Lung edema in cats - a pathological conditionpotentially extremely dangerous for the life of the animal, for which for some reason or other there is a buildup of fluid in the lungs, which (without the provision of qualified care) leads to a disruption in the exchange of oxygen in the lungs and the death of the cat from asphyxiation (suffocation).
In general, pulmonary edema in cats is divided into two types: cardiogenic and not cardiogenic.
Cardiogenic pulmonary edema in cats occurs onthe reason for the initial presence in the animal of pathology in the structure of the heart (congenital or acquired), most often we observe hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease of the actual muscle tissue of the heart, which leads to a violation of the capacity of the left ventricle and, as a consequence, blood stasis in the small circulation. The pressure in the capillaries of the lungs increases to a critical level and the liquid portion of the plasma penetrates the wall of the vascular endothelium and accumulates in the alveolar lumen, which disrupts the gas exchange.
In relation to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and, as a consequence, to cardiogenic pulmonary edema, there is a scientifically proven breed predisposition. Rocks of the risk group include:
Not cardiogenic pulmonary edema in cats can occur due to the impact of a variety of pathogenic factors, it can lead to:
- Toxic effects on lung tissue,provoking inflammation and damage to the alveoli of the lungs. It can be caused by the inhalation of toxic substances to the animal, the development of a serious systemic infection (sepsis in cats), the infectious process in lung tissue (pneumonia in cats) or poisoning (biological (snake venom, bee venom) and chemical), which leads to toxic damage to the membrane cells and the development of pulmonary edema.
- Damage to lung tissue through exposure to ionizing radiation, electro-injury (electric shock), foreign objects, personal injuries of the lungs and chest wall.
- Renal insufficiency in cats in terminalstage can also lead to the development of pulmonary edema against the background of excess fluid in the body, severe hypertension and general intoxication of the body.
- Defeat of the brain (craniocerebraltrauma, tumors, cerebral hemorrhages, electro-injury (electric shock), seizure attacks (seizures)) can often be accompanied by neurogenic pulmonary edema due to a violation of the nervous supply of the lung tissue.
- Decrease in the level of albumin in the blood of the animal inthe result of disruption of the digestive system (gastrointestinal pathology, liver disease, starvation) or excessive loss of albumin with effusion to the third space, excretion of albumin with urine in kidney pathologies;
- Anaphylactic reactions may be accompanied by pulmonary edema.
- It is extremely rare for cats to see non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema due to pulmonary embolism.
Symptoms of pulmonary edema in cats
A cat owner should always follow closelyfor the health of your pet, if you have the first signs of ill health, you should immediately contact a veterinarian. When is it worth suspecting the development of pulmonary edema in cats? If the animal did not get into extreme situations, was not exposed to toxic effects, did not get injured and did not suffer from serious systemic infectious and non-infectious diseases, then lung edema in cats can occur against the background of a recent anesthesia. By itself, anesthesia does not cause pulmonary edema in cats. If an animal with a heart pathology has undergone anesthesia, pulmonary edema in cats can develop in a delayed period up to 2 weeks.
Pulmonary edema in a cat can be suspected if detected:
Shortness of breath in a cat. A cat's breathing is one of theleading symptoms of pulmonary edema, while the type of breathing changes. Normally, cats have a blunt-chest type of breathing, with swelling of the lungs, the type of breathing becomes abdominal, i.e. the cat breathes belly.
Cat wheezes when breathing. Chrypses with breathing can testify asabout pulmonary edema, and about the presence of an inflammatory process in the trachea or oropharynx. With swelling of the lungs, rales are gurgling, bubbling, while often there are discharge from the nose.
Cat breathes with open mouth. Normally, breathing with an open mouth is not typicalfor representatives of the cat family. A cat breathes badly or heavily, suffocates and lacks oxygen, only under these circumstances begins to breathe with its mouth open. Sometimes cats breathe open mouth after periods of hyperactivity and violent play, but such breathing normally lasts no more than 1-2 minutes. If the cat sticks out the tongue and often breathes a long time, then this is cause for concern to the owners.
Blueing of the visible mucous membranes and tongue in cats. Cyanosis in cats is a sign of severe respiratory failure and hypoxia (oxygen deficiency in tissues).
The cat coughs. Cough in cats with pulmonary edema is manifested asan attempt of the body to release the lungs from the accumulation of fluid and mucus and has a reflex character. Lung edema in cats is not necessarily accompanied by a cough, but if it is present, it is moist, with expectoration of a large amount of sputum, sometimes with blood.
The cat is listless. Due to the lack of oxygen as a result of impaired breathing, the animal loses its activity, becomes sluggish, apathetic, weakly reacts to external stimuli.
Diagnosis of pulmonary edema in cats
The diagnosis of pulmonary edema can be preliminarilyput on an anamnesis (medical history) and clinical symptoms, but the final diagnosis is made through a chest X-ray, on which the veterinarian sees a characteristic darkening of the lung tissue, a decrease in its transparency. Very often, pulmonary edema develops fairly quickly and treatment should be carried out without additional diagnosis.
Treatment of pulmonary edema canexclusively veterinarian, self-medication or treatment "by phone" is excluded. Mortality in this pathology is extremely high, especially with late diagnosis. At the first signs of pulmonary edema in your pet, you should immediately deliver the animal to a veterinary clinic.
Treatment of pulmonary edema in cats will depend onWhich of the above diseases caused it. In many respects, the predictions depend on the particular disease caused by pulmonary edema in the cat and how quickly the treatment was performed. If the underlying cause of pulmonary edema is successfully treatable, the prospects for a full recovery are real. If the pulmonary edema in a cat has occurred due to a severe form of heart failure or chronic renal failure in the terminal stage, then the cure of the animal is hardly possible.