Older cat breathing problems

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Patty:
I have an older cat who just turned 19 this month. He gradually began developing some breathing problems over the last few months. It appears that he can no longer purr, but wheezes instead. I took him to the vet a few months ago, they x-rayed his lungs and said that they were fine and showed no sign of asthma. They gave him an combination antibiotic and steriod shot but that really didn't seem to make any difference. I've seen some postings on the net regarding other cats with this condition but haven't seen any diagnoses or solutions.
He sleeps a lot these days, but doesn't seem to be in any kind of stress except for when he begins to wheeze. Then if he sits by himself for a few minutes and relaxes he stops and starts breathing normally again.

Has anyone heard of or experienced this before? Thanks for any help. Much appreciated.
Patty
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Gandalf:
[nq:1]I have an older cat who just turned 19 this month. He gradually began developing some breathing problems over the ... and starts breathing normally again. Has anyone heard of or experienced this before? Thanks for any help. Much appreciated. Patty[/nq]
I saw a video of a cat with asthma once. The cat was 'coughing' a lot.

I have severe asthma, but I don't wheeze, nor do I have problems getting air in an out.
My lungs get inflamed and very painful, and I usually cough a lot, during an attack.
I'm sure that asthma in cats varies as much as in humans; and an X-ray is most certainly NOT going to rule out asthma.
But, this does sound like asthma to me.
You might ask you vet for a reasonable dose of prednisone for about 2 weeks; you can get 5mg tablets at human pharmacies, and prednisone is quite cheap.
If the cat stops wheezing, it's almost certainly asthma.

As long as the dose of prednisone isn't too high, the risk to your cat from the prednisone is minimal.

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MaryL:
[nq:2]I have an older cat who just turned 19 this ... experienced this before? Thanks for any help. Much appreciated. Patty[/nq]
[nq:1]I saw a video of a cat with asthma once. The cat was 'coughing' a lot. I have severe asthma, ... long as the dose of prednisone isn't too high, the risk to your cat from the prednisone is minimal. [/nq]
I would like to suggest that she ask about prednisolone instead of prednisone. Prednisolone is the preferred treatment for cats.

MaryL
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Gandalf:
[nq:2]I saw a video of a cat with asthma once. ... risk to your cat from the prednisone is minimal. [/nq]
[nq:1]I would like to suggest that she ask about prednisolone instead of prednisone. Prednisolone is the preferred treatment for cats. MaryL[/nq]
I've heard of prednisolone; but I've never taken it.

My vet recently prescribed a course of prednisone for my 14YO cat for an indolent ulcer (eisophinolic granuloma).
She is a VERY good vet, and only about 5 years out of vet school: long enough to have plenty of experience, and still be 'up' on recent changes in vet practices.
What is the difference, for the cat, in using prednisolone, vs. prednisone?

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MaryL:
[nq:2]I would like to suggest that she ask about prednisolone instead of prednisone. Prednisolone is the preferred treatment for cats. MaryL[/nq]
[nq:1]I've heard of prednisolone; but I've never taken it. My vet recently prescribed a course of prednisone for my 14YO ... 'up' on recent changes in vet practices. What is the difference, for the cat, in using prednisolone, vs. prednisone? [/nq]
Prednisone and prednisolone are anti-inflammatory drugs. Prednisone is converted in the cat's liver to prednisolone. The drugs are essentially the same, but the difference can be important in the presence of liver disease (which may be undiagnosed at the time of treatment). Since the liver converts prednisone to prednisolone, it is better not to place the cat's system under additional stress. In addition, this "conversion" process means that different amounts of the two drugs are actually used by the cat's system.
http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/learning-center/professional-monographs/prednisone-for-veterinary-u... http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=622 http://www.vetcontact.com/dermatology/art.php?a=640&t=&f=18 http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090725112932AAIwI4C

MaryL
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Phil P.:
[nq:1]What is the difference, for the cat, in using prednisolone, vs. prednisone?[/nq]
Prednisone must be converted into prednisolone by the cat's liver before it can be utilized. When prednisone is converted to prednisolone some of it is lost. Some cats lose more in the conversion process than others- even if the cats have healthy livers. The bioavailability of prednisolone is higher in cats because it doesn't need to converted. Prednisolone reaches higher concentrations in the blood than the same dose of prednisone. Its also absorbed more efficiently in the intestines than prednisone.

Phil
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MaryL:
[nq:2]What is the difference, for the cat, in using prednisolone, vs. prednisone?[/nq]
[nq:1]Prednisone must be converted into prednisolone by the cat's liver before it can be utilized. When prednisone is converted to ... in the blood than the same dose of prednisone. Its also absorbed more efficiently in the intestines than prednisone. Phil[/nq]
Thanks, Phil. Much better answer than mine.
MaryL
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Paul M. Cook:
[nq:1]I have an older cat who just turned 19 this month. He gradually began developing some breathing problems over the ... stops and starts breathing normally again. Has anyone heard of or experienced this before? Thanks for any help. Much appreciated.[/nq]
At his age his body is just slowly failing I suspect. I know old people make all kinds of odd breathing sounds when they sleep. I would suspect his air passages close up somewhat when he lies down or his lungs may have mucous irritation. If he were not getting enough air you'd know it. He would pant, breath through his mouth and vocalize stress sounds. I know because I've been there and recently too.
There probably is no solution. He's just an old cat. And a lucky one at that. 19 is a fine age for a cat. Mine never have made it that long. 16 was the oldest so far. A touch of Benadryl can't hurt and might help keep his lungs clear. Vets do prescribe it to cats all the time.

Paul
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Phil P.:
[nq:2]Prednisone must be converted into prednisolone by the cat's liver ... also absorbed more efficiently in the intestines than prednisone. Phil[/nq]
[nq:1]Thanks, Phil. Much better answer than mine. MaryL[/nq]
Hi Mary,
Your answer was excellent. If I saw your post I wouldn't have posted mine.

Phil
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