Feline lung disease

Written by rose kitchen
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Cats can experience both acute and chronic lung diseases. These feline lung diseases vary in severity. Acute ailments often manifest quickly and can lead to the death of the cat if not immediately treated. Chronic ailments often manifest in a less-dramatic manner.


Lymphoma is a type of cancer that can affect cats. This feline lung disease affects the lymph nodes and lymphatic tissue. This type of cancer will often cause the following symptoms: weight loss, diarrhoea, rough hair coat, vomiting and loss of appetite. Cats who have lymphoma developing in or around their lungs may experience fluid within their lung cavity and respiratory distress. Feline lymphoma is treated with chemotherapy. When diagnosed and treated early, most cats will recover well from this cancer.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis

Feline infectious peritonitis is a condition that leads to fluid building up in the chest cavity or abdominal cavity. This feline lung disease is a viral disease. Some cats will not experience symptoms after their initial exposure, but those who do may experience upper respiratory symptoms. These symptoms include watery eyes, sneezing and nasal discharge. Some cats may experience diarrhoea. There is no known cure for this feline lung disease, and in most cases it is fatal.

Pleural Effusion

This feline lung disease occurs within the pleura, or the tissue that lines the chest cavity and lungs. This condition has many causes such as airway trauma, heart failure, cancer, infection and kidney disease. This condition causes fluid to build up in the pleural cavity, which leads to the lungs' having difficulty expanding and contracting. Symptoms of feline pleural effusion include fast breathing, breathing with an open mouth, decreased appetite, inability to to exercise, lethargy, weight loss, shortness of breath, fever and chest pains. Treating this feline lung disease ultimately depends on its underlying cause.


Feline pneumonia can be caused by a virus, a bacteria or a fungus. It causes fluid to build up in the cat's lung tissue. The most common symptom is trouble breathing. Cats may also experience a fever, or their gums, tongue and lips may take on a grey or bluish colour. Antibiotic medications are the most common form of treatment, but diuretics may also be used to help flush out excess fluid from the lungs.

Feline Upper Respiratory Disease

This feline lung disease affects the nasal passages, upper airway, mouth and sinuses. Symptoms of feline upper respiratory disease will depend on the cause and type, but some symptoms occur with all types and causes. These symptoms include nasal discharge, eye discharge, loss or appetite and depression. Regardless of the type and cause, this feline lung disease is basically treated in the same manner. Treatment includes regularly removing eye and nasal passage discharge, nasal decongestant medication, using a humidifier, making sure that the cat gets plenty of fluids and eats adequately, keeping the cat warm and making sure that any secondary bacterial infections are well-controlled with antibiotics.

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