Causes and symptoms of COPD
There is no definitive underlying cause for COPD in cats
, but a number of different factors are thought to contribute. Repeated exposure to irritants in the air, such as cigarette smoke, pollens or other allergens may be a potential trigger of COPD. Dental disease has also been linked to COPD, as bacteria from the mouth can travel into the cat's respiratory system.
While COPD is ultimately irreversible once it begins, cats can still undergo treatment to improve their quality of life with this chronic disorder. Pet owners may notice that the disease flares up at certain times or seasons, and each of these incidents may require a specific treatment plan. Cats with COPD may enter severe respiratory distress, which could require oxygen therapy at a veterinary hospital. On a routine daily basis it is likely that your veterinarian may recommend medications to lessen inflammation and to dilate the bronchioles (steroids) and give the cat a bit more room for air to get through. Cough suppressants
can help cats cope with the chronic coughing associated with the disease. Air filters
and other environmental changes may help lessen your cat’s exposure to inhaled irritants that may trigger signs of COPD.
Pet owners will also have to address other areas of their cat's health once the animal is diagnosed with COPD. Overweight cats may have difficulty with the disease due to the lack of oxygen, so a weight loss plan might be a good idea for felines on the heavier side. Constant dental maintenance will also be important to ensure bacteria doesn't enter the lungs and cause a reaction.