Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Feline asthma is a frustrating medical condition for veterinarians and cat owners alike, but you wouldn’t have known it at the lecture given at the Western Veterinary Conference by Dr. Carol Reinero of the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. That’s because she brought not only her considerable skill, experience and insight to her seminar on this challenging topic, but also her caring and can-do attitude.
Those colleagues sitting in the audience could not help but be as inspired as they were informed, and that was good news indeed for anyone whose cat suffers from this frightening problem. But still, it’s essential to know that while asthma can be managed, it is still an incurable condition for many cats.
“I think every one of us has known a cat who has been sneezing and snorking for years, and the owner wants it fixed now, “ Dr. Reinero told the room full of veterinarians. “When we think of our epileptic patients, we’re always very comfortable telling owners that you can give the medicine and your pet will have good quality of life, but we’re not going to cure this. But when it comes to many of the respiratory diseases we see, we actually do a worse job of communicating that.”
In other words: Prepare to work at managing — but probably not curing — your cat’s breathing problems. If there were ever a problem that requires an ongoing partnership with your pet’s veterinarian, this is it.
On the other hand, you might get lucky, and you and your veterinarian might figure out a permanent solution. That was the case for one family Dr. Reinero talked about, whose cat started having breathing difficulties after a flood in a carpeted basement. If you guessed the cat was reacting to mold, you’re right. Pulling up the carpet and dealing with the mold ended the cat’s breathing problem, and was probably good for the human family members’ health as well. Cats can also suffer breathing problems caused by a bacterial infection, which can also be treated and usually resolved for good.
Detailed medical detective work, including the thorough development of a case history, is essential to a diagnostic work-up when it comes to determining if a cat actually does have true feline asthma. Since it’s not that easy to treat a full-blown asthma attack, knowing and reducing the triggers is essential to an asthmatic cat’s long-term comfort. Of course, it is very difficult to be patient while working toward a diagnosis and treatment plan. Feline asthma’s symptoms are very similar to those seen in humans, including difficulty breathing, wheezing and a cough that sometimes sounds like gagging. In severe cases, cats may sit with their necks extended, inhaling and exhaling rapidly with their mouths open.
Few illnesses can make you feel more helpless than feline asthma, as you try to ease your pet’s fear and suffering.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
There are many mistaken beliefs about
neutering, itchy ears, litterbox habits,
parasite prevention and more.
Struggling to get your cat into her crate?
Mikkel Becker reveals how to train her to
go in on command, without a…
Get expert advice on keeping pets safe
during fireworks, barbecues, hot weather
and other Independence Day hazards.
The medium-size Mudi is a sheepdog
who tends to make an intelligent, active
and easy-to-groom companion.
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
A dog diagnosed with the dangerous parasite may have to take antibiotics, get drug injections and stop exercising.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Visit HealthyPet magazine for interviews with pet-loving celebrities, health advice from our experts, training tips and…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.