Acute Collapse Average Cost

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What is Acute Collapse?

Acute collapse is generally symptomatic rather than a standalone condition. Acute collapse may be caused by a number of conditions, including but not limited to shock, Addison’s disease, and diabetes.

Acute collapse is a rare but serious symptom in cats that occurs when a cat becomes suddenly weak and faints or collapses. This is not the same thing as lying down; acute collapse is similar to a person passing out, and is characterized by weakness and disorientation. Collapse may also be preceded by vomiting, diarrhea, or panting. In most cases, cats will collapse for one minute or less and may return to normal quickly. However, it is unwise to delay treatment based on this fact, as acute collapse may be a sign of a serious condition and can also cause sudden death.

Symptoms of Acute Collapse in Cats

Due to the myriad of conditions it may be attributed to, acute collapse should be treated as an emergency. By the time fainting happens, the underlying condition may have advanced to a serious state. Seek immediate veterinary attention if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness or unsteadiness
  • Signs of anxiety and/or confusion
  • Loss of bowel and/or bladder control
  • Muscle twitching
  • Pale gums and tongue
  •  “Glassy” eyes

If your cat has suffered acute collapse and does not respond to you, this means it has lost consciousness and requires emergency veterinary treatment.

Causes of Acute Collapse in Cats

The main cause of collapse – regardless of the underlying condition – is a disruption in the blood and oxygen supply to the brain. Your vet will be able to determine what has caused the disruption during diagnosis. The most common cause of acute collapse in cats is heart muscle disease. There are no breed, sex, or age predispositions for acute collapse in cats, and acute collapse can affect any cat. 

There are several underlying conditions that may cause acute collapse. They include:

  • Electric shock
  • Allergic reaction
  • Certain cancers
  • Internal hemorrhage
  • Poisoning
  • Seizures
  • Diabetes
  • Heatstroke
  • Choking
  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Diseases of the blood
  • Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency)
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Diseases of the nervous system

In some cases, there may be no identifiable cause for acute collapse.

Diagnosis of Acute Collapse in Cats

The vet’s first priority is ensuring that the cat has indeed experienced acute collapse instead of a seizure. Be sure to inform your vet of the extent and duration of your cat’s symptoms, as well as any allergies, current medications, or any exposure to toxic substances that you know of.

Cats may appear completely normal after waking up from a collapse; this can make it difficult for the vet to make a diagnosis. It is important that you let your vet know how your cat acted before, during, and after the episode, as this may assist in the diagnostic process.

Your vet will conduct a number of tests to identify the underlying cause of the fainting. The first will likely be an ECG, which may accompany an ultrasound and x-ray of the chest. Blood tests, CT scans, and MRIs may also be required.

Treatment of Acute Collapse in Cats

Treatment of acute collapse will involve treating the underlying cause. Since so many conditions can cause acute collapse, a treatment plan will be created based on your cat’s individual needs. For heart conditions, your vet may surgically place a heart monitor or pacemaker.

In cases which no cause can be identified, your vet will be able to advise you on what to do when your cat suffers from acute collapse in the future. One thing you’ll want to do is practice preventative measures. Pay attention to what happens to your cat just before they have an episode of acute collapse – they may get extremely excited or frightened. This will help you avoid triggering an episode.

Recovery of Acute Collapse in Cats

Always follow your vet’s post-treatment instructions carefully. Recovery and prognosis may vary depending on the underlying cause of collapse. However, you’ll want to follow some general advice for ensuring your cat is comfortable throughout recovery.

Ensure your cat has a warm, safe place to rest. Keep all cleaning products secured where your cat cannot reach them. You may want to restrict your cat’s outdoor activity, particularly if the cause of the collapse was exposure to toxic substances. If your cat has had surgery, do not let them irritate the surgery site. Always administer medications according to your vet’s instructions. Never give your cat any kind of pain medication made for human use unless explicitly instructed by your vet.

Your vet will schedule follow-up appointments as necessary to monitor the underlying condition, if there is one. If you have any questions, or if the condition is not responding to treatment, contact your vet immediately.

