go back to johnsonn main page how to use an inhaler with a cat
Compiled from treatments discussed in the Feline Asthma Group messages and databases, 2001 at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/felineasthma/. Please send corrections and updates to Nancy Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org Note that drug action in cats may not be the same as in humans, but specific research has not been done on the use of many asthma drugs in cats. Most links here are to sites discussing human use of the drugs, ask your vet how these medicines affect your cat. Anecdotal reports and case studies suggest possible treatments, but can't provide information on the actual efficacy and long-term risks of using a particular drug with a cat.
Veterinary uses of drugs are discussed at:
|Drs Foster & Smith PetEducation.com||http://www.peteducation.com/category_summary.cfm?cls=0&Cat=1303|
Human uses of drugs are discussed at most sites (effects may be different for cats)
|MedicineNet.com Asthma medications||http://www.focusonallergies-asthma.com/|
|Informed Drug Guide (1994/1995)||http://www.infomed.org/100drugs/index.html|
Search for a Drug at AltaVista.com http://www.altavista.com/sites/dir/search?pg=dir&tp=Personal/Health/Drugs_.26_Medicines/Drugs_A.2dZ/
Discussion of Glucocorticosteroids (glucocorticoids, corticosteroids, steroids) at PetEducation.com, Drs. Foster & Smith. These steroids frequently are prescribed to treat asthma in cats.
long-term anti-inflammatory effect
|Forms available||Asthma Emergency||Maintenance drug for Chronic Symptom Relief/Attack prevention||Comment|
(MarVista Vet site)
Systemic effects increase the risk of developing diabetes.
|pill||not really a rescue drug, but dose often temporarily increased then tapered lower (or off) as tolerated (without symptoms re-occurring or worsening)||often given as a daily drug (1x =sid, or 2x=bid), or "every other day (qod)|
Prednisolone (Informed Drug Guide 1995)
may be administered in tablet form or produced by the body from prednisone. These medications are considered to be interchangeable.
|pill||dose often temporarily increased then tapered lower (or off) as tolerated||given as a daily drug (1x =sid, or 2x=bid), or "every other day (qod)|
Systemic effects increase the risk of developing diabetes. 2-3 shots/year generally considered safe.
|IM (shot usu. at vet)||Frequently used as a rescue drug for relief in minutes.||1 shot provides long-term relief for weeks-months (varies with severity and nature of symptoms). Duration of relief lessens as disease progresses.|
|Flovent (Flucticasone propionate) flovent.pdf||inhaler chamber w/mask||No||daily dose, usually 2x=bid, often in conjunction with Albuterol.||"Takes 10-14 days to reach peak effects" Several reported ~4 wks to see improvement in cats.|
|AeroBid (Flunisolide) http://www.frx.com/products/aerobid/||inhaler chamber w/mask||No||daily dose, usually 2x=bid||not studied in cats/dogs|
|Bronchodialators||Forms available||Asthma Emergency||Maintenance drug for Chronic Symptom Relief/Attack prevention||Comment|
|Brethine (Terbutaline)||usually a pill, can be IM or Sub-Q shot||IM shot = rescue drug||1/4 or 1/2 pill often given as a daily drug (1x =sid, or 2x=bid)|
|Aminophyllin||usually? a pill, can be IM||IM shot = rescue drug||?|
|pill, syrup, solution||?||1/4 or 1/2 pill given as a daily drug (1x =sid, or 2x=bid)|
|Albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil) http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/generic/albut1.htm||inhaler chamber w/mask||rescue drug, relief in 10-15 min. (<4h effect)||may be given as a daily drug 2x=bid or 4x=qid in conjunction with steroids, if daily symptoms warrant it|
|? relief takes >1 hr||12 hr control of bronchoconstriction|
|Other||Forms available||Asthma Emergency||Maintenance drug||Comment|
|Cyproheptadine HCL (Periactin)||pill,
|no?||daily dose, believed the anti-serotonin effects rather than anti-histamine is what helps asthma||also appetite stimulant, but may cause lethargy, "zombie" cat|
|Accolate (Zafirlukast)||pill (anti-
|?||daily dose||not studied in cats/dogs, risk of liver damage|
|Antihistamine||Forms available||Asthma Emergency||Maintenance drug||Comment|
|Chlorpheniramine maleate (Clor-Trimeton)||pill, syrup, or shot||sometimes used for nasal congestion|
|Hydroxyzine (Atarax)||pill||sometimes used for nasal congestion, 10 mg bid||not all cats respond to antihistamines|
Source- Drs Foster & Smith North American Veterinary Conf 2001
Dogs that suffer from allergies have long been a big problem in the United States. While much has been written about their treatment, allergic cats have often been neglected. While there are not as many allergic cats as dogs, veterinarians are well aware that there are still many cats that suffer from inhalant allergies. Oral antihistamines have been a mainstay along with fatty acids and biotin to help control allergies in both cats and dogs. Unfortunately there are very few veterinary antihistamines available for animals and in the past veterinarians have had to resort to using human antihistamines in animals. The human antihistamine most commonly used in dogs have been diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and hydroxyzine (Atarax). Cats have often not responded as well to these antihistamines and appear to respond better to the antihistamine chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton). With the introduction of new antihistamines in the human market, veterinary dermatologists have found an additional antihistamine that appears to be working well in cats. This new antihistamine is fexofenadine (Allegra) and is being used effectively in many allergic cats. If you have a cat suffering from inhalant allergies ask your veterinarian about the use of this drug.
