Rather less exciting than yesterday’s, today’s trip was down the road to the
Fudge is fine. He’s beaten the UTI he had earlier in the year, and has even lost weight, so that he’s down to his target weight of just under 5kg. All that ignoring him demanding food has paid off. If only it was as easy for the rest of us to diet.
Smudge wasn’t quite so happy though. He’s not been well for the last couple of days, and we have been woken three or four times in the night to hear him make a noise quacking like a duck. This has got worse until he’s gurgling instead of breathing most of the night time hours, and last night, he was sick four times (that we know of) around the house.
Clearly a problem. By chance, the vet we saw for the routine check-up is the vet we should have been to see for Smudge’s heart at some point in the year. (Has it really been a year?) He was able to give an opinion without an ultrasound: severe, untreatable, congenital heart problem, probably been like since birth, and will most likely cause him to die suddenly and without warning sooner than you’d expect a cat to die.
But the gurgling and vomiting was actually a symptom of something else: feline asthma, probably brought on by tree and flower pollen that’s suddenly in the air a lot at this time of year. Unfortunately, the treatment for feline asthma is not generally good for the heart… So the vet has given him a lower dose of the treatment, we have to monitor his respiration every day or so when he’s resting to see whether his breathing gets easier, and pop back to the surgery next week to see how things are getting on. And hopefully, no more piles of cat sick to clean up the following morning.
In deep sleep hear sound
cat vomit hairball somewhere
will find in morning.
The idea that we can expect one of the cats suddenly to die without warning at any time in the next five years is a bit strange. I suppose we just have to concentrate on making life comfy for him on a day to day basis and take each day as we find it. We could all be hit by a bus tomorrow! (must write will…)
nocturnal vomitting not really a symptom of asthma (at least in human form)… even if hayfever exacerbated…
did he listen to his heart with a stethoscope? or has he made this awful diagnosis/prognosis based purely on your description of the noisy breqthing and “quacking”? how can he know there is something wrong with his heart. we would certainly need some kind of imaging or cardiac function measurement… (in humans)
vets are weird!
Poor Smudge – my sympathies are with you. I hope he has plenty of days snoozing in the sun ahead of him yet.
One of the ways to treat feline asthma that reducesmany of the complications with other conditions are with bronchodilators and corticosteroids that are administered by inhaler using a mask and spacer designed for cats. This can be helpful for cats that can’t handle oral or injected medicines (for example, diabetic cats). If you haven’t discussed inhaled medications with your vet (or if he is unaware of the recent progress made on them), please feel free to print off parts of my educational website (my cat is named Fritz and my wife and I put up our asthma findings to share with the world): http://www.fritzthebrave.com. In particular, see http://www.fritzthebrave.com/meds/inhaled.html and Smudge’ Doctor may be interested in http://www.fritzthebrave.com/meds/inhaled_protocol.pdf
Surprisingly, many cats accept the inhaled medicine ritual as part of their routine (accompanied some times with a rewarding treat or playtime).