Asthma occurs when an allergen incites airway inflammation, resulting in varying levels of respiratory distress, more commonly in cats than in dogs, according to veterinarian Bernhard Pukay. Some cats experience mild symptoms such as coughing fits that resolve on their own, while others can have severe reactions that progress to panting and even death in rare cases, writes Dr. Pukay. X-rays help to make the diagnosis of asthma and rule out other conditions. Treatment depends on the severity of symptoms, according to Dr. Pukay, who points out that some cats may only need monitoring while others require medication.

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