Cough in cats: what are the risks

Cough is a reflex caused by the presence of an irritant in the bronchial ducts. Cough in cats is not as frequent as in dogs, but it is a problem to keep under control and not to be underestimated if it persists for days.

Symptoms and remedies to relieve cough discomfort

  • Bronchial asthma / allergy (allergic pulmonary edema common in cats)
  • allergic bronchitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Heartworm disease
  • Chylothorax
  • Pulmonary migration of parasitic larvae or pulmonary nematode infestation
  • Tracheal pathologies

An infectious cough is recognized by these symptoms: sneezing, red eyes, and watery eyes, all of which predict feline viral diseases. A cough involving swelling of the neck with mucus secretion highlights chronic bronchitis. A sudden cough accompanied by wheezing and difficulty breathing suggests the possible presence of feline asthma. An infrequent cough accompanied by listlessness and loss of appetite can arise in cats with heartworm, heartworm disease and fungal diseases. Cough begins with a self-inducing mechanism, that is: the cat begins to cough, irritates the bronchial ducts, dries the mucous lining and reduces resistance to infections which, in turn, lead to the onset of cough.

If the cat has a chronic cough it will be necessary to perform an X-ray and do transtracheal washes. These washes are done by placing a sterile catheter in the cat’s trachea under anesthesia. Microscopic examination of the cells taken will lead to the right diagnosis. Bronchoscopy is the right method for detecting diseases and inflammations of the bronchial ducts. This procedure involves the insertion of an optical fiber instrument inside the trachea complete with a camera that allows us to see what we are looking for and take tissue samples. The mucus will then be cleaned from the duct to allow air to pass through more easily.

The importance of home remedies

In the event that the cat, in addition to coughing, has fever, intestinal disorders, weakness, neurological signs, we will have to take him immediately to the vet. It is important to intervene immediately before the inflammatory characters become chronic. At home, sprays, room disinfectants, smoke and fertilizers should be avoided. Using HEPA filters can help with this. Any ailments affecting the nose, throat, lungs or heart must be treated.

In the pharmacy Plain Robitussin is an example of a safe and effective cough preparation for cats. It contains an expectorant called guaifenesin that does not suppress the cough reflex but thins mucal secretions, favoring their escape.

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