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Pneumonia (Aspiration) in Cats




Suction of the airways can be performed immediately after inhalation of foreign matter. If your cat is showing signs of respiratory distress, oxygen will be required as part of a stabilizing treatment. Should signs of dehydration or shock be present, or if intake of oral fluids has been prohibited, an intravenous drip may be inserted. Until the primary problem has been diagnosed, oral intake should be withheld, especially in acute cases of aspiration pneumonia.


Your cat should be given a quiet place to rest, preferably in a cage, away from other animals or active children. However, supervision is still important. An animal with this condition should not be left lying on its side in an inactive state for more than two hours at a time, to avoid the risk of fluid accumulation in one area. Encourage your cat to change positions throughout the day.


Once your cat is showing signs of stability, a mild form of gentle exercise could be beneficial in stimulating a cough, which will in turn help to clear the airways. If recovery is progressing slowly, a saline drip may be recommended.


Living and Management


Aspiration pneumonia is a life threatening condition. Your cat may need to be in intensive care for several days before it is fully stabilized. In some instances, if the condition is related to complications with paralysis of the esophagus, a cat will experience great difficulty gaining full recovery. Once your cat's condition has stabilized, you will need to continue the full course of medication, as well as any follow-up procedures your veterinarian deems necessary.


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