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Welcome to our series from the Wonderful Dr. Barry Baum, Chief of Staff at Center-Sinai Animal Hospital.  If you have a question for our Virtuoso Vet, he'd love to see it.  And he will answer all that he can.  Just use the email contact that follows below, beneath the column. Please note: If you feel the condition of your pet is critical, Dr. Baum suggests you contact your local vet ASAP!

For previous questions and answers, see the buttons under this week's article.

Virtuoso_Vet_Baum_answers_your_questions_on_cat,_dog,_turtle,_and_other_pets'_care_at_inaspawprints.com

 

                                    
AnimationFactory.com

Dear Dr. Baum --

Hi, my shorthair cat coughs all the time. He appears to be in no discomfort other than the frequent coughing; I have never seen him throw up. I thought the problem was hairballs but the treatments I have bought haven't been working. Online I read about Vaseline in his food would help but it hasn't. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Ashlyn,
Eugene, Oregon

Hi, Ashlyn --

The two most common conditions that cause chronic recurring bouts of coughing in cats are hairballs and bronchial asthma.  Sometimes both conditions can be present at the same time.  When I suspect hairballs, I will have the owner administer Petromalt or Laxatone medication two or three times per day.   

If relief is not apparent within forty-eight hours, I begin to suspect asthma.  This diagnosis can be confirmed on physical examination, whereupon listening to the lungs, one can hear high pitched sounds (known as dry rales).  An X-ray of the chest will usually confirm the diagnosis.   

These cats are usually treated with an injection of steroids (methylprednisolone 20 mg)  which relieves the inflammation that was constricting the air passages in the lungs.  Depending on the severity of the signs, oral prednisone is often used as a follow up.   

We have also attempted the use of inhalers but found them not to be effective, as our patients wouldn't cooperate and inhale deeply at the time the inhaler was discharged. 
 

 


To find out what others have asked, click our Critter Query archives button:

Do you have a question for our Virtuoso Vet?  Just use the form below. Dr. Baum will answer as many of your questions as possible.  For Your Pet's Health: Please contact your local vet if you feel your pet is having an emergency to insure getting attention in time to meet his/her needs.

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If you are lucky enough to live in Los Angeles when you need a really good vet, you can call
 to set up an appointment with Dr. Baum or another of the highly skilled staff at
Center-Sinai Veterinary Hospital.  The number is 310-559-3770.

Check out the new site www.CenterSinaiAnimalHospital.com! Your questions and answers appear there, with a link on our site, too, and more pet care information and special features! Just close the window after visiting, or hit your browser's back button to return to InasPawprints.
 

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