Feline Asthma Treatment
"Feline asthma treatment is usually in the form of some type of inhaler. There are two types of inhaler medications, steroid based and bronchodilators. The choice of medication and frequency of use will depend on the severity of the symptoms and how often your cat is suffering from respiratory problems. Besides conventional medicine, there are also natural alternatives available that may help if your cat responds to these types of herbal and homeopathic ingredients."
There are many approaches to feline asthma treatment. Asthma in cats ranges from cats that have mild symptoms and to those that have feline asthma symptoms which are more severe. It is now understood that the key to treatment is to address inflammation in your cat's airways. Both conventional and natural medications can help to control this condition.
Since asthma is thought to be triggered by allergens, then removing them from your cat's environment could help such as buying a Hepa Air Filter for the home.
Feline Asthma Treatment for Occasional Problems
A oral inhaler should help your cat as she needs to use it. If you cat starts to suffer from coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing, and this isn't an everyday problem, then this approach should help.
Feline Asthma Treatment for Everyday Attacks
Oral corticosteroids is a class of drugs that act as an anti-inflammatory. They are very effective for the long term care of your cat. Specific types are called prednisone with daily treatments provided every day until your cat's health is back to normal. After that your veterinarian will switch to an inhaler which can be used whenever there is a problem.
Feline Asthma Treatment Inhalers
There are two types of drugs used in inhalers; corticosteroids and bronchodilators. To make using an inhaler easy, they come with a face mask for your cat. The medication automatically comes out when your cat is inhaling. Your cat will breath 7 to 10 times while the mask is on per treatment. The device that causes the medication to come out this way is called a "spacer".
Popular Inhaler Medications
Fluticasone Proprionate (FLOVENT)
This product has caused some side effects in humans (growth retardation), but hasn't shown any known side effects in cats. This medication takes 10 days to work and it is hard to tell when you used up the drug and need to refill the prescription.
Albuterol (Proventil or Ventolin)
This medication is what is known as a bronchodilator. It only comes in one dose and works quickly. It may be used in addition to steroids for days when the symptoms are stronger than usual. There are some potential rare side effects including twitches, excitability, inability to sleep and loss of appetite.
Antibiotics for Feline Asthma Treatment
There is no evidence that bacterial infection is the cause of asthma. Since antibiotics are used to treat infection, they are not considered to be effective in asthma care. In the rare case that there is the presence of infection, then antibiotics are called for.
The one exception to this rule of thumb is a condition called Mycoplasma species which is an airway disease that requires antibiotics.
Anti-Leukotriene Inhibitors (LTC4, D4)
This is a new class of drugs that has effectively treated severe asthma in humans. There is no research that supports their use in cats.
Natural Feline Asthma Treatment
Herbal and natural remedies can be an effective approach or supplement to conventional medicine. There are several ingredients that are known to have a positive effect on respiratory health. These include:
- Inula helenium (Elecampane): this herb has been used for centuries for respiratory heath. It also supports calm as shown by the study “Mechanisms of antistressor activity of Inula helenium preparations”. Eksp.Klin.Farmakol. 2003;66(4):63-65.)
- Althea officinalis (Marshmallow): Studied for its supportive action on respiratory health (Buechi, S., Vogelin, R., von Eiff, M. M., Ramos, M., and Melzer, J. “Open trial to assess aspects of safety and efficacy of a combined herbal cough syrup with ivy and thyme.” Forsch.Komplementarmed. Klass.Naturheilkd. 2005;12(6):328-332.).
One product made specifically for pet respiratory support is AmazaPet. Be sure to discuss this option with your veterinarian so that he or she can track your cat's progress.
ReferencesHow to Help the Asthmatic Cat Breathe Easy
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.
Feline Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment
Family Pet Animal Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA and the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.