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Bronchial Asthma in Cats

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Optimal treatment for your pet with feline asthma requires a combination of home care and professional veterinary care. The duration of therapy needed is variable, because some cats may have only a single event while others require lifelong therapy or recurrent treatments (not unlike people with asthma). The principles of home care therapy for bronchial asthma in cats include the following:

  • Administer veterinarian prescribed medication and be certain to alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your pet.

  • Injectable terbutaline – In the case of severe episodes of respiratory distress, some veterinarians advocate the use of this drug at home. This may be an option to discuss with your veterinarian.

  • Attempt to taper the doses of corticosteroids under your veterinarian's directions. Corticosteroid therapy in cats is often well tolerated, but chronic use can lead to weight gain, obesity and diabetes.

  • Re-evaluate your cat if there is an inadequate response to the above. Schedule a recheck for one to two weeks after an acute attack.

  • Periodic chest X-rays every 6 to 12 months can help follow progression of disease. Understand the relentless nature of this condition in some cats.

  • Restrict calories in obese pets. Obesity worsens lung function.

  • Try to minimize or eliminate dusts and powders from the environment. Change litter types to sand, newspaper types, or low "dust" varieties. Clean furnace filters and consider air cleaners/purifiers to reduce environmental pollutants.

  • Try to eliminate smoking in the house (even on a trial basis). Minimize exposure of cats to aerosol sprays such those found in as hairspray or deodorizers.

  • Use Hepa-type air filters to help filter air.

  • Keep a calendar of when asthmatic attack or problems occur to help determine any seasonality that can be associated with specific allergens.

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