Asthma in cats: how to detect it and possible treatments

In case of presenting symptoms compatible with this respiratory disease, it is recommended to consult a professional for a proper diagnosis.

Feline asthma is one of the most common diseases in cats.  (Photo: Pixabay)
Feline asthma is one of the most common diseases in cats. (Photo: Pixabay)

Feline asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases among cats . The symptoms of this pathology tend to worsen over time, so it is essential to learn how to detect it and go to a professional to diagnose it and establish the most effective treatment to control and reduce its consequences as much as possible.

Specifically, feline asthma is caused by inflammation of the lower respiratory tract or lungs , which makes it difficult for the correct flow of air and, therefore, the oxygenation of the body. Asthma attacks are mostly due to contact with irritating substances, such as dust, tobacco, pollen, and cleaning supplies, among others.

Asthma in cats: symptoms to detect it

To detect asthma in cats, it is important to pay attention to them and not ignore or normalize the symptoms of this disease . In this sense, the main signs usually manifest in breathing, especially with difficulties in exhalation more than in the inspiration of air.

Asthma in cats can be caused by contact with irritants.  Photo Illustrative image (Pixabay)
Asthma in cats can be caused by contact with irritants. Photo Illustrative image (Pixabay)By: Photo Illustrative image (Pixabay)

Asthma can also cause faster than usual and shallow breathing , known as tachypnea, even forcing the animal to keep its mouth open to facilitate a greater intake of air. In addition, wheezing or other noises may occur when breathing , as the air passes through the inflamed bronchi and narrowed airways.

moderate or intense cough can be the consequence of asthma. In the vast majority of cases, it can be confused with the expulsion of hairballs, something that is completely natural and characteristic of cats.

Symptoms may also include the presence of blue mucous membranes , due to lack of oxygenation, and fatigue or rejection of physical activity, also as a consequence of inefficient oxygenation.

However, none of these symptoms is exclusive to asthma, but can correspond to other diseases such as bacterial infections, heart failure and respiratory parasites. Precisely for this reason it is essential to submit the animal to a medical examination to rule out other pathologies and provide an accurate diagnosis.

Asthma in cats: treatments

Once the veterinarian diagnoses feline asthma, he will be in charge of providing the most appropriate treatment depending on the characteristics of the animal, such as age, weight, pathologies, stress level and the phase in which the disease is, among others. . The goal is to control and reduce the intensity of asthma attacks, as well as treat the causes (identify allergens and irritants) and counteract the symptoms.

The treatment usually consists of the administration of different drugs, such as anti-inflammatories, mucolytics and bronchodilators, which allow the dilation of the bronchi and bronchioles of the lungs in order to facilitate a greater flow of air. Then, it is essential that the veterinarian carry out a monthly follow-up to analyze the evolution and response of the animal.

How to avoid asthma attacks in cats

  • Buy dust-free cat litter.
  • Do not subject the animal to tobacco smoke or incense.
  • Avoid letting the cat come into contact with insecticides, air fresheners and other aerosols.
  • Clean furniture and carpets so as not to contribute to the accumulation of dust.
  • Be careful with cleaning products and the vapors they emanate.

Apart from going to a professional to carry out a diagnosis and adequate treatment for feline asthma, it is also important to take precautions to avoid daily attacks and minimize their consequences. In this sense, it is essential to prevent cats with this disease from coming into contact with irritants that can trigger an asthma episode.

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