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Breathing problems - can't see vet until morning

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine called me a few minutes ago with a real problem. Her cat is having difficulty breathing - coughing, rasping, obvious problems breathing. She called the emergency vet, and since she doesn't have $150 cash in hand, they won't see her. She is going to her regular vet first thing in the morning (7:30). The emergency vet did not give her any advice on how to help Angel though the night. To me (who is anything but a health professional), it sounds like Angel has asthma (I have asthma, and her symptoms sound very familiar to me). Is there anything she can do to help Angel though the night and make her more comfortable in her breathing?

The vet had previously prescribed Angel Clavamox, which really didn't relieve Angel's symptoms last time. They just got better on her own. She's had symptoms like this since then, but she hasn't taken Angel to the vet because the meds didn't do anything last time.
post #2 of 25
I have no suggestions, but lotsa vibes for Angel and her family!
post #3 of 25
a humidifier in the room she is ...
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks Fran.

I read through the large thread about feline asthma here, and there were some great links and information in that thread. I called Kim and read her the symptoms of feline asthma and it fit Angel to a tee. I don't know why her vet didn't think of it - I did the last time she told me about one of these "attacks". I really wish she would switch to my vet, because Kim has said she was not real happy with her current vet before. Another thing that was in a link was the different stages of asthma attacks, and Angel hasn't been showing any of the "crisis" symptoms, but now she knows what to watch for to know when there is no choice but to take her to the ER.

From my own experience with asthma, as well as some of the posts in that thread, I suggested that she open a window and let Angel get some fresh air. It's been so cold that she's had her place sealed up for a while. I know that helps me when I have trouble breathing, so hopefully it will help Angel too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharky
a humidifier in the room she is ...
Thanks for the suggestion! She does have a humidifier in the bedroom. She's probably going to try a steam-bath (running a hot shower while she sits with Angel in the bathroom) a little later. She said she tried that last time and it didn't seem to help Angel too much, but she'll try anything to help her.
post #5 of 25
She needs meds

We brought Isis to the vet and she had her mouth open, gasping for air and she immediately gave her a shot of steroids.

Isis is on steroids and a bonchodialator and is doing great.

it's very very scary but if she makes it through the night, she needs to be seen by the vet asap.

not to scare you but my vet visit for her that day was 400$ including an echocardiogram to make sure it wasn't heart disease.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosey View Post
She needs meds

We brought Isis to the vet and she had her mouth open, gasping for air and she immediately gave her a shot of steroids.

Isis is on steroids and a bonchodialator and is doing great.

it's very very scary but if she makes it through the night, she needs to be seen by the vet asap.

not to scare you but my vet visit for her that day was 400$ including an echocardiogram to make sure it wasn't heart disease.
Wow, that is a lot, but we do it for our babies. I am praying that all of your kitties are well.
post #7 of 25
Please let us know what happens. Are you taking Angel in today ? (Tuesday)
post #8 of 25
I have asthma and so does my cat Dexter.
I cannot think of anything that will help until she can get her kitty to her vet.
Coffee is used on humans to open airways if no meds are available...
but that would be dangerous for a kitty.
If Angel does have asthma, not a heart condition, which can cause shortness of breath also, Angel's inflamed lungs have not cleared up.

Dexter's acute asthma was treated with oxygen, antibiotics and a short term steroid injection ---to reduce lung inflammation.
If Angel's lung inflammation is not treated, the attacks will continue.

Dexter's follow-up treatment included x-rays, full blood panel, urine to R/O diabetes because steroids can exacerbate that, then a long term steroid injection.

I hope that Angel's breathing eases.
Please let your friend know that we care.
post #9 of 25
lots and lots of steam baths! poor baby.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone. Kim does know that this is serious. She is taking Angel in at 7:30 MST on Tuesday, and will be asking her vet directly about asthma. I told her that he would definitely be running tests like x-rays to determine if she does have asthma or not. I know she appreciates the good vibes.
post #11 of 25
it could also be heart disease. My vet did the echocardiogram to rule out heart disease and after that determined it was asthma. She did Xray and then the echo.
She did also put her in an oxygen tank to help her breathe and give her shots.

Lots of vibes until morning.
post #12 of 25
Heidi, direct her to this site http://www.fritzthebrave.com/

If she can find those sudafed shower tabs in the grocery store have her check the label for any cautions about keeping away from pets? If they are safe, she can sit in a steamy bathroom with her cat and a tab to help open the airway
post #13 of 25
Heidi...
Your friend and Angel are on my mind this morning.
When you hear how they are doing...
please let us know.
Thank you for helping her.
That's what friends are for.
post #14 of 25
Any news ???
post #15 of 25
I have been wondering how Angel is doing too.
post #16 of 25
me too!
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Sorry for not updating sooner, but I was out of the office yesterday too so wasn't able to talk to Kim.

Angel had recovered from her attack, so she didn't take her to the vet. They don't offer payment plans and she is really broke at the moment with it just being Christmas and all. I'm sure a lot of us can relate.

She thinks she has narrowed down at least one of the big contributing factors, though. She said she has noticed that when she's home a lot, Angel has more of these "attacks" and that when she's home she's also usually burning candles and simmering potpourri. So, she's going to stop doing that until she can get Angel into the vet and have the right tests done.
post #18 of 25
Thank goodness Angel is OK. Could very easily be burning candles. I have adult onset asthma and if I am careful, nothing ever happens, but get me near a dog, grass or candles and I am off to the emergency room.
post #19 of 25
Candles and other scented things could easily be a trigger.
Excess litter dust is what triggers my Dexter's attacks --- I think.
You are a good friend Heidi,
wish her well for us please.
post #20 of 25
I'm glad Angel is doing better. It will be good to get a reality check on the candles. Continuing to keep Angel in my thoughts.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
OK, now I'm actually MAD at her vet's office!

She's been going to this same office for about 20 years, through staff changes, through different pets' life stages. They know her, and they know her animals. When she called them saying that Angel was having trouble breathing, the response was "If you have $150 you can bring her in." No concern for Angel's health. No concern for what it could be, or help they could offer without $$$$$$ coming first. Last time she brought Angel in when she was having troubles breathing. All they did was prescribe an antibiotic. No tests, no concerns raised that it *might* be something more serious. I really can't believe that place! I'm also really encouraging Kim to check into my vet's office. They are much more compassionate than that, and last time I was in there they did allow payment plans for existing clients.
post #22 of 25
Here Heidi, I borrowed this from Susie for you.

post #23 of 25
After 20 years???
Difficulty breathing is a real emergency.
That is terrible.

My vet, for long term clients, allows payments with an additional small monthly charge.
In January I will finally pay off Dexter's bill from his asthma attack...$900 total.
I really appreciate having the option to do that.

Angel probably needs a complete work-up to r/o heart issues and get a definitive diagnoses for asthma which is never easy to treat.
I hope that she does go see your vet.
Maybe if they know that you referred her they will take that into account and offer her some kind of payment plan.

I don't have a lot of money but I always pay my vet bill payments on time....
my babies lives depend on it.
post #24 of 25
My late Corkie had asthma and I could not wear perfume or have scented candle or anything with perfume in them or she would start coughing!

The ER in my town does the same. It is usually $80.00 to walk in the door but on a holiday it is Double!
post #25 of 25
Yes...ER's can be really expensive and they always want cash up front.
That is another reason for Heidi's friend to become established with a vet practice that offers a payment plan.

But...for emergencies, I keep a credit card with available credit, just in case.
I hope that I always have that to fall back on in an emergency.
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