Aerosol is often given for some respiratory problems, even for animals. But what are inhaled medications for cats?
It can happen that our cat has respiratory problems. We hear him coughing and fighting with the mucus, but we do not know what it can depend on: there could be many causes. The vet will certainly be able to tell us what makes cat feel bad and will prescribe adequate therapy: certainly often inhalation drugs for cats. You need to know what they are and what adverse effects they could cause.
Why administer aerosol medications?
We know that the cat, being a very clean animal by nature, when it licks its coat leaves hairballs in its mouth which it expels later. It is therefore normal to hear him cough at times to help clear his mouth.
However, we must pay attention to this cough : if it persists for most of the day, if it is associated with a whistling sound, if there are traces of blood in its sputum and we see the fatigued cat it could be sick.
In these cases it is good to take him to the vet immediately and not try to make a diagnosis or, worse, to give him “the cough syrup that always works wonders for us”.
Drugs for humans are not veterinary drugs and, even if the active ingredient were good for treating an animal, the dose would certainly be wrong because it is calculated based on the cat’s weight and metabolism, in this case.
There could be various reasons why Kitty has breathing problems and some could be due to us:
- Allergies: not only to dust but also for example to perfumes or disinfectants;
- Poor hygiene;
- At home people smoke too much in the presence of the cat;
- The dehumidifier is used too much at home: there is little humidity in the air and the mucous membranes of the mouth and trachea dry out and become inflamed;
- Bacterial infections ;
- Viral infections;
- Fungal infections;
- Heart problems
- Lung diseases;
- Inflammation of the respiratory tract due to foreign bodies;
- Malformations of the respiratory system;
The doctor will assess what the problem is based on a series of diagnostic tests. If there were also infections, or just to prevent them, he could prescribe antibiotics for the cat.
Depending on the severity of the situation, the veterinarian could decide on an oral or intravenous route of administration of the drugs, with consequent hospitalization of the cat in the clinic.
However, often it could be just an inflammation of the respiratory tract and therefore choose a therapy based on aerosol drugs for our cat.
Kitty does not like being forced and could often rebel against the aerosol machine : the annoyance of the mask or the noise that is heard could annoy him. Certainly it will be different to try to aerosol a puppy compared to an adult cat or an elderly one.
It is always important to try to bring it to a level of play and slowly make sure that the cat becomes familiar with something new for him. There are many solutions on the market today that could help us.
Inhaled medications for cats
If inhaled by the cat, the active ingredients of the drugs in the prescribed therapy arrive directly at the target and therefore will take effect sooner.
It should be noted that aerosol treatment is prescribed when the pathology of our cat allows the passage of the drug from the nose to the respiratory tract: when the cat suffers from more severe diseases, the veterinarian will choose stronger treatments and the aerosol would be useless.
As a rule, the dose of drugs administered to the cat by inhalation is slightly higher than that which would be used for us: the animal is unable to breathe deeply and manage itself.
Aerosol therapy may include:
- Cortisone drugs : Based on fluticasone, beclomethasone and butenoside : their powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving action causes the mucous membranes in the airways to become inflamed and the bronchi to dilate to the best, allowing oxygen to pass through. Side effects are rare but prolonged use of cortisone could lead to sleep disturbances, increased heart rate and hives. It is extremely important to assess whether there may be any interaction with other medications the cat is taking, such as antibiotics, antihistamines, antifungals or antivirals.
- Bronchodilator drugs : Based on salbutamol (or albuterol), theophylline and aminophylline : they act directly at the level of the bronchi, which thus stretch and dilate to bring oxygen. Attention should be paid to the possibility of side effects occurring if the cat has heart problems or suffers from thyroid disease, diabetes or glaucoma. In some cases, allergic reactions have occurred.
- Mucolytic drugs : Based on physiological solution and acetylcysteine : when mucus accumulates, for example following severe sinusitis, since it is sticky it thickens so much that it almost solidifies; it is difficult for our Kitty to get better without helping him. Mucolytic drugs are used to loosen mucus and make it breathe well. It should not have any adverse effects on the cat, except in rare cases of allergic reactions.
These drugs are those usually prescribed in case of mild respiratory tract diseases, thanks to which our cat will feel better after a while, or prescribed together with others. However, the vet will assess your cat’s specific condition if she has any other illnesses or eating problems.
Sometimes when our cat is unwell we feel helpless and we think about it all. But today veterinary science is also making great strides, so the veterinarian will certainly be able to improve his quality of life in any case.
It is important that if the cat is predisposed to respiratory problems we pay attention to:
- Clean the cat’s kennel often and ensure proper hygiene;
- Do not use in winter the heaters at a temperature that is too high compared to the external one: a change in temperature would affect your breathing because passing from too hot to cold the bronchi would suffer a strong constriction;
- Keep the home environment clean and sanitized too: too much dust would cause him to cough and poor hygiene in the house could also cause infections;
- Ensure appropriate care for an elderly cat if cat is a little ahead in the years;
- Avoid using home fragrances or essences;
- Avoid smoking indoors;
- Provide a light diet for the cat;
- Maintain a humidified environment;
- Often clean the cat’s nostrils also with physiological solution;
- Include supplements for cats in the diet that help increase their immune defenses;
- Keep the environment where the cat lives well ventilated and not so crowded.
Sometimes the cat can suffer from chronic diseases which, after being treated, can recur over time. The important thing is that we take cat to his periodic visits to the vet.
Often, in addition to proper nutrition as prevention, the success of a therapy depends precisely on the timeliness in diagnosing the disease.
As soon as we see that our cat has something wrong, even just the fact of sleeping too much, not moving as usual or noticing a lack of appetite in the cat , it is always better to have it examined by his doctor.