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Feline Asthma - Investigation and Treatment

It is quite common for cats to present to veterinary clinics with a chronic cough or wheeze. The problem may be constant or just recur from time to time, and can range from mild to severe. Clinically the disease may resemble human asthma, but the term feline asthma can be misleading as there are a number of different possible causes. Here we look at what those underlying causes can be, and the different forms of treatment available to affected cats.


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Treatment The aims of treatment are as follows. 1. Eliminate any suspected infectious agents. This may be a sufficiently long course of antibiotics if bacterial infection is suspected, or a wormer such as fenbendazole if lungworm is suspected.

However, some common cough symptoms include ' 1) Shortness of breath, as well as coughing up pink, frothy mucus ' maybe the cause is fluid retention in lungs

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the part of the respiratory system that leads into the lungs. Basically there are two types of bronchitis, acute and chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is a short term illness that becomes more common during cold weather. It is usually followed by viral infection and can be associated with bacterial infections. Acute bronchitis usually clears itself within 2 weeks, but the cough may continue. And in some cases of acute bronchitis it can develop into pneumonia.

Passive Smoking and other Cancers Conventional studies tend to focus on finding the health effects of ETS on the respiratory system. Newer studies have found associations between passive smoking and cervical, bladder, nasal-sinus, and brain cancer.

6. Lung biopsy This is an invasive procedure that carries a significant risk to the patient. It is only indicated where diffuse cancer or extensive fibrosis is suspected, or in severe disease that responds poorly to treatment.

Antihistamines and decongestants are a good choice for treating coughs associated with post nasal drip. If some underlying disease is causing the cough, treatment should first be based on treating the underlying disease.

' learning difficulty ' behavior problems (i.e. depression, anxiety and immaturity) ' allergies ' asthma (induction & aggravation) ' bronchitis (induction & aggravation)

Aerosol therapy has the advantage that the maximum concentration of drug is delivered to the target site. This means that lower overall doses can be used, and the cat is less likely to suffer the negative side effects of steroids. Various inhalers can be used in both cats and dogs, but they tend to be designed for humans. As a result, higher doses are given compared with human medicine, as humans can be instructed to breathe deeply whereas cats will breathe normally at best.

Glucocorticoid drugs (steroids) used in inhalers include Beclometasone, Fluticasone and Budesonide. Beclometasone is cheap, but is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream when you want it to hang around in the area where it applied. Fluticasone is more expensive, but tends to stay where you want it to. Budesonide is relatively inexpensive and though it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream, it tends to be removed the first time it goes through the liver.

The increase and improper used of antibiotics may also lead to antibiotic resistance in which the bacteria may mutate in ways so they will be able to survive in spite of medications; that means the antibiotics may not work on the next time that it is used. And since most antibiotics are expensive, costs may not be worth the benefits. Acute bronchitis usually clears up on its own in two to three weeks just by drinking lots of fluids and getting enough rest.

Cough is an important reflex action, which the body undertakes to get rid of substances that are irritating the air passages. A cough is usually initiated to clear a buildup of phlegm in the trachea, by forceful expulsion of air at high speed away from the body. You can choose to cough (a voluntary process), or our body may cough on its own (an involuntary process).

Doctors often prescribe antibiotics because they feel pressured by people's expectations to receive them. This expectation has been fueled by both misinformation in the media and marketing by drug companies. There are some antibiotics which are known for treating both acute and chronic bronchitis but also prescribed for other medical illness. Ampicillin is used for the treatment of infections that result from acute bronchitis. Trimethoprim is an antibiotic used for infections in the respiratory tract. Azithromycin and Amoxicilluin are considered effective treatment for bacterial infections causing bronchitis. Telithromycin is a drug used for mild to moderate infections in the respiratory system.

Their conclusion: These meta-analyses show that there is a statistically significant and consistent association between lung cancer risk in spouses of smokers and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke from the spouse who smokes. The excess risk is of the order of 20% for women and 30% for men and remains after controlling for some potential sources of bias and confounding.

8) Gastroesophageal reflux is also a very common cause of cough. This occurs when acid from the stomach travels up the esophagus, resulting in the reflex production of a cough. This is often associated with a sensation of heartburn; and worsens during the day or when one lies flat on the back.

