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Pneumothorax in cats with `feline asthma`
5 out of 421 cats with `feline asthma` presented to the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 1990 to 2000 showed concurrent pneumothorax. Diagnosis and therapy are discussed in this report.

Of 421 cases of feline asthma, 5 cats fulfilled the inclusion criteria (1.2%). All 5 had respiratory distress at presentation. One cat was panting, and the other 4 cats had respiratory rates of 28, 52, 58 and 120 breaths per minute (bpm), respectively (mean RR 65±39 bpm). Historical findings included untreated chronic cough (n=3), previously treated asthma (n=1), and no previous illness (n=1). Thoracocentesis was performed in 4/5 cats, and 3 of those cats required thoracostomy tubes. Four cats required immediate oxygen supplementation, and 1 of those cats required ventilation. All 5 cats had evidence of pneumothorax on initial radiographs. Follow-up radiographs revealed partial or complete resolution of pneumothorax in 4 cats which were discharged alive with total hospitalization of 2-7 days, but were then lost to follow-up. One cat was euthanized because it could not be weaned off mechanical ventilation, and necropsy confirmed end-stage feline asthma and emphysema.

Conclusion: Small airway obstruction can predispose asthma patients to increased alveolar pressure, emphysema, and spontaneous pneumothorax, which can lead to dyspnea in affected cats. The short-term outcome in these cats was good despite the severity of dyspnea at presentation.

Source: Cooper, E.S., Syring, R.S.,King, L.G. (2003): Pneumothorax in cats with a clinical diagnosis of feline asthma: 5 cases (1990-2000).
In: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 13 (2), 95-101.
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi: 10.1046/j.1435-6935.2003.00081.x







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