Unravelling Heidi's cough

Heidi is a gorgeous 8 year old Devon Rex kitty. She came to see us a few months ago as she had developed a cough. There was nothing obvious on her examination, however after a course of antibiotic treatment, her cough was no better. Heidi returned to the hospital for Dr Kylee to do some further investigation.

Dr Kylee conducted a test on Heidi for lungworm and the result was negative, no lungworm. Heidi was given an anaesthetic so x-rays could be taken of her chest and an endoscopy could be performed on her airways. The x-rays showed some increased density of Heidi's lungs. A procedure called a lung wash was then performed to try to determine why Heidi's lungs did not look normal. The lung wash sample was sent to the laboratory with results showing changes consistent with asthma.

The cause of feline asthma is often not known, however allergies can be a potential trigger. There are many treatments available for feline asthma. Heidi was initially started on prednisolone (cortisone), to which she showed a big improvement, although not a total resolution. Other treatments we may consider for Heidi include bronchodilators and inhalant medication (just like the ones asthmatic people use).

Asthma is just one potential reason why a cat may cough but thorough investigation is often required to get a diagnosis and develop a plan for treatment. Read more about Feline Asthma - Feline Bronchial Disease.