Goals of Treating Bronchitis in Cats
When a cat develops bronchitis, the only realistic way to resolve the condition is to determine and treat its underlying cause. Any number of diagnostic tools can be used in this effort, and there are a number of therapies that can help manage the symptoms of feline bronchitis. The goals of treating a cat with bronchitis are to eliminate the underlying cause of the condition, reduce the cat’s coughing (in cases of chronic bronchitis, complete suppression of coughing is usually unattainable), and at least slow down the progression of the disease.
Treatment Options for Cats With Bronchitis
Any breathing problems in cats should be addressed immediately. Cats do not normally pant or cough – and if they are panting or coughing, they should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. Respiratory disorders should be immediately assessed by a veterinarian. Owners of cats with coughs or other breathing abnormalities should take steps to reduce any causes of stress in the cat’s environment. The cat should have a quiet, cool, comfortable and safe living environment with excellent nutritional support and supplemental oxygen if necessary. Cats that have bronchitis caused by a viral infection can be treated with general supportive care and usually the infection will resolve on its own within 7 to 14 days. Antibiotics are quite effective to treat cats with bronchitis caused by bacterial organisms. Cats with parasitic respiratory infections will need individualized treatments. Lungworms can be treated with anti-parasitic medications. Unfortunately, heartworms in cats are much more difficult to treat. When bronchitis is caused by chronic feline asthma, which is quite common, the asthmatic condition will need to be treated before the bronchitis will go away. Treating asthma in cats is not always easy, because the asthmatic trigger can be very hard to detect. During periods where a cat’s asthma becomes severe, anti-inflammatory medications and steroids may help. Again, cats with asthma do tend to develop chronic bronchitis. Unfortunately, feline bronchitis can be life-threatening if it isn’t treated. Continual coughing can permanently damage the lining of the cat’s airways. Excessive coughing can also interfere with the cat’s ability to eat normally. Bronchitis can damage a cat’s immune system over time and predispose the animal to secondary bacterial and viral infections in the lining of its sensitive respiratory tract.