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Overview: Feline Asthma

Feline Asthma is a disease where lung tissues easily become irritated and inflamed, reducing lung function. This section covers:

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Feline Asthma Overview

This page describes feline asthma. Other pages in this section identify common symptoms, the steps veterinarians use to diagnose it, and encouragement ideas for caregivers. 

What is Feline Asthma?

It's Tuna Time!Fritz says: "As a cat, I define asthma as difficulty in getting a good breath! It's very scary and tiring. Technically, this is because the small passageways of my lungs (bronchi, bronchioles) are to some degree inflamed and irritated. They are prone to collapse (like a drinking straw in a thick milkshake). The degree of this irritation comes and goes and can be suppressed with medication, but it will always be with me."

Here's what some web resources have to say about feline asthma

  • "Feline asthma is a common name for feline bronchitis. There are many different underlying diseases and contributing conditions that can cause the symptoms of bronchitis in cats." Dr. Margaret Muns, DVM Feline Asthma
  • "Feline asthma is an immune-mediated disease characterized by symptoms ranging from infrequent, hairball-like coughing, to sudden onsets of respiratory distress (which veterinarians call "acute dyspnea"). Episodes are usually triggered by an allergen or stress, and can be accompanied/followed by vomiting, sneezing, or even wheezing like a human allergy sufferer. Respiratory signs may be slow and deliberate (more abdominal breathing), to fast and labored." Jennifer Reding, CFA Health Committee Feline Asthma
  • "Asthma is a recurring respiratory compromise that occurs when the lung airways constrict either spontaneously or in response to stimuli which normally should not cause a reaction. Excess mucus forms, airways swell with inflammation and can actually ulcerate, and the airway muscles go into spasm leading to constriction. Airway constriction leads to inability to draw a deep breath, intolerance to exercise, coughing, and musical sighing sounds called “wheezes.” Not all of these signs need be observed; sometimes only a low grade chronic cough is the only sign but it should be remembered that an acute asthmatic crisis can arise at any time and can represent a life-threatening event." Mar Vista Animal Medical Center Feline Asthma 

Continue Reading at Symptoms

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