Bronchitis Average Cost

From 322 quotes ranging from $500 - 3,000

Average Cost


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What are Bronchitis?

Cats that suffer from bronchitis will have difficulty breathing, and in severe cases, may lose consciousness from lack of oxygen. Chronic inflammation from bronchitis can also lead to additional serious respiratory conditions including infection and scar tissue buildup from constant irritation.

Bronchitis in cats is a term that refers broadly to the inflammation of the bronchial tubes in your cat’s respiratory system. Bronchitis can have many underlying causes, including allergy. Bronchitis can also be acute, one-time, or chronic (recurring).

Symptoms of Bronchitis in Cats

Cats suffering from bronchitis will be unable to breathe properly and will have varying degrees of symptoms, depending on the severity of the inflammation in the bronchi. Common symptoms may include:

  • Spasms of coughing or repeated uncontrollable cough
  • Gagging or retching sounds that are sometimes confused with hairballs
  • Wheezing when breathing
  • Labored breathing
  • Panting
  • Rapid breathing (> 40 breaths per minute)
  • Breathing with mouth open
  • Exercise intolerance
  • In severe cases, total inability to breathe, which may result in loss of consciousness
  • Mild fever

Causes of Bronchitis in Cats

The bronchi are narrow tubes that transport air from your cat’s trachea or throat into the lungs. In cats suffering from bronchitis, these passageways become inflamed, which reduces the amount of oxygen your cat is able to take in. Bronchitis is differentiated from bronchial asthma in that asthma refers to a reversible constriction of the muscles within the walls of the bronchi. While bronchitis may be asthmatic, there may also be other causes for the inflammation. These may include:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Lung parasites (lung worm)
  • Heartworm disease
  • Allergies
  • Idiopathic or unidentified causes

Diagnosis of Bronchitis in Cats

Diagnosis of bronchitis in your cat will begin with you providing a complete physical history of your cat’s symptoms to your veterinarian. Since bronchitis can often have symptoms that are similar to those in other serious conditions, such as heart failure or acute respiratory distress, it will be important that your veterinarian has as much information as possible to make an accurate diagnosis. You should let your vet know the approximate time the symptoms began, the types of symptoms, and whether there has been any recent changes to your cat’s daily routine or exposure to new chemicals or substances that may coincide with the onset of the bronchitis.

Your vet will next conduct a thorough physical exam of your cat. This will include examining the eyes, nose, and ears for any signs of infection such as buildup of dirty waxy material in the ears or mucus or other discharge from the eyes or nose. Your vet will also request a chest x-ray of your cat in order to determine whether there is buildup of fluid or mucus or any scar tissue. A chest x-ray may also identify the presence of heartworms or lung worms in the most severe cases. In order for an accurate x-ray image to be obtained, your cat may need to be mildly sedated to help them be still during the test.

Another potential diagnostic test is a procedure called a bronchial lavage. During this procedure, a small amount of sterile fluid is flushed into your cat’s tracheal area and then collected. This fluid is then sent out to an outside laboratory for analysis. This analysis may be able to detect cellular changes within the lungs, which will help determine the cause of the bronchitis. Bronchial lavage requires your cat to be anesthetized and may not be possible in cats that are suffering from severe breathing issues. Finally, blood and urine tests will help determine the presence of various parasitic or other infections.

Treatment of Bronchitis in Cats

Treatment of bronchitis in your cat will depend on the underlying cause of the condition. In the case of a parasitic infection, your veterinarian will administer special medications that will kill off existing parasites. These medications will be followed by a preventative course of anti-parasite medications that should be administered on a regular schedule according to your vet’s instructions.

In the case of bacterial, fungal, or other infection, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to help your cat fight off the disease. Pinpointing the exact nature of the infection will be important, as different strains will be more or less susceptible to different antibiotics or antifungal drugs. 

For treatment of symptoms, your veterinarian will prescribe a course of medications designed to reduce the inflammation (corticosteroids) and open up the bronchi (bronchodilators). Both of these medications may be injected, given orally, or inhaled. If the underlying cause of the bronchitis is asthmatic, your cat’s exposure to asthma-inducing allergens should be limited or removed entirely if possible. In some cases, this may require limiting your cat’s outdoors exposure.

Recovery of Bronchitis in Cats

In most cases, prognosis for recovery from bronchitis in your cat is good. Depending on the underlying cause of the inflammation, the condition may be permanent and your cat’s symptoms may need to be managed continuously via medications. To recover from infections or acute bronchitis your cat should be given a warm, safe and quiet place in the household where they can properly recover. With proper recuperative and supportive treatment, your cat will live a long, normal, healthy life.

Bronchitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

4 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Neck Strain
New cat
Wet Cough

Cat has a wet sounds cough like he’s trying to get a hair all up. We got a new cat about two weeks ago who had a slight cough when we got him. Coughing kitty is sticking his neck and younger out. Asthma? Bronchitis?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1397 Recommendations
There are many reasons for a cough in cats, including asthma, bronchitis, heartworms, heart disease, fungal infection, cancer and hairballs. Since I cannot examine either cat, it would be best to have them seen for this cough, as a cough is never something to 'wait and see' about. I hope that they are both okay.

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domestic longhair,
3 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

about 3 weeks ago our cat started to sound like he was gagging and needed to cough up something. He has always been an indoor cat from his previous owner until we adopted him last month. could he be suffering from bronchitis?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1397 Recommendations
Some causes for that behavior include hairballs, asthma, bronchitis, allergies, or heartworm disease. It would be best to have Gino seen by a veterinarian if it doesn't seem to be improving, as they can assess his heart and lungs and determine what might be going on.

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Pretty Girl
4 Years
Mild condition
-2 found helpful
Mild condition

Our cat is a four year old rescue cat kept indoors, no contact at all with outside except for a visit to our vet. It was after a visit to the vet a few months ago that she suddenly started coughing, the vet said that she had bronchitis, She has Prednidale 5mg every other day, half in the morning and the other half in the evening. When we first had her we took her for a check up and she then went down with cat flu.We have had cats for 50+ years. She has had an Xray and fluid sample taken for identification under anaethetic. Your advice please.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2981 Recommendations
Without examining Pretty Girl it is difficult for be to determine severity and the specific cause, the sample taken for culture and sensitivity would determine if there is a serious infectious component but if the cause is due to inflammation or irritation other treatment may be needed. You need to see what comes back from the last test and then discuss options with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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9 Years
Serious condition
-1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms


Hi My cat has been suffering with Bronchitis for the past 5 years, recently the medication isn't working and she's been hiding a lot. She's 9 years old and I wonder if she's suffering and if I should sadly put her down?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2981 Recommendations
A decision to put Mika to sleep is a decision you need to make, without examining her and reviewing treatment I cannot determine anything for you; any treatment given needs to be based on the findings of a physical examination by your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

find the Chi institute and call for a trained vet in your area. They are an institute for Chinese medicine and acupuncture. I was a vet nurse and they will be able to give you a prognosis for your cat and how much she will benefit. Good Luck - not an easy situation.

I would contact the Chi institute of Chinese Medicine for veterinary surgeons - they should have a vet in your area who has trained with them. Acapuncture can be very effective in this kind of condition. They will be able to give you a prognosis of how much the cat should benefit. Good luck.

Bronchitis is treatable in cats and just shocked at someone owners would even consider putting an an animal to sleep for this reason is just ludicrous.

I would never put a cat down for that reason as we would not do that to a human please use some common sense (owner).

Look up Lung Gold for cats!!

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