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Asthma & Bronchitis Medication for Cats

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What is asthma?

Feline asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the passageways within the lungs. When a cat has an asthma attack, those pathways constrict and thicken, causing your cat to have trouble breathing. This respiratory distress can worsen rapidly. The lungs can also discharge mucus into the cat’s airways, causing wheezing and coughing. Asthma can be a life-threatening condition in cats and should be treated effectively. Cats can have severe asthma with symptoms ranging in severity from irritating to fatal.

What causes asthma in cats?

Many factors can cause asthma, including:

  • Obesity
  • Parasites
  • Stress
  • Allergens (from food, cigarette smoke, cat litter dust, mold, and more)
  • Underlying illness or heart problems

What are the symptoms of asthma in cats?

  • Labored breathing
  • Persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing up a foamy mucus
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Blue gums or lips
  • Gasping
  • Breathing with mouth open

What is the best medicine to treat my cat’s asthma?

  • Sildenafil – An oral cat asthma medicine, this drug works to treat lung pressure, which can cause asthma symptoms. It relaxes the smooth muscle surrounding the lungs’ small blood vessels.
  • Prednisone - This cat asthma treatment is an orally-administered corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Terbutaline – This medication prevents or relieves bronchitis and asthma symptoms in cats. This bronchodilator works by stimulating airway receptors, causing them to open and making breathing easier.
  • Theophylline – This powerful cat bronchitis and asthma medication works to relieve symptoms like labored breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.
  • Terbutaline – This cat asthma medicine prevents or relieves bronchitis and asthma signs. This effective treatment is a bronchodilator that works by stimulating airway receptors to open, which makes breathing easier.
  • Albuterol – This bronchodilator medication comes in either an inhalable liquid or a cat asthma inhaler. It treats asthma and bronchitis symptoms by delivering rapid relief of closed airways, allowing the cat to breathe easier immediately. An asthma inhaler is a great way to provide urgent symptomatic relief, delivering medicine to the lungs right away.
  • Prednisolone – Another great way to treat asthma in cats, this corticosteroid is orally-administered and works to suppress the inflammatory response.

How can I prevent asthma attacks?

Once your veterinarian has diagnosed your cat with asthma and you’ve discussed how to treat it, you’ll want to take preventative measures to decrease the likelihood of an attack. These include:

  • Use a humidifier, especially in the winter, to prevent dry air within the home
  • Keep your cat up-to-date on parasite preventatives and make sure they receive regular testing
  • Avoid using carpet deodorizer, aerosol cleaner, hairspray, air fresheners, and perfumes near your cat
  • Don’t use dusty or scented cat litters or any type of litter additive
  • Keep the cat’s environment calm and relaxed
  • Do not allow exposure to cigarette smoke
  • Maintain your cat’s weight and encourage exercise

What is bronchitis?

Feline bronchitis is the term used to describe wheezing and coughing caused by lower airway inflammation. It is also commonly called COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). A common question among pet parents who suspect bronchitis is, “What causes bronchitis in cats?” Exposure to certain substances can cause mucus to accumulate in the airway, and the airway can become obstructed when a cat is unable to clear this mucus. Chronic obstruction of the airway can trap air in the alveoli, which leads to lung damage. The most common bronchitis symptoms in cats are breathing with the mouth open, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing.

What treatment is best for my cat’s bronchitis?

Acute cases of bronchitis typically require antibiotic treatment. Your veterinarian is likely to recommend some of the same treatments used for asthma in cats, including Prednisolone, Albuterol, Prednisone, or Albuterol.

Once your cat receives a diagnosis for their breathing condition, head to Allivet for the best price on prescriptions, supplements, and more!