My little Simba was recently diagnosed with feline asthma, so I wanted to share my experience with you, just in case you ever notice similar symptoms in your cat. A couple of months ago, she started having coughing spells, like she was trying to cough up a big hairball that just wouldn’t dislodge itself. I tried giving her hairball medicine, but the spells got worse and increased in frequency so I took her to the vet for a check-up. Of course, she wouldn’t make the noise for the doctor, but a chest x-ray did show some dark patches around her lungs, which is an indication of asthma. While we waited a few days for the blood work to come back to rule out any other problems, the doctor recommended that I look for some videos online of asthmatic cats to see if that is what Simba was doing. That was such a great suggestion, because I found the following video (if you can’t see the video below in your email, click here to watch it on the site):
I am truly grateful to Dave’s owner for posting this video because it helped me understand exactly what Simba was doing. Just so you know, Dave had already received her medicine when her owner shot this video. They were waiting for the medicine to kick in and he thought that the video might be helpful to others, and he was right!
My vet prescribed a number of medicines, some to get the asthma under control initially, others for maintenance, and still others for emergency attacks. It was a bit overwhelming. I was also nervous about giving Simba the inhaler, which is the most important part of the treatment. The inhaler is administered with a special device called the Aerokat, but I didn’t completely understand how to use it from the directions, so YouTube came to the rescue again! I found the following video of a woman demonstrating how to use the Aerokat and it really gave me the confidence I needed:
It has been about two weeks since Simba started her asthma treatment and I’m pleased to report that the attacks lessened over the first few days, and now I haven’t seen one in about a week. I’m not sure, but Simba seems to know that the inhaler is helping her, so she takes her dose twice a day with relative ease, although she is nowhere near as nice as the kitty in the video.
Feline asthma can be life threatening for cats. If you would like more information, please read this excellent overview article from Renee L. Austin, just posted this week over at The Conscious Cat, and also visit FelineAsthma.org.