Asthma Inhalers For Cats and Dogs?! Yep

Yep, not kidding.

I was recently shopping for a new spacer for my inhaler, and my search showed spacers for cats and dogs.

I thought I read the description wrong. So I read it again.

Then I burst out laughing.

You see, most of the people that have asthma also have allergies. In fact, The American College of Allergy Asthma & Immunology says that 60% - 80% of people with asthma also have allergies (the percentage differs by age.)

Some common allergens

Those with asthma may have different allergens that can trigger (or cause) and asthma attack. Some common allergens are:

  • pollen
  • dust
  • mice and cockroaches
  • mold
  • cat and dog dander

One of the allergens that will trigger an asthma attack for ME is dander from cats and dogs. If I pet a dog or cat, I have to wash my hands and change my clothes. And I can't touch my face before I do. Or I end up sneezing, coughing and making a mad dash for my inhaler.

This week, I had a nasty asthma attack that I traced back to my husband holding a cat. Later that night, he gave me a hug, which instantly set off my asthma. I was coughing so hard I almost threw up and I also lost my voice. I couldn't figure out what had set off my asthma all of a sudden, and later was able to put the pieces together.

I was talking to my doctor about this and how much my husband LOVES it when I lose my voice. My doctor loves to joke and and said, "Mmmhmm. I get it. Your husband says 'there's too much talking going on here. Where's a cat'?" Then he pretends he picks up a cat and rubs it all over his shirt and then says, "C'mere honey! I want to give you a hug!" Then he fakes a shocked look that I have an asthma attack. I told him my husband needs to work on his "shocked look". Doc said to have him come into his office and he would teach my husband.

Funny. Yep - I smacked his leg and rolled my eyes.

But seriously, cats and dogs cause asthma attacks in humans but they also have asthma and need an inhaler and spacer? I can't quite wrap my mind around that!

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has a website called "Feline Asthma: What You Need To Know." Asthma is not as common in cats - the rates are between 1% - 5%. Asthma rates in people are 8.4% if you are under 18, 7.6% if you are an adult.

They have the same symptoms people do - coughing, hard time breathing, rapid breathing, open mouth breathing, wheezing or vomiting.

Just like with humans, they get corticosteroids and bronchidilators which they can get in an oral form, inhaler or injected. If they are inhaler, apparently they also have spacers for cat's inhalers (I still can't believe I am writing this.)

If you are worried if your dog has asthma, PetMD has information you can read.

If you are wondering about your cat or dog, talk to your vet. It still seems so weird to me that cats and dogs have asthma - they are one of the things that CAUSE an asthma attack for me.

Nature is funny that way.

Anyone have a cat or dog that has asthma?

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