Feline Asthma

Our cat Gus suffers from feline asthma. Gus's asthma flares up in the fall and is usually very severe in the spring. We are always looking into the best way to control his outbreaks. Right now his asthma is under control with a new treatment plan. If you feel that your cat may be suffering from asthma, consult a vet immediately.

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Feline Asthma

I adopted Gus (or should I say he adopted me) in August of 1998 when he was about 1 1/2 years old. He had sporadic coughing fits during the first year, and I was not really quite sure what to make of it until one early weekday morning as I was getting ready to go out and run, I heard him cough and then nothing. I turned the light on and there he was with his neck stretched out and his mouth open. I wasn nott really quite sure what was wrong, but off we went to the emergency room.

After about a half hour of waiting and worrying the doctor came out and told me he had an asthma attack. I knew about asthma because I have been an asthmatic since I was 5, so it has been a part of my life, but feline asthma? I knew very little about it.

Since that day, it has been a long haul and a lot of experimentation of what drugs were helping and what drugs were not helping his feline asthma - not unlike what I have been through. There was not as much information available on feline asthma as there is today, however, I was quite familiar with the drugs available but not as familiar with what was safe for cats. What drugs can be used and what is the correct dosage for treating feline asthma? I am most thankful for my vet who took the time to talk with me at length during evening hours, helped research different ideas I had from my own experience and brought Gus’ case before other doctors.

Gus has an extreme case of feline asthma which gets worse right before the rainy season and right around spring time, but stays with him all year round. His asthma has gotten worse throughout the years, and until recently, we have had to give him long acting cortisone shots approximately every 4-6 weeks, plus additional doses of oral prednisone in the morning, as well as at night. I am always researching to find any new available drugs to treat feline asthma and recently learned about giving him a puff of his albuterol inhaler (which in the past I only used for emergencies)and then giving him a puff of his cortisone inhaler.

In the past, I tried the cortisone inhaler only along with oral meds of prednisone and terbutaline. He sometimes tolerated the inhaled cortisone and other times it triggered coughing. At this time, he is on 1 puff of albuterol and then 1 puff of the cortisone inhaler (I wait about 20 seconds between each inhalation). We switched prednisone to prednisolone and he is still on the terbutaline. We have been able to greatly reduce the prednisone for his feline asthma. We went from 20 mg per day to 7.5 mg per day and he is doing great. Just like with human asthma it is necessary to experiment and find the combination of drugs that will work best for your cat to help with feline asthma.

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