Louisa Rahilly, DVM DACVECC

One of the biggest challenges facing veterinarians is the dyspneic patient. We all have the nightmarish knowledge (and unfortunately experience) that a chest radiograph or blood draw can push the gasping cat into respiratory arrest. Unfortunately, there is still no easy, minimally invasive test with rapid turn-around that definitively answers questions like: atypical pneumonia or cancer? heart failure or asthma? Researchers and specialists from various disciplines, however, have been looking at precisely these questions over the past several years trying to find markers or diagnostic modalities which are best for certain disease processes. The purpose of this little update is to highlight some recently developed or newly utilized diagnostics which I believe show the most promise to assist with the diagnosis of respiratory disease in our small animal patients.

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