Cat Difficulty Breathing
Cat Difficulty Breathing
Difficulty breathing, or dyspnea, can be a life threatening situation for your cat. Your veterinarian needs to see your cat as soon as possible. A thorough history should be provided. This will include when the symptoms began, the general state of your cat’s health and whether some trauma may have occurred.
Your veterinarian will listen closely to your cat’s chest to check for heart murmurs or the possibility of some fluid in the lungs. She will also observe closely, the cats breathing patterns. The gums are a good indicator of adequate oxygenation. If they are blue tinged, it indicates a lack of oxygen and pale gums will indicate anemia.
At the Veterinarian
Oxygen will be administered and a lab test will be drawn. The standard lab tests that will be drawn are a CBC, urinalysis and biochemical profile. These will also indicate if the other organs in your cat are functioning as they should. Blood gases will be drawn which will indicate if the oxygen and carbon dioxide are at safe levels in your cat. This can determine exactly where the problem is.
A blood test for heartworms will be done. Cat Heartworms can cause shortness of breath when they are advanced.
If the condition appears to be heart related an EKG will measure the rhythm and activity of the heart. In this way, the veterinarian can determine if the heart is functioning adequately and efficiently.
An endoscope may be used to determine if the problems are in the nose or airways. While these examinations are being performed, samples of blood and tissue may be obtained for analysis.
There is no specific general treatment. A diagnosis must first be obtained. There is a possibility that your cat will have to spend some time in the animal hospital to get all of its tests done and also to get the condition stabilized. In most cases some mild sedation will be given to prevent further stress and discomfort.
It is possible that activity will be limited and cage rest may be ordered. Keeping other pets and children away from the cat until the condition improves is also important.
At Home Care
Your veterinarian’s orders must be followed exactly. All medicines need to be dispensed exactly how they were ordered.
Cat Stress And Anxiety relief is also important. If there are known protagonists to your cat, it will be best to avoid them.
Visits to your vet will most likely increase, with follow-up studies including lab tests and x-rays of the chest. It is important for your cat to have these tests regularly to check progress and to make the necessary changes in the treatment. Your cat’s response to treatment needs to be closely monitored.
Restricted activity may become a way of life for your cat. You may find the need to crate your cat for longer periods to assure adequate rest.
It is also probable that the medications that were prescribed will also be given for the remainder of the cat’s life. In the event that you notice any changes in their condition, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.