Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Asthma? Really???? Just like my Tracy cat!

Apparently three weeks of sinus issues, coupled with a sore throat and a wicked cough, assaulted my lungs to the point of “temporary” asthma. O.O

Crazy!!! Who knew?!?!

I had asthma when i was younger, along with a slew of allergies, but fortunately as I grew older I grew out of them. Thank goodness!

No worries today though! I got all the drugs yesterday!!!

I got Advair and Albuterol for the asthma.

A Z pack of antibiotics for the sinus infection. She thinks I’m over the infection but wants to be safe since I’ve been sick so long.

And for a cough suppressant to help ease the inflammation (coughing makes it so much worse) she gave me Hydrocodone pills for day time and Hydrocodone -Homatropine Syrup for night.

Phew! Now that is some meds!!! If I don’t get better now… I don’t think I ever will! I’m hopefully on the mend! Fingers crossed!

Speaking of asthma though… I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell you about something most people don’t even know exists.

Feline Asthma

Yep… you read that right. Cat’s can have asthma. 

A LOT of cats have asthma.

We have a very special cat named Tracy that has severe asthma. ♥♥♥

Please take the time to read this... you never know when you might need to know this information. Had I not known about feline asthma Tracy wouldn't be here with us now.

Knowledge is power. ;)


Asthma, in humans and in cats, is a constant inflammation of the lungs. And even though you can’t see it, that inflammation never completely ceases. Our cat receives the inhaled asthma medication Flovent every 12 hours to make sure that her unseen but constant inflammation is treated and never worsens.

What does feline asthma look like? Kind of like a hairball but it never produces a hairball which is why it is often overlooked. People often dismiss it because it often seems like nothing more than a hairball hack. Until they find their cat dead of “Unknown causes”. But really it was asthma. :(

It could have happened to us if I wasn’t already cat health obsessed when I rescued Tracy. Fortunately I knew about Feline asthma because I sit around and read obsessively about cat health. (My husband swears I know so much about feline health I could be a cat vet right now if they would just give me the paper that lets me be one. ) My husband was even convinced her persistent coughing was just hairballs. It looks so much like it… but it just never ends. If I had listened to him… our darling little girl would most certainly not be with us anymore. With treatment she hasn’t had a single attack since we started Flovent in mid 2008.

I took this video for my vet during the diagnosis process. This is what asthma coughing looks like.

This is a video of Tracy having an asthma attack.

If the inflammation were allowed to continue it causes irreversible permanent damage to the lung tissue that can not be repaired. Every cough… makes the lungs tighten more and more. Not treating asthma consistently is dangerous and deadly. It only takes one asthma attack to kill a cat and since that attack can not be foreseen, you have to treat the inflammation daily, with either pills or an inhaler, so that an attack never happens.

So many people, vets even, think that asthma needs to be treated after an attack, but that is not the case at all. You must control the inflammation to protect the cat (or human) from any further lung damage daily and before an attack happens.

Many vets are not up to date on the latest treatments so if you ever face this situation arm yourself with knowledge because you’re going to need it to make an up to date educated decision on what treatment is best if your cat does have asthma. A few of the best websites out there that discuss all the options, from pills to shots to inhalers are:




My personal choice for Tracy is the inhaler with Flovent but there are other daily meds you can choose from. I chose the inhaler for her because it has the least side affects of all the choices. Since she will be on medicine for the rest of her life, the least harmful option was the obvious choice in my book.

Bonus: Tracy loves getting her medicine and she races me to the chair to get it. She knows it makes her breath. :o) If I even sleep in on the weekend one minute past 7:30am she pokes me in the face to wake me so she can have her meds, and the feline greenies treats that go with it. It is so adorable. ♥♥♥

Here is a video of Tracy getting her meds one week after starting.

FYI… don’t get your panties in a bunch because I tell the other cats no. I’ve been flamed to no end on youtube for treating my other cats “badly”. EYEROLL! Yeah… we all know how bad I treat my cats. ;) In the beginning it was very important to make sure this was TRACY time only. And this was taken only one week after we started the inhaler.

Extra information…

I highly recommend you print out this protocol and show it to your vet if asthma is the diagnosis.


And this is the device you will need to buy to medicate your cat if you chose inhaled meds.


There’s also an online yahoo group here that you should join if you choose Inhaled Flovent.


And here are other videos of cats getting their inhaled meds.


So there you have it… if you ever face a cat having an asthma attack… you now know everything you could possibly need to know to go get them the proper treatment.


Thank you for reading my Feline Asthma Public Service Announcement. :)

Tracy and I will be having our asthma inhalers together twice daily for the next two weeks. :) They do say you turn into your animals. LOL!

Until next time…

Carmen and the Primcats


At Home With Amy said...

Wow Carmen they gave you enough meds. I hate using Albuterol. My tongue has a reaction everytime. I have bronchial asthma and I need it in the winter. Still I like breathing more I suppose.
You are a walking encyclopedia when it comes to cat asthma. You have really done your homework.
Hope you are on the road to recovery for good.

michelle said...

oh what a bummer.But at least its asthma and not something worse.I have had asthma since 1997 and now have copd for the past 7 years.i always have sinus issues as well and have to be on top of that or I will a respitory infection that then turns into bronchitus.thank goodness I do have oxygen in my home for when I cant breath.It does suck,poor kitties ,I never knew they can get asthma.hang in there.blessings michelle

Deppen homestead 1862 said...

Hi, Carmen
You are a sick little gal! Get well>>take care of yourself!
Interesting about Tracy! So glad you diagnosed her & she is fine!
get well

Laura said...

Hi Carmen, thank you for giving us these useful advices about cat asthma. To tell the truth I have a cat that often cough and seems to be an hairball hack, but I think it's like you tell us. I will ask my vet . I know it's very important to know health things and I understand you vey well, I saved my cat some years ago only reading and getting information in the web. Also my boyfriend said I'm better than a vet! Hope you can stay better soon !

Robin at The Primitive Hutch said...

Hope you get better soon. Thanks for all the info.
Prim Blessings! Robin

~Madalynne~ said...

Carmen, you're kitties are so lucky to have you. Hope you and Tracy feel better soon.

My Primitive Creations by Tonya said...

Hummm...I had a feeling it was sinus infection turning into some kind of broncial problem last weekend.. Considering your old mom lives with Sinus/broncial infections all the time it isn't to hard to figure out when others start ticking off symptoms.
Count your Blessings kido as you said when you were young you had serious Asthma that scared me to death everytime you turned Blue. Thank God you out grew that and god willing this is a one time thing. Hopefully all those meds help and you will be on the road to feeling better in no time.

Take care of yourself and feel better soon.
((((((((Big Mom make it better Hug))))))))

Luv ya....Mom

Linda ★ Parker's Paradise said...

Dr. told us you can develop asthma and various allergies at any time. Hubby and I have developed hay fever over the past few years. Just the same, you can stop having allergic reactions. Isn't the human being a funny creature?
Certainly hope all those meds work for you. I medicate myself--no insurance--my favorite 'cocktail' is 2 Tylenol PMs chased by a swig of Niquil! Gives me a great night's sleep. But never,ever take a laxative on the same night as a sleep aid. lol

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

Carmen thank you for educating us on these sweet animals that we call our children..is Tracy the kitty in your header photo? she takes her meds like a champ...I have saved all the links you gave me..and I hope you get to feeling better soon too..Hubby takes advair as well..it has really helped him..his asthma is seasonal..but he uses this year round..take care and thanks for sharing all that you do with us..I have so much to learn.;) and I have a wonderful teacher.;)