Well we've got another asthmatic in the family.
About 3 weeks ago Max started having episodes where it sounded like he was coughing up a fur ball. It went on for about two weeks and got worse and worse. His coughs sounded more like wheezing and we could hear "crackles" when he breathed. We did a little research online and discovered that feline asthma is actually very common and often mistaken for hairballs.
We called our local vet and after hearing the costs of the visits, x-rays, etc - Wes decided to treat Max himself. After some auscultation with his stethoscope Wes thought that asthma might be a possibility but also wondered if Max might have a respiratory infection - like pneumonia. He administered a few medications including a dose of albuterol and an amoxicillan concoction he created. I wish so much I could have snapped a photo of the make-shift inhaler/spacer that Wes created for Max. He cut a hole in the end of a plastic cup, placed the cup over Max's head and gave him a puff of albuterol. Max Freaked Out!!! Anyway it all seemed to help at first but by the end of five days we could tell that Max wasn't getting any better. We decided it was time for the vet to take over.
I took Max in today and he was diagnosed with feline asthma. Fortunately we avoided the x-rays but he did receive an injection of long-acting steroids that will hopefully help for several months. Poor Kitty!
Believe it or not he loved his cage and didn't want to come out. He kept going back in every chance he got. Who could blame him?