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Cat Bronchitis

"Cat Bronchitis is the most common cause of cat cough. It is caused by an inflammation of the airways that results in coughing and wheezing. Treatment involves a prescription bronchial inhaler or oral medication. Natural remedies might be worth testing in addition or as an alternative with the advice of a veterinarian."

Bronchitis is a disease where inflammation in your cat's airway restricts the amount of air your cat can take in with each breath. This causes coughing, wheezing and in turn difficulty with physical activity such as exercise. Another name for this condition is feline asthma or cat asthma.

Diagnosis of Cat Bronchitis

There are no tests specifically for bronchitis or asthma. Instead your veterinarian will rule out other diseases such as bacterial or viral infections such as heart failure, pneumonia, lung tumors (pulmonary malignancy), parasites or something that your cat might of inhaled from its environment.

If you cat appears healthy then your veterinarian will diagnose your cat as having cat asthma based on the following set of criteria:

* Breathing problems are corrected when your cat is given oxygen, steroids or the use of an inhaler using bronchodilators.
* X-Rays show the inflammation or air is being trapped in the walls of the bronchial tubes
* Examination of white blood cells that are unusual in form (called eosinophils).

Treatment of Cat Bronchitis

Prescribed medications are very effective in treating feline bronchitis because small improvements can have a dramatically positive effect on your cat's ability to breath.

If you cat only coughs occasionally, then an inhaler is an effective method if used whenever your cat is in distress. For frequent coughing then oral steroids are usually prescribed (called prednisone). You should see results in 3 to 5 days. After the feline bronchitis is brought under control then your veterinarian may have you switch to an inhaler.

Inhalers can be administered with a device similar to the one made for humans or with a inhaler mask made for cats (it attaches to the end of a regular inhaler so that it is easy to administer to your cat.) With an inhaler the treatment is complete after 7 breaths (follow your veterinarians directions).

Natural Alternative for Cat Bronchitis

Natural remedies have a long history of helping cats and humans with asthma. As indicated above, even small improvements in airway health can have a big impact on the ability to breath. Ingredients that can help include:

* Inula helenium (Elecampane): used by herbalists for centuries to promote respiratory health and functioning. The flowers of this herb were used in Oriental medicine, as a well respected respiratory tonic to keep chests, noses and throats clear and healthy.

* Althea officinalis (Marshmallow): an effective respiratory tonic.

* Mag. phos. (D6): is a biochemic tissue salt used for rapid response when promoting clear air passages.

* Kali. mur. (D6): is another biochemic tissue salt. Kali. mur. is well-known for its soothing effect. Helps to improve liver functioning and strengthen blood and nerve tissue.

* Arsen. alb. (30C): is a homeopathic remedy effective for assisting the body in coping with cold air in the early mornings.

* Phosphorus (30C): is a well known homeopathic remedy for the respiratory system and throats, as well as an excellent tonic for the nervous system.

A remedy made specifically to support respiratory function in cats is AmazaPet. Their website is a good source for additional research. Discuss alternatives like this one with your veterinarian who can monitor progress and provide advice.

Sources

Diagnosis and Therapy of Feline Bronchial Disease
Philip Padrid, DVM, Associate Professor
Committee on Molecular Medicine, University of Chicago
Associate Professor (adjunct)
Small Animal Medicine,The Ohio State University

 

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