Asthma symptoms in cats are usually caused by an allergic reaction. Feline Bronchial Disease occurs when the bronchi muscle becomes inflamed, causing the smooth muscle to constrict, bronchial edema, and thickening of the airway mucus glands. These conditions combine to cause an airflow obstruction and respiratory distress. Feline bronchial disease results in a secondary pneumonia infection in up to 42% of reported cases.
Symptoms of Feline Bronchial Disease
Asthmatic attacks in cats generally mimic human attacks. Symptoms may include wheezing, coughing sneezing, and extreme difficulty breathing.
Natural Treatment of Feline Asthma
Note: Before treatment, a positive diagnosis should be made by a qualified professional to avoid confusing the symptoms with heart worms or other conditions. Your cat may require medication in addition to natural treatment and dietary support. Make certain your Vet is aware of any natural treatments being administered to avoid negative drug interactions.
The natural treatment of Asthma in cats commonly tackles inflammation and provides immune system support. Treatment often closely resembles allergy remedies, since allergies are most often the cause of asthmatic attacks in cats.
The primary treatment of Feline Bronchial Disease in cats usually focuses on Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) in an effort to control inflammation. When the diet is enhanced by Omega 3 fatty acids, it increases the production of non-inflammatory eicosanoids to regulate the production of inflammatory eicosanoids at the cellular level.
Natural Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Cats
- Oily fish (such as sockeye salmon, sardines, trout or anchovies for Omega 3)
- Freeze-dried Krill (Omega 3 and a host of other benefits that promote healing, along with support for every system in the body)
- Sea Cucumber (Omega 3)
- Green-Lipped Mussel (Omega 3 and other anti-inflammatory properties)
- Seaweed boasts immune support and anti-inflammatory properties, plus it serves as a natural supplement of anti-inflammatory nutrients such as vitamins A, E and Selenium. Both red and brown seaweeds are frequently recommended by holistic doctors for Asthma. Seaweed is low in carbohydrates and does not present cellulose issues, making it much more digestible for cats than terrestrial vegetables.
Herbal Treatment of Feline Asthma Symptoms
Dr. Shawn Messonnier recommends Boswellia, Cat’s Claw, Coltsfoot, Ephedra, Feverfew, German Chamomile and Lobelia, among other herbs. Other experts add Grindelia, Mullein leaf, Astragalus, Echinacea, Yarrow and Marshmallow to that list. It’s important to use high quality herbs for the best results. We rely on Starwest Botanicals for therapeutic-quality herbs and essential oils.
If you prefer a liquid that combines several herbs, a holistic vet favorite is Lung Gold to help cats with their breathing and prevent infections.
Please exercise caution as cats can be over-sensitive to herbs and essential oils and they can easily reach toxic levels. We recommend that you only administer these herbs with the guidance of a holistic Veterinarian.
Have you ever had a cat with asthma? Do you have any advice?
Halpern, G. Anti-inflammatory effects of a stabilized lipid extract of perna canaliculus (Lyprinol). 2000.
Emerlyanov, A. Treatment of asthma with lipid extract of New Zealand green-lipped mussel: a randomised clinical trial. 2002.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Cooksley, Valerie Gennari. Seaweed: Nature’s Secret to Balancing Your Metabolism, Fighting Disease, and Revitalizing Body and Soul. 2007.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. 2009.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements 2001.
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