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Cat Breathing Difficulties

February 10th, 2008, 11:19 AM
Hi..I need some info. We have a 7 yr. old dsh cat that has been having breathing difficulties for the past 6 mo. We have done an ultra sound, trac wash, been on steriods, antiobodics, and anthihastimes and now an anti fungal medicine. We have rules things out, but have not been able to diagosis her problem. Nothing seems to help. She has no fever, sneeze or cough, just can't walk but a few feet before she must stop and catch her breath. Anyone else experience this or have any ideas? Thanks!

February 10th, 2008, 01:57 PM
Sorry to hear about your kitty's breathlessness. I don't really have any suggestions but I'm assuming her heart has been checked out?

February 10th, 2008, 03:38 PM
Perhaps Asthsma? or narrowing of the Bronchi?

Here are 2 threads to read perhaps it is something similar?

good luck :goodvibes: keep us posted

February 10th, 2008, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the advice and the links. I will ask my vet about Clavanot and Lysine. I have heard of Lysine and don't know what it is exactly. Do you also know what the lavage procedure consists of?

February 10th, 2008, 06:23 PM
I'm don't know exactly but it is a cleaning of the bronchi, I'll ask Badger to check this thread perhaps she can better help

Ask the vet about Feline Asthma :shrug:

February 10th, 2008, 08:15 PM
I'm thinking that if it was asthma, it should have responded to the steroids. How long was she on them for? You say there's no coughing, but is there any wheezing involved? Here is a fantastic feline asthma website with a list of symptoms:

Does she do any open-mouthed breathing? Do you know what her respiration rate is?

What is a cat's normal respiration rate?
15-30 breaths per minute. Respiration rate should be taken when your cat is at rest. To take your cat's respiration rate, count how many times your cat inhales within a 15 second period and then multiply by 4.

February 11th, 2008, 07:43 AM
She was on Prednazone for many weeks and she would get better but then relapse, while on the medicine. We haven't found any medication that helps her for any substantial length of time. The last set of lung xrays looked worse than the set from 2 weeks ago. There is just a thickening in her lungs and we can't seems to figure out what it is.

February 11th, 2008, 08:46 AM
Does your cat spend time outdoors? How long has she been on the anti-fungal? The symptoms sound a lot like a fungal infection...especially since it didn't respond well to steroids.

I hope you get a diagnosis soon, luckystar! :fingerscr

February 11th, 2008, 08:55 AM
What is the next step, a lung biopsy? The relapse on steroids must have the vet puzzled; did he speculate on the reason? Did the trach wash show nothing? Do you have a vet college near you? That is where I would go next, taking his file along.
Poor boy, so young.

February 11th, 2008, 11:21 AM
We thought it might be fungal, but the latest blood test ruled out histoplasmosis. She is an indoor/outdoor cat. She has been on the fungal medicine for 2 weeks now with no change at all. The trac wash didn't show up anything that would give us any clues. I actually have 2 different vets working on her case and they are both scratching their heads. We don't think it is asthma since it is a constant problem and she has no coughing, sneezing or wheezing. My thought is that it is lung cancer, but we are all just at a loss as to what to do next. We do have a very good vet college that is 3 hours away. I might check with both vets and see if either one of them have any contacts there and try to forward her reports on to them. I'm not ready to give up because she is alert and eating well. She just can't walk more than 5 or 6 feet without stopping to catch her breath. Thanks so much for your help and support.

February 11th, 2008, 10:51 PM
my thoughts were the same as sugarmoms, has her heart, been checked out? I know you said you have ruled a lot out, i just wondered.. best of luck, and definitely dont give up yet, if she is eating drinking that is a always a good sign.

February 12th, 2008, 12:28 AM
Hmm my first thought was asthma to but after you mentioned no wheezing etc... was her heart. As mentioned if they didn't check it have them check her heart and blood pressure. Doesn't explain the wall thickening in the lungs though, most of what I found about that was due to asthma.

Then I wondered about any strange insects that may have bitten her and how some leave lasting effects or unexplained symptoms.

I really hope you get some answers soon and that she'll get better soon :grouphug:

February 12th, 2008, 12:48 AM
Have they considered feline heartworm, I ask only because it can affect the lungs and heart and it's hard to diagnose, some cat's show little/mild symptoms. Unfourtnately it's not as easy to diagnose as in dogs. I found several articles on google and a lot mention asthma like symptoms regarding the scarring/thickening of the lungs.

I don't mean to throw all sorts of crazy ideas out there as I don't want to make things worse or cause more worry and the vets have probably allready thought of it. It only came to mind becasue you live in a warm climate.

Here's one link I found

February 12th, 2008, 03:04 PM
Hi gang...thanks for all the support and information regarding Trixie.We have determined that she does not have an enlarged heart, through xrays and the ultrasound. We have also done bloodwork to make sure that it was not heartworms. That test came back negative. So, we are still looking for answers. I have bloodwork tests and the ultrasound results in a pdf file ready to send somewhere, if anyone knows of a vet that might be interested in looking at her information. We are looking into sending her information with xrays down to one of the best vet colleges in our state. Depending on the cost, she may go as well. Problem is, we have already spent close to $1000 on her care and still don't have a diagnosis. That is with one of the vets being a friend of mine and just charging me her cost for some of the tests. So...put on your thinking caps..any other ideas?

February 12th, 2008, 05:17 PM
Gosh, what a mystery. Maybe your vet can do a consultation with Cornell University?

February 13th, 2008, 06:30 AM
One of the women I work with had a family cat diagnosed with Asthma. Took a long time for them to come to that conclusion. They have an inhaler for the cat and she has to have a certain number of puffs from it a day.
I hope they find what's wrong with your kitty soon.


February 13th, 2008, 06:33 AM
This is a real head scratcher! A heart virus maybe?

February 13th, 2008, 08:32 AM
Has he been tested for the usual cat viruses? I only ask because you mention he goes outside. Has he ever been in a fight?

February 13th, 2008, 08:10 PM
We are all stumped about her illness. She has never been in a fight. We live in a rural sub division where the lots are 2.5 acres each, so there aren't any other cats that come around much. We pull in all the animals at night due to the coyotes, so she isn't exposed to skunks or raccoons, not to say she couldn't have picked something up. We are gonig to try and send her records down to the vet university and hopefully, they will come up with something quickly. If that doesn't work, I might try to Cornell link I was given. I might put her back on Theophylline. That seemed to help the most which makes me think it might be asthma. I just don't know. Thanks again for welcoming me to the board and doing what you can to help. I really appreciate it!