PDA

View Full Version : Question about cat coughing spasms


Cat Guy
February 8th 09, 05:21 PM
I've got a couple of cats that exhibit the same occasional fits of
coughing spasms. I would describe these spasms as follows:

Initial onset is rapid, shallow coughs, pretty much identical to the
prelude to throwing up a hairball. Two or three coughs or convulsions
per second for about 5 to 10 seconds. Gradually over the course of the
next 30 to 45 seconds, the coughs become deeper and stronger and the
time between them grows longer. At the end of these episodes, there
might be 5 seconds between coughs. The entire episode might last 1
minute at most.

It initially looks like the cats are going to throw up a hairball, but
it never happens, and it's clear that the lungs and chest are involved
during the latter stages of deeper coughing.

These spasms occurr pretty much only as a result of some sort of stress,
like very physical play, or when struggling while being restrained
during nail clipping. Weeks can go by between episodes, which again are
almost always triggered by a physical stress event.

There is a long list of causes for cat coughing:

http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/cat-cough.html

for which the ones that look possible in this case are asthma and
bronchitis. But the coughing I see looks more like it was triggered by
a reflex (sortof like hiccuping). More rarely it can happen without the
trigger of physical activity or struggling.

Has anyone else seen this before?

cyberpurrs
February 8th 09, 06:16 PM
"Cat Guy" > wrote

It's asthma. Your cat can die from it. I control my cat's with Depo Medrol
(she also has allergies). There is also a system for cats that uses
inhalers. It is good for emergencies. I was going to get one but the Depo
and my keeping dust and such down in the house has controlled her asthma so
well it has been two years since she had an attack.

I am not even going to ask why you are asking us and not a vet.

sudee
February 8th 09, 08:11 PM
On Feb 8, 9:21*am, Cat Guy > wrote:
> I've got a couple of cats that exhibit the same occasional fits of
> coughing spasms. *I would describe these spasms as follows:
>
> Initial onset is rapid, shallow coughs, pretty much identical to the
> prelude to throwing up a hairball. *Two or three coughs or convulsions
> per second for about 5 to 10 seconds. *Gradually over the course of the
> next 30 to 45 seconds, the coughs become deeper and stronger and the
> time between them grows longer. *At the end of these episodes, there
> might be 5 seconds between coughs. *The entire episode might last 1
> minute at most. *
>
> It initially looks like the cats are going to throw up a hairball, but
> it never happens, and it's clear that the lungs and chest are involved
> during the latter stages of deeper coughing.
>
> These spasms occurr pretty much only as a result of some sort of stress,
> like very physical play, or when struggling while being restrained
> during nail clipping. *Weeks can go by between episodes, which again are
> almost always triggered by a physical stress event.
>
> There is a long list of causes for cat coughing:
>
> http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/cat-cough.html
>
> for which the ones that look possible in this case are asthma and
> bronchitis. *But the coughing I see looks more like it was triggered by
> a reflex (sortof like hiccuping). *More rarely it can happen without the
> trigger of physical activity or struggling.
>
> Has anyone else seen this before?

Get this cat to a vet. Son and daughter in law just lost their kitty
to a CVA, cat had cardiomyopathy. This is what she had done. Coughing
like a hairball but nothing came up. This was a symptom that was a
prelude to this. There may be nothing to do for your cat but for God's
sake check it out. This is very serious. No kidding.

Sue -- Firefighter mom

Spot[_2_]
February 9th 09, 01:38 AM
It could be any number of things from hairballs, worms, congestive heart
disease to asthma. You need to see a vet to have it diagnosed properly and
get the correct treatment.

If you have a camera phone take a video of it next time it happens to let
the vet see what's going on.

Celeste


--
Get 600 FREE 4X6 prints and 600 FREE 5x7 prints
sign up for Artscow
http://www.artscow.com/?Ref=541736

Save 25% or more on your eBayŽ auctions
Snipe eBay Auctions with Bidnip
http://www.bidnip.com/a.php?id=39019

