What is Cardiac Arrest?
This condition can be reversed, but it requires immediate veterinary care to lower the risk of serious complications. Cardiac arrest can become fatal without prompt treatment from a veterinary professional.
Cardiac arrest in cats occurs when regular blood circulation stops, which causes the heart to stop beating. This can happen when cats are unable to breathe normally for several minutes. The respiratory system and cardiovascular system in cats normally work together to ensure regular blood circulation, a normal heart rate, normal breathing and healthy blood pressure levels. When the respiratory system is affected by illness or trauma, oxygen levels in the blood can drop low enough to lead to cardiac arrest.
Symptoms of Cardiac Arrest in Cats
Cardiac arrest is considered a life-threatening emergency for cats, so it is important for owners to know the symptoms of it. Signs of this condition include:
- Breathing heavily
- Showing no response to stimulation
- Losing consciousness
- Having pupil dilation
- Having bluish gums, skin and mucous membranes, which indicates dangerously low levels of oxygen in the bloodstream
- Having a low body temperature, also known as hypothermia
Causes of Cardiac Arrest in Cats
Cardiac arrest in cats can occur for a number of reasons. Possible causes of this condition include the following:
- Oxygen levels in the blood that are too low
- A low supply of oxygen
- Heart disease
- A metabolic disease
- An electrolyte imbalance
- Brain injuries
- Low levels of bodily fluids
- Blood poisoning from toxic bacteria in the bloodstream
- Shock from trauma
- Anesthesia for medical procedures
Diagnosis of Cardiac Arrest in Cats
A prompt and accurate diagnosis of cardiac arrest in cats is important in order for veterinarians to treat it properly. A diagnosis includes providing a veterinarian with information on the cat’s medical history and details on when symptoms began to appear and what types of symptoms occurred. Owners should also tell a veterinarian any relevant details that might help explain why their cat went into cardiac arrest, such as an injury or possible exposure to toxic substances. This can help veterinarians treat or manage underlying conditions after they have restored cardiac function. Doing so can help stabilize cats and lower the risk of complications.
Veterinarians typically do a physical exam that includes checking circulation and respiration for any abnormalities. This exam also involves regularly monitoring blood pressure and checking pulse rates. Veterinarians also perform tests to determine what is causing cardiac arrest. Common tests that are used include X-rays of the chest, blood samples to check the levels of oxygen and other gases, echocardiography to check for evidence of heart disease and a complete blood count. Other tests that are often done include a biochemistry profile and urine tests, which help veterinarians find out what might have led to cardiac arrest.
Treatment of Cardiac Arrest in Cats
Since cardiac arrest in cats is an emergency, prompt veterinary care is required. Owners should bring cats to the nearest veterinary hospital or emergency clinic for treatment.
Immediate medical care by veterinary professionals involves getting the heart to begin beating again and restoring its natural rhythm, as well as returning the cat’s respiration rate to normal. Veterinarians do this by clearing the airways and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In some cases, veterinarians place a tube down the airways to help keep breathing regular. They might also administer oxygen to restore normal levels of this gas in the bloodstream. Medications that help support regular cardiac function are usually given to cats that are under cardiac arrest.
Cardiac Massage and Compressions
Another method of restarting the heart involves performing cardiac massage on the chest, which is sometimes required in cats that have heart failure. When this is ineffective, veterinarians might perform chest compressions. These compressions involve pushing down on the chest rapidly to get the heart beating again.
Open Chest Resuscitation
If cardiac massage and chest compressions are unsuccessful, veterinarians might make incisions in the chest in order to restart the heart. They might also inject medications into the heart to try to restore a heartbeat.
Recovery of Cardiac Arrest in Cats
Cardiac arrest in cats has a low recovery rate, although this depends in part on what caused this condition to occur and how soon treatment began. The type of treatment that was used can also have an impact on recovery. For example, cats typically require a longer time to recover after having open chest resuscitation.
Cats usually have to stay in a veterinary hospital for the first few days after treatment to ensure that their condition stabilizes. During this time, veterinarians frequently check blood pressure, cardiac function and respiratory function. If any complications occur, these are treated promptly to help increase the chance of a successful recovery. Owners should bring their cats in for follow-up visits as often as needed.
