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Dr. Drew
Dr. Drew, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16846
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
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Can lung fluid in cats be treated

Customer Question

My 11-year old cat was diagnosed with having fluid in her lungs by our vet. They prescribed Prednizone and it''s not helping her. Her breathing is pretty normal most of the time, but it''s very difficult for her to purr - she starts suffocating and coughing. Her energy is low, but she still has a fairly good appetite (the steroid helps with that). She also has arthritis in her legs. Is there a better treatment (western or holistic) for her lungs or a treatment at all? I''ve had my share of incompetent vets. I need an honest, educated advice from a vet whose first priority is NOT profiting off of my pet''s ill health. I just want my kitty to be comfortable and not in pain. I want her to purr without choking. I realize she''s not a young cat, but if I can improve her quality of life and prolong it a little, I will have the joy of having her in my life a little longer. It''s Christmas - please help me give my cat the gift of a healthier life.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 9 years ago.

IS the fluid IN her lungs or AROUND her lungs (in the chest cavity)? That will make a big difference in what disease is actually to blame, and what medications can be used.



Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you so much for your reply.
I am not 100% certain. They said that the x-ray showed fluid IN her lungs, but I would have to call and verify again. Can you tell me what the possible/probable causes are for fluid IN vs. fluid AROUND the lungs and what are the chances of survival?

Thank you so much,
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 9 years ago.

Fluid IN the lungs is usually due to heart disease - congestive heart failure.

Fluid AROUND the lungs (pleural effusion) is often due to cancer in the chest, in a cat, lymphoma is the most common cause. Other sources of fluid around the lungs are FIP (an immune-mediated viral disease), pyothorax (pus from an infection), chylothorax (milky lymphatic fluid), or blood from trauma or cancer.

WIth cancer in the chest, the prognosis is, as one might expect, not great -- however, I have seen some patients go many months with medication and occasional to frequent draining of the fluid. A fluid analysis would really be very helpful.

Good Luck.


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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
What courses of treatment are usually taken for the above listed conditions? Any meds that work better than others?
In your professional opinion, is Prednizone a treatment for any specific condition causing fluid in /around the lungs, or is it administerd just to improve appetite, energy level and hopefully lung function (but is it actually doing anything to the fluid?)Is my cat actually being treated for anything?
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 9 years ago.

Prednisone is typically a good choice when there's fluid around the lungs, as long as it's not pus (pyothorax), because prednisone can help with inflammation or some cancers (lymphoma). It may shrink a tumor and slow down fluid production by that tumor, as well as helping the feeling of well-being.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you for the information. Now I'll be able to ask my vet more specific and informed questions and pray for well informed answers. I will also take my cat in for a second opinion.
Happy New Year and thanks again.
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 9 years ago.

Good Luck, let me know what you find out.