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how to diagnose asthma?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've been reading about feline asthma but i'm confused.

Isis is doing a lot better although we had an episode today. I hadn't had the chance to remove the frame from our bed to prevent her from going there yet but have kept her out of the room. I forgot this morning to close the door.
I found her under the bed and she was ok..a little grumpy. I don't know if she got stressed because orion was around but she started having breathing problems so I grabbed her and held her and she calmed down so i gave her meds (she gets steroids and the breathing med in the morning and then another breathing pill at night) and took her in the living room and cleared my room.

We got the frame up and man oh man, there is SO much dust under there, it's unreal. I think the dust bunnies have dust bunnies...

I think she might have asthma...how does a vet diagnose this? I'm assuming we have to wait for her to get done with her rounds of meds?
I read that litter can cause problems and I had to buy the cheap litter last time instead of our regular one that we like so I cleaned the cat boxes out and put the good kind in.

She is doing fine this evening and breathing is a-ok.

I'm sorry I'm a little long winded, I like to do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions.
post #2 of 13
My vet listened to Molly's lungs and took an x-ray. She has seasonal allergies or when we can't open the windows. She has a constant noise when you listen to her chest but ever so lightly.

Good luck!
post #3 of 13
If the cat has wheezing, heavy breathing, or coughing fits with its head stretched out, then asthma is a possibility. Dust, pollen and other allergens can set it off or make it worse. The vet can also often hear distinctive noises in the lungs. It can only be firmly diagnosed with a chest xray that shows up the abnormalities in the tubes. It can take several forms and be very slight or really debilitating. In many cases, medicine is for life, and is a question of controlling the symptoms. So Isis could have an xray regardless of whether she is taking steroids or not, which are a common med. Wellington has a quarter tablet every other day, the minimum dose to control his symptoms.
post #4 of 13
You mentioned that you changed the litter you were using. What are you using now? Clay litters have been associated with feline asthma. (Scented litter has been associated with human asthma.)
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm using the multi cat scoop thing (orange box). I can't even remember who makes it now. I'm really tired. We tried a few....i also like the arm and hammer one, those 2 are the only ones that work as far as smell and stuff.

She had an xray done on monday but i don't know if that told the vet for sure. I'm going to call her today.

She's on that 1/4 pill thing now too. The good thing is that the vet gave me more than enough for her treatment and then some. I'm just already thinking of beyond this rounds of meds.

I pulled up more dust and hair out from under my bed that i had in the entire living room

I hope we can control the symptoms with little or no meds.

I have birds though and i hope the dander from them are not setting her off. I don't think it is because she spents the last few days behind the couch which is near the birds and had no problems until she got back under the bed.

That's one thing, with the birds there, I can't use any of the ionic breezes or anything with teflon so it's might be tough finding a happy medium.

I'm rambling...
post #6 of 13
I was using Tidy Cat for Multi Cats and switched to Tidy cat crystals with Clay. Oddly enough Molly is doing better with the clay. I noticed it has less dust. For smelly poops I just changed their dry food to Nature's Choice. They were eating Whiskas & boy did that make their poop smell bad. They go just as much but more regular now.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
That's what it is.....Tidy's....

Yeah I noticed that with whiskas! I might change it but gabriel kind of dictates that with his stomach. They love the stuff though! I might go back to Hill's.

No news from the vet yet.

I haven't had the chance to google or research yet but i want to verify what the vet says with you guys that have an asthmatic cat.
post #8 of 13
My Harvey has asthma. He was diagnosed by a chest X-ray several years ago. He was getting steroid shots, but they're not as effective anymore and I'm afraid of them causing diabetes, so we just switched him to a steroid inhaler. He takes FloVent once a day. It's pretty expensive, and he is definitely NOT happy with me at the moment but it does seem to be working really well. The vet also gave us an Albuterol inhaler that we can use if he has problems, but we haven't had to use that yet.

The cat litter we use definitely has an impact on Harvey's asthma. I noticed that years ago. We now use Cat Attract (which we needed to use to get Forest's litterbox habits in line and they all liked it so much that we switched them all to it). It's clay-based, but it doesn't seem to cause problems for Harvey like some other clay litters have. Mostly anything that seems very dusty or scented really bothers him.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
So he's on flovent every day and that's going to be all the time (barring any problems right)? How expensive is expensive? I'm curious and still at the very beginning of researching all this and i have a billion questions.
post #10 of 13
I filled Harvey's prescription at Walgreens, and it was about $130 for a 120-puff inhaler. Someone told me that CostCo was much cheaper, so I just checked their website, and they're listing it for around $100. (I'm definitely filling it at CostCo next time.)

One puff a day seems to do it for him, so it should last several months.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
That is expensive but as long as one puff a day works well, it's not too bad then.

I talked to the vet's office and the vet was definately thinking asthma or heart problems and we have ruled out her heart so we will finish her rounds of meds (1 more week to go) and then see how she does. They will touch base with me again next week.

So I guess we also have a kitty with asthma and going to do some reading over the weekend.

Does anyone have birds and an asthmatic cat? It doesn't seem to bother her but I'm going to box up a lot of my books that I am not using (piano, etc) in containers with lids instead of cardboard boxes to keep the dust out.
post #12 of 13
I think some cats need two puffs a day, but even at that it should last a couple months. So not so bad.

We had a cockatiel, but he went to the bridge about two years ago. The bird never seemed to bother Harvey. (He did bother my sister, though, who has asthma. In fact, he was her bird until she couldn't keep him any more because he was causing her to have asthma attacks that led to pneumonia.)
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well I talked to the vet. Isis had another episode this afternoon. They seem to be stress triggered right now. I think before it was probably the dust but when she gets really annoyed by the others. It doesn't last long at all though.
The vet isn't too happy that she is still having episodes so we have to watch her and see what happens before she get likes this and she will call me on Monday to check on Isis and take it from there.
She was talking about maybe putting a needle in her lungs or something..i'm not sure why, to drain the fluid? Analyse it?
SHe had an episode yesterday afternoon and this afternoon. If we hold her, she settles back down.

And I have the arm and hammer litter...duh me.
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