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Asthma Treatment

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Molly was diagnosed back in May after having a severe attack. She has been getting depo shots every 2 months. The doctor was hoping it would only be during the summer months but her coughing is back.

The ER vet had recommended aggressive treatment, however the vet didn't feel that way and wanted to start from the beginning. I am looking for ideas on treatment so I could offer suggestions today or understand his thought process from someone who already went through it.

What treatments did your cat go through before you found the right combination?
post #2 of 19
Hi - I hope you don't mind my replying, even though I am like you, in the early stages of treatment. My cat's symptoms have been mild and very sporadic up until the onset of the cold weather in my area.

Not sure if you saw my earlier post, but my vet has now asked us to consider using an inhaler, because of the side effects associated with long-term use of steroids in pill form (I'm not sure about injections; my vet didn't mention them, although I'm aware they are an option as well). I have ordered the inhaler (I'm just waiting for the mask attachment to arrive), and I'm sure I'll be letting everyone know how it works.

Anyway, I don't want to hijack your thread, but this is one treatment you could ask about. It's expensive, but the plan is to lower the dosage over time, so that we're using the minimum optimal dose. I hope you will let us know what you decide to do and how it goes; I'm sure I'm not speaking only for myself when I say that it is very helpful (and comforting) to talk to others about this problem.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoko9 View Post
Hi - I hope you don't mind my replying, even though I am like you, in the early stages of treatment. My cat's symptoms have been mild and very sporadic up until the onset of the cold weather in my area.

Not sure if you saw my earlier post, but my vet has now asked us to consider using an inhaler, because of the side effects associated with long-term use of steroids in pill form (I'm not sure about injections; my vet didn't mention them, although I'm aware they are an option as well). I have ordered the inhaler (I'm just waiting for the mask attachment to arrive), and I'm sure I'll be letting everyone know how it works.

Anyway, I don't want to hijack your thread, but this is one treatment you could ask about. It's expensive, but the plan is to lower the dosage over time, so that we're using the minimum optimal dose. I hope you will let us know what you decide to do and how it goes; I'm sure I'm not speaking only for myself when I say that it is very helpful (and comforting) to talk to others about this problem.
Sorry that I missed your thread.

When she came home from the ER vet in May she was on Albuterol when she coughs & 5mg of Prednisone twice a day. They suggested Flovent in time. I started with a new vet a few days later and he felt she didn't need all these drugs and wanted to see how the Depo shots worked. He strongly felt it was seasonal only. Molly was never officially treated for her asthma. When she was diagnosed she was given allergy pills for the flare up. We weren't educated and the coughing continued for years. Whenever she saw the vet her lungs sounded great and she didn't cough. It wasn't until her almost deadly flare-up in May that things changed.
post #4 of 19
In general I am sympathetic with your vet's view that we should use a minimal amount of medication if we can. That is why I was a little unsure about the inhaler. I've decided to move forward though and see what happens, because of course (like you) I don't want my kitty to continue to have trouble breathing!

Did your vet mention the possibility of an allergy test? In my case, my vet said it might not be that helpful, but she did mention it as an option. I'm just wondering if, since your vet thinks it might be seasonal, you could pinpoint the allergen and possibly limit your cat's exposure to it. At the very least, you might possibly only have to medicate her only part of the year (?).
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by motoko9 View Post
In general I am sympathetic with your vet's view that we should use a minimal amount of medication if we can. That is why I was a little unsure about the inhaler. I've decided to move forward though and see what happens, because of course (like you) I don't want my kitty to continue to have trouble breathing!

Did your vet mention the possibility of an allergy test? In my case, my vet said it might not be that helpful, but she did mention it as an option. I'm just wondering if, since your vet thinks it might be seasonal, you could pinpoint the allergen and possibly limit your cat's exposure to it. At the very least, you might possibly only have to medicate her only part of the year (?).
The vet didn't mention the allergy tests. I have read it's inconclusive half the time. I know for a fact she is allergic to the weed garden my neighbor grows. Nothing I can do about that. Occasionally candle smoke or BBQ smoke(which set the major one off) both bother her. We don't let her outside during the BBQ or after. I only burn candles when there is good air flow.

