Asthmatic Cat

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Eca

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I have a family member who is asthmatic, and anything aerosol (hairspray, diffusers, air fresheners, even "Green" cleaners in a spray bottle) will set her off. If you're using any of these things, try eliminating and see if things improve.
Yes, I'm not using any right now. I also stopped using fabric softener as well.
 
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Eca

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If you can’t get the Aerokat they sell similar spacers for babies/toddlers that might work And be available where you are. It does take a training period for the cat tomget comfortable with it.

For long term use the nebulizer/inhaler is much better for the cat overall as the prednisolone can have negative effects, including diabetes, which could be a concern if your cat is overweight. However, a shorter course of the oral steroid could be helpful in getting the symptoms under control and be used in conjunction with the inhaled meds for the short term.

What type of cat litter do you use? If it is dusty (like most scoopable clay litters) that might be a contributing factor, however in many cases it is hard to know what the triggers are.
Well, I guess where I live nebulizers are the only go to treatment for asthma, even for human babies. I can't find a "spacer", just infant sized mask for nebulizers.

About the steroids, I'm gonna ask about it again to the vet on the next checkup. She's so adamant about not giving it to my cat, not even during his previous attack.

I used to use bentonite clumping litter, but now I've replaced it with dust free non clumping soy pellets.
 
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Eca

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As a human with asthma, being around your asthma triggers can still suck and make for some coughing. Not having an asthma attack over it is definitely an improvement.

A trigger can be anything you can breathe in, and even other things, too. Cold and dry winter air is one of mine, for example. Googling "asthma triggers" might give you some ideas.

Like this: Learn what could be triggering your asthma attacks.

Heck, there is a certain exercise/stretching move where you crouch down and reach your arms out that makes my lungs freak out and breathing is suddenly harder. It feels like the reaching pulls at the neck muscles a certain way, like puts pressure on the throat, and my lungs are like, "Oh, are you trying to restrict your airways? Let me help you!" Nooooo!

So beyond examining the environment and products you use, you might want to see if there are any common behaviors and other factors with the coughing fits. Like if they happen in the same locations or after certain situations.
Oh my God, now that you mention about cold weather, I wonder if that's the main trigger! I remember the night before Miku's bad asthma attack was unusually cold due to heavy rain. We've entered the wet season now so the nights are colder than usual. He sleeps with me every night and I always sleep with air conditioner on. Tonight I'll try to move him to sleep in the living room instead. Thank you!
 
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Eca

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I need to start by saying that we talked to our vet about Casper's asthma and that everything I talk about comes out of that conversation with our vet:

Casper's Girl-Human has mild to moderate asthma and she uses an inhaler when she needs it. (Thankfully, it's not very often.)
We showed our vet which inhaler she uses and the vet said that it is the same medication that they would prescribe for Casper, if she was going to write the scrip.

We talked about Casper's coughing fits with the vet and told her how worried we were. The vet assured us that Casper's problem was not serious unless his coughs lasted for more than approximately a minute and they didn't "double up" (happen in a row) or happen more than once or twice per day. We asked what to do if his problem did, suddenly, become serious.

We discussed getting an AeroKat for Casper but she said that they were expensive, as you say, and that we didn't really need to get one just for emergency use. Instead, she said we could use a plastic bag. She said that we could put a kitty treat inside a small, plastic "Baggie" sandwich bag then squirt in two shots of "juice" from the inhaler we already have. Then, we just let Casper eat the kitty treat out of the plastic bag. He would automatically inhale some of the medicine when he put his mouth and nose into the bag to get the treat.
(If he won't do it that way, by himself, we could just put the bag over his nose and hold it there for about thirty seconds.)

First: We never had to do this because our housekeeping regimen helped the problem go away on his own. However, we liked the idea because it helped us feel better about Casper's potential asthma problem. It gave us a way to help Casper if we needed to.
I don't know if the "Baggie trick" will work for every cat. Maybe your cat won't do it. Still, it's one possible solution that won't cost you a month's pay.

Second: We also got strict instructions from our vet to call them, immediately, if we ever had to act on our plan.

I don't want people to go 'round sticking plastic bags over their cats' heads just because of something some guy said on the internet.
I only want people to understand that there are less expensive, alternative solutions.

As I've said one hundred times (and I'll say it a hundred times more) TALK TO YOUR VET, FIRST!



I had a buddy from high school who passed away from just that. It was almost twenty years after we graduated from school and he hadn't had a severe asthma attack for more than a decade. He didn't even carry an asthma inhaler with him because he rarely ever needed it. It's often said that school aged children with asthma often "grow out of it" after they become adults. That's exactly what he and his family thought.

One day, we went out sailing and a gust of cold wind caught him in the face, just right. (Or is it "just wrong?") Anyhow, it sent him into a severe asthma attack and, by the time they radioed the paramedics and got the boat ashore, he had expired.

Everybody was shocked when it happened!

This is part of the reason why I'm being so outspoken about the subject of asthma.

My significant other has asthma. My cat has asthma (potentially) and I have a school friend who died from it.
I'm so sorry about your friend 😢. I'm really terrified by suffocation, be it from drowning, disease related, anything. That's why it pains me so much seeing my cat starving for air. Since I took my cat home from the clinic, there hasn't been a day where I'm not contacting the vet. I've been panicking a lot that I believe Miku's sensing my stress too. Thankfully, I didn't see him coughing at all in the last two days and he's been eating more each day. My vet's been telling me to stick with the nebulizer. Miku hates the mask and won't tolerate anything being put near or on his face and when we tried to force it, it triggered his coughs. However he loves the nebulizing chamber! He'll sit down quietly and calmly in the chamber while being nebulized.
 