Cardiac Arrest Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My cat died today at 10:30 which is two days after being spayed. He was Persian- Angola bred! Today morning at 9:00 AM he vomited foams which later tinged with blood and my sister rushed to the vet. I was at the hospital. She said he had feable breathing and got cyanosis. He was also restless and couldn’t let anyone approach him. When they arrived to the vet, they asked what we feed him . We only have him cat food. She said they gave him some shots which seems to be adrenaline ( coz they said it was life-saving drug). And he died on the way home throwing up blood from his mouth and nose. The fact here is there’s no advanced technique to resuscitate him in my town and veterinary is not quite developed in our country so there’s almost nothing to test him about any diseases. I have spayed all of my male Persian cats with the same vet and there were no problems. I just wanted to know which could possibly cause his death so I could be more careful with my other cats.
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My cat fell, his throat knocked the floor, then started having trouble breathing. I got him to the vet, but the car ride made him extremely anxious, as always. The vets saw cyanosis in his gums, so gave him a steroid to decrease any swelling, a painkiller and anxiolytic to get his breathing calmed down, and put him in an O2 chamber. They never looked at his neck and only after they called me to him and told me he was "going" and I told the to save him did they intubate for O2. His heart stopped in minutes and they stopped everything. Later the vet said it was good I didn't ask for revival, as his systems had probably shut down anyway.
I never said this, never asked them to stop, and I want to know if they could have given him Epi and CPR, kept supplying O2 beyond the blockage he couldn't breath from, let the neck reduce in swelling, and sent him home to live the rest of his life.
I think they were negligent and looked at his age + other conditions, not the immediate accident.
What do you think were his chances after his heart stopped?
He was 17, had a heart murmur, hyperT, high BP -- all very well-controlled -- and a benign tumour near his thyroid that had been growing into his soft palate (I found out the last part about the progressing aspect of the growth only that night).
But despite it all, he was alert, playful, loving, mischievous, regular in terms of elimination, and in no pain on a daily basis.
Thank you. He has already been cremated so an autopsy is not possible.
But I am not asking for legal reasons, I'm asking just so I can know for myself if he could have been saved, if CPR and O2 would have saved him after that cardiac arrest, and if he would have been returned to the same state of health as before the fall.
As an aside, what would you have done if you had been there? Just want to understand why what was done was done.
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My car died at the vet,s overnite he went in fir crystal, s in his bladder an could not pee he was in horrific pain the vet put cather in an some blood was seen in urine have him pain meds on Monday morning he was not eating or drinking he loved to eat he was a Maine Coon orange weighed 28 pounds never sick 5 years old Sunday nite the vet,s called an said he had difficulty breathing I asked should I be concerned an she said we r taking good care of him Monday a.m.7.33 o'clock that he died during the nite he was my therapy cat greatly loved an missed when I went to say goodbye his eye was closed an one eye was slightly open I asked the doctor what happened he said I do not know, not what I wanted to hear today is Tuesday 31st I called Saturday morning an said I want to know WHY this happened in his care he has not returned my call ,I need to know what happened an why was not he treated more serious he was my breath an now I can not breathe please tell me why his eye was closed an other was a little open did he die a painful long death alone ??? I am desvasaed
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My cat's problem started with vomiting, loss of appetite , and lethargy. After couple days she had labored breathing. We took her to her vet who said the cat seems fine to him and gave her 4 shots. Vit B injection, cerenia for nausea, an antibiotic and steroid shot. That evening her breathing became very labored so i took her to an emergency vet care. Chest x-rays showed fluid in her chest and an enlarged liver. Vet's treatment plan included oxygen therapy and lasix. 6 hours later she went into cardiac arrest and 2 minutes later she died. She had no known medical problems at all so her death is a shock. I'm looking for answers as to why this happened so fast? Please give some info. Thanks.
Sorry to read about your loss. It is normal to look for answers after loosing a loved one, especially when it is unexpected and quick; but I can only give some possibilities and no definitive answers. Lethargy and loss of appetite are vague signs which may apply to numerous conditions, the laboured breathing may have been caused by infection, heart failure, fluid in the lungs, pain response, tumours, anaemia (not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen), fever or trauma; the increase in liver size may have been caused by tumours, systemic disease, blood vessel abnormalities or poisoning. Liver disease is a probable cause; however, without carrying out a necropsy, we cannot know for 100% what caused Princesses death. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
Baby kitty dead Holt outside lost one girl kitty dead now 2day min
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