Cor pulmonale/enlarged cat heart due to chronic asthma

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.


Purred: Wed Sep 4, '13 4:35pm PST 

My cat is about 9 years old and in most ways healthy and fit (tho he lost a leg a few years ago).

However, he has been asthmatic for a while now, treatment wasnt solving it and an X-ray showed that he has cor pulmonale. It'€™s incurable condition, acc. to conventional medication anyway, and now the €˜experts€™ have given him 3-6 months to live.

He is being treated with an asthma inhaler, prednisolone sodium phosphate (a cortisteroid) also for the asthma, furosemide (a diuretic) for liquid build-up, and baby aspirin (as blood thinner?).

Since conventional medicine isn't offering any real solution, and since its approach is 100% mechanistic (non-holistic) we are also giving him hawthorne for his heart and aloe vera for his asthma and dandelion leaf for his blood.

i posted at another forum and was told that liquid steroids are bad for his heart, even if they help with asthma (which frankly I am not sure they are, he is still coughing, more at nighttime). The vet says the steroids are keeping him alive but that we can switch to a steroid inhaler (only that there can be a risk of mouth infections).

the main problem that I could grasp is that his lungs react to something in the air which causes his heart to overwork and send out extra white blood cells and this causes the expansion of the heart, which is now pressing on his lungs from the right side. Since the heart can't be reduced in size or the scar tissues on lungs healed, the main thing is to keep his blood pressure down; increasing the strength of the heart is not recommended.

I want to take him for an ultrasound, but it's very expensive and also far away (no car), and there's not much assurance it will change the diagnosis anyway.

Does anyone have similar experience with their pet suffering from this condition?


Blade- (2000-2010)

Purred: Thu Sep 5, '13 6:06pm PST 
I'm sorry your cat is having to go through this. Being as he isn't responding to the asthma treatments in the way you'd expect, he may not have actual 'asthma'. Cats usually respond very well to the inhaled medications for asthma.
Asthma is what they thought my cat Blade had and what he was treated for (he started with a little cough too), but it was more likely Feline Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, which displays the same symptoms as 'asthma' but doesn't respond to the typical asthma treatments that you have been using. The lungs turn fibrous and stop working properly and it most likely has a genetic factor. Maybe ask your vet about that or try to find a vet who has a special interest in feline respiratory disease as some vets don't know about it.
If you look at Blade's diary on his catster page, there's some articles about Feline Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Edited by author Thu Sep 5, '13 6:21pm PST



Purred: Thu Sep 5, '13 6:21pm PST 
thanks. i will inquire further with the vet. the trouble is that no professional likes to admit they don't know so it's impossible to be sure of a diagnosis

thanks from G* too

Blade- (2000-2010)

Purred: Thu Sep 5, '13 7:09pm PST 
I can also recommend to join the Yahoo group "felineasthma_inhaledmeds" because the group is run by people who are very knowledgeable on getting feline asthma under control and a world expert in feline respiratory medicine, Dr. Philip Padrid, is also a member and sometimes answers questions.

As far as I know, the only way of helping the right sided heart failure is by getting the breathing problems under control. Unfortunately we couldn't do that with Blade but that was 3 years ago - there maybe new treatments out there. I know that you can find more information on Feline Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis if you Google it now that you could 3 years ago.
Good luck, I hope you can find a way of helping your cat get better.
purrs ~


Purred: Fri Sep 6, '13 11:59am PST 
My mommy says the Feline Asthma Inhaled Medication site (FAIM) is a wonderful place to learn all about feline asthma! Here's their link.


Hope to see you there!