Canine respiratory disease complex arises out of an interaction between an assortment of viral and bacterial pathogens; the animal's immune response; and a host of environmental factors. No single strategy will be sufficient for prevention, treatment or control. The good news is we do have many options to reduce the level of environmental contamination and support animals' ability to ward off infection.
Recognizing that thoracic radiography is the first diagnostic imaging step for dogs and cats with thoracic disease, there is a lot more to thoracic imaging than radiographs. In specific circumstances additional modalities which may be considered include ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), fluoroscopy and nuclear scintigraphy.
The nasal cavity is defined as part of the upper respiratory tract that extends from the nares to the choanae. The choanae is the caudal most part of the nasal cavity that communicates with the nasopharynx.
Feline upper respiratory infection (URI) is perhaps the most frustrating illness facing shelter veterinarians, managers and staff. Many cats enter shelters already silently carrying the viruses that lead to illness; vaccines are partially effective at best; and specific treatments are limited.
If the cat is presented for labored breathing questions should be directed to assist in differentiating upper from lower respiratory disease as some owners perceive stertorous breathing in a cat with upper respiratory disease as a form of labored breathing. This could be misleading to a clinician.
A variety of disorders can affect the upper respiratory tract of cats; while the feline upper respiratory infection complex is one of the most common URT disorders, this lecture will focus more on more complex disorders such as chronic rhinitis, nasopharyngeal polyps and nasopharyngeal stenosis, as well as feline laryngeal disease.
Cats who cannot breathe are the most fragile patients we treat each day. Cats tend to be more compromised on presentation as they hide their breathing issues better from their owners. It is important to balance diagnostic procedures with therapeutic intervention so that these cats can be quickly stabilized and effectively treated.
A large number of disorders (infectious, non-infectious inflammatory, immune-mediated, neoplastic etc.) can affect the bronchopulmonary tree in dogs. A comprehensive review of each disorder is beyond the scope of this presentation. Rather we will review key clinical points about the diagnosis and management of canine chronic bronchitis and pulmonary fibrosis.
Feline bronchopulmonary disease (FBPD), often referred to as "feline asthma" actually encompasses a group of common, but poorly understood, airway diseases. It is estimated that bronchopulmonary disease affects 1% of the general cat population and > 5% of the Siamese breed. Cats of any age can be affected and there is no clear gender predisposition.