Maria Bayote

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I feel you.

My Bourbon is asthmatic and it is really depressing when she gets into asthma attacks. Like you, I did everything I can, and she also has been a regular patient at the vet for the same reason. I also picked her up from the street around 9 years ago and immediately noticed her coughing every now and then, but it gets worse as she ages.

I bought air purifier, humidifier and nebulizer for her. I vacuum the house daily for her and me as I am also asthmatic but not as worse like her. I bring her to the shower for steam. I got rid of the carpets. I make sure she can stay at the catio as much as she wants and breath fresh air. I guess what we can do is just try to make their lives as comfie as possible with regular vet trips in between.
 
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Eca

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I feel you.

My Bourbon is asthmatic and it is really depressing when she gets into asthma attacks. Like you, I did everything I can, and she also has been a regular patient at the vet for the same reason. I also picked her up from the street around 9 years ago and immediately noticed her coughing every now and then, but it gets worse as she ages.

I bought air purifier, humidifier and nebulizer for her. I vacuum the house daily for her and me as I am also asthmatic but not as worse like her. I bring her to the shower for steam. I got rid of the carpets. I make sure she can stay at the catio as much as she wants and breath fresh air. I guess what we can do is just try to make their lives as comfie as possible with regular vet trips in between.
I agree. It's not easy seeing our beloved baby suffering and I believe we'll do anything we're capable of to lessen their pain. I believe Bourbon is happy and thankful having you as her parent 🤗. Right now I'm trying my best to calm down, laying around the couch watching Miku asleep, thankful of every breath he took without wheezing and straining.
 

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Hi, thank you for your reply. You don't know how much your words calmed me down 🤗. The vet did tell me to be patient in Miku's care. The inhaled meds should be administered for at least 10 days before the full effect can be observed. Guess I'm just too anxious to be patient.

About the weigh loss, the vet didn't mention about it. Miku's not particularly fat, just a bit chubby. Does his weight affect the asthma?
Weight does affect asthma, the vet i use told that to me :catrub:
 
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reba

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Hi there. Here’s my recent experience…..About two months ago I realized my cat had been having asthma attacks his entire life. He got pretty sick because I changed to the lightweight litter and the dust put him over the edge. So I went to the vet and he put him on antibiotics (he said you have to do that first to make sure it isn’t viral, because the pred will make it worse.). Anyway, in that week I took all the area rugs out of the house, changed the litter to 100% dust free (Cloud Control by Arm and Hammer), bought some really powerful air purifiers and cleaned the house top to bottom. By the time he finished the anti-biotics he had stopped having attacks and his other symptoms subsided. But he still does occasionally get an attack. I did not put him on steroids or get an inhaler because his attacks happen so rarely now.
 
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Eca

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Hi, everyone. I just got back home from Miku's checkup. The vet said that everything is looking good and I should continue nebulizing him daily with a lower, maintenance dose of corticosteroids. When I asked her for how long, she said that I have to do it forever. She said that just avoiding the allergens might not be enough, because it's hard to pinpoint exactly what Miku's allergic of in the first place. I did mention about Miku's weight and she said it's fine and I don't have to worry unless he's overweight.

I'm still a bit confused on the forever corticosteroids though. Is that really necessary? When I asked the vet about it, also mentioning the fact that nebules are so expensive where I live, she just shrug it off and basically said that I can stop the treatment at my own risk. She won't prescribe any other route of corticosteroids either. I'm feeling kind of helpless right now because I'm afraid that in the future I might not be able to cover the cost of his medicine.
 
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Eca

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Oh, what I mean about "forever" is the vet specifically told me that Miku needs to be nebulized twice daily, for the rest of his life. I understand that asthma is a chronic, lifelong disease with no cure, but can be controlled. I thought that after his episode was under control (no more coughing), he should no longer be medicated, medicated sparingly as a prevention (once every few days or week) or only medicated when any symptoms arise.
 

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Oh, what I mean about "forever" is the vet specifically told me that Miku needs to be nebulized twice daily, for the rest of his life. I understand that asthma is a chronic, lifelong disease with no cure, but can be controlled. I thought that after his episode was under control (no more coughing), he should no longer be medicated, medicated sparingly as a prevention (once every few days or week) or only medicated when any symptoms arise.
Active asthma creates irreversible damage to the lungs, and even when there is no coughing the asthma may be active at a less detectable level, so ongoing treatment is the best option. However, you may be able to reduce how often you give treatments. My cat only needs her inhaler once a day and has not had any asthma flare ups in almost a year. So yes, forever, but you can adjust frequency to an effective therapeutic dose.
 

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My vet just won't give the steroid to my cat. She said the side effects to his immune system will be bad, so I have to work my way up with inhaled steroid instead. I've been wondering if I should see another vet.
It doesn’t hurt for a 2nd opinion if you don’t feel comfortable with the vet.

It was more stressful to my cat to try and give her oral meds. After about 2 days, my cat would run even if I was just walking by her. One day she scratched me so bad across the face, I bled for hours. so I pretty much told the vet she would get the steroid injection and my vet was fine with it. She was diagnosed when she was 3 and she is now almost 18. She started with kidney issues a few years ago but food change has resolved that. Other than that, she fortunately hasn’t had any issues from long term steroid use. She usually gets less than 3 injections a year. Change of season is what really triggers her
 
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