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Daves respiritory problems

sharonbee
July 30th, 2010, 06:11 PM
One of our cats...2 year old Dave is an Exotic and has terrible breathing problems, his symptoms are...

Laboured breathing
Noisy breathing
Exercise intolerance (inability to exercise without becoming "out of breath")
Gagging
Coughing
Snorting
Difficulty swallowing , he throws his head back when trying to eat.
Abnormal body posture as he tries to more efficiently move air into his respiratory systems
Increased incidence of eye problems which have to be cleaned a number of times throughout the day
His stomach moves up and down heavily as he fights for breath

Our vet gave him Depomedrone injections and amoxypen Local aenesthetic, these made such a big difference to him and was running round like a kitten again at 100 mph with our NFCs, it was great to see this, however 6 weeks later he is bad again, so it will be back to the vets for more injections.

My question is how many times will he be able to have these throughout his lifetime? Also what are the chances of him developing any further problems if taking these injections on a regular basis?

I have been told there are operations for Dave costing anything between 1,000 to 3,000 , he came to us as a rescue, our other 5 also came to us as adults, other previous cats came to us whose owners had died and they became neglected, some owners lost their homes and businesses and others were returned to breeders.

Is it right to put a cat through so many painful precedures and operations with months of recovery process or is it better to say goodbye if the injections aren't allowed long term?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Sharon

sugarcatmom
July 30th, 2010, 09:28 PM
Sounds like Dave maybe has asthma, is that correct? If so, there's an excellent website you should check out: http://www.fritzthebrave.com/

Steroid injections are not ideal, and can indeed cause problems with long-term use (diabetes being one). An alternative that you might want to ask your vet about is the use of inhaled meds with an AeroKat inhaler. There's more info on that at the link above.

Just like in people with asthma, allergies often play a role. What type of cat litter do you use? Dusty clay litters can be some of the worst offenders for respiratory issues. You might also want to carefully consider the cleaning products or laundry detergents that you use, unscented ones or natural (ie vinegar and baking soda, etc) options are preferable.

Food can also be a factor. Eliminate all dry food from Dave's diet if you haven't already, and look for a good quality grain-free wet food (raw would be the best, but it's important to do it right). Try adding some omega3 fish oils to Dave's food to help control inflammation.

Lastly, a hepa filter might provide some benefits in helping keep dust and airborne allergens minimized.

Good luck! Breathing problems can be hugely frustrating to deal with. :grouphug:

Dr Lee
August 1st, 2010, 01:15 PM
Our vet gave him Depomedrone injections... and was running round like a kitten again...

My question is how many times will he be able to have these throughout his lifetime? Also what are the chances of him developing any further problems if taking these injections on a regular basis?


I agree with sugarcatmom, asthma sounds likely. I would recommend radiographs (X-Rays) if they have not already been done. Steroids can make a variety of conditions appear better. It is important to make sure the we don't start treating some other condition assuming it is asthma. :cat:

Sugarcatmom is also correct about the risks of steroids. Depomedrol in particular has the risk of causing temporary or permanent diabetes mellitus. If this occurs, then your cat may require you giving insulin injections twice a day for the rest of his life. :(

Inhalers are recommended. Fluticasone (flovent) for long term use and albuterol (pro-air) for episodes of asthma. For moderate to severe cases, sometimes systemic steroids are still needed. If this is the case, then oral prednisolone is far safer than injectable Depo-Medrol. Fritz the cat site references Dr Padrid who is one of the foremost authorities on feline asthma. He recommends the medications that I have just discussed.

Hope that helps and again, I recommend getting those x-rays if you haven't already.:2cents:

sharonbee
August 1st, 2010, 03:14 PM
Thankyou very much both of you for your very helpful replies, we will ask the vet for x rays for Dave, our vet has never mentioned Asthma, he has spoke about him being brachycephalic and his problem is the result of breeding to the extreme to get Exotics faces even flatter, I have spoke to my vet and this is what I have been told now...

The sort of things that can be done include firstly controlling any secondary nasal infections if he has any nasal discharge that is further obstructing his ariways, clearing this in itself can help. Surgical therapy may include widening of the nostrils, and shortening of the soft palate in the throat. There are also other conditions that cats can develop such as polyps (a benign lump) at the back of the nose, and a narrowing at the back of the nose and if he has any of these conditions aswell, they are things that can be successfully treated.

It is also possible that he could have secondary inflammation/infection in his lower airways in his lungs, and again if that was present treating that would also help dramatically which is what I think the steroid injection was for.

He also mentioned an operation which would be to sort of chizzel away the nostrils...making 2 nostrils as one so a bigger opening to breathe easier.

They sound quite intrusive so wonder how long the recovery period would be and if it would be kinder to let him go rather than putting him through such dramatic pain and maybe months to recover as I am sure 6 months in a cats life would seem like years.

Dr Lee
August 1st, 2010, 04:22 PM
his symptoms are...

Laboured breathing
Noisy breathing
Exercise intolerance (inability to exercise without becoming "out of breath")
Gagging
Coughing
Snorting...

being brachycephalic ...Surgical therapy may include widening of the nostrils, and shortening of the soft palate in the throat. There are also other conditions that cats can develop such as polyps (a benign lump) at the back of the nose, and a narrowing at the back of the nose and if he has any of these conditions aswell, they are things that can be successfully treated.

It is also possible that he could have secondary inflammation/infection in his lower airways in his lungs, and again if that was present treating that would also help dramatically which is what I think the steroid injection was for.

Lets break this down a bit.

Brachycephalic and anatomic nasal diseases. This will result in sneezing, snorting and noisy breathing. Any breathing difficulties should be surrounded by nasal issues. Steroids may make this better.

"secondary inflammation/infection in his lower airways in his lungs" What is the secondary inflammation from? Anatomic nasal diseases are not likely to have a lot secondary inflammation. Secondary infections of the lower airways would be a walking pneumonia of which steroids alone should make much, much worse. If there is lower airway inflammation (that is not asthma), then we need to find out what this is. Parasites, bacteria, fungal, mass, etc.

Asthma. The most common signs will be coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. There should be no sneezing nor snorting. There will be no nasal discharge.

It is possible that there are multiple problems going on here. Before we proceed with more steroids, I think work up is indicated. X-Rays for starters. Then discuss with your vet about additional blood testing and possible referral to an internal medicine specialist. A tracheal wash and endoscopy may be indicated.

sharonbee
August 2nd, 2010, 01:47 PM
Thankyou very much for the breakdown Dr Lee...this has explained everything and seems so much clearer now.

Thankyou your reply is very much appreciated.