Asthmatic Cat Needs Veterinarian’s Opinion

DEAR PAW’S CORNER:
I was wondering what kind of medicine to give a cat that has asthma. My cat “Jack” had an asthma attack last night. Are there any home remedies I can use? — Cathy S., via e-mail

DEAR CATHY:
Only your veterinarian can determine the right medicine to give to your cat. It’s very important that you take Jack to the vet for a complete checkup in the next few days. (If he seems distressed or continues to have trouble breathing, take him to vet right away.) Tell the vet the symptoms Jack had during his asthma attack — any wheezing, distress or odd behavior before the attack, and any weakness or lethargy before, during or after. If he has shown the symptoms before, describe when they occurred and the intensity. Don’t try to diagnose Jack’s problem yourself, and don’t try a home remedy until a proper diagnosis has been made. There are some very important reasons for this. First, cats can “wheeze” due to something as benign as a hairball, or as serious as an undiagnosed heart problem. Only your vet can tell. Second, the type of problem, and its extent, is a big part of determining what medicine to give the cat. Only your vet can do this. This is not to put down home remedies for pets. Many owners swear by homeopathic remedies developed to treat common pet issues like anxiety, and every cat owner knows how most cats react to catnip — an herb that can be grown on a windowsill. But most acute illnesses need professional medical diagnosis and treatment so Jack can recover quickly and return to a healthy norm.

Send your questions or comments to ask@pawscorner.com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner.com. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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