Adonis responds well after alarming asthma attack reveals conditions
Adonis was a beautiful four-year-old Seal Point Siamese cat.
He was rushed to surgery as he was wheezing and he was now clearly having difficulty breathing.
Her owner was understandably distraught and she said, “It’s like an asthma attack.” In fact, that was exactly what Adonis had, and he had to be admitted to surgery for emergency hospitalization and treatment.
Feline asthma is a disease of the lower respiratory tract that shares many similarities with human asthma. Affected animals may become sensitized to “allergens” present in their immediate environment.
Suspected triggers include pollens, fungal spores, dust mites, cigarette smoke, dusty cat litter, household cleaners, diffusers, and even certain food allergens.
Affected cats produce IgE antibodies against these molecules.
When they are subsequently exposed to these same allergens, they exhibit a type 1 hypersensitivity response with a sudden localized inflammatory response in the bronchi and bronchioles of their lung fields, resulting in constriction of their airways and asthmatic symptoms.
Most cats affected are young to middle-aged, between two and eight years old. Certain breeds of cats like Siamese and Himalayan cats seem more predisposed.
The most common first clinical sign is wheezing or a persistent cough. Some cats may have mild respiratory signs for several weeks or months prior to presentation. Signs of asthma tend to be recurrent, although some cats show acute respiratory distress without any prior clinical signs.
There is no single test to accurately diagnose asthma. Other conditions that mimic these symptoms, including heart disease and respiratory infections, will initially need to be ruled out. Your vet will first listen to your cat’s chest with a stethoscope, and blood tests may be done to check for an elevated white blood cell count.
A chest X-ray will be taken to closely examine the cat’s lung fields. For a confirmed diagnosis, other tests may be performed.
Emergency treatment, if necessary, consists of setting up emergency oxygen therapy, as well as corticosteroid and bronchodilator treatments. Long-term treatments depend on the severity and persistence of clinical signs.
Oral medications and inhalation treatments may be given.
Deworming and antibiotic treatments can be given to rule out underlying parasitism and secondary bronchitis.
Eliminating any likely underlying allergic cause is also important, such as cleaning pet bedding and sleeping areas, removing dusty cat litter, cleaning house vents, replacing filters, the elimination of passive cigarette smoke and the restriction of the cat to certain areas of the house to avoid any dust. in the atmosphere of the cat.
With diligent treatment, most cats respond favorably. Untreated cats may develop irreversible chronic bronchitis and accompanying lung changes.
Fortunately, Adonis responded well to treatments with corticosteroids and a twice-daily inhaler. Its owner had to be vigilant to keep his immediate home dust-free, and he was no longer allowed into bedrooms, where dust mites could easily be found.
If you have noticed symptoms of recurrent wheezing or coughing in your cat, contact your veterinary clinic for an initial check-up appointment.
Alison Laurie-Chalmers is a senior consultant at Crown Vets in Inverness.
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