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J Feline Med Surg. 2010 Sep;12(9):681-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jfms.2010.07.012.

Feline asthma: what's new and where might clinical practice be heading?

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  • 1Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, D211 Veterinary Medical Center, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. venemac1@cvm.msu.edu

Abstract

PRACTICAL RELEVANCE:

Feline bronchial asthma is one of the most commonly diagnosed respiratory conditions of cats. Clinical signs range from intermittent wheezing and coughing, which can compromise quality of life, to episodes of severe dyspnea that can be life-threatening.

CLINICAL CHALLENGES:

Feline asthma can be easily disregarded as a simplistic condition. However, much about its pathophysiology remains obscure. There is no gold standard method of diagnosis, and current approaches are associated with various limitations. Also, feline asthma is typically treated with long-term glucocorticoid therapy, which can have significant consequences.

AUDIENCE:

Because of its prevalence, general practitioners encounter asthma regularly. Refractory cases are often managed by veterinary internists and pulmonologists.

PATIENT GROUP:

Asthma can be diagnosed in cats of any age but is usually seen in young to middle-aged adults (mean 4 years, range 1-15 years). There is no sex predilection, but the Siamese breed appears to be overrepresented.

EVIDENCE BASE:

While the standard clinical approach to feline asthma has changed little in recent years, new research has provided greater insight into many aspects of this complex disease and new strategies are being studied. This article reviews the current literature in order to raise awareness of how advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of feline asthma may be determining the future direction of clinical practice.

PMID:
20800209
DOI:
10.1016/j.jfms.2010.07.012
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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