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Feline Asthma

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by tyrole, Mar 30, 2011.


  1. tyrole

    tyrole PetForums Senior

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    Apologies for not posting for a long time.:eek:
    I won't go into the details but life has been very difficult for the last 6 months :(

    I need some advice regarding Max who was 1 yesterday :)

    He has been coughing and wheezing for months. After extensive tests involving many visits and stays at the vets it looks likely to be asthma :(
    He's started on steroids which isn't going to help the slight weight issue - weighs 5.2kg, weight gain due to the fact he's not very active. Poor thing can't run around without a coughing and wheezing fit:( spends most of his time lazing about and sleeping.

    As well as the wheeze he is also has some gum swelling :( poor thing he is in the wars. He refuses to eat chichen wings or chunks of meat.
    His diet consists of Bozita wet plus Animonda dry. The vet has suggested just dry from now on.

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Shimacat

    Shimacat PetForums Member

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    Sorry to hear about your poor kitty. Is he going to be on steroids for life, to control the condition? If so, talk to your vet about using a steroid inhaler and a nebuliser instead of tablets.

    We have a cat with severe respiratory issues; he gets three steroid puffs per day (plus some Viagra). The inhaled steroids for lung issues are brilliant for 2 reasons - 1: the steroids are delivered direct to the place where they're needed and 2: there's much fewer side-effects with the inhaled version.

    Our cat was put on Viagra as well as steroids, as the steroids didn't quite manage his condition. The Viagra improves lung blood pressure, and the combination has worked really well.

    He's been on this regime for about 2 years now and his weight is spot on. He did gain weight while on steroid tablets, and became a lot more stand-offish. The inhaled ones have no side-effects that we're aware of. You'll find that once the steroids kick in, your cat may well become more active as he'll feel better - certainly the case with ours. The vets have called ours a 'respiratory cripple', but watching him gallop around, you'd never know there was anything wrong with him.

    Is your cat insured? Reason I'm asking is that the inhalers are expensive - about £100 each.
     
    tyrole likes this.
  3. tyrole

    tyrole PetForums Senior

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    Thank you, its so good to chat to someone who is going thru the same thing.
    He is on the steroids short term, next stage will be the an inhaler.
    We are insured with Petplan, no bills to pay as the vet deals with it all :)
    Treatment so far has run into £1000:eek:

    Its heartbreaking to watch him struggle to breathe :(
     
  4. Shimacat

    Shimacat PetForums Member

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    It is awful dealing with a cat with breathing difficulties - my sympathies; been there! Hopefully the steroids will kick in soon and improve things. I'm glad your vet's suggesting a nebuliser, as the overall steroid dose is lower, but the drugs get exactly where they're needed.

    Some cats are rather unhappy with the face-mask of the nebuliser; others are OK. We bribe ours with ham...

    Good luck, and I hope the drugs work. Now that your cat's been diagnosed, he can get the treatment he needs, poor lad. Bear the Viagra in mind as well - our kitty was treated by the Dick Vet medical school in Edinburgh Vet School home | The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies - apparently they use Viagra quite a lot there to alleviate all sorts of conditions; might be worth mentioning to your vet?

    Also glad you're insured. Our vet bill is approaching £8K!
     
  5. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    I'm amazed at the progress in asthma treatments, wow!!

    I had an asthmatic cat back in the 1980s. He took prednisone. At first he had to be on it all the time. But the very first thing I did when he was diagnosed was stop smoking in the house (I don't smoke at all any more, but this was almost 30 years ago)

    <edit>(So if you smoke, don't do it inside.. And even smoking outside, you need to make sure all the smoke is off you before going back inside. So after you smoke, walk around the block before going into the house, and wash your hands thoroughly.)

    As he got older I was able to gradually reduce the prednisone dose, and then cut it out all together, and use it only as needed. (stress, for instance would cause symptoms to come back)

    However I am confused as to why your vet would want him on all dry food. Kibble is bad for dental health and over all health and causes weight gain. A mostly canned diet, with a home teeth-brushing routine with enzymatic veterinary dental paste (such as c.e.t) would be better for him.
     
    #5 lorilu, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  6. tyrole

    tyrole PetForums Senior

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    Thank you for your replies.
    There is no way he will have his teeth cleaned, he becomes so distressed :( which in turn causes him to panic and wheeze.
    Vets have a tendency to believe that dry cleans teeth. It won't clean Max's teeth as he swollows it whole.
    I don't smoke
    Have removed air fresheners
    Will hoover more
    and change his litter slowly
    I have to take him back in 4 weeks unless he has another attack.
     
  7. tyrole

    tyrole PetForums Senior

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    Time for an update.
    After many trips to the vet including the specialists in Bristol for extensive tests Max has been prescribed the Aerokat aerosol. He is much better, cough and wheezing is less. We wrap him in a towel before placing the mask on his face. he tolerates it really well :)
    We are still struggling with his weight, he would eat constantly if I let him.
     
  8. peecee

    peecee PetForums Senior

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    Hi,

    Sorry to hear about your cat and asthma. I haven't been around all that much lately either due to health issues with both me and my cat. It turns out that my cat also has asthma and she is on the oral steroids while trying to get her on the inhaler. I am having a real difficult time with that as she is so skeptical of it. I've tried treats but no sucess as yet.

