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Cats + Emergency Situations

  • Arsenic poisoning is the accidental ingestion, skin contact, or inhalation of products containing a toxic dose of arsenic. The clinical signs of sudden arsenic poisoning can vary depending on the dose. Supportive therapy is a crucial part of treating arsenic poisoning. Aggressive fluid therapy and rehydration is necessary and helps the body to remove arsenic from the body.

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome, also known as shock lung, is a life-threatening complication of critical illness in cats, such as systemic infection or disease, severe trauma, or near-drowning. Treatment involves targeting the underlying cause while also supporting the cat's compromised lung function with the use of an oxygen cage, an oxygen line direct to the cat's nasal passages, or in severe cases, a mechanical ventilator. Unfortunately, the prognosis for this condition is poor.

  • Early decontamination of can be performed following exposure to a toxic dose of alcohol as long as a pet is not showing clinical signs. Decontamination may include inducing vomiting (for ingestions) or bathing (for skin exposures). Other therapies include intravenous (IV) fluids, IV dextrose to help with low blood glucose, anti-nausea medication and warming support. Although there is no specific antidote for alcohol poisoning, medications may be used to assist with severe clinicals signs of respiratory depression and coma. Hospitalization for monitoring of cardiovascular and neurological parameters is needed until animals have recovered. Recovery is expected within 24 – 36 hours following treatment.

  • Anticoagulant rodenticides are poisons used to kill mice, rats, and other rodents by preventing blood clotting. Poisoning occurs when a cat ingests rodenticide. Anticoagulant rodenticides cause excessive bleeding by interfering with vitamin K1 recycling in the body. Vitamin K1 is needed for the body to make certain clotting factors which enable blood to clot and help to control bleeding.

  • Aspirin is a commonly used over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and is used to treat fever, pain, inflammation (swelling), and clotting disorders in humans. Aspirin poisoning occurs when a cat ingests a toxic dose of aspirin, either through misuse or accidentally. Clinical signs depend on how much aspirin was eaten. Treatment for aspirin poisoning depends on how quickly the cat is seen by the veterinarian.

  • This handout summarizes the possible reactions a cat may experience when receiving a blood transfusion. Many transfusion reactions occur acutely, within seconds of starting the transfusion up to 48 hours post-transfusion. The clinical signs and treatment protocols both vary based on the type of reaction. Prior to a blood transfusion, your veterinarian may perform tests to help ensure that the donor blood is a good match for your cat.

  • Cats are exposed to botulism by eating raw meat or dead animals containing botulinum toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism causes ascending paralysis of the nervous system. Clinical signs are reviewed as well as diagnostic tests and treatment. Prognosis is guarded depending on the amount of toxin ingested and the degree of supportive care available. There is no vaccine.

  • A burn is a type of skin injury, commonly caused by heat, fire, or chemicals. Burns are classified based on how many layers of skin are affected; this classification scheme can help predict prognosis. Treatment of burns varies, depending on the severity of the burn and how much of the body is affected. Superficial burns may heal without treatment, while more severe burns may require hospitalization and possible skin grafts.

  • Cardiomyopathy in Cats

    Cardiomiopatía es el término usado para describir las enfermedades de la musculatura del corazón. En gatos, existen tres tipos de cardiomiopatías: hipertrófica, dilatada, y intermedia o restrictiva. En todos estos tipos, la enfermedad cardíaca acaba provocando signos de fallo cardíaco. Una cardiomiopatía puede presentarse como una enfermedad primaria o secundaria a otra enfermedad.

  • Chlorfenapyr poisoning is suspected if a pet has access to this pesticide and subsequently develops expected signs; it should also be suspected in a pet exhibiting signs and at risk of malicious poisoning. Pets that develop clinical signs following chlorfenapyr ingestion are unlikely to survive and chronic complications may be present for survivors.