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Breathing Problem

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a 2 year old cat that is having a very difficult time breathing. She doesn't sneeze cough or sniffle she just has a very very difficult time breathing I took her to the vet and had blood work and an x ray taken. X ray was clear, no blockages, lungs were clear as a bell and blood work was also normal. My vet said it didn't look like it was asthma either. She was actually stumped. My questions are Can asthma be seen from an x ray? Her breathing is starting to get pretty bad and I'm wondering what else it could be? What is the normal respitory rate for a cat and how can I check it at home until I can get her to the vet Monday a.m. I would appreciate any information anyone can give me.
post #2 of 9
The lungs will look spongy on cats with asthma, or they sort of resemble coral (kind of). Has the cat been to a feline specialist? What are you feeding this cat? Are you, or anyone in your home a smoker? Near where you live are there any factories?
post #3 of 9
I have no idea, but thought this site might help you as it is the best I know of on Feline Asthma - it should include a section on symptoms, as well as how to diagnose this. I hope that will be helpful for you.

If your kitty is doing open mouthed huffing as she tries to breathe, gasping with even a little exertion, then I honestly would go to an emergency vet...but this is based on losing two cats over the past year with different causes for their respiratory distress..I got used to assessing them for when it was time for the vets.

wishing you all the best with your girl,
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
What else can cause respiratory distress other than asthma? I feed her wellness can and Innova hard. No I haven't taken her to a feline specialist. Now that I think of it, I don't know if I've seen one in the phone book. I live in Minnesota so if you know of anyone let me know. I'm open to any suggestions/recommendations anyone might have. She is currently seeing a holistic vet and was given Pneumotrophin PMG. She's not huffing, sneezing, wheezing, coughing just the breathing is very labored. Maybe a llittle worse than when she was at the vet last. The only time she starts huffing is after she chases the laser light a little. I've never seen her breathe out of her mouth or gasp for air - I would definately know to take her in then. I have 3 cats and they are my only children so they are spoiled rotten and well taken care of. If I throw a ball or toy, she's the first one after it and the 1st to it. She can run down the hall full speed but can't run back, she lays down at the end of the hall. Does fresh air help? I understand the air passages are inflamed but what takes the inflamation down? Predisone? and how long does it take for them to become normal or uninflamed again?
post #5 of 9
Did they check her heart? There is one feline specialist listed here, I don't know how far away it is from you but if you call them, bet they can recommend someone closer?

post #6 of 9
Normal respiratory rate for a cat at rest is around 20-30 per minute. When Persil was very sick at Christmas her rate went up to 85. Her distress was caused by a hole in her diaphragm, but that would show up on an Xray.
post #7 of 9
Did your vet consider Cardiomyopathy, probably the most common form of heart disease in cats. Labored breathing can be a symptom, and while i realizing diagnosing from afar is almost useless, it is a condition to condsider.

"Ultrasound examination (echocardiography) is usually required to make a definitive diagnosis." from http://www.fabcats.org/cardiomyopathy.html is a useful site.

It's worth noting that its usually diagnosed in cats over the age of 5.
post #8 of 9
I too was thinking along the lines Hissy and StephenQ have already suggested - a possible heart condition.

HCM, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is often a "silent killer" of young cats because it is frequently undiagnosed until too late. Many cats don't show any symptoms at all.

The only way to diagnose this is to have a feline cardiologist do an echocardiogram, as Stephen has pointed out. You want someone skilled and experienced to perform this test, and it should be done ASAP to rule out possible heart disease.

Good luck to you and your kitty - please let us know how she's doing.
post #9 of 9
Given the further information you gave, I also agree that a heart condition should be checked for. The x-rays rule out what was the cause and issue for my two cats, for which you can be grateful (one had a chylothorax secondary to two tumors, the second had a large lung tumor).

Please keep us updated, I hope you'll have an answer soon.
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