February 19th 2011 9:13 am
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Mum is 99.9% certain that this is what I had now. Everything seems to fit - my age, the cough, the difficulty breathing, the poor response to treatment and the fibrous appearance of my lungs on the ultrasound scan. Below is an extract of a veterinary article about the disease (which can also be found HERE )
University of Missouri, College of Veterinary Medicine
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Amy E. DeClue, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine)
The interstitial space refers to the area in the lung between the alveolar epithelium and capillary endothelium. Interstitial lung disease is a broad category of inflammatory and fibrotic pulmonary diseases involving primarily the interstitial space. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), previously known as cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis, is a form of interstitial lung disease that has been recognized in dogs, cats and humans and is characterized by inflammation and fibrosis of the pulmonary interstitium and alveolus.
Histologic features of IPF are termed unusual interstitial pneumonia and include interstitial fibrosis with foci of fibroblasts or myofibroblasts, metaplasia of alveolar epithelium and interstitial smooth muscle hyperplasia. The diagnosis and treatment of IPF can be difficult since permanent loss of pulmonary function has often occurred before clinical signs are recognized. This condition is well characterized in humans and is associated with a poor prognosis regardless of treatment.
IDIOPATHIC PULMONARY FIBROSIS IN CATS
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a relatively uncommon condition in cats. The mean age of cats with IPF is 8 years with no apparent breed or sex predilection. Cats with IPF most commonly present for respiratory distress or cough and the duration of these signs is typically less than 6 months.
Physical examination findings include
tachypnea, increased inspiratory or mixed inspiratory and expiratory effort, and adventitial lung sounds. Generally, results of clinicopathologic and infectious disease
assessment are nonspecific in nature. Mild neutrophilic inflammation may be noted on cytologic analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in some cats. Radiographic findings
include dense patchy or diffuse interstitial, bronchial or alveolar infiltrates. Definitive diagnosis is based on histologic evaluation of lung tissue.
A variety of treatments have been proposed for the treatment of IPF in cats including corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Currently, there is no published evidence that any treatment has a positive or negative impact on the clinical outcome. Prognosis for cats with IPF is poor to grave. In one retrospective study, more than 50% of cats with IPF died or were euthanatized within weeks of diagnosis while only 30% survived for a year or more after
Mum couldn't find out much about this condition at the time but she has recently found several articles on IPF and it helps her be able to accept my going to the Bridge a bit easier than when she had lots of unanswered questions going around in her head about why I didn't get better and why my illness seemed different to other cats she'd read about with 'asthma'.
Anyway, afterlife is good at Rainbow Bridge. My wonderful, varmint eating girlfriend Lucy sent me a sweet candle holder for my memorial garden and some love-heart sky lanterns. Mum is going to add the pictures to the slideshow on my page.
Bye for now,
Hi I just want to say mom knows how you feel about wanting to understand more about the need to understand more about what happened to you. Mom was like that after I got FIP she read lots and lots of stuff about. You are a beautiful kitty and so very loved.