Bronchitis - Feline Asthma - Investigation and Treatment
Is quite common for cats to present to veterinary clinics with a chronic cough or wheeze. The problem may be constant or just recur from time to time, and can range from mild to severe. Clinically the disease may resemble human asthma, but the term feline asthma can be misleading as there are a number of different possible causes. Here we look at what those underlying causes can be, and the different forms of treatment available to affected cats.
Glucocorticoid drugs (steroids) used in inhalers include Beclometasone, Fluticasone and Budesonide. Beclometasone is cheap, but is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream when you want it to hang around in the area where it applied. Fluticasone is more expensive, but tends to stay where you want it to. Budesonide is relatively inexpensive and though it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, it tends to be removed the first time it goes through the liver.
Cats Usually Present With One or All the Following Signs:CoughingWheezingDifficulty breathing A minority of cases will have the classic human status asthmaticus, rapid onset breathing difficulty due to severe narrowing of the bronchi. Cats tend to be middle aged or older, and Siamese cats may be more prone than other breeds.
- The Differentials There are a large number of possible diagnoses when a cat first presents with coughing or breathing difficulty.
- Here are some of the more important ones:
Treatment Lifelong?Generally yes. Doses can often be reduced gradually once clinical remission has been achieved. As with many chronic conditions, complete control might not always be possible and an acceptable quality of life is the main aim of the treatment. We have used a mixture of seriousness and jokes in this composition on Chronic Bronchitis. This is to liven the mood when reading about Chronic Bronchitis.
Aerosol therapy has the advantage that the maximum concentration of drug is delivered to the target site. This means that lower overall doses can be used, and the cat is less likely to suffer the negative side effects of steroids. Various inhalers can be used in both cats and dogs, but they tend to be designed for humans. As a result, higher doses are given compared with human medicine, as humans can be instructed to breathe deeply whereas cats will breathe normally at best.
Bronchoalveolar LavageThis is similar to the technique described above, but the catheter is inserted all the way into a lower airway before the saline is injected and withdrawn. This is therefore a good test for lower airway disease. Keeping to the point is very important when writing. So we have to stuck to Bronchitis, and have not wandered much from it to enhance understanding.
- Treatment The aims of treatment are as follows. 1.
- Eliminate any suspected infectious agents.
- This may be a sufficiently long course of antibiotics if bacterial infection is suspected, or a wormer such as fenbendazole if lungworm is suspected.
- To err is human, to forgive is divine.
- So we would indeed deem you to be divine if you forgive us for any misunderstandings that may arise in this article on Chronic Bronchitis.
Lung BiopsyThis is an invasive procedure that carries a significant risk to the patient. It is only indicated where diffuse cancer or extensive fibrosis is suspected, or in severe disease that responds poorly to treatment.
Removal or Avoidance of Potential AllergensHouse dust mite allergy must be excluded by spraying the house with an acaricidal product. 4. Chronic therapy for the underlying condition. For long term treatment of cats with feline asthma, a combination of steroids and bronchodilators are a popular choice. Steroids reduce the inflammation and lower mucus production, and can limit long term consequences such as fibrosis. Bronchodilators are most useful when there is airway spasm. Traditionally, medication has been given orally via tablets, but over the last few years, metered dose inhalers such as the ones used for human asthma have come on the market. Interesting is what we had aimed to make this article on Infectious Bronchitis. It is up to you to decide if we have succeeded in our mission!
To return to the comparison with human asthma, when trying to understand the underlying causes it is important to differentiate between asthma (constriction of the bronchi), chronic bronchitis (oversecretion of mucus with a chronic cough) and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Asthma is reversible bronchial constriction caused by eosinophil cells, whereas COPD is drury university bronchial constriction involving neutrophil cells. It is always better to use simple English when writing descriptive articles, like this one on Bronchitis. It is the layman who may read such articles, and if he can't understand it, what is the point of writing it?
Bronchoscopy Bronchoscopy allows visualization of the larger airways, and assessment for increased mucus and inflammation. 4. Tracheal wash This involves injecting a small amount of saline into the trachea and immediately withdrawing it, and then examining the cells and debris harvested under a microscope. Time and tide waits for no man. So once we got an idea for writing on Chronic Bronchitis, we decided not to waste time, but to get down to writing about it immediately!