What is Feline Asthma?
Feline asthma is a condition where a cat’s airways become inflamed, leading to breathing difficulties. It is caused by allergens or irritants like dust, pollen, and smoke. Cats with asthma have airways that are more sensitive than those of healthy cats. So, when they come in contact with these allergens, their airways become inflamed, making it difficult for them to breathe.
Symptoms of Feline Asthma
The most common sign of feline asthma is coughing. You may also hear a wheezing sound when your cat breathes. This wheezing sound is even more common when your cat exhales. Other symptoms include rapid breathing, labored breathing, and lethargy. If you notice these symptoms in your cat, it is crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately.
Diagnosing Feline Asthma
Your veterinarian will perform various tests to diagnose feline asthma. They may start with a physical examination to listen to your cat’s lungs and heart. They may then suggest radiographs or x-rays to rule out other conditions like pneumonia. Your veterinarian may also recommend a bronchoscopy, where they insert a tiny camera into your cat’s airways to see if there is any inflammation.
Treating Feline Asthma
Luckily, feline asthma is treatable, and with the right medication, cats can live a full life. Your veterinarian will likely prescribe medication that will help control the inflammation in your cat’s airways. These medications include bronchodilators like albuterol, steroids, and anti-inflammatories. Your veterinarian may also recommend environmental changes to help reduce the number of allergens in your home. These changes may include using an air purifier, vacuuming regularly, and using dust-free litter.
Preventing Feline Asthma
While you cannot fully prevent feline asthma, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of your cat developing the condition. These include:
1. Reducing environmental irritants – minimize exposure to dust, pollen, and smoke by using air purifiers and regularly cleaning your cat’s bedding and litter box.
2. Using dust-free litter – some types of litter can create a lot of dust, which can irritate your cat’s airways. Opt for dust-free litter instead.
3. Proper nutrition – a balanced diet can help keep your cat healthy and less prone to developing respiratory problems.
4. Regular veterinarian check-ups – take your cat to the veterinarian for regular check-ups to catch any health problems early.
In conclusion, feline asthma is a condition that requires prompt medical attention. If you suspect your cat has asthma, contact your veterinarian immediately. Proper treatment and environmental changes can help your cat live a healthy and breath-filled life.