Asthma is not a common disease in cats but it is dangerous to the health of cats. Asthma can be fatal if it is not recognized and treated properly.
So what are the symptoms of asthma in cats? How to take care of cats and treat cats that have asthma? Let’s find out through the article below of WewPet.
What are cats having asthma?
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The small bronchi of cats having asthma are narrow because of chronic/acute infections. This disease interferes in circulating (exchanging) air and affects the cats’ breathing. It leads to narrowing of the respiratory tract and causes difficulty in breathing, especially when exhaling.
The excessive sensitivity of the respiratory tract leads to asthma attacks that recur many times. Some symptoms such as wheezing, difficulty inbreathing, chest heaviness, coughing …
The development of this illness can make cats have difficulty in breathing, easily leading to respiratory failure. For a long time, it can cause permanent damage to the lungs and be life-threatening. Cats having asthma need to be treated as quickly as possible.
This disease has many different names: feline asthma, cat asthma,…
Cause of having asthma in cats
- Allergic reactions of bronchitis: when the respiratory tract is inflamed because allergens/stimulants interact with the immune system.
- Diseases are related to parasites.
- Extreme stress.
- Asthma in cats may be associated with other diseases: endoparasite, respiratory parasites, tumors, heart failure, pneumonia, diabetes.
Which breeds of cats are easy to have asthma?
- Older cats and kittens are in higher danger of having asthma than younger cats are.
- Females tend to be more susceptible to the disease than males are.
- Siamese, Himalayan and mixed cat breeds are more susceptible to asthma than other cat breeds.
- Cats have asthma because of genetics.
Mechanisms of asthma in cats
The main mechanism causing the above situation stems from the following reasons:
- Due to constriction of the muscles in the bronchial wall.
- Swelling of the lining of the bronchi.
- The lungs release too much mucus into the bronchi.
In addition, there is also an excessive increase in bronchial response to many factors that trigger asthma attacks. The respiratory tract becomes overly stimulated and overreacted to a variety of asthma triggers such as dust of the house, mites, pollen, smoke, irritants.
Signs of cats having asthma
- Coughing and wheezing.
- Coughing lasts for a long time (more than 5 minutes or more twice per hour – 3 times per day).
- Squatting like shoulder-width apart, widening neck, and breathing fastly/ panting.
- Vomiting white mucus.
- When breathing, cats often open their mouths.
- Blue lips and gums (normally red, pink).
- Cats having asthma are often lethargic and weak.
- Even cats getting severe illness may have difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath (normal breathing rate is 20-30 beats/minute).
The degree of cats having asthma
- Mild: Symptoms occur continuously but do not appear every day. They do not really affect the normal life of cats.
- Moderate: Symptoms do not occur every day, but they seriously affect the cats’ body/function and make them debilitated.
- Severe: Depressive symptoms of the bodies occur continuously every day
- Life-threatening: Severe bronchospasm and difficulty in breathing cause lack of oxygen and changes in the area of lips and noses (normally pink but now turning blue). They will bring undesirable death to cats.
Therefore, early recognizing of symptoms of asthma to treat is really essential to avoid undesirable consequences for your pets.
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Diagnose asthma in cats
To diagnose cats having asthma, it is important to determine the exact cause of the disease. Here are some methods you can take to diagnose asthma in cats:
- Conduct a thorough physical examination: the veterinarian will use a stethoscope to locate the specific source of wheezing and combine with observing the clinical symptoms of the disease.
- X-ray: helps to observe and detect unusual signs in cats. Are there any signs of a small respiratory tract being narrow? Are there signs of inflammation around the respiratory tract in the lungs?
- Blood tests: helps to find the cause or eliminate other possible conditions (such as diabetes).
- Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL): take a sample of mucus from the small bronchi, and then study it under a microscope to determine the cause of the disease. This test is also used to find out the cause of lung cancer.
In addition, to make sure that it does not confuse symptoms of this disease with that of others, vets can combine with methods of evaluating bronchial secretion and parasitic tests.
Treatments for cats having asthma
Depending on the severity of this disease, there are treatments for cats having asthma. The main purpose of treatment is to help to reduce respiratory inflammation and to relax the respiratory tract. Since then, to reduce the production of mucus.
- Curing for cats having asthma by corticosteroids: It is very effective. Depending on the individual situation of cats to drink or inject this drug.
- Some other drugs: Bronchodilators, Steroids, Inhaled Steroids, Antihistamines, Leukotriene, homeopathic drugs, herbs and Vitamins. They can be given orally, inhaled or injected, the gel to penetrate into the skin.
- Treat cats having asthma by medications in order to relax the respiratory tract: Albuterol, terbutaline, Xanthina (Theophylline). Be aware that bronchodilator drugs do not reduce inflammation in the lungs. Therefore, treatment should be combined with some drugs in order to reduce inflammation in cats.
Treating cats having asthma is extremely complex. It is related to many drugs and has important effects on the health of cats. Therefore, choosing a method of treatment and medicine will depend on many factors. You need to ask vets for effective treatment.
Does asthma in cats spread to humans?
Cats having asthma have a significant impact on people’s quality of life. Therefore, many people worry that cats having asthma were contagious. Can inhaling cat fur cause having asthma in humans? Especially when people come into contact with cats having asthma every day, are they infected with this disease?
However, in reality, having asthma in cats is not caused by viruses or bacteria, so it is not a contagious disease. Although a cat having asthma is not a contagious disease, it is inherited.
Preventing cats from asthma
- Vaccinate cats to against asthma.
- Get regular checks on cats’ endoparasites.
- Decrease stress in your cats’ habitat as they tend to exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms in cats.
- Limit the use of perfumes, sprays for rooms, carpet deodorants, hair sprays, aerosol cleaners … around the cats’ habitat.
- Dry air is not often good for asthma in cats. Therefore, it is necessary to keep the humidity stable especially during the dry months.
- Keep the cats’ weight in balance.
- Avoid exposure to smoke, remember that if cats have asthma, smoke should be absolutely forbidden.
- If you need to paint your home/room, placing a bowl of vinegar in the room can help you eliminate the smell of the paint.
That is the information to help you take good care of cats. If you are interested in experiences of taking care of cats, keep them healthy, please follow our next articles.
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