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Unread 11-17-2006   #1 (permalink)
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Default We have 2 Siamese cats. Our Kismet (3 years old) had a previous period of...

What you describe sounds very much like feline asthma. The predominant sign of asthma in our cats is a dry hacking like cough. When the cat coughs, they usually stretch their neck out and get low parallel to the ground. Some believe that Siamese cats may be more prone to asthma in general. Asthma is best diagnosed by looking for a specific pattern in the lungs on x-rays or by doing a procedure like a trans-tracheal wash or bronchoalveoloar lavage. In some cases we will see an increase of a certain white blood cell on our lab work and perhaps this is what was elevated in Laxshmi's blood work.
When asthma is happening frequently enough or is impacting our cat's life, treatment should be instituted. Antibiotics can be helpful if there is a secondary bronchitis but will not take care of the whole problem. Because asthma is an inflammatory condition (and can be allergy related as well), the mainstay of treatment is anti-inflammatories or steroids. In many cases, our cat's can also benefit from bronchodilators as well. These medications can be administered orally as a pill or liquid and we have also started to use inhalers in our cats, just as with people. In some cases, an asthmatic cat can be treated only during flare-ups and in some cases they are treated year round. It is important to address this problem as it can get progressively worse and works its way up to a full asthma attack, like a person would have, in which your cat can not breath well. It's also very important to try to avoid things that may irritate Laxshmi's respiratory tract like cigarette smoke, incense, aerosol sprays, dusty litter etc.
Hope this information helps and that Laxshmi is feeling better soon. Let us know if you have any other questions.

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