"Cat Guy" > wrote in message ...
> I've got a couple of cats that exhibit the same occasional fits of
> coughing spasms. I would describe these spasms as follows:
>
> Initial onset is rapid, shallow coughs, pretty much identical to the
> prelude to throwing up a hairball. Two or three coughs or convulsions
> per second for about 5 to 10 seconds. Gradually over the course of the
> next 30 to 45 seconds, the coughs become deeper and stronger and the
> time between them grows longer. At the end of these episodes, there
> might be 5 seconds between coughs. The entire episode might last 1
> minute at most.
>
> It initially looks like the cats are going to throw up a hairball, but
> it never happens, and it's clear that the lungs and chest are involved
> during the latter stages of deeper coughing.
>
> These spasms occurr pretty much only as a result of some sort of stress,
> like very physical play, or when struggling while being restrained
> during nail clipping. Weeks can go by between episodes, which again are
> almost always triggered by a physical stress event.
>
> There is a long list of causes for cat coughing:
>
> http://www.pictures-of-cats.org/cat-cough.html
>
> for which the ones that look possible in this case are asthma and
> bronchitis. But the coughing I see looks more like it was triggered by
> a reflex (sortof like hiccuping). More rarely it can happen without the
> trigger of physical activity or struggling.
>
> Has anyone else seen this before?

cyberpurrs
February 9th 09, 02:02 AM
"Spot" > wrote in message
...
> It could be any number of things from hairballs, worms, congestive heart
> disease to asthma. You need to see a vet to have it diagnosed properly
> and get the correct treatment.
>

Yes, this is true. It surely sounds like asthma, but it could be heartworms
too.

February 9th 09, 12:08 PM
On Feb 8, 12:21*pm, Cat Guy > wrote:

> for which the ones that look possible in this case are asthma and
> bronchitis. *But the coughing I see looks more like it was triggered by
> a reflex (sortof like hiccuping). *More rarely it can happen without the
> trigger of physical activity or struggling.

OK... Your cat is coughing, and it has happened more than once, and
you can make connections between certain types of activities and the
coughing.

And you _haven't_ taken it to a Vet yet, or you wouldn't be asking
here.

You don't need a remote diagnosis based on very limited information.
You need a swift kick to the butt in the direction of the Vet.

Could be many things, most of which are minor and uncomplicated. Could
be serious as well. No one here is qualified to tell the difference.
But what is clear is that if it is serious, each hour you delay
further compromises the health of your cat.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

Cat Guy
February 10th 09, 01:59 AM
" wrote:

> > for which the ones that look possible in this case are asthma
> > and bronchitis. But the coughing I see looks more like it
> > was triggered by a reflex (sortof like hiccuping). More rarely
> > it can happen without the trigger of physical activity or
> > struggling.
>
> OK... Your cat is coughing, and it has happened more than once,
> and you can make connections between certain types of activities
> and the coughing.
>
> And you _haven't_ taken it to a Vet yet, or you wouldn't be
> asking here.

I see this cough pattern in two of our 8 cats. It is not a new behavior
for them (they have exhibited it for as long as we've had them, which is
3 years for one cat and 1 year for the other). One cat has had minimal
exposure to a vet (besides being neutered and then having a round of
vaccinations once or twice over the past 3 years). He's quite healthy,
active, and has had no other reason to be seen by a vet.

The other cat has been recently treated for a blocked urethra that went
wrong - bladder ruptured while in vet's care, which necessitated
emergency surgery and heavy antibiotic treatment, during which time he
experienced a fever which required him to be placed on a bed of crushed
ice while his RBC count went to 10% and which required me to transport
him to a vet college 60 miles away for a transfusion of B-type blood
(relatively rare for a cat I understand, which none of our 6 other cats
have because they were all tested late at night around midnight in a
frantic effort to find a B-type doner). During care at the vet college
a PCR test confirmed he had Feline Hemotropic Mycoplasmosis which seems
to have been triggered by the stress of his bladder rupture.

That was 2 months ago. He is fine now, but he requires (or so the vet
says) a pill (twice daily) which relaxes his urethra (I forget the name
of the drug nor do I know if he really needs it but he gets it
anyways). The cause of his orginal blocked urethra was never really
identified - some cats seem to have a naturally spastic or psycogenic
reason for this.

All of this is my way of saying we are no strangers to vets and we have
spent thousands of dollars on cat care (as you can imagine from my story
above) and I can recognize the difference between a medically dangerous
condition vs a curious (but VERY INFREQUENT) condition.

I recognize the fruitlessness of bringing in an animal to a vet that is
not exhibiting the symptoms or behavior in question for the vet to see,
and I recognize the rather limited experience of most vets to anything
that either is not visually apparent or doesn't show up easily on a
blood, stool or urine test.