Oral and IM (shots) are absorbed by the body and have systemic effects. In time, the adrenal glands will atrophy so that when the medication is discontinued, the patient will be unable to respond to any stressful situation. A circulatory crisis (shock) can result. Inhaled steroids affect the respiratory system directly and have very little systemic impact.
Switch from systemic steroids to inhaled steroids (ex. Flovent =Flucticasone propionate). For up to a year, a risk of Adrenal insufficiency (fatigue, lassitude, weakness, nausea & vomiting, and hypotension) exists which can lead to a circulatory crisis w/trauma, surgery, or infection (esp. gastroenteritis) as systemic corticosteroids are reduced/replaced. Add systemic steroids to help cope.
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Offers a broad range of support to new and veteran caretakers alike concerning all issues relating to asthma and other respiratory diseases, including inhaled meds. Public - anyone can view/post messages without registering, but Yahoo Group Registration allows access to valuable information including the archived messages, bookmarks, databases, and member files including the ability to add your own information.
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(January 2002) The Feline Asthma Inhaled Medication Users Group has been formed to provide a focused forum that encourages discussion among current and prospective inhaled med users, veterinarians and medication and modality developers. By registering for the Yahoo group felineasthma_inhaledmeds, you will be able to view or post messages, bookmarks, databases, and member files. Alexis Thonen, creator of the more general Feline Asthma and Respiratory Diseases group has requested that you cross-post your messages to the inhaler group in her public group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/felineasthma/
For a discussion of the use of inhalers with cats, please refer to Feline Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment by Philip Padrid, RN, DVM, in Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, Vol 30, Number 6, November 2000. Dr Padrid is at the University of Chicago, Section of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine, Animal Resources Center in Chicago, IL.
Dr. Phillip Padrid's Protocols for Flovent and Albuterol, as well as an illustration of how to add an anesthesia mask to an OptiChamber are available here as Microsoft Word Documents (with permission).
|Spacer how to add Anesthesia Mask to OptiChamber|
Philip Padrid, DVM
Midwest Regional Medical Director,
Veterinary Centers of America Hospitals.
1-800-966-1822 ext. 5266 (voice mail)
1-773-947-8945 (fax) Office 773-947-8944
University of Chicago Associate, Department of Medicine,
Comittee on Molecular Medicine
Mailing address: Dr. Philip Padrid, VCA Berwyn Animal Hospital 2845 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago, IL 60402
*NOTE: send self-addressed stamped envelope if requesting response
Options for treating feline asthma by Patricia M. Dowling, DVM, MS, DACVIM, CACVCP in the May 2001 issue of Veterinary Medicine has a picture of the small AeroChamber and mask being held on a cat. Dr. Dowling is at the University of Saskatchewan Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Canada.
MDI = Metered Dose Inhaler
Fritz the Brave's website - a wealth of information on feline asthma and treatments
The importance of shaking, actuation, applying, waiting and then repeating
(if that is one's Rx) is explained on:
Scroll down to How to Use a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI) with a Feline Aerosol Chamber (FAC)
AeroChamber Plus model, valve and mask changed
* ComfortSeal mask shape now triangular instead of round, 3 sizes (in .pdf, Adobe Acrobat format)
OptiChamber Advantage Masks the Advantage is a newer model than is shown in Little Guy's photos
Pictures of the OptiChamber being used on Little Guy the cat are at
Created 6/11/01 and last updated 8/24/02 by Nancy Johnson
Send comments and updates to Nancy Johnson at email@example.com
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