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Anyone ever had to give an inhaler? (long)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Okay, a little background if you don't know it. Rocky is 2 years old. He was adopted by me at about 10-14 weeks old. He has always had a corneal ulcer, and he came down with a bad URI right away. I of course brought him to the vet, where he was eventually diagnosed with viral feline herpes. He always has a runny nose, and runny eyes. If he is really bad he has coughing, which has lead to vomiting. Prior to moving my old vet had tried him on anitbiotics, which never really worked, and finally an occ predisone shot followed by oral predisone, which he was eventually weaned off. Last July we moved so we got a new vet that has a very good rep, and of course a month or so later he starts having breathing problems and we rush him off to the emergency clinic at the vets. Our vet took an xray and said that his lung damage etc has caused him to have asthma symptoms. He stayed that night. Ever since, we bring him to the vet whnever he starts coughing, and he gets a steriod shot. Until recently this usually worked about to be every 2-3 mos. He just went 4/6 and went back today. It wasn't my normal vet, but he said that of course we can't be giving him these shots so often, which I agree with. BTW they can lead to diabetes and thryoid. I inquired about other treatments such as inhalers, and he said if you are willing to try that they run around 100 dollars a month! This of course will be discussed with my regular vet esp if he starts coughing again in less than 6 weeks.
BTW he gets lysine in his food, and we have even been trying flax seed oil, at the vets suggestion this month. Anyone ever had a kitty that had inhalers, and if so how much did they cost?
post #2 of 10
I don't have my records at hand at the moment, but no, it wasn't costing us $100 a month when Opehlia was on an inhaler. The aerokat we used to give her the inhaler is currently listed as $55 which includes shipping, that is a one time cost, and the medication was def. not $100 a vial, which lasted more than a month.

Sorry I don't have more specifics. Here is my favorite site on feline asthma, it has links to the aerokat device site(an inhaler device designed for cats) as well as discuss meds/perhaps costs as well.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, that's a relief about the cost. DH already said no way are we spending that on a cat, though I'm sure he would have to change his mind... The video is already very interesting- Just like Rocky. He was coughing some more a little while ago, but now seems just fine, is wrestling with Zakk and annoying the beejeebers out of him. Anything to help my baby, going to the vet is awful for him, he growls like a dog and hisses and whines- I get tons of funny looks and then I always say he is the sweetest at home and they look at me, like okay lady.
post #4 of 10
My Bob has asthma. His medical costs are not that much - the Aerocat nebulizer was $30 (got from the vets office), the rescue inhaler itself was $10 (filled at a local pharmacy that does pet prescriptions - I went to BJs Wholesale Club where prices are less) and $25 every 6 weeks or so for his prednisone pills.

The inhaler that costs $100 per month is the one for inhaled steroids, and it's given daily. The inhaler I have is for emegencies, much like with human asthmatics. Ask your vet about prednisone treatments - they come in pill or liquid. There is also a steroid shot, but that leaves cats predisposed to diabetes.
post #5 of 10
One of my RB kitties Gaby had asthma. She was on a med called brethine that worked very well for her. I never had to use a inhaler with her so I don't know what the costs are for that.

BTW she lived to be 15 yrs old and her death had nothing to do with her asthma. Once we got into a routine, she tolerated her meds very well.

Good luck with Rocky.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Again thanks for the suggestions. He has been getting the steriod shot referred too, and we have tried predisone as well. My vet said that she would prefer to give the shot over a maintanance pill. I did try giving him a pill for a few days when is symtoms flared up but it didn't work right away. I'm going to ask my vet next time about all of the meds you have suggested. I'm relieved to know that there are inhalers that don't cost $$$. I'm thinking that the vet I saw yesterday was not well informed about feline asthma, but the doctor I regulary have treated a co workers cat for asthma. I would have asked her but she is out on sick leave right now. Although Rocky hates shots I think he would tolerate an inhaler. I'm praying that he won't flare up again too soon. If anyone else has any ideas please let me know.
Another question that I just thought of. Do steriod shots lead to dandruff? He is the only cat I have with this problem, but I'm also thinking it may have to do with the fact he refuses to eat much wet food and mostly eats dry- which he pigs out on so he is slightly overweight.
post #7 of 10
Sometimes with prednisone you have to adjust the dosage. Bob is a Maine Coon mix, almost 15 lbs. Therefore a dosage that works for a smaller cat didn't work for him. At first the vet had him on 1 pill every other day. We found by trial and error that he needed 1 pill every other day, and a half pill on the days he wasn't getting a full pill. Maybe that's why it didn't seem to work for Rocky. And yes - I notice dandruff on Bob and not on Freckles. They both get wet food twice a day and dry food is always available.

I hope you find a treatment that works for both you and Rocky.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
He's been on it in the past but my current vet seems to prefer shots.

The most he's ever had was 2 pills a day, and then I was advised to slowly reduce the dosage. My old vet was very reluctant to keep him on the predisone due to the side effects. He has gained weight since then- not sure if it's from the predisone shots or his own eating. I think he's 13-14 lbs right now, and has at least an average frame for a male cat. I don't think Rocky has a good sense of smell and he must prefer the texture of the dry food.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Gads, I made the mistake of posting the other day that Rocky was doing good.. He started coughing again today, making it just over six weeks since he was last at the vet. It looks like I am going to have to ask about the inhalers. I don't want to keep giving the poor guy predisone shots, and he HATES going to the vet. It makes me so upset everytime we go to see my sweetest cat become a growling hissing tiger.
post #10 of 10
I've been giving my cat an inhaler 2X daily for about 3 months now and his symptoms are almost non-existent now. Luckily, I have pet insurance. So the inhaler refill costs me $60 from the vet, but I get $48 back from insurance. Of course, you would have to have had the insurance in place before your cats symptoms started. But even without the insurance, I would still pay because my cat finally can relax (and so can I).
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