Respiratory inflammation as a result of an allergic reaction to inhaled substances.

Signs Your Cat May Have Asthma

The main sign of feline asthma is usually a cough, but it may take the form of breathing that is more labored than normal. The diagnosis of asthma involves a blood test as well as a thorough physical examination, which will help to distinguish it from feline bronchitis – another common cause of a chronic cough. It may be necessary to examine the cat under anesthesia to radiograph the chest and perhaps even take a “tracheal wash’ by introducing a small amount of saline solution into the airways and sucking it back out to examine the cells microscopically.

Causes OF Asthma in Cats Humans often develop asthma as a result of a reaction to the inhalation of substances such as pol len and housedust-mite droppings, and sometimes cats react in a similar way although skin reactions are much more common. The allergens that trigger off asthma in humans can cause the same problem in cats, and pollen allergies will occur seasonally in the summer months, whereas a housedust-mite retain will be more common in the winter when most cats spend more time indoors. Other much rarer but possible causes of asthma in cats include allergic reactions to cigarette smoke and even to human dander the dead skin cell that all mammals shed constantly.

Treatment As with any allergy, the ideal treatment is to isolate the cause of the reaction and remove it, but this is easier said than done. Improved ventilation and acaricidal sprays can help with mite aller gies, and keeping the cat indoors when the pollen count is at its highest may help with cats that react in the summer. The long – term use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as prednisolone, a corticosteroid, or antihistamines, are often the only way to control the problem.