General information on Bronchitis
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi, which are in the lungs. A cat with bronchitis typically coughs a lot which irritates the bronchial tubes and causes the infection to spread to the trachea. There are two types of bronchitis, acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is most commonly caused by an infection in the upper respiratory system.
The second most common cause of acute bronchitis is a bacterial infection that may turn into chronic bronchitis. Should the acute bronchitis have a basis of bacterial infection, feline parasites may also be a cause. In chronic bronchitis, the bronchitis has been present over a prolonged period of time. A cat with acute bronchitis or feline asthma is most likely to get chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis may damage the bronchial tubes. Mass amounts of mucus and pus may build up in the bronchi which may cause bronchiectasis. Chronic bronchitis may also lead to emphysema in cats, which happens when the coughing is so bad that it causes a breakdown and enlarges the alveoli.
Symptoms of Bronchitis
Should the cat have acute bronchitis, some of the symptoms may be a constant cough that is dry, hacking, very harsh, and may be mistaken as a hairball. There may also be signs of a runny nose, sneezing, fever, lack of an appetite, or discharge from the eyes if there is an underlying bacterial infection. There may also be signs of lethargy and weight loss if there is an underlying feline parasite as the cause. A symptom that may be noticed for chronic bronchitis is a cough that is wet, bubbly, sounds like a wheeze, and may end with heaving and foamy saliva. The stance that a cat takes when coughing may look similar to when a cat is coughing up a hairball.
Treatments for Bronchitis
Keeping your cat in a warm room with a vaporizer to keep the room humid may be helpful. Make sure that your cat gets lots of rest. You shouldn’t give a cat with chronic bronchitis any cough suppressants due to the fact that they interfere with the healing process. Medications that make it easier to cough up phlegm may be helpful. Your veterinarian can prescribe which medications are best for your cat after an examination to diagnose and determine how severe the bronchitis is. The cat may also be given bronchodilators to help reduce inflammation and relax the breathing passageways and lessen the effects of respiratory fatigue.
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