Inhaler a breath of fresh air for moggy
WHETHER it be a runny nose or a daily dose of tablets, the start of summer can be a real headache for thousands of hay fever sufferers.And while Suffolk's sea of bright yellow rape fields can be a nightmare for humans, it can also be more unexpected foe for felines.
WHETHER it be a runny nose or a daily dose of tablets, the start of summer can be a real headache for thousands of hay fever sufferers.
And while Suffolk's sea of bright yellow rape fields can be a nightmare for humans, it can also be more unexpected foe for felines.
Yesterday, cat lover Anna Dickie revealed how her pet has learned to cope with the ordeal thanks to daily steroids and a specially-adapted inhaler attached to the moggie's mouth.
Ms Dickie, who lives in Cavendish, near Sudbury, said the unusual contraption had helped save the life of her Asian ticked tabby, Bruno.
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She explained: “It is quite rare but my asthmatic cat is particularly affected by the horrid rape crop. He developed breathing problems and was diagnosed with asthma last year after we took him to specialists in Newmarket.
“He was close to dying and spent several days in intensive care because of the asthma. He was given daily steroids and a puffer which seemed to get it under control - but since we had a rape field planted directly adjacent to our home, he has got a lot worse.”
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After animal experts suggested using an inhaler to ease Bruno's problems, a sceptical Ms Dickie decided to give it a chance and now says his problems have eased.
She added: “We had to experiment with using the puffer at first although it looks just like a human inhaler. It has a plastic tube fitted to the mouthpiece which allows the spray to go directly into Bruno.
“He has breathing problems and gets chocked up and starts wheezing - it is not very nice at all. Although he wasn't so keen at first, he is now very good at taking it.”
Feline asthma affects one in 200 cats and symptoms include coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Cigarette smoke, dusty houses, human dandruff, pollen and certain types of cat litters can all create inflammation in cats' airways and worsen asthma.
In a complete turnaround, instead of pets being blamed for causing allergies and breathing problems in people, experts now believe human lifestyles may be potentially triggering asthma attacks in cats.