Why Does my Cat Pant?

We all love our little pets, because we choose them to be a part of our family, part of our lives. We love them as much as we love our own kids, sometimes even more. But little do we know that our pets need same care , the same attention as our own kids. The most common pets that we know are piglets, dogs, and kittens.

Most of the times fail to understand what our pets are really going through. And when we do it’s almost become too late for them as they have lesser immunity than humans. Most commonly, our pets pant and we think it to ourselves that it’s just normal, they’ll be fine.  This is where we are mistaken. As we are on it, let’s talk about cats, for instance.

When to know your cat needs help

Cats are so adorable, especially when they do those rolling over thingy. But since they cannot speak our language, they still cry in their own “meow” language.

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 When your cat pants (breathes heavily)

It is normal for both dogs and cats to pant in / or returning from a heated place. But it only takes a little while for them to get back to normal heart rate. If your cat keeps breathing heavily for an unusual amount of time, it’s preferable to get it to the Veterinary care immediately. It could be a symptom of any of the following emergencies :

Asthma  

If you notice wheezing, coughing and increased respiration along with the panting, it is highly recommended to consult the animal health care as it could be a serious problem of asthma. It is treatable in both humans and cats if took care of on time.

Congestive heart failure

It breaks our heart to even think about that being happening to our loved ones. The major cause of why this might be happening could be the excess fluid that accumulates in / around the lungs, which causes this heavy breathing along with rapid breathing and coughing.

Treatment: Getting rid of excess fluid, medication to dilate blood vessels, and making the heart contract more forcefully.

Heart Worm

Difficulty in breathing can possibly indicate the heart worm in cats. If the case occurs, remember to keep your cat in a monthly heart worm preventive.

Treatment:  The only treatment is supportive Care with corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. In more serious case, oxygen therapy.

Respiratory infection

Most of the times, this is viral infection. But in other cases, it’s secondary bacterial infection.

Treatment: In case of viral infection, it gets better with time. If the case is otherwise, It might require antibiotics. Humidifiers and steaming could also help in recovery as they make nasal breathing easier for your cat by loosening mucus.

Anemia       

When there are not enough red blood cells, or more red blood cells than the average, this condition occurs. Symptoms along with heavy breathing includes weakness, excessive sleepiness (lethargy),  decreased appetite, pale gums increased water intake, and collapse. Anemia itself is not a disease, but it is a symptom of any other disease like bone marrow disorder, kidney disease, chronic disease, genetic disease.

Treatment : Since anemia is a cause for any other disease, it’s important to find out which one. It should improve if you prioritize curing the primary disease. In case anemia becomes severe , hospitalization may be needed.

Trauma :

Aggression, easily startled, hypervigilance, agitation, fearfulness, increased attachment, and neediness, avoiding people, urinating in home when it’s already trained, pacing, hiding, destructive behavior excessive meows are a few symptoms of a cat suffering from trauma. These symptoms may not appear soon after the traumatic incident, but a weeks after the cat settles down in their new home.

Treatment : If the condition is not so bad, they can be treated by loving and caring. If it becomes severe, it usually gets treated by exercising, playing and medications.

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Neurological disorder :

The symptoms could include lack of coordination, blindness, walking in circles, hyperactive reflexes, stupor, loss of balance, lost sense of smell, coma, seizures, weakness, and tremors. If you experience any of the above symptoms in your cat , consult your veteran immediately.

Treatment: The treatment varies depending on the disease.

1.Cognitive dysfunction: commonly seen in senior cats, there is no cure for it, but to slow down it is progress, certain medications and nutritional supplements can be helpful.

2.Meningitis: This condition may appear along with the encephalitis, can indicate a serious problem with your cat. Treatment includes corticosteroids, anti fungal, antibiotics or even antiparasitic drugs.

3.Seizure disorder: Seizures are the condition of the brain when body loses its control and sudden episodes of abnormal electric activity occurs in brain. Cats may have seizures for lots of reasons, but if any particular reason is not detected, it is diagnosed with epilepsy which usually is treated with medication. It’s also important to visit / communicate with your vet on a daily basis for follow ups.

4.Vestibular disease: When there is pressure on the nerves that control vestibular system (in the ear canals), it causes this disease. Treatments depend on the actual cause of dysfunction. If this really is the condition, your cat may need Ear Drops and oral medication.

5.Hyperanesthesia: This condition is rarely diagnosed but it may affect a large number of cats. It is sometimes even called rippling skin disorder. The cat may act abnormally as in suddenly over grooming or scratching the effected area and having a sudden burst of energy. This condition may not be considered serious usually but may stem from anxiety and depression. Treatment does not need to be medicinal. It’s usually depending on the regular scheduling of feeding and play times.

 

Abdominal Enlargement:

Abdominal distention is a condition when organs swell themselves causing abdomen to be appearing enlarged. In older or unwell cats lose mass of muscles which makes the abdomen look large. A female cat’s uterus expands rapidly during pregnancy. Determining the reason for abdominal enlargement is something that needs to be done as soon as possible. Contact your veterinary professional as some issues can be life threatening.

Symptoms: Sudden or visually large abdomen, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, change in frequency of urination, foul vaginal discharge, loss of appetite, increased vocalizations, collapse, flatulence, lethargy, loss of muscle mass, hair loss.

Causes: Viral infection, Pregnancy, uterine infection (pyometra), bacterial infection, heart failure, food intolerance, kidney or liver disease, cancerous tumor, parasitic infection, cushing’s disease (disorder caused by the body’s exposure to An excess of hormone cortisol) ,  traumatic injury, failure to form blood clots, obesity, foreign body consumption.

 

Treatment

Diuretics : medication may help drain excess fluid.

Abdominocentesis It is a treatment that can be used to drain fluid or air that causes difficulty in breathing with the cat. The draining helps in relief of the blood pressure on the lungs and diaphragm.

Antibiotics Appropriate antibiotics can be prescribed to get rid of any bacterial infection, if diagnosed. The prescription is also given after certain surgeries and can be lasted for around 4 weeks. If the parasites are discovered, deworming medication can be prescribed to eliminate infestation.

Surgical removal This process might be necessary to remove any tumorous growths or diseased adrenal glands, or the removal of entire uterus in case of pyometra to restore Cat’s body functions. The success of the surgery depends on the presence or absence of the progressed cancer. In case of the existence of cancer, radiation therapy and or chemotherapy may be needed too.

Surgical repair Any organs that might be ruptured, surgery is an essential to repair the organ and stop the leakage of urine or blood into the abdominal cavity. General anesthesia is needed for this procedure.

Recovery:

Surgery If your cat underwent a surgery, be sure to follow all the at-home precautions that you are given by your vet. Limit the activities until it’s completely healed. If the cat survives the surgery and healing process, it may make a full recovery.

Bacterial infections and parasite infestation

Both of these often resolve completely with appropriate medication. In case of your cat’s pregnancy, it’ll resolve on its own within around 63 days after the kittens are born. Your vet might as well create a diet chart to follow if your cat has any obesity or food intolerance. To promote weight loss, increase the activities of the cat. In case of your cat being diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer, prognosis is more guarded.

 

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Bringing your cat in for a vet visit can be a stressful experience for both you and your cat and that’s why we are committed to provide you with the answers …..

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