Lorena Dinger was headed from Seattle to Portland to visit family with her cat Molly in tow when disaster struck. It was a hot day and the route through Olympia was littered with loud and jarring construction projects. As they passed through the area, the asthmatic Molly began panting heavily, more heavily than her owner had ever seen. “She has an inhaler that we use all the time,” says Dinger. “I used it and it wasn’t helping.”
Molly had been on shorter road trips before and had never had any problems. As a result, Dinger had no sedatives available. When she rescued Molly in 2010, she knew about her multiple health problems, including Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), arthritis, and asthma. “Her previous human had died, and I got her from a couple who was fostering her,” says Dinger. “She’s very care intensive.”
Approximately 1% of all cats worldwide have asthma, with symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Even cats that with no previous history can experience attacks under the right environmental conditions, but those with pre-existing conditions are at more serious risk. Molly’s panting was not a good sign.
From the car, Dinger called an emergency vet in Seattle whom she’d dealt with previously. “They told me that it sounded like respiratory distress and to see someone closer,” she says.
Looking for the nearest emergency vet, Dinger discovered Olympia Pet Emergency and brought Molly into the clinic. The staff immediately went to work, treating Molly but also alleviating her owner’s stress. “I was so scared and I felt terrible for bringing her on this trip without any sedatives,” she says. “I’m very attached to this cat.”
The first thing the veterinary staff did was put Molly into an oxygen tent and calm her down. Next came a sedative and a steroid injection, plus enough sedatives to last for the rest of the trip to Portland and the return journey. “They took great care of her and they were very reassuring for us. It put me at ease as well,” says Dinger. “They did a fantastic job of explaining the situation to us and we were able to continue the trip and use the sedatives they gave us for the trip home. We made it home just fine.”
She also learned that Molly’s attack had probably been triggered by anxiety. “Just like with humans, there’s a strong connection between stress and asthma,” she says. “It was really hot and there was all that road construction. She was stressed and nervous about being in the car.”
For any travelers who may find themselves in similar circumstances, Dinger has a piece of advice. “Give Olympia Pet Emergency a call,” she says. “They provide really good care and they were very helpful.”
For more information about Olympia Pet Emergency visit www.olympiapetemergency.net or call 360-455-5155.