chronic asthma as in humans.

How To Recognize An Asthma Attack In Cats?

Asthma in cats must be diagnosed as early as possible to provide optimal management of the disease and a better quality of life for the animal. Attacks can have different levels of intensity. Here is a list of symptoms. They can vary from animal to animal.

    • A short expiration
    • A hissing inspiration
    • breathing difficulties,
    • A dry cough
    • shortness of breath
    • Sometimes intense coughing fits
    • A loss of appetite
    • A lack of activity
    • A general weakening
    • Redness
    • Swellings
    • Itches

When a cat has asthma and especially when an attack is about to begin, it is not uncommon for it to open its mouth to breathe. Vigilance is key! Asthma attacks can be intense.

How To Diagnose Cat Asthma?

In the vast majority of cases, a cat’s asthma is detected after an attack. However, when there are doubts or predispositions, as is the case with the Siamese, then it is possible to carry out examinations.

To make his diagnosis, the veterinarian will carry out a clinical examination during which he will check the cat’s mucous membranes and bronchi. He may then do blood tests to check for the presence of immune cells. It indicates that the cat suffers from allergies, and sometimes asthma. It can also alert to the presence of parasites. A chest X-ray completes the examinations. It allows you to check the state of the animal’s respiratory system. Sometimes, in chronic asthma, the bronchi are damaged. Finally, a broncho-alveolar lavage (LBA) can also make it possible to carry out a control of the bronchi by endoscopy.

See also  Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

How To Help An Asthmatic Cat?

As we have already specified, feline asthma cannot be cured definitively. However, it is possible to relieve a cat suffering from feline asthma.

Drug Treatments

In the event of an asthma attack, you can take your cat to the veterinarian to receive appropriate treatment. Depending on the severity of the crisis, the professional may inject bronchial dilators and/or corticosteroids. This treatment is offered on an emergency basis and acts directly on the respiratory tract.

If the asthma is chronic and of allergic origin, the veterinarian can prescribe antihistamines which can be given daily. In other cases, a cortisone-based treatment is proposed. It should be noted that chronic asthma is a form of asthma to be taken seriously because it can be the cause of bacterial superinfection. In this case, antibiotic treatment is necessary.

Veterinary Follow-Up For A Perfectly Healthy Cat

It is obvious that a healthy cat will tolerate asthma attacks better. Also, from an early age, you must have your pet followed by a veterinarian. He must be up to date with his vaccinations. Similarly, an asthmatic cat must be treated against external parasites with an antiparasitic (collar, pipette, spray) as well as against internal parasites with a dewormer. Pay particular attention to your cat’s diet so that it maintains a healthy weight and make sure it has regular physical activity.

Is It Possible To Prevent Asthma Attacks In A Cat?

Although cat asthma cannot be cured, you can prevent attacks. On a daily basis, you have to adopt good habits. If you know the allergen that causes asthma attacks, you should limit its presence.

See also  Cat Vomiting Yellow (Bilious Vomiting): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Regular brushing is highly recommended if your companion is asthmatic. Indeed, it is possible that the allergen remains on his coat. In the case of chronic asthma, it may be useful to pass a damp cloth over your cat’s coat. Brushing is beneficial as it helps to check for the presence of parasites or the condition of the skin.

The steps to take to prevent and reduce a cat’s asthma attacks are also excellent for your well-being! Here is a non-exhaustive list.

    • Ventilate all rooms in your home daily. Have this habit in any season, including when it rains! This is when the air is least polluted.
    • Clean your house regularly. Vacuum every day and use solvent-free cleaning products.
    • Do not smoke inside your home. And to go further, don’t smoke. Your attending physician and pharmacist will be happy to help you successfully quit smoking.
    • Choose synthetic litter that does not create dust. Avoid closed litter boxes. Your feline might choose not to use it. The litter should be changed very regularly.

Finally, to help your pet breathe better, it is possible to invest in a cat inhalation chamber. It has a cylindrical shape which makes it easy to use. It allows in particular to vaporize the prescribed treatments.

Similar Posts