Childbirth is a very responsible and difficult "event". Even domestic cats, which are extremely rare (according to veterinary statistics) experience difficulties when kittens are born, should never completely exclude the possibility that something will go wrong. But sometimes the signs, which, as it seems to the owners, indicate pathology, are quite normal. For example, childbirth in cats can result in animals breathing long and hoarse while sitting with their mouths wide open. Is this pathology or the norm? Let's figure it out!
Why does a cat breathe with its mouth open
In general, the development of mild shortness of breath directly during and after the appearance of kittens in the light is a completely normal phenomenon, and in most cases there’s nothing to worry about. Why is this happening? As you might guess, during childbirth, the cat’s body experiences tremendous stress and overload, superior to those of marathon athletes. Even trained athletes or racehorses breathe heavily after this, so what can we say about the cat that just gave birth!
Of course, she will inhale the air for a long time "full breast". This phenomenon is called "hyperventilation of the lungs", it helps to restore normal functioning of the body. A lot of oxygen is required for tissues and organs that begin to "come to their senses" after a difficult period of pregnancy and childbirth. It is also required for accelerated work of enzyme systems and accelerated tissue regeneration of the reproductive system. In a word, increased and in-depth breathing in itself is not a reason for panic.
This is especially true of primiparas and old women in childbirth. In the first case, the cat’s body, which first experienced all the “charms” of childbirth, is actively trying to bounce back. In the second - the already old body of the cattery, having given birth to more than a dozen kittens in its lifetime, already has no resources for quick recovery. All this leads to the same result - the cat breathes with his mouth open, sometimes frightening his master very much. Once again we repeat that this behavior can be considered the norm ... If it lasts no more than three or four hours after birth.
When your pet, and a day after the birth of kittens breathes, as if imitating an elderly bulldog, it's time to think about calling a veterinarian.
Pathological causes of dyspnea
First you need to talk again about the hardships of pregnancy (especially in cases of large and multiple pregnancy). If there are a lot of kittens in the uterus, or if they are large, the organ grows very, very large in size. Sometimes it’s so much so that the cat’s stomach hangs almost to the ground. A swollen uterus strongly compresses not only the other organs of the abdominal and pelvic cavities, but also the lungs, pressing against them from the diaphragmatic dome.
Of course, for the organs of the respiratory system, this does not work for nothing. In especially severe cases, you may notice signs of something wrong during pregnancy, when the cat cannot even get to the bowl with food so that immediately after that she does not develop severe shortness of breath. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about it. We can only recommend maintaining the optimum temperature and humidity in the room where the cat spends most of its time.
Important!Make sure that the pregnant pet does not sleep near the central heating batteries. In general, under the conditions of such heating, we would advise you to use a humidifier - with it the overloaded respiratory system of your pet will be much easier to bear all the hardships of life.
But much worse if the cat is already old. In this case, a simple shortness of breath, it certainly will not work. It's all about anatomy and physiology. If the lungs are pinched by an enlarged uterus and other organs of the abdominal and pelvic cavities, blood circulation in a small circle will be very difficult. This will lead to an increase in blood pressure in the vessels ... of course, it cannot constantly increase. Gradually, a liquid fraction of blood begins to seep into the alveoli of the lungs. If this phenomenon developed immediately before childbirth, then the animal can be lucky, and soon after the kittens are born, everything normalizes. Otherwise, the likelihood of developing pulmonary edema is very high.
Its characteristic signs are shortness of breath, when the animal is strained and often breathes, sitting with its mouth open. In severe cases, the cat coughs heavily, while lumps of white, flaky foam fly out of the mouth. If you see something like this in a baby who has given birth, call your veterinarian immediately. Procrastination is fraught with the death of a cat from hypoxia (suffocation). Foam-filled lungs simply cannot provide oxygen to the body.
Pathology of the heart
A very large group of diseases. Pregnant cats most often develop dilated cardiomyopathy. If you do not go into details, this is called an increase in the size of the heart with the simultaneous thinning of its walls. Often, the disease is one of the consequences of the condition described above.
This is especially true for old cats. Constant pregnancy and stress experienced by the body during this period, just lead to a strong stretching of the heart muscle. She can no longer properly pump blood through the pulmonary circulation ... as a result of which all the same pulmonary edema develops. Remember that at the slightest suspicion of a heart pathology, you should immediately call a veterinarian! If a specialist confirms the presence of cardiomyopathy, then the cat will be prescribed treatment ... Most likely, life-long. In addition, we would strongly advise such animals to be sterilized without fail, since their subsequent pregnancies will probably not survive.
Thus, you need to take stock. As a rule, heavy and rapid breathing with an open mouth, observed in a cat immediately after birth, can (at least in part) be considered the norm. But in cases where this condition is observed for three or more hours, it does not hurt to call a veterinarian. Perhaps this will save your pet's life.