home Cats The Cat Has Pulmonary Edema What To Do

The Cat Has Pulmonary Edema What To Do

Treatment of pulmonary edema in cats

The owners of such amazing animals can be told the following in this article. If you notice shortness of breath in your cat, the first thing to do is go to the veterinary clinic urgently. Why? Because shortness of breath in a cat is a very, very bad sign, which may indicate the onset of pulmonary edema. I would like to note that the term “shortness of breath” refers to breathing with an open mouth and protruding tongue, more frequent than usual breathing “belly”. In the future, this symptom is joined by cyanosis (cyanosis) of the mucous membranes, lethargy, forced position of the body lying on the sternum with the elbow joints spread apart. There may be a moist cough with a discharge of sputum. Are we observing any of this? It means urgently to the clinic. Urgently, but don’t panic. In the hustle and bustle, the animal will experience stress and the condition may worsen. Unfortunately, you cannot help the cat at home.

As practice shows, when treating pulmonary edema, we often make mistakes, acting according to templates, without thinking about the physiology of a particular case. In this article, we will try to thoroughly analyze several reasons for the development of this process.

Let’s start, as usual, first, namely with anatomy and physiology.

The air that the cat inhales travels down the trachea, which divides into two bronchi (tracheal bifurcation). right and left. Each bronchus continues with smaller airways already in the lungs. bronchioles, which end in small bubbles. alveoli. They seem to be enveloped in blood vessels, being separated from the blood by a thin membrane, through which the erythrocyte is enriched with oxygen and carbon dioxide is removed.

Pulmonary edema is a condition in which fluid accumulates outside the vessels of the lungs (in the pulmonary connective tissue. Interstitium, in the alveoli, in the bronchioles). The mechanisms for the development of edema are shared:

Due to increased hydrostatic pressure.

Due to increased vascular permeability.

Mixed reasons.

Decompensation occurs when the rate of interstitial fluid formation suppresses protective clearance mechanisms, which include correction of interstitial hydrostatic and oncotic pressure and increased lymphatic drainage.

In this article, we will carry on the story, dividing the forms into cardiogenic and noncardiogenic.

Cardiogenic pulmonary edema is a consequence of increased hydrostatic pressure in the vessels caused by left-sided heart failure. In cats, the most common heart disease associated with this condition is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Using this pathology as an example, we will consider the mechanism of edema development. With this diagnosis, the walls of the left ventricle thicken, and the contractility of the heart muscle decreases.

With the progression of the disease, the pressure in the left atrium rises due to the obstructed outflow of blood. Since blood enters the left atrium from the pulmonary veins, pressure also increases in the vessels of the lungs. Initially, correction of hydrostatic and oncotic pressure and increased lymphatic drainage protect the lungs from excess fluid. But over time, these mechanisms decompensate. The big difficulty lies in the fact that a cat with this disease may not show any clinical signs, and under stress (for example, when transporting to a clinic for vaccination), suddenly die from pulmonary edema. It is for this reason that cats genetically predisposed to HCM undergo additional cardiac examinations even before elective surgery. Indeed, in case of confirmation of the disease, the owners have the opportunity to reconsider the need for surgery, and the anesthesiologists. Level data anesthetic risks. And even if no operations are planned, and your cat has a breed predisposition to cardiac pathology, it will be correct to observe the first years of life by a cardiologist, conducting an EchoCG (ultrasound of the heart) every 6 months, so as not to miss a possible disease and take it under control in time. Breeds prone to HCMP: Maine Coon, Ragdoll, Sphynx, British Shorthair, Scottish Fold, Norwegian Forest, Persian.

In addition to cardiogenic edema of the type of increased hydrostatic pressure, edema also occurs against the background of incorrect infusion therapy.

TO several forms of edema are noncardiogenic, associated with vasculitis and numerous diseases that can lead to a systemic inflammatory reaction or CNS pathologies.

Quite a number of inflammatory diseases can lead to systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), which is believed to result from an imbalance between systemic inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators. Inflammation occurring at a single site causes the activation of leukocytes and the release of numerous cytokines, oxygen metabolites, and other inflammatory mediators that can initiate the activation of the complement and coagulation cascades. As the inflammatory and coagulation cascades intensify, an imbalance of anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant factors can lead to SIRS and cause direct cytokine or leukocyte-mediated damage to the pulmonary capillary endothelium. As a result, capillary permeability increases, and plasma proteins with inflammatory mediators penetrate into the lung structures. This fluid flow leads to pulmonary edema and, if severe, can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Both SIRS and ARDS occur secondary to other diseases, which may be mainly in the lungs or other organs (sepsis, pancreatitis, pneumonia, extensive tissue trauma, immune diseases, and metastatic neoplasia). Also, the causes of increased vascular permeability are pulmonary embolism, ventilation-associated lung damage, toxic lung injuries (volatile hydrocarbons and cisplatin).

