Just like people, cats can suffer from asthma. This is a narrowing of the airways and swelling of the lungs, making it difficult for cats to breathe. While many vets aren’t sure what causes asthma in cats, it’s thought to be the result of genetics or an inhaled allergen that triggers an attack.
This condition is usually chronic. Treatment options can vary in cost depending on the severity of the cat’s asthma and what is necessary to keep them breathing easier.
The Importance of Feline Asthma Management
Asthma attacks are stressful for cats. Not being able to breathe properly can make it impossible for them to relax enough to stop the attack. Their anxiety and fear will make the situation worse. Asthma attacks can be mild, moderate, severe, or life-threatening. However, what starts as a mild attack could potentially become life-threatening quickly.
Managing your cat’s asthma consists of creating a treatment plan that is tailored to their needs. This can include medication, injections, and inhalers. By keeping the condition controlled, you can reduce stress and anxiety in your cat and avoid pricey hospital stays later.
There is no cure for this condition, and it doesn’t improve over time without medical intervention. Helping cats through this by managing their symptoms can let them live a normal life. They can enjoy activities again, such as playing and running, that may have left them winded and exhausted before.
The most important reason for managing feline asthma is that without it, death can occur quickly and without warning.
How Much Does Cat Asthma Treatment Cost?
The cost of treating feline asthma varies so greatly due to the differing severities of the condition. Some cats may not need anything more than a drug that costs $10 each month. Other cats might need much more expensive medications, including inhalers. This can cost up to $250 each month. Since cats are treated based on their symptoms, the cost will reflect how severe those symptoms are.
Long-lasting cortisone injections may be necessary for your cat’s treatment. One injection can last up to 8 weeks. The cost of these injections is usually $1.40–$2.80 per day.
Oral cortisone can be given in addition to injections. If these medications are recommended for your cat, they can cost anywhere from $0.25–$2.00 per day. The more expensive medications include compounded forms like chewable tabs and flavored liquids.
Inhalers or bronchodilators may also be necessary for your cat, and these are expensive treatments. The most expensive inhaler costs close to $500. Other inhalers can cost $50–$86 and up. If your cat requires an inhaler, there are options. However, less-expensive inhalers may not work as effectively on your cat’s symptoms.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
If you suspect that your cat may be suffering from asthma, your veterinarian will need to perform several diagnostic tests to determine a diagnosis. This initial diagnosis can cost as much as $1,000. There is no single test that can be done. Instead, various tests and examinations will need to be done. The cost of the diagnosis will vary depending on these tests.
Veterinarians will use X-rays, CT scans, and a bronchoscopy to look at the cat’s lungs and determine the severity of the asthma and the best course of treatment. A bronchoscopy is a procedure that uses a flexible camera to reach down through the mouth into the airway of the lungs and enable the veterinarian to see their condition.
If your cat has an asthma attack at home and you don’t have the proper diagnosis or treatment, emergency vet costs for these procedures can reach well over $1,000. If your cat requires oxygen therapy at an emergency vet, the cost can be as much as $2,500. If you suspect that your cat has asthma, it’s best to have them assessed by your vet as soon as possible to avoid emergency situations where your cat can’t breathe.
How Often Should My Cat Be Treated for Asthma?
Long-term medication is needed for asthma, possibly for the rest of your cat’s life. Some medications will need to be given once or twice daily to control the attacks. Inhalers and bronchodilators are used daily in some cases to keep your cat’s airways clear.
If your cat has asthma attacks randomly even while taking medication, inhalers can be used during the attacks to immediately provide relief. Your vet will instruct you on the proper treatment duration for your cat. The most important thing to do is reduce the time that your cat must spend in the hospital by keeping the asthma controlled at home.
There is no cure for asthma, but with the right treatment, you can give your cat relief and keep them comfortable so they can have a long and happy life.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Asthma Treatment?
Pet insurance will vary by provider, but many companies do cover cat asthma treatment. Some companies will only cover the costs of this treatment fully if the condition is diagnosed after the insurance is purchased, so it’s best to get pet insurance from day one with your cat if you’re interested in it covering as much as possible.
If your cat is already diagnosed with asthma, some pet insurance companies can still help offset the costs of treatment. You can choose a plan based on your specific needs. Embrace Pet Insurance covers feline asthma treatment and can help you find the right plan that will give your cat the coverage that they need.
What to Do for Your Cat to Prevent Asthma Attacks
Once you have the correct treatment plan in place, there are other things that you can do around the house to help ward off asthma attacks. Anything that you can do to reduce the chances of your cat struggling to breathe, even while they are receiving treatment, will increase their quality of life. Cat asthma management includes the following:
- Avoid smoking indoors where the cat is exposed to secondhand smoke.
- Keep the home as dust-free as possible.
- Use the lowest dust-producing litter that you can find.
- Avoid using aerosols and cleaning products around your cat.
- Use parasite control to avoid heartworm infestations and other lung diseases caused by insect bites.
- Keep your cat stress-free by avoiding big changes to their routines and giving them the daily attention that they need.
- Don’t wear heavy perfumes or colognes around your cat.
- Modify their diet for maximum nutrition and reduced inflammation.
- Keep your cat at a healthy weight.
- Ask your vet about healthy supplements for immune support.
Feline asthma can be scary and stressful for your cat. Fortunately, there are several treatment options to treat mild to life-threatening asthma.
While asthma can never be cured, it can be managed for the rest of your cat’s life to keep them comfortable and happy. Treatment for this condition can be expensive, especially to get an initial diagnosis. However, with proper management, you can keep your cat out of the emergency vet and avoid high bills.
Consider pet insurance to help offset some of the costs associated with this treatment. Many companies will work with you to design a plan that meets your cat’s needs.
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