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Cats + Emergency Situations

  • Chemotherapy drugs are used to treat cancer and other conditions in people because they target and kill rapidly dividing neoplastic (cancer) cells and other cells. They are primarily used as anti-cancer agents but may also provide benefits for a variety of auto-immune disorders and organ transplant recipients as immunosuppressive agents.

  • 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.  

  • This handout outlines corneal ulcers in cats, a painful eye condition often resulting from trauma. Other causes, clinical signs, diagnostic testing, and treatment options are also explained.

  • Blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, is found in fresh and brackish water of ponds and lakes. This microscopic bacteria can also grow in backyard fountains, garden pots, bird baths, and anywhere water is stagnant. Regardless of where they are found, cyanobacteria can be dangerous.

  • Cyanosis is defined as a bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes of the body caused by inadequate oxygen levels. Several different conditions involving the cardiovascular/circulatory system and/or the respiratory system that can lead to cyanosis, including congenital defects, degeneration of heart valves or heart muscle, blood clots in the lungs, pulmonary hypertension, pneumonia, asthma, lung flukes, smoke inhalation, or muscle damage to the diaphragm. Cyanosis is an emergency, and the root cause may be life threatening and may or may not be reversible. Once back home, homecare instructions must be followed carefully.

  • Cystitis is a general term referring to inflammation in the urinary bladder. The term cystitis does not imply a specific underlying cause. In cats, diseases of the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra) are often grouped under the term feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). The initial diagnosis of FLUTD is based on the identification of signs of lower urinary tract inflammation.

  • Even though e-cigarettes may be safer for humans than using traditional tobacco products, they are certainly not safe for pets. The nicotine associated with e-cigarettes, even without the tobacco, poses a serious health threat for dogs and cats.

  • Eclampsia in cats is a rare emergent condition of hypocalcemia that generally occurs one to four weeks after giving birth but can occur before. Risk factors include a poor diet, abnormal parathyroid gland, and calcium supplementation during pregnancy. Signs of eclampsia start as restlessness, panting, and stiffness and can progress to disorientation, tremors, inability to walk, and convulsions. Treatment includes intravenous fluids, careful intravenous calcium supplementation, and other supportive medications followed by oral supplementation and weaning kittens as soon as possible or supplementing their diet with milk replacer.

  • Emergencies arise unexpectedly and it is important to stay calm. After realizing what has occurred, it is important to contact your veterinarian for recommendations in order to provide the best chance for a successful outcome. Once you have received initial instructions, it is important to transport your cat to your veterinarian for a complete examination as soon as possible.

  • Many liquid potpourri products and essential oils, including oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang, are poisonous to cats. Both ingestion and skin exposure can be toxic.