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5 Tricky Conditions You Might THINK are Hairballs

Posted April 19, 2016 in Cat Diseases & Conditions A-Z

Cat Hairballs may be Asthma, Heartworm or more

If you share your life with a cat, or two, or five, you have almost certainly heard your cat making a very troubled wheezing, coughing, retching sound that you assumed to be a hairball. Sometimes though, no hairball is produced; then you ask “Could it be something else?” Well yes it could.

Let’s take a look a 5 things that you may think are hairballs.

1. Asthma
Some cats that we may think have hairballs may actually have serious respiratory problems. Frequent or prolonged episodes of coughing may in fact be the result of serious respiratory conditions such as feline asthma.

If you listen closely, you may be able to detect a wheezing sound as the cat exhales.

Feline asthma can be treated using systemic corticosteroids or administration of an inhalant medication as is used in people.

[Learn more about asthma in cats.]

Related symptoms: 

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Mike has more than 35 years of experience in companion animal veterinary practice and is a valued member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team since 2013.