    I havent heard of the viagra - will look into it.
     
  9. tyrole

    tyrole PetForums Senior

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    Aw its such a worry. I tried the treats over a few weeks but Max wasn't having any of it. We decided to wrap him, hold him like a baby then place the mask over his face. he struggled and growled for a few doses but now just accepts it. You will get there :)
     
  10. peecee

    peecee PetForums Senior

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    Yes, I have been trying the treats as well and as greedy as she is still suspicious. I have read about the towelling. I am going to give it a try but she is a big and extremely strong cat! I will let you know how I get on.
     
  11. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for the update. Cats are smart and most will soon come to associate any kind of invasive (from their point of view) treatment with feeling better, and learn to accept it. You're doing well by him.

    Remember to stay calm when doing this sort of thing. Talk to her and tell her all about what you are doing and why. Let her sniff the aparatus.

    Also, you may find something like this helpful.

    http://www.amazon.com/Top-Performan...?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1325516032&sr=1-1

    Amazon.com: The Cat Sack - Royal Blue Large: Pet Supplies

    I've read that many cats feel calmer when they are in one of these "restraint" bags.
     
  12. peecee

    peecee PetForums Senior

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    Remember to stay calm when doing this sort of thing. Talk to her and tell her all about what you are doing and why. Let her sniff the aparatus.

    Also, you may find something like this helpful.

    Amazon.com: Cat Grooming Bag - Large: Pet Supplies

    Amazon.com: The Cat Sack - Royal Blue Large: Pet Supplies

    I've read that many cats feel calmer when they are in one of these "restraint" bags.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for these suggestions. I will consider them and let you know my progress. I am really desperate to get her off the oral steroids.
     
  13. tyrole

    tyrole PetForums Senior

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    Peecee I was so worried about how max would take to the inhaler. He hates being handled, isn't a lap cat and doesn't even like to be stroked but he has been really good. It does take 2 of us though.
    I lift him onto the table then pop the towel over him then wrap him. At first I would hide the towel but after 4 weeks he just sits there. In the beginning I sat on a chair holding him but soon realised he preferred to be cradled like a baby :)
    While I'm holding him my daughter or husband places the mask over his face.
    Today he didn't struggle at all :)
    Now to get the weight off!!!
     
  14. tyrole

    tyrole PetForums Senior

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    More progress today :) Max has tolerated the mask to be over his face without being wrapped :)
     
  15. peecee

    peecee PetForums Senior

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    Very impressive!! Lets hope this will continue. I'm still in the same position. I can;t manage the towel on my own.
     
  16. tyrole

    tyrole PetForums Senior

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    Maybe one day we will manage on our own :)
    Max is so funny, he sees the inhaler then starts rubbing his body up against his food cupboard where he treats are kept :)
     
  17. tyrole

    tyrole PetForums Senior

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    How is your little one doing?
     
  18. peecee

    peecee PetForums Senior

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    She's not so little! LOL. Much the same. I still haven't managed to get to the stage where I can get the mask over her face. I am keeping it around her, feeding treats from it but she is still highly suspicious of it. I haven't tried the cat sack that was suggested. I tried the toweling with my kitten for practice (without the inhaler) and it worked on her but not on the cat that needed it. She is a powerful huge cat and I live alone.

    How is your cat doing? has he fully recovered from his last incident?
     
  19. tyrole

    tyrole PetForums Senior

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    It is a little more difficult when you are on your own :( Have you a friend or neighbour who you see daily that can help?
    Max is fully recovered from his last attack :) I managed him on my own yesterday but only just. I had to wrap him then trap him between my knees - it wasn't easy and he wasn't a happy boy but it has to be done.
    Fingers crosses you manage to sort something out :)
     
  20. Tweetycat

    Tweetycat PetForums Newbie

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    Hi to everyone! It's wonderful to hear how much love and care is being given to these little bundles of fur! I've been searching for a forum such as this one that deals specifically with the issue of feline asthma.

    When you're not sure of what you are dealing with, it’s absolutely frightening and I think I can speak for many in this situation. Our kitties can't speak for themselves so they depend on us to help them feel better.

    My boy, Digby Joseph (middle name a must) was diagnosed with this condition approximately one and a half years ago. I've been doing as much research as I possibly can on the subject (steroid therapy, feline asthma and asthma in general). If inhaled steroids work for you and your kitty, I would certainly exercise that option. My guy is the epitome of the alpha male kitty and would never tolerate "the apparatus". He's also a bit of a brute...big and strong!

    So what are my options if I can't utilize the inhaler - depo medrol injections? Prednisone tablets? Some of the information I gathered suggested that methyl prednisolone tablets and prednisone tablets are somewhat different but that both are short acting steroids. My Vet recommended a "steroid burst" (a 5 day course of 5mg twice daily) followed by "tapering" (1 tablet per day in the evening for another 5 days). I guess it's the nature of steroids and understanding how they work...a little tricky! Soooooooooo...following the "tapering", we graduate to alternate day therapy (1 tablet every other day in the evening - unlike us, kitties metabolize at night. My information suggests that the diabetes type condition that is possible with long term steroid use is less likely when utilizing the alternate day therapy.

    Anyway, I'm still learning. I want to do right by my wee man. I love him to bits.

    Margaret
    Tweety Ruth & Digby Joseph's Mommy
     
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