PET OF THE MONTH
is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the lower airways which leads to
respiratory signs. Some feel that genetic make up and environmental
factors may play a role in causing asthma. It has also been suggested
that dietary hypersensitivity may lead to asthma. The signs of asthma
can get better and worse, but it is indeed classified as a feline
allergic airway disease.
diagnosing asthma in a cat, we first do a physical exam and listen
specifically to the lower airway for sounds relating to expiration. Cats
with profound asthma may exhibit expiratory dyspnea, or more difficulty
exhaling then inhaling. We routinely perform blood tests and take chest
radiographs looking for a thickening of the bronchioles. Other causes of
these changes range from heartworm disease, lung worms, and bronchitis.
asthma is treated with either injectable or oral glucocorticoids. These
medications lower the inflammation in the airway of the cat, allowing
him to breathe with less effort. Other medications include
bronchodilators, which open up the airway.
try to find underlying cause but many times cannot find the cause. A lot
of research is being done to test for allergies, and allergen specific
immunotherapy is being investigated.
treating for asthma in the diabetic cat, it is crucial to reduce the
amount of glucocorticoids being used. This can be accomplished by using
a spacer. Aerokat.com is a great source for information and tips on how
to get your cat accustomed to the use of the spacer for delivering
aerosolized medication. Inhaled glucocorticoids have minimal systemic
effects and still are very effective.
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