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Feline asthma can be a mild issue for some cats or a life-threatening disease of the lower airway that causes breathing difficulties best described as “wheezing.” Affected pets find that airways are essentially blocked and a strong effort is required to expel or breathe out.

Cats often are prescribed oral steroids to control their disease. Inexpensive and effective, steroids can be given long-term, but potential side effects can be possible. Other drugs known as bronchodilators may also be necessary in the short- or long-term to control the attacks. One of the most effective and  interesting ways to administer these drugs is by using a face mask inhaler.

Aerokat may sound like some sleek super-sonic vessel built by a Boeing or Cessna. In fact, it’s a plastic chamber that has a cat-size, clear face mask at one end and dispenser at the other for aerosolizing medications. Since cats can’t use an inhaler, this slick device enables owners to deliver medications.

This targeted delivery system may mean better control or prevention of attacks. It also may mean that less medication will be necessary and some of the side effects associated with oral medications can be minimized.

Make sure you give this device some consideration if recommended by your veterinarian. It has the potential to be easier than pilling your feline friend and it can make medications do a better job with less.

Questions? Send them to Dr. Sandeman, Home & Garden, Quad-City Times, 500 E. 3rd St., Davenport, IA 52801. Or, email to papertrained@ mchsi.com. Dr. Sandeman cannot answer letters or email personally, but questions of general interest will be answered in this column.

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