Monday, June 25, 2012

Tips for Recognizing Asthma in Cats

Most of us know someone with asthma. A friend, family or neighbor may suffer from it, or we may be cursed with asthma ourselves. But most of us never think that our cats may have asthma. The truth is, cats can and do suffer from asthma, but because they can't tell us, most of them suffer through it, never really getting the treatment they need.

So what is asthma? Basically, asthma is a serious lung condition associated with airway obstruction caused by a sudden narrowing of the bronchial tubes. It's known as many things when referring to cats, such as Feline Allergic Asthma, Feline Lower Airway Disease, Feline Allergic Bronchitis, or Feline Eosinophilic Disease. All of these things are the same thing: asthma. There are certain signs that may indicate that your cat has asthma. If you notice any of the following, you should talk to your veterinarian at the earliest possible opportunity.

Increased Breath Rate: Cats suffering from asthma may be prone to episodes of increased respiratory rate. If you notice your cat breathing faster than normal every once in a while, and its not connected to increased physical activity, you may have a cat with asthma.

Trouble Breathing: Not all cats suffering from asthma will have an increased breath rate. Some of them will simply seem to have to work harder once in a while in order to breathe. Again, if this is not because of physical exertion, asthma may be a prime suspect.

Loud Breathing: Cats are quiet breathers. Listen to a cat sometimes, and if they're not purring or whining about something, you probably can't hear them unless you listen very carefully. So a cat with a distinct wheeze or other high-pitched sound that is emitted while breathing should certainly see a qualified veterinarian.

Coughing: Cats almost never cough. To someone who has never own a cat but is familiar with dogs, this may come as a surprise. Dogs cough all the time. Cats do not. If your cat is coughing, even occasionally, you may want to take him or her to the vet. Asthma is a possible cause of coughing in cats, so take coughing seriously.

All these symptoms can be caused by the spasmodic constriction of the bronchial tubes and increased secretions from the bronchial tree. In other words: asthma. Asthma in cats is as serious as asthma in humans, so take any signs of asthma seriously and see a qualified veterinarian as soon as possible.

1 comment:

  1. Very True and make it easier it helps even more to see what the signs actually look like here are some great videos showing the symptoms and the difference between a hairball and gasping for air.