Asthma in Cats

While feline asthma is not common, it is more prevalent than many people may think. Keep your cat healthy with regular visits to the veterinarian. If you feel that your cat may be suffering from some type of respiratory problem, seek prompt attention and consult a vet immediately.

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Asthma in Cats

Feline asthma is a more common and serious problem in cats than most people realize and it is well documented in the veterinary literature. Feline asthma ; also known as feline bronchial disease or allergic bronchitis shares similarities to human asthma. An allergic reaction causes spasms and restricts airflow, causing respiratory distress, which can become life threatening in a matter of minutes. Asthma attacks can be mild or severe. The veterinary medicine community estimates that one percent of all cats suffer from asthma.

What can trigger feline asthma?
Feline asthma episodes are often triggered by allergens or stress. Some common allergens are grass and tree pollens (making Spring-time difficult), smoke, fumes, cigarettes, dust, and aerosols of various sorts such as perfumes, deodorants and flea spray.

There are classic symptoms of feline asthma, and your cat may experience them all or just a few. As an example, not all cats with respiratory disease cough but instead have audible throat gurgling, more audible when purring, swallow a lot and often lose their voice.

How to spot feline asthma symptoms:
An asthmatic cat suffering an attack may squat with its shoulders hunched up and neck extended, while coughing, gagging up foamy, mucus like material, and then swallowing hard. This often appears as if the cat is trying to cough up a hairball, but nothing comes up.

An asthmatic cat may also breathe rapidly with its mouth open. Other symptoms include:

- labored breathing

- increased respiratory rate

- lethargy

- gagging

- wheezing and or coughing

- blue lips and gums

Symptoms may come and go. Some cats only exhibit mild symptoms such as quiet wheezing and soft coughing, and can go unnoticed by owners. Many affected cats are free of symptoms between periods of breathing trouble. If your cat suffers from any of these symptoms, you need to seek veterinary assistance immediately. Treatment options vary, but help is available for asthmatic cats.


Pet Health Tips

Talk to your vet about possible environmental problems that may trigger asthma in your cat.


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