Feline asthma is a common allergic respiratory disease in cats,
affecting at least one percent of all adult cats worldwide. It is
a chronic progressive disease for which there is no cure. Common
symptoms include wheezing, coughing, labored breathing and potentially
life-threatening bronchoconstriction. There is conjecture that the
disease is becoming more common due to increased exposure to industrial
Veterinarians will classify the severity of the systems. They will
rule out other diseases including heartworm, lungworm and heart
disease. Symptoms, pulmonary radiographs, and a positive response
to steroids help confirm the diagnosis.
Although feline asthma is incurable, ongoing treatments allow many
domestic cats to live normal lives. Feline asthma is commonly managed
through use of bronchodilators for mild cases, or glucocorticosteroids
with bronchodilators for moderate to severe cases.
Previously, standard veterinary practice recommended injected and
oral medications for control of the disease. These drugs may have
systemic side effects including diabetes and pancreatitis. In 2000,
Dr. Philip Padrid pioneered inhaled medications using a pediatric
chamber and mask using Flovent(r) (fluticasone) and albuterol. Inhaled
treatments reduce or eliminate systemic effects. In 2003 a chamber
designed especially for cats was developed, significantly improving
efficiency and reducing cost for the caregiver..