Fancy purebred cats with unusual noses, as pristine, fluffy and fantastic as they are, sometimes have congenital defects within those cute noses, that can lead to scary situations for them and their owners. If you own a purebred cat with a flat face or pushed-in nose or are thinking of acquiring one, you definitely should know about Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome and what you can do about it.
Which Breeds Are Susceptible?
Any cat coming from a number of famous feline families with short or pushed-in noses is more susceptible, but mainly Persians, Himalayans, and Burmese. Your cat could have a touch of one of these breeds in his genes, giving him that cute, pouty face, but also an increased likelihood of having some anomaly within his breathing system. Some Burmese cats don't have a small, tilted nose, but, rather, a long and drawn-out one, which could mean a lengthier soft palate, which could also lead to strange sounds, frequent coughs or trigger the gag reflex.
Other internal components of the nasal cavity can be disfigured, and the condition can occur in dog breeds, too. Parts within the nose can actually block the passage of air, causing minor or major complications for both pet and owner.
What Are The Symptoms Of Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome?
A cat with structural abnormalities in his nose, mouth and other airway passages likely won't look much different than other cats, save for that cute, scrunched-up nose, but they do often sound different from an average cat due to the abnormalities, with strange snoring, snorting, sneezing and coughing, frequently heard. The purring may be pronounced, with extra moans and groans that make you do a double-take.
Additionally, a feline with a condition like this is very likely to tire easily, leading you to believe you've played too long or pushed your cat too hard when that's not the case at all. Even though you may not hear labored breathing or even see the cat's body rise and fall quickly with the inhibited breathing, that sudden plop to the floor that tells you he's had enough can be a big clue.
Should You Be Worried?
It's hard not to worry when your cat is making odd noises or seems to tire quickly; however, most cats with this syndrome aren't in a dire state. Additional complications, such as a respiratory infection, excess heat and/or humidity, along with being overweight, do exacerbate Brachycephalic Airway Syndorme, though, so if any of those situations arise, monitor your cat closely and contact your vet immediately if you observe difficulty breathing or any other symptoms.
Can A Veterinarian Hospital Help?
Cats with breathing difficulties due to their short snouts may be challenging for vets because this condition also makes anesthesia riskier than normal. If your cat's breathing is labored enough to require medical attention, he'll first need to undergo blood tests, to ensure that he won't have a reaction to the anesthesia. Under the sedation, the experts at a veterinarian hospital can take a close look at the nasal components, and determine what course of action to take.
Some felines require the help of medication for short-term relief, but the long-term solution is most often surgery. From the nostrils to the palate and down to the larynx, small areas of tissue can be removed, clearing the airway passages and, hopefully, allowing the cat to lead a normal life thereafter.
How Can You Help Your Fancy Feline?
One of the most important ways to support your feline with Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome is to manage their weight, no matter how often or fervently they plead for food. Because an airway restriction is affected by extra weight, particularly to the extent that the animal is classified as obese, it's very important that your cat not be burdened by a few extra pounds. Keeping the weight off now if much easier than losing it later, plus, your cat may already become winded quickly; if he becomes overweight, the problem will be compounded, making it next to impossible to exercise the extra weight off.
Manage his weight, keep his environment comfortable, never entice him when he seems tired or winded and always follow the advice of your veterinarian, to avoid further complications.
While alarming at first, congenital breathing problems for high-class, purebred cats are usually quite manageable, with many not needing any treatment at all. Even if your upper-crust kitty does require surgery, it's fairly straight-forward, with very high success rates. The worst part, for most pet owners, is not knowing what's going on, but that unease should subside, following a conference with your veterinarian. To learn more contact a caring company like Sepulveda Animal Hospital.