Newly Diagnosed Asthmatic Cat

KT1463

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Hello! I discovered this wonderful site while researching ways to help my recently diagnosed asthmatic cat.

Mozzie was rescued from a shelter 8 years ago, and turns 9 next week. She’s always has respiratory issues (FVR from her shelter days).She sneezes occasionally, her one eye occasionally waters, and she’s always been just a bit congested. She gets the FVRCP vaccine every 3 years.

I noticed her breathing was becoming more labored and she was squatting down and extending her neck. I sent a video to the vet and last week they did x-rays to confirm the asthma.

I have changed her litter to be unscented and dust free, purchased a humidifier for cold Ohio winters, I dust and vaccum regularly, and I’m changing out cleaning products to be more natural or scent free, and she’s on a high quality prescription food. We are also having the only carpet that exists in our house replaced (we bought the house in March 2020). The previous owners didn’t clean often and the carpet appears quite old.

The vet has prescribed Flovent for after attacks (hasn’t arrived yet) and prednisone post any attacks until the inhaler arrives. From what I’ve been reading Flovent should be used more so as preventative and daily, and not just after attacks. I’m guessing the vet doesn’t want her consistently on pred as Mozzie is already prone to idiopathic cystitis.

I would love to hear any tips or advice on how any other asthmatic cat parents help their cats manage? I want to do anything I can to help her and I’m feeling a bit scared and overwhelmed.
Thank you!
 

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TooManyFelines

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I don't know if vets still do this, but about a decade ago, we had a kitty who developed asthma and received a steroid shot every few months. This worked quite well and her asthma was well-controlled, for the most part. We did purchase an Aerokat device for her, which we only had to use a couple times.

I also have asthma and always have flovent and albuterol on hand, which saved her one time when she had an acute attack and I was able to administer albuterol. So you should always have albuterol (fast-acting inhaler), and a way to administer it, available as the flovent is for long-term treatment, not for acute attack treatment.

She eventually developed diabetes due to the steroid shots which had to be administered more frequently as time went by, so if the shots are an option, keep an eye on your kitty's blood sugar.
 
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KT1463

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I appreciate the information and response! The shots I believe are still an option, but as you experienced can lead to diabetes or kidney issues. I’m working on filling the prescription for the Flovent and I’ve asked my vet about using it as preventative opposed to after an attack as she first suggested. I know Flovent isn’t fast acting, so that didn’t feel quite right to me. I have the AeroKat chamber ready, and I’ll inquire about the Albuterol.
 

TooManyFelines

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Yes, she eventually passed from CRF, but at a fairly old age (almost 18). So even with all of her health problems she did pretty well.

I don't quite understand your vet's suggestion to use flovent after an attack, I have to use mine daily to prevent attacks and I would assume it's the same for kitties. You do want to have albuterol on hand, better to have it and not need it than the other way round. Kitties always seem to have issues after hours and it's a potential lifesaver - and peace of mind - to have a fast-acting inhaler available in the middle of the night or on weekends/holidays.

At the time, I was a member of an online group of people with asthmatic kitties. That group no longer exists, but there others. It helped me a great deal to find information and get advice and suggestions from kitty servants in the same situation, it may help you as well.
 

LTS3

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There's a good web site with more info on feline asthma: Feline Asthma with Fritz the Brave - your comprehensive resource since 2001

There's also a feline asthma group: felineasthma groups.io Group

Steroids can cause diabetes-like symptoms in any cat. Long term use can cause diabetes which can be managed with diet and / or insulin.

Flovent is given daily to cats to manage the asthma. I think there is an emergency inhaled medicine one can give for a severe attack, albuterol I think?

One of my cats takes occasionally needs to take pred in pill form. It works to manage both the asthma and IBD. He only needs a short course of pred every couple of months or so.
 

BlackCatOp

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My kitty is on Flovent for lymphocytic chronic rhinitis and he receives a puff (250mcg) daily. I hold the mask over his face to allow 7 or so breaths.

The inhaled steroid does not have systemic effects like oral prednisone so it’s much “safer” for daily use. It does take Flovent 2-3 weeks to take effect so slowly transitioning from oral to inhaled steroid keeps symptoms in check. Albuterol is a rescue inhaler that causes bronchodilation. It should not be used regularly as albuterol is thought to worsen airway inflammation with chronic use. There are safer bronchodilators for daily use if needed.

If you already have the areokat chamber, have you worked on your kitty accepting the mask? Since she is prone to cystitis, keeping the training sessions short and stress free will be important!

Good luck with you kitty and it’s amazing how accepting my kitty is to the inhaler and how much better it has made him. Hope you have the same results!
 
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KT1463

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I truly appreciate all of the responses, and I’ve joined the asthmatic kitty group. I have received the aerokat from chewy and I’m able to pick up the Flovent 110mcg inhaler prescription from the pharmacy on Monday. I have been showing my cat the aerokat and letting her sniff it etc. She tends to be pretty easy going, and takes pills with little issues so hoping she takes to the inhaler without too many issues.

I have emailed my vet to request we change her treatment plan to using the Flovent for preventative daily treatment, as opposed to the vet’s originally plan recommending giving a dose post attack. From all the research I had done and this group’s feedback that seems to be the best course of action. My vet is great and I’ve never questioned her treatments prior to now. I just want to make sure Mozzie is as comfortable and happy as possible.
 

LTS3

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There's a generic version of Flovent many people buy from an overseas pharmacy for way less. I'm sure the feline asthma group can share that info with you.
 

gavin1

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Our cat used a nebulizer with Budesonide daily for his asthma. It worked super well for us. We had a box he'd go into and it was super easy with him
 

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KT1463

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I have the aerokat to try and picked up the inhaler today, but thanks for providing a creative backup solution!
 
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