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Fibrotic Hardening of the Lungs in Cats

3 min read



Your cat may need supplemental oxygen; in which case, it will be hospitalized. This is a life-threatening disease and may be terminal if not treated immediately and appropriately. For that reason, treatment will focus on support, and on controlling the symptoms to enhance the quality of life.


If the cat is obese, there may be further treatment complications because it can impede ventilation (breathing). Weight loss will lessen symptoms of respiratory impairment.


Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory dosages of prednisone at first, tapering the dosage over the course of a month if there is no underlying infection. There are also some antifibrotic agents that may be helpful, as well as bronchodilators (drugs made to widen the air passages and relax the bronchial tissues) to assist your cat’s breathing.


Living and Management


You will need to eliminate the cat's exposure to dust or fumes. This is a progressive condition with a guarded prognosis; cats with pulmonary fibrosis generally only survive between a few weeks to a few months. Because of the possibility of quick deterioration, cats should be intensively monitored.


Pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure often develops with any severe, chronic lung disease. Your veterinarian may want to repeat lung biopsies in order to track the cat's progress and the effectiveness of its treatment. A positive response to treatment will result in an increase in mobility.


Image: Rommel Canlas via Shutterstock


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