' aggravation of asthma, allergies, and other conditions Passive Smoking and Lung Cancer Non-smokers have a twenty-five percent increased risk of lung cancer when exposed to passive smoking in the home. In a press release by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 9, 1998, it said that the increased risk of lung cancer among non-smoking spouses of smokers was estimated at sixteen percent and in the workplace, an estimated increased risk of seventeen percent. In 2002, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the WHO, a group of 29 experts from 12 countries, convened by the Monographs Programme. They reviewed all major published evidence related to tobacco smoking and cancer.

6) If lung cancer or a cancer of the air passages is present, one may cough up blood. Other symptoms that may point towards a cancer include increasing fatigue, loss of appetite, unexplained loss of weight, or decreased ability to swallow solid or liquid foods.

6) Mix half a teaspoon of tulsi juice with half a teaspoon of ginger juice. Add 1 teaspoon of honey. Take the above mixture 2-3 times a day. This is also useful Home Remedy for Cough

2) Cough produces clear pale yellow mucus ' due to viral infection, such as cold 3) Cough produces yellow or greenish mucus ' cause may be chronic bronchitis or pneumonia.

Proper medication is important in curing an illness, but it is also essential to use a reliable source of these medications, like your trusted physician. Antibiotics are medications that slow or stop the growth of bacteria. Prescriptions of antibiotics depends on what kind of infections causes your illness, like in the case of bronchitis there are specific antibiotics for this condition depending on the severity and status of the illness.

Passive smoking kills an estimated 53,000 non-smokers per year. It is the 3rd leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Visit us or share your opinions at the worlds best homepage or free content resource.

2. Remove or avoid airway irritants. The most obvious one is ensuring the cat has no contact with cigarette smoke, and purchasing dust free cat litter.

1) Take three peppercorns, and add a pinch of black cumin seeds and rock salt and consume it. 2) Drink hot milk with honey at bedtime for cough relief.

' parts of the mouth and throat such as the lip, oropharynx (the back of the mouth), larynx (voice box), and hypopharynx (area below the pharynx or throat),

4) If cough is associated with wheezing and shortness of breath ' reason could be asthma. 5) Fever, chills and night sweats along with chest pain when you cough ' the cause may be tuberculosis

1) Allergies or asthma, chronic bronchitis 2) Common upper respiratory tract infections, resulting from the secretions of the nose and sinuses draining into the throat, such as in cases of sinus infections, chronic postnasal drip, diseases of the external ear, infections of the throat

Diagnosis 1. Clinical examination The first step in the diagnostic protocol is a thorough clinical examination by a veterinarian. This should localize the origin of the disease to the upper airways, lower airways or pleural space. If the cat is found to have pleural disease, a needle may be inserted straight away to remove either air or a sample of the effusion for both diagnosis and short term treatment of the respiratory distress.

' stroke ' lung cancer ' nasal cancer ' spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) ' asthma exacerbation in adults ' cystic fibrosis (exacerbation)

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In infancy and children: ' birth defects ' sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) ' low birthweight ' illnesses in children ' middle ear infection

A recent study indicates that, because of the presence of theobromine in chocolate, a bar of dark chocolate may be an effective treatment for a persistent cough.

Symptoms of cough ' The symptoms of a chronic cough can be hard to assess, because many causes of chronic cough have overlapping signs and symptoms. Infact, a cough is an annoying symptom that can have many causes.

Antibiotics for bronchitis are prescribed by doctors, but in many cases the condition does not benefit from antibiotics. Antibiotics will not cure a viral illness because acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses most doctors do not prescribe antibiotics. Their effectiveness with acute bronchitis is so small compared to the side-effects that these antibiotics may bring. Most common side effects are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, sore mouth, skin rashes, headache, sunburn easily and vaginal yeast infection. Experts in in the field of infectious disease have been warning for years that overuse of antibiotics is allowing many bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotics available.

5) Side-effects of certain medications 6) Chronic fluid build-up in the lungs. 7) Blockage of the airway due to an inhaled object such as food.

Some Useful Home Remedies for Cough Symptoms of cough usually subside on their own with 7-10 days. However, lot of simple home remedies are there which provide relief from the discomfort associated with it.

