Scared for Miss P -- asthma or just hairballs/cold?

Marla BradfordMarla Bradford Palm Beach CountyMember Posts: 630
edited 17 August, 2010 in Cat Health
On Saturday, Miss P started to have a dry hacking cough, like she was trying to expel a hairball (but nonproductive). The cough attack would last for about 5-10 seconds during which she would be in obvious distress -- and then go away completely (normal breathing as well). These episodes came about 5-6 hours apart. She had similar "fits" a couple months ago, but these cleared up completely after we administered regular hairball treats. Other than the episodes of coughing, her energy is normal -- she is eating and playing, being cute and frisky. My husband feels that it's just a hairball and after we administered hairball relief paste last night, she went almost 10 hours without an attack and seemed very happy. We're going to the vet this afternoon to make sure everything is clear. Our dog is also blowing coat right now and the house is full with puppy hair/dander, even though we vacuum regularly. The last time she had this "hairball cough" he was also shedding. Any advice or encouragement? I feel so sad that she might have a chronic illness; she's still so little! Not even 1.5 years.

Comments

  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 16 August, 2010
    Try to take a video of the coughing. Many vets will find it very useful to make a diagnosis. Your vet may do x rays or a tracheal wash to determine what the coughing is. Asthma is one possibility. Worms is another possibility. Or it could be a simple cold/resp infection.
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 16 August, 2010
    Please go to my mom's website and read about feline asthma. There's also a video there for you to check it out and see what it looks like for a kitty to have an asthma attack: http://ibdkitties.net/felineasthma.html
  • Marla BradfordMarla Bradford Palm Beach CountyMember Posts: 630
    edited 16 August, 2010
    I've seen those videos and that's what frightens me -- Miss P looks and sounds very much like those kitties! The only difference is that she doesn't bob her head around much when she's coughing; she's very focused and hunkered down. If she has a spell before we take her to the vet, I will get my husband to take a video on his phone to show.
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 16 August, 2010
    How often does she do it? Even if it doesn't look exactly like the video, it still could be asthma. If she does it often, I'd call the vet and get her on some meds. Did you read the whole article on my site? There's also a couple of groups here I believe about feline asthma, you may want to google it. Plus there's a link for support groups for it at the bottom of the page I sent you.
  • Kelly M-Kelly M- Member Posts: 779
    edited 16 August, 2010
    My angel kitty Hanna used to do something like that. But she would never bob her head. She would almost make her spine completely straight, have her head down and hack. It was hairballs. She did it almost everytime she tried to lay on her back. She would start hacking and I would have to sit her up. (then she would lay down with her spine straight) She never coughed anything up. But if you look at the cats tummy in the video you can almost tell is asthma, when the cat is breathing, he/she has the problem. My Hanna never had a problem breathing (not until the last couple days of her life). Hairball treatments worked for Hanna.
  • emma clarkeemma clarke Nottingham Robin Hood CountryMember Posts: 6,819
    edited 16 August, 2010
    You're absolutely doing the right thing by getting the cough checked out promptly=; I hope Pepper's cough is something that can be cleared up quickly, like a little respiratory infection. If it does happen to be asthma, catching it at a mild stage is good as it can be prevented from progressing. For anyone else reading this whose cat coughs and they don't have plans to visit the vet: A cat's cough can be down to many things but regular coughing causes inflammation and in turn more coughing - this cycle can lead to permanent damage of the bronchial structures in the lungs which cannot be reversed. Blade passed away due to a rare (in cats) heart condition called Cor Pulmonale which was caused by severe respiratory disease. His problems started with an occasional, mainly nocturnal cough, which we at first put down to hairballs. As it was so infrequent, we didn't take Blade to the vets at first, as he always seemed fine after these little bouts of coughing. We always wonder now if we'd gone to the vets when we first ever saw him cough, would things have turned out different:(
  • Marla BradfordMarla Bradford Palm Beach CountyMember Posts: 630
    edited 16 August, 2010
    |:| Blade's family
  • Marla BradfordMarla Bradford Palm Beach CountyMember Posts: 630
    edited 17 August, 2010
    Vet did a thorough check of Miss P's lungs and heart and everything sounded awesome! Since she responded well to the petromalt, he feels that it's just some irritation/inflammation in her throat from a passed hairball and the petromalt is helping to sooth it until it heals. She hasn't coughed since we went to the vet last night and was very perky this morning (bounced over to her food bowl rather than just sauntering)..so we're feeling good ;-D We had a vid of her coughing since she did it in the car on the way over and he felt that since her belly/chest wasn't convulsing and the sound was more a dry cough rather than the "bark" of an asthma attack that it was unlikely that bronchitis could be involved.
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 17 August, 2010
    I suggest getting some L-lysine then. Good news about all of this! The L-lysine is great for asthma (if there's any hint of it), my mom takes it for hers. We take it for upper respiratory stuff and sneezies during pollen and right now for ragweed. It's a big support for the immune system and can keep things healthy! This is great news for Miss P! :P
  • emma clarkeemma clarke Nottingham Robin Hood CountryMember Posts: 6,819
    edited 17 August, 2010
    Great news:)
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