Obviously nobody here has ever seen this condition, and again it looks
to me more like a reflex than the result of an infection or allergy.

> You need a swift kick to the butt in the direction of the Vet.

You should reconsider your comment. I'm sure I've had more experience
with vets and with feline health than the majority of readers to this
group because of the over 20 cats in the past 10 years that we've
rescued, treated (for a wide variety of ills), found homes for,
integrated into our home, or euthanized.

> But what is clear is that if it is serious, each hour you delay
> further compromises the health of your cat.

There is no need for such dramatic and exaggerated talk. There is
absolutely no basis for you to make such a claim based on the behavior
as I've described it.

If you believe that my description matches a particular condition that
can persist for several years (the duration of my ownership so far of
these cats) which can suddenly turn deadly within a few hours, then
please state that condition.

jmc
February 10th 09, 02:52 AM
Suddenly, without warning, Cat Guy exclaimed (2/9/2009 8:59 PM):
>
> I recognize the fruitlessness of bringing in an animal to a vet that is
> not exhibiting the symptoms or behavior in question for the vet to see,
> and I recognize the rather limited experience of most vets to anything
> that either is not visually apparent or doesn't show up easily on a
> blood, stool or urine test.
>

Not fruitless. Got a camera or phone that takes videos? Videotape one
of the cats the next time this happens. I did that when Meep had a
weird sort of coughing/choking thing that cleared up as soon as I threw
her in her box. The vet used it to identify that she'd probably had
grass stuck in her upper palate (or something; that was years ago).

It doesn't matter this has been happening for years, untreated. All
that means is there could be significant damage because of this. In all
the times you've been to the vet, have you ever even *asked* about these
coughing fits?

No matter how long this has been going on, if you're concerned enough to
be asking here, you should be concerned enough to ask your vet. Heck,
if you don't want to bring 'em in, phone the vet, even.

If nothing else, it's probably distressing for the cats. Think how you
feel when you have a coughing fit. Could be asthma, could be a
cardiomyopathy - like people, there's lots and lots of things a cough
could be symptom of, some minor, some major.

Please, if you care enough to have spent all those thousands, spend a
bit more to have this diagnosed.

jmc

February 10th 09, 01:11 PM
On Feb 9, 8:59*pm, Cat Guy > wrote:

> If you believe that my description matches a particular condition that
> can persist for several years (the duration of my ownership so far of
> these cats) which can suddenly turn deadly within a few hours, then
> please state that condition.

Well, if the cat has congestive heart failure, that is a progressive
disease. Which will not turn deadly in a few hours - no. This
condition could go two ways. Almost no severe symptoms (other than the
coughing you describe) until the heart fails altogether *POOF*. Dead
cat. Or, finally you actually notice that the cat has become
progressively lethargic until it now has a difficult time just
performing the basic tasks of eating and going to the litter box.
Unhappy cat.

Heartworms - a simple blood test to determine - will get to the *poof*
stage eventually as well. But only after considerably unhappiness for
the cat - including coughing as you describe.

Could be a trapped hairball, small symptoms, but progressive, then
eventually permanent damage.

Could be an environmental allergy expressed as coughing or asthma-like
symptoms. Most allergies, untreated, become worse with progressive and
repeated exposure to the allergens - and that could be as simple as
the laundry detergent you use.

Could be that your cat coughs after eating too fast/too much. Such a
simple thing that you hope this is the case. Which turned out to be
exactly the problem in our older cat - who still has the occasional
coughing fit. Now, we had a much younger rescue cat which died at five
months of a blocked bowel (congenital and inoperable due to multiple
adhesions leading to peritonitis). His coughing was not so benign.

So, none of these things are 'sudden' in the sense that nothing-then-
poof. But if you understand the concept of the 'cliff effect', you
might have a better understanding of the risk at hand. The cat will go
along just fine (as far as you can see) then right off the cliff.
*POOF* - death or permanent damage.

So, consult a vet. Soonest. And when it does turn out to be simple
(you hope), you will feel better for it. What is for damned-sure is
that NOBODY here is qualified to diagnose it based on the evidence at-
hand. Nor, apparently, are you. And it is also clear that you have a
very poor opinion of vets (perhaps based on your experience) and their
diagnostic powers. Find another vet, keep trying as necessary until
you find one that works for your pets and then for you.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA