Asthma

Why Is Your Cat Coughing?

A wide variety of irritants - from minor and transient to severe and indicative of a major health problem - can affect any portion of the feline respiratory system, whose purpose is to warm and humidify inhaled air, deliver oxygen to the lungs, and expel carbon dioxide and other waste gases. A complex pathway of tracts and organs, the upper respiratory system consists of the nose; two nasal passages; the nasal cavity (a hollow structure surrounded by air-filled spaces that are situated just above and below the eyes); and the pharynx (a cavity behind the mouth) that opens, via a passageway called the larynx; to a tubular structure, the trachea, a flexible tube commonly referred to as the windpipe.

Feline Respiratory Infections

Your best friends cat always seems to be ill. During your occasional visits to her home, the cat is often wheezing, sneezing and coughing. Her eyes are red and watery, and she acts lethargic. Your friend says that these signs tend to persist for a week or so - but then she seems to be all right again for a while. Its quite likely that the cat is suffering from a deeply rooted upper respiratory infection, a highly contagious disease affecting her nose, sinuses, pharynx and larynx - the structures that filter, heat and dehumidify inhaled air before it flows to her lungs.

Why Is Your Cat Coughing?

A wide variety of irritants — from minor and transient to severe and indicative of a major health problem — can affect any portion of the feline respiratory system, whose purpose is to warm and humidify inhaled air, deliver oxygen to the lungs, and expel carbon dioxide and other waste gases. A complex pathway of tracts and organs, the upper respiratory system consists of the nose; two nasal passages; the nasal cavity (a hollow structure surrounded by air-filled spaces that are situated just above and below the eyes); and the pharynx (a cavity behind the mouth) that opens, via a passageway called the larynx; to a tubular structure, the trachea, a flexible tube commonly referred to as the windpipe.

Feline Asthma: A Risky Business For Many Cats

More than 80 million cats currently live in American homes, and veterinary epidemiologists estimate that 800,000 or more of these animals - one percent or so of the nations domestic feline population - suffer from acute or chronic asthma. Although this condition - the most commonly diagnosed respiratory disorder in cats - is incurable, veterinary researchers are making progress in understanding its causes and devising methods for its effective treatment. Richard Goldstein, DVM, associate professor of small animal medicine at Cornell Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine, describes asthma as a constriction of the airways, or bronchi, the two narrow tubes that lead directly from the trachea to the lungs. The narrowing of the airways occurs when a cats immune system overreacts to the presence of an allergen and responds by releasing stimulants that cause inflammation and swelling of the sensitive tissue lining the bronchi and contraction of the surrounding muscle. This results in the narrowing of the airway and causes breathing difficulty (dyspnea), especially when exhaling. While specific asthma-causing agents typically remain unidentified, suspected allergens include tobacco smoke, dusty kitty litter; vapors from household cleaning solutions and aerosol sprays; pollen from trees, weeds and grass; mold and mildew; dust mites; smoke from fireplaces and candles; and even some foods.

For Asthmatic Cats, Relief May Be A Few Puffs Away

Inhalant therapy is revolutionizing the treatment of a tormenting feline affliction.

Feline Asthma: A Serious Condition

If left untreated, this disease can worsen and claim the life of your cat. Heres help.