Monday, September 1, 2014

June 20 Update on Feline Astham and Myrna's New Breathing Issue

From the Facebook post June 20, update on Myrna Loy's asthma:

Eventually I will write a blog post on asthma. For now, we struggle trying to get her to breathe comfortably. Myrna has needed regular lasix doses, one or two doses of 3-5mg in between; and albuterol in the a.m. as prescribed and then one or two during the day or evening in addition to the evening dose. This phase of difficult breathing due to asthma is difficult to assess and to determine what she needs in order to breathe comfortably. Is it asthma or congestion when she's breathing 12/15? What is that extra bump from her chest during exhalation? For now, we keep to the schedule of all meds and then do lasix in between albuterol and albuterol in between lasix. Today she had an injection of .25ml of lasix around 3:30-which for some reason did not get injected even though I was sure the needle was in the skin. The med came pouring onto her fur so we had to do it again. The second one worked. But it was another hour before she urinated and another hour before she was breathing 9/15. It is painful to see her breathe so hard. I do not know if her lungs are closing up or filling with fluid or if the albuterol is too much and has increased her heart rate which has increased her breathing. The cardio says the latter hasn't happened yet and couldn't as it is too soon from when she has begun albuterol and there's not enough in her system building up from one dose to the next to affect blood pressure/heart rate. We may need to use Flovent-an inhaled steroid (that evil word STEROID-contraindicated in HCM cats.) It decreases inflammation which is the root cause of asthma. But it's inhaled, not introduced directly into the blood stream; doesn't stick around to cause congestion trouble and CHF, one hopes. It would be given once or twice a day regularly as a maintenance med and albuterol would be given in addition once or twice a day BUT albuterol would eventually be tapered off and used as needed. She might need cypro as an antihistamine but I'm not sure if that is a protocol the cardio follows with heart patients. Cypro opens up blood vessels-is a vasodilator-which means it creates more blood flow and increases the work of the heart (not good) and opens up blood flow and decreases blood pressure (good.) Will need to discuss more with cardio. For now, we will stick to albuterol and lasix for another week and see how it goes.  This is a link to a blog about feline asthma-Fritz the Brave.

So, Myrna's able to sit and use the Aerocat asthma device. A tad squirmy at times and she seems to know when she's breathed enough (at least ten and as many above that as she wants.) She usually says "Done" around 12-14. I don't know how often we can give it during the day, such as what if she is having an asthma attack or coughing or seems short of breath but has had her meds? I'll have to ask the vet. We did discuss when to give lasix after albuterol if her breathing was still fast. I'm still doing research and reading up on asthma and albuterol. Will post more soon.

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