Acute Collapse Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Russian Blue
6 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

No appetite

Hello, my cat Leo (6 months old) has recently collapsed twice in a few days to one side. He is responsive once i pick him up and put him back on all fours, but seems a bit dazed whilst on the ground. He will also often drop from walking normally and bend down with his elbows out trying to breathe. Our vet has done blood tests and prescribed a liquid antibiotic, but says he is otherwise healthy. He is also quite reluctant to eat.

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9 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Breathing Difficulty

Medication Used

omeprazole and metoclopramide

Hello, my cat has been experiencing several partial collapses over the last week. It starts out with a breathing episode. He is gasping for air, then slowly falls over. He is not unconscious. He is conscious the entire time, but gets week or loses ability in the legs to stand. After a few seconds, he is fine again. He is eating and drinking normally.

My vet thinks it may be Hiatal Hernia.

He is going for a CT scan on Friday.

Do you think there could be a heart condition there also?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
Syncopal episodes don't usually involve consciousness. If Snicky is conscious during the event, a heart related issue is less likely. I hope that all goes well with his CT scan and you are able to get some answers.

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6 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Passing out. Not drinking or eating

My cat has recently been groomed for which he needed to be sedated. I started noticing him collapsing when he gets up to go to the cat litter. In fairness I can't say for sure if this was happening before the grooming but it certainly is happening now. Also he won't eat, even chicken or drink much after he collapsed he urinated while in that condition and he let out this really painful meow....

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Any case of collapse (or fainting) should be seen by your Veterinarian as this may be caused by a few different conditions including heart failure; this isn’t something you should be ignoring or waiting to see if it improves. Your Veterinarian will carry out a thorough examination to rule out possible causes for the collapse (or fainting) episodes. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Domestic long hair
4 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Hind limb paralysis
Chronic Kidney Disease
Upper Respiratory Infection
Transitional heart murmur

Medication Used

Phosphorous binder
Epogen then changed to Aranesp

What could be the cause of my cat's episodes of collapse? This has happened 3 times in as many months and each time we've rushed to the emergency vets. By collapse; I am referring to my cat having rapid breathing and then extreme difficulty breathing, causing him to collapse and be unable to right himself. On the 2nd occasion, the collapse was preceded by emptying of the bowels which turned to diarrhoea (following a much needed warm water and lactulose enema) plus vomiting 6 times in 1 hour immediately before collapse. The most recent time was preceded by around 4 vomiting episodes over a 15 hour period and emptying of the bowels after a lactulose and warm water enema. There was no vomiting, diarrhoea or enemas given preceding the 1st episode. The only thing I can find in common for each of these episodes is that they follow recent injections of Epogen or Aranesp, which have caused the PCV to rise several points in a week. After being hospitalised and receiving oxygen therapy, IV fluids and antibiotics, my cat has bounced right back to how he was in less than 24 hours.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Aranesp (darbepoetin) is generally safer than Epogen (erythropoietin) however complications may occur with either and may be a trigger for collapse; however these medications are used as a last resort and because they are used ‘extra-label’ in animals there is little information about their side effects and adverse reactions in cats. I cannot really add anything else to what may be causing these episodes. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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ginger tabbie
4 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Collapses, loss of consciousness,
loses power in limbs

Hi, my cat has collapsed 3 or 4 times over the last couple of years.

All times recovered consciousness within a few seconds, normally after coming in fro outside.

Taken to vets but the vet dismissed my concern, said she'd never heard of such a thing at laughed when i bought up acute collapse research I'd done online.

My cat loses the the strength in his limbs and howls after, but normally regains appetite quickly. Never seen this before in previous cats.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
The collapse may be due to a lack of blood flow to the brain which may lead to a loss of strength and a loss of consciousness; this may be caused by heart disease, respiratory disorders, seizures, other neurological issues among other causes. You should have a thorough examination done by your Veterinarian (or another Veterinarian) with specific attention paid to the heart. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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