Neurogenic pulmonary edema (noncardiogenic pulmonary edema due to barotrauma) occurs in our patients most often as a result of head trauma, seizures, upper airway obstruction, or electric shock. Although the true pathophysiology has not been elucidated, it is believed to be a direct result of massive central sympathetic nerve stimulation. Large amounts of catecholamines (eg, epinephrine, norepinephrine) are released into the bloodstream. They are known to cause severe pulmonary venous and peripheral vasoconstriction (vasoconstriction) resulting in pulmonary and systemic hypertension, respectively. An increase in systemic hypertension can, in turn, lead to an increase in left atrial pressure caused by a decrease in cardiac output from increased vascular resistance. This process itself can lead to the development of pulmonary edema due to an increase in hydrostatic pressure in the vascular system.

Diagnosing pulmonary edema in cats

Important for diagnosis complete history. Owners with a pet with signs of pulmonary edema should be prepared to answer questions about the presence of heart disease and ongoing therapy, or about signs of possible heart failure. It is also worthwhile at the place where the animal showed signs of edema, pay attention to open wires, electrical appliances, and in general to the position of the body and the presence of injuries in the cat. Perhaps this will help determine the cause of the pathology.

The expert method for confirming the diagnosis of pulmonary edema is thoracic radiography. In cats with respiratory distress, testing is often difficult and may worsen symptoms due to stress. But on auscultation, rather characteristic large-bubble rales and “gurgling” are usually found. Having made a preliminary diagnosis, you need to start oxygen therapy, make sure that you can conduct a study without worsening the condition and take an x-ray in the dorsoventral projection to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment. The “correct” projection can be done when the patient is stable enough to cope with the examination and when we have taken care of anxiolysis (anti-anxiety therapy).

To diagnose the cause of the edema, it is necessary to conduct complete physical examination, possible with interruptions and periodic return of the patient to the oxygen chamber. The examination should include echocardiography, general clinical and biochemical blood tests, general urinalysis, pulse oximetry. Although none of these tests are diagnostic for noncardiogenic pulmonary edema (NCPE), results may provide clues to an underlying cause if no history of heart failure, neurologic injury, or if an inflammatory mechanism with subsequent SIRS is suspected.

The chest radiograph most characteristic of NCPE is increased interstitial or alveolar opacity, most commonly in the caudodorsal pulmonary fields. In severe cases, the infiltration may become diffuse, but the caudodorsal fields are usually more deeply affected. With cardiogenic edema, there may be a focal, almost nodular, diffuse alveolar pattern. In some cases, the pulmonary veins can be seen more clearly than the pulmonary arteries. Darkening of the cranioventral lobes is characteristic of aspiration pneumonia.

Treatment of pulmonary edema in cats

Therapy for all types of pulmonary edema includes oxygenation. For cats, it is best suited in an oxygen chamber, because Crowe’s mask and collar are very stressful. However, if it is possible to use anxiolytic drugs, you can also use masks, if the patient allows. Using a mask, a high percentage (up to 100%) of inspired oxygen (FiO2) can be achieved at an oxygen rate of 100 to 200 ml / kg / min8 (room air provides approximately 20% FiO2). A container with ice must be placed in the oxygen chamber to prevent overheating. Another option for oxygen supplementation is nasal insufflation (nasal cannulas). By installing, with the use of sedation, a nasal catheter can provide an FiO2 of 40% to 60% depending on the oxygen flow rate.

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In patients with severe respiratory distress who do not respond to the above oxygen therapy, mechanical ventilation may be required (IVL). It is indicated for patients whose arterial blood gas analysis shows an oxygen partial pressure of less than 60 mm Hg. Either the carbon dioxide level is more than 60 mmHg, or the saturation does not rise above 90%. In the literature there are conflicting data on the effect of mechanical ventilation on the resolution of pulmonary edema. in some cases it can help in therapy, in others. Slow down the treatment. Therefore, the decision on the need for ventilation with positive pressure should be taken individually, do not hesitate in the event of a rapid deterioration, but do not apply unnecessarily.

When using any oxygen support method careful monitoring required, since K. Prolonged oxygen supplementation can lead to serious consequences, including pulmonary fibrosis. The general rule of thumb is that patients should not add 100% oxygