Any pathology that somehow affects the process of breathing is potentially very dangerous by suffocation and the death of a pet. Laryngeal paralysis occurs infrequently, but its appearance gives the owners and the cat a lot of problems.
What is laryngeal paralysis and its causes
The term "paralysis" means a violation of the conductivity of the corresponding sections of the vagus nerve, as well as the recurrent nerve. Sometimes "paralysis" is indeed paralysis, since for some reason the function of the larynx muscles is impaired.
Sometimes the cause of laryngeal paralysis is compression (obstruction) of the organ by benign or malignant neoplasms, abscesses or tumors of fungal etiology.
Serious injuries should not be forgotten: in overly aggressive cats, the larynx (often along with the trachea) can be severely damaged after another "fight". Often, such a pet will not be able to breathe normally even after surgery.
Types of laryngeal paralysis
The most commonly used etiological classification (i.e. separation for reasons):
- Neurogenic paralysis. One of the most typical varieties. The organ's performance is impaired due to poor nerve conduction in connection with injuries, the action of parasites, pathogenic microflora and other negative factors.
- Paralysis of myogenic origin. They develop due to muscle pathologies, including cancer, parasites, and other factors.
- Paralysis of psychoemotional etiology. In animals are rare and even less often they can be diagnosed.
Veterinarians produce idiopathic paralysis, i.e. of unclear origin or generally “causeless”.
Interesting! Professional doctors do not believe in “idiopathy”. They believe that 99% of these "causeless" paralysis actually develop due to hidden neurological pathologies. The only problem is that most veterinary clinics do not have equipment (for MRI, for example) that would allow them to be detected.
Symptoms and first signs in cats
Paralysis in cats is characterized by the following symptoms:
- A sick cat changes his voice. The meow becomes hoarse, or the effect of a "resonator" or "empty" barrel. Some cats immediately begin to hiss, their meowing becomes thin and squeaky.
- Noticeable breathing problems. The animal cannot breathe normally, hissing and coughing. But usually there are problems with exhalation: the cat inhales normally, but it can no longer exhale. He pushes and squeals, expelling air from the lungs. Accordingly, the pet cannot fully sleep, play, run, eat and drink, becoming nervous and extremely irritable. Exhaustion is rapidly developing.
- A sick cat does not tolerate physical activity. Even a walk to the bowl in severe cases becomes a test, after which the animal begins to puff and pant, long recovering. Of course, the cat immediately refuses jumps and active games, and does not go outside.
- Strong, suffocating cough, and its sound just very much resembles the resonance of the "empty barrel". Sometimes the paralysis process is supplemented by the collapse of the trachea, and in these cases the sound of coughing becomes like "the screams of a dying goose."
- The cat's body experiences severe oxygen deficiency. Because of this, all visible mucous membranes turn blue. If the cat is already old or very young, then it can easily die from asphyxiation. It must be remembered that a prolonged lack of oxygen never goes unnoticed by the brain. Therefore, even in cases when the cat does recover, subsequently, it can easily develop epilepsy or something like that.
Diagnostic methods for laryngeal paralysis
The main methods for identifying the disease:
- The specialist should collect the most detailed medical history. If possible, it is necessary to capture the moment of the pet’s attack on the video, since the sounds of wheezing and the behavior of the animal at this time can tell a lot to an experienced diagnostician.
- An ultrasound examination and, if necessary, an x-ray are required. However, as the experience of veterinarians testifies, radiography in this case is almost useless.
As a rule, this is enough to make a diagnosis.
Veterinarians with experience advise not to waste time on drug therapy. It helps only in the most mild cases. If time is lost, only surgery can save a cat's life or significantly improve its quality.
- The simplest option is excision (resection) of sagging and dead tissue. This method is rarely used as an independent operation, since such a harsh intervention is fraught with the formation of multiple scars and adhesions.
- Resection of a part of the vocal cords. Normally a cat will not be able to meow, but this is much better than death from asphyxiation.
- Partial removal of the arytenoid cartilage (you can only remove it). Of all the cartilages of the larynx, it is the scyphoid that is the most "unnecessary", and therefore its resection helps restore the lumen of the organ without significant consequences for the pet's body.
- The most advanced method (for neurogenic paralysis) is the transfer of a neuromuscular bundle. The problem is that not all clinics perform such a complicated operation.
- Tracheostomy. This is an extreme way out that helps the animal breathe when its larynx has finally become unusable. At the same time, an implant is inserted directly into the trachea that connects the tracheal cavity with the environment. The cat will not be able to meow.
Possible complications and consequences of paralysis
The most common (and almost always fatal) complication is aspiration pneumonia. Since the diseased larynx can no longer separate the streams of food and air, food often enters the lungs and begins to rot there. Even in cases of timely treatment, the risk of death is very high.
A cat can die from "banal" suffocation, he cannot eat and drink normally, as a result of which he risks dying from exhaustion and dehydration ... In short, this paralysis is an extremely dangerous disease.
Feeding and caring for a sick cat: what you need to do
Caring for a sick cat has a number of nuances:
- It is better to refuse dry food, use only high-quality naturalka (rabbit, turkey, chicken), or prepared canned food. Veterinarians recommend applying for this holiviki from Acana, Hills, Eukanuba. When using "naturalki" meat and other components of the diet must be finely cut.
- A sick cat is fed more often, but in small portions.
- In the room it is necessary to maintain a stable, constant temperature, avoiding its sudden changes and drafts.
- It is better to refuse walks on the street.
Only the following preventive measures can be advised:
- Inoculate the animal on time.
- The cat also needs to be treated in a timely manner.
- At least once a quarter - preventive veterinary examination.
- The animal is better to be neutered / sterilized (less likely to be injured, less aggressive).