 
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Bronchodilator drugs used in inhalers include Salbutamol and Salmeterol. Salbutamol is very fast acting and therefore useful in a crisis caused by spasm of the bronchi. However, it only lasts for about 30 minutes and is therefore unsuitable for chronic therapy as frequent dosing is required. Salmeterol on the other hand is longer acting, and lasts for about 12 hours so twice daily dosing is possible. Salmeterol is better for long term control of mild to moderate asthma while Salbutamol is better for relief of acute bronchospasm.

5. Bronchoalveolar lavage This is similar to the technique described above, but the catheter is inserted all the way into a lower airway before the saline is injected and withdrawn. This is therefore a good test for lower airway disease.

Gargling with salt and warm water is also very helpful by cutting phlegm and reducing inflammation. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon table salt in 1/2 cup warm water, and gargle every three to four hours.

The Pathology Little is known about the underlying causes or exacerbating factors in feline asthma. There may be an element of genetic predisposition. While chronic inhalation of airway irritants, such as smoking, has been shown to cause bronchitis in humans, this has not been studied in detail in cats. Likewise, allergens such as pollen, housedust mites, dander, fungal spores, dust and cat litter could all be implicated theoretically.

Treatment ' Coughs can be treated with cough medications. Dry coughs are treated with cough suppressants that reduce the urge to cough, while productive coughs (coughs that produce phlegm) are treated with expectorants that loosen mucus from the respiratory tract.

Some experts advise not to take antibiotics for acute bronchitis especially when you do not have other medical problems. It will not only save you from potential side-effects but also from unnecessary expenses.

From then on, researches have proven conclusively that there is not just an increased risk of heart disease but that the risks are non-linear. The increased risks and effects on the heart are unlike that of lung cancer where the risk is almost in proportion to the exposure. In passive smoking, the risk of heart disease may be half that of someone smoking 20 cigarettes a day even though that person is only inhaling 1% of the smoke. New studies reveal that exposure to ETS also causes platelet aggregation, a condition where the blood starts to thicken, and a narrowing of arteries and blood flow reduction when endothelial cells dysfunction.

Is treatment lifelong? Generally yes. Doses can often be reduced gradually once clinical remission has been achieved. As with many chronic conditions, complete control might not always be possible and an acceptable quality of life is the main aim of the treatment.

2. Radiography The next test performed is usually thoracic radiography. This is best performed under general anesthetic so there is lee chance for motion blur, though in acute situations this is not possible. This is where the most meaningful information can be gained.

3. Bronchoscopy Bronchoscopy allows visualization of the larger airways, and assessment for increased mucus and inflammation. 4. Tracheal wash This involves injecting a small amount of saline into the trachea and immediately withdrawing it, and then examining the cells and debris harvested under a microscope.

3) Exposure to environmental pollutants such as cigarette smoke, dust, pollen, pet dander, industrial chemicals. 4) Smoking as well as exposure to second hand smoke.

' pneumonia (induction & aggravation) ' Meningococcal infections in children ' Cancers and leukaemia in children In adults: ' heart disease

When taking antibiotics you should also be aware of the adverse effects they may bring to your body. Precautionary measures are also important when taking antibiotics for bronchitis and these include, consulting your doctor of the severity of bronchitis before beginning antibiotics and taking the antibiotics as prescribed, do not stop or miss doses. Consulting your Obstetrician or gynecologist is also important if you are pregnant.

Pulmonary edema. Often due to severe heart disease.Infectious bronchitis. This can be due to bacteria, viruses or parasites.Pleural disease. Filling of the space between the lung and the chest wall with air or an effusion.Cancer. This can be a primary lung tumor or metastatic spread.Potassium bromide induced respiratory disease. A side effect from an anti-epileptic drug.Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Responds poorly to treatment.Pulmonary thromboembolus. Lodging of a clot in a respiratory blood vessel causing sudden onset breathing difficulty.Pulmonary hypertension. Usually secondary to other heart or respiratory disease.

Some common causes of cough ' The cause of a cough is usually based on where it is originating from. However, the most common triggers of a cough include -

Cats usually present with one or all the following signs: CoughingWheezingDifficulty breathing A minority of cases will have the classic human status asthmaticus, rapid onset breathing difficulty due to severe narrowing of the bronchi. Cats tend to be middle aged or older, and Siamese cats may be more prone than other breeds.

