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Heart (Aortic) Blood Clot in Cats



Most cats with this condition require immediate intensive care and hospitalization to prevent complete heart failure. Hospitalization is also necessary to minimize the stress and pain associated with this disease. Cats with breathing problems require oxygen therapy to reduce the stress of rapid breathing and to allow achieving required levels of oxygen in the blood.


Thrombolytics medications, which are used to dissolve the blood, are essential for treatment. Cats that do not respond to conventional treatment, however, will require surgery to remove the blood clot. Your veterinarian will also give pain killers to reduce the severe pain associated with this disease.


Living and Management


Unfortunately, the prognosis for most cats with aortic thromboembolism is not good. Even with treatment, clots can again develop and block the aorta. If blood supply to the legs are not restored quickly, permanent muscular abnormalities may develop in the affected limb.


Cats recovering from aortic thromboembolism should not be allowed to move and should be placed in a stress-free environment, away from other pets and active children. Severe pain is a common symptom associated with this disease and many cats find it difficult to urinate due to problems with their posture. You may need to gently press your cat's bladder to assist in urination. In addition, most affected cats find it difficult to eat and may require new foods to tempt the palate. This lack of appetite (anorexia) may lead to further complications. Seek your veterinarian's advice for dietary changes.


Lastly, closely monitor your cat and watch for bleeding, which may occur due to the type of medications frequently used in the treatment of this disease. If you observe any sort of bleeding, immediately call your veterinarian.


To monitor the progress of treatment, frequent checkups and laboratory tests will be required. If the cat does not respond to treatment, your veterinarian may recommend euthanizing the animal due to the severe complications.

Image: Timolina via Shutterstock


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