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Young Cat on Prednisone
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Young Cat on Prednisone

Hi. I have a 1 year old cat who has been coughing for about a month. When I took her to the vet, they noticed "mild" donut shaped inflammation in a chest x-ray. They prescribed 2ml of 1mg liquid prednisone, twice a day for 7 days. I am on day 5 and just scared.

She has coughed once (which is an improvement from 3-4 times per week), gasped several times, she swallows a lot, and her sides go in and out pretty rapidly (breathing) when she is at rest. She has stopped playing and just isn't herself.

I have researched alternatives to prednisone as my mom had a cat on it for most of it's life and I don't want to do this to my own cat. I have seen references to Bach's Flower Essence therapy and acupuncture. I am planning to see a holistic vet when this round of prednisone is complete.

I am willing to try these options but would like to get an opinion on if a cat is showing these symptoms at such a young age and not responding very well to the prednisone, is this really a "mild" case? I just want to cry when she coughs and looks so pitiful.

Thanks for your help.  
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Did your vet believe your cat had allergic bronchitis or asthma?  Is she on a tapering dose of prednisone?  Prednisone can be an important adjunct to therapy in the allergic, asthmatic and inflammed cat but it is always a good idea to start out with a high dose and taper to the lowest effective dose to avoid the most side-effects.  Prednisone, or any steroid dappens the effect of acupuncture, but she should still benefit from acupunture.  If the problem is related to allergies than a allergy blood test may be a good idea due to her youth.  Once allergens are identified she could be desensitized to the allergen over time with allergy shots.  Three other causes of inflammatory lung disease are bacterial infections, viral infections, and parasitic lung disease.  Other less common causes of lung disease (due to her young age) are fungal infections, feline leukemia, feline aids and lung cancer.  Please know that holistic remedies can be very effective but usually take longer than traditional therapies.
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