An examination of a large sample in the United States also showed an elevated heart disease risk of around 20%. Knowing how pervasive heart disease is among non-smokers in the United States, a 20% additional risk is very significant.

3. Removal or avoidance of potential allergens. House dust mite allergy must be excluded by spraying the house with an acaricidal product. 4. Chronic therapy for the underlying condition. For long term treatment of cats with feline asthma, a combination of steroids and bronchodilators are a popular choice. Steroids reduce the inflammation and lower mucus production, and can limit long term consequences such as fibrosis. Bronchodilators are most useful when there is airway spasm. Traditionally, medication has been given orally via tablets, but over the last few years, metered dose inhalers such as the ones used for human asthma have come on the market.

7) Prepare a mixture by adding 1/2 teaspoon honey with 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and take it every 12 hours. Honey relieves the itchiness by moistening the throat passage.

3) Make a decoction by boiling 50 grams fresh ginger with 5 tablespoon sugar in 2 glasses water for 30 minutes. Drink it hot, twice a day, in one day as this is very effective Home Remedy for Cough.

Spacer devices A spacer device consists of a chamber into which the aerosol drug is released at one end, with a mask at the other end which fits snugly over the cats mouth and nose. Human baby spacer devices (e.g. Babyhaler) can be easily adapted for cats. Alternatively, veterinary spacers specifically designed for cats are now on the market (e.g. Aerokat). The spacer should be held over the cats nose and mouth for about 30 seconds to ensure complete delivery of the drugs. It should be remembered that aerosol steroid therapy can take up to 2 weeks to reach full effect, and if the cat has been on oral steroids previously, these should be phased out slowly during these initial 2 weeks.

8) Mix 8 - 10 tablespoon of coconut milk with 1 tablespoon poppy seed (powdered) and 1 tablespoon of pure honey. Take this every night before going to bed. This remedy is very good Home Remedy for Cough

9) Garlic-onion-chicken soup is an effective remedy for cough. Take it steaming hot, to give relief to irritation in throat.



Dr James Sameul is an Ayurvedic doctor having years of experience in the field of Ayurveda and Alternative medicine. Find out more Home Remedies for Cough at http://www.natural-homeremedies.org/ He has an exclusive website on Home Remedies for various diseases. You can also contribute to the Home remedies by visiting the website

Cough can be of 2 types - acute and chronic. An acute cough is one that begins suddenly and is present for less than 3 weeks. They can be infectious (common cold, sinus, pneumonia), or non-infectious (asthma, bronchitis). Chronic coughs are present for more than 3 weeks. .

Dr Matthew Homfray is one of the veterinary pet experts at http://www.WhyDoesMyPet.com. Our dedicated community of caring pet experts are waiting to offer you advice, second opinions and support.

To return to the comparison with human asthma, when trying to understand the underlying causes it is important to differentiate between asthma (constriction of the bronchi), chronic bronchitis (oversecretion of mucus with a chronic cough) and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Asthma is reversible bronchial constriction caused by eosinophil cells, whereas COPD is irreversible bronchial constriction involving neutrophil cells.

Among active smokers, there is recorded a risk of cancer to: ' the renal pelvis (part of the ureter that receives urine from the kidney), ' possibly the renal adenocarcinoma (the glands of the kidney),

' decreased lung function ' cervical cancer ' infections ' ear infections ' chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ' bronchitis ' allergies and death of children

4) Mix powdered cinnamon, lemon juice and honey. Take two teaspoon twice daily. 5) In one cup of warm milk, add a pinch of turmeric powder (Haldi) and drink twice a day.

Passive smoking may not directly cause certain diseases related to smoking, but it gives you a chance of developing anything smoking-related, at a higher rate. Studies have shown and confirmed an increased risk in the following:

The Seretide Evohaler is useful for cats requiring both steroid and bronchodilator therapy. It contains salbutamol and fluticasone, a combination allowing minimal dosing frequency.



Discover more about bronchitis antibiotics and especially about bronchitis treatment. You will find excellent information to assist you in understanding bronchitis at http://bronchitis.besthealthguide.org


 
 
     
 
 





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