Yesterday we discussed the signs and symptoms of feline asthma, a breathing disorder that affects nearly 800,000 domestic cats. Learning what to watch for that can signal feline asthma is great and all, but how do you treat it once your cat has been diagnosed? Today, Dr Carol shares her wisdom on treatment and maintenance for cats with feline asthma.
True asthma generally responds quickly to medications that are designed to open up the airways and block allergic reactions. Severe asthma attacks may require oxygen therapy be administered. In some cases where bacterial infections are present antibiotics may be prescribed to restore your cat to optimum health as soon as possible.
In an emergency situation, an injection of epinephrine can reverse a severe feline asthma attack within approximately 15 minutes. Though a bit slower acting, turbutaline is another medication that can open the cat’s airways in approximately 30 minutes. Corticosteroids are often relied up in less severe feline asthma attacks. These drugs work within 48 hours and the results typically last for ten to 14 days.
Long-term management of feline asthma is geared toward reducing the likelihood of future attacks while developing and using a treatment plan to control attacks that do occur. Just as parents maintain an adequate supply of asthma medications for their human children who are diagnosed with asthma, pet parents must also maintain a supply of medication to treat their feline asthma stricken family members.
To reduce the likelihood of feline asthma attacks, consider the following tips:
* Reduce indoor allergens by using an air purifier;
* Use dust-free kitty litter when possible;
* Avoid using odor-controlling sprays;
* Don’t smoke or allow smoking in your home;
* Avoid allowing your pet outside during high pollen times;
* Clean your cat’s bedding frequently during allergy season.