I am very concerned about her coughing b/c it was just by chance I saw her breathing with an open mouth in May. I don't drive and the closest ER is 30mins away We have noticed that she swallows hard and has watery eyes just before the coughing starts when the shot wears off. The shot is the same as the steroid inhalers from what I am reading.

It's a shame for her that it might come down to daily inhaler usage. She has always been cautious of anything touching her face. You can pet her cheeks but you can't touch her eyes. I think that's from her former owners. The shot was nice b/c she barely felt it and was going every 2 months instead of a daily ritual.

How old is your cat? Mine is going to be 10.
post #6 of 19
The vet should have told you that the inhaler is safer then the Depo shots.
Coco's asthma is much better with the flovent.
The Depo caused her to get so many bladder problems and she can never have that shot again.
The shot has alot more side effects then the inhaler.
The inhaler goes straight to the lungs.
Coco gets worse asthma when there is pollen and when she gets bad colds
post #7 of 19
My cat is a little over two years old, so it does sadden me a little to think that we may well have to medicate him for the rest of his life. I was glad to hear that a couple of members here have used the inhaler for years with very good results.

I hope you and your vet can find the best solution together. I am cautiously optimistic about my cat's tolerating the inhaler. He lets me brush his teeth (well, I apply the toothpaste to his teeth and gums with my fingers), but that's no guarantee. Apparently the hiss of the inhaler can be scary for cats. I will probably ask about the injections next if the inhaler doesn't work out.

Best of luck to you (and I hope to hear of your progress)!
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
The vet should have told you that the inhaler is safer then the Depo shots.
Coco's asthma is much better with the flovent.
The Depo caused her to get so many bladder problems and she can never have that shot again.
The shot has alot more side effects then the inhaler.
The inhaler goes straight to the lungs.
Coco gets worse asthma when there is pollen and when she gets bad colds
He didn't think the shot would be used that often which is why we started there. He was hoping she didn't need daily medication which can be traumatizing. So far she has been perfectly fine with the Depo. Though we are at our 4th shot if that's the direction he goes tonight which he didn't want to do.

I am going to ask for blood work tonight too just to be on the safe side.

How long was Coco on the shots for? Also was it more than 3x's a year ?
post #9 of 19
The vet would not allow her to have more then 2 shots a year.
He said it can cause to many problems.
She did get pred pills sometimes.
Blood test are a good idea just to make sure your cat is ok.
The pred was every day for about 30 days.
We would taper it down slowly.
Her last Depo shot was in march because the bladder problem came again.
UC Davis also said no more then 2 shots a year unless the inhaler didnt work.
He did not want to rosk her getting Diabetes and more bladder problems.
She just had another ecoli infection last sept.
She also has kidney failure now.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
So she is on clavamox just to be on the safe side.
We are trying prednisone twice a day for five days, then 1/2 tablet twice a day for 5 days then 1/2 once a day for 5 then 1/2 tablet every other day.
post #11 of 19
I hope it helps.
The inhaler is expensive.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I hope it helps.
The inhaler is expensive.
We are using pills.
post #13 of 19
I know I have used the pills before.
I have taken them also when my asthma got out of control.
post #14 of 19
I don't have any advice to offer b/c I've never had a cat that suffered with asthma, but I just wanted to say that I hope your vet can find a good treatment that works well for Molly, and I hope she feels better soon.
post #15 of 19
My cat got the depo shots for about a year and now has been switched to the inhaled medicine Flovent because the depo shots are bad for the cat with long term use. It's super easy to give my cat the medicine (she squirms but it's over in 10 seconds). The medicine is pricey but considering how often I was going to the Vet it evens out.

They started her on the pill Theodur when first diagnosed but it literally was killing my cat (lifeless, wouldn't eat or move) after a week of taking it so I quickly stopped and she came back to life.

Good luck!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
The preds seem to be working. Yesterday she started with one pill a day for 5 days. I mentioned the Flovent but that will be the next step if the pills don't work.
post #17 of 19
I hope she keeps feeling better.
Coco has not been on her flovent the last month because her asthma is ok right now.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I hope she keeps feeling better.
Coco has not been on her flovent the last month because her asthma is ok right now.
That's wonderful news!
Coco has been through much more than Molly has.
post #19 of 19
Thanks,
She has blood test in a few weeks for her kidneys.
I hope they not bad.
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