• Prevent feline asthma attacks with close observation, prompt care
      Prevent feline asthma attacks with close observation, prompt care
      Prevent feline asthma attacks with close observation, prompt care
      April 01, 2014

      A serious health condition in a cat can be as distressful to owners as a child with an illness. For pets, conditions that threaten quality of life can be even more harmful because it can be difficult for owners to separate acute illnesses from common issues. 

      One of those conditions that many owners fail to realize the severity of is feline bronchial asthma. Characterized by a chronic inflammation of the tissues surrounding the airways, this condition can be life-threatening to cats if they are not treated regularly with the proper medications. Owners should make themselves familiar with the warning signs of feline asthma so they know when to administer treatment and when a trip to veterinarian is in order.

      Risk factors and symptoms
      Coughing due to hair balls and other innocuous causes is fairly common in cats, so owners who suspect their cats may have a chronic respiratory issue should understand what makes feline asthma different. The Merck Manual for Pet Health explained that older cats will only develop sudden symptoms of the condition in extremely rare cases, so owners should focus on young kittens, as well as Siamese and Himalayan breeds that show certain problematic behaviors.

      These actions include chronic coughing fits that are brought on immediately after moving from rest, or in the middle of exercise. A persistent shortness of breath is often present in cats with the condition, and bluish mucous membranes that indicate a lack of oxygen in the blood stream can be seen as well.

      Acute and long-term treatment
      Owners that suspect their cats may have feline asthma should consult their veterinarians immediately. While there is no guarantee that the next attack will be any more severe than the last, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to a pet's health. 

      The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine explained that most veterinary-prescribed treatment programs include corticosteroids to reduce the problematic inflammation of the respiratory tract. These medications can be administered orally, via injection or with an inhaler - the most common and effective method.

      Owners with finicky cats should not worry that they may not be able to administer an inhaler-based drug to their pets. Specialized masks that contain the necessary medications can be placed over a cat's mouth for as little as ten seconds so the pet receives a high enough dose to cure his asthma symptoms.

      This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We know that adopting a dog or cat is a huge commitment, so we're here to help you feel confident and become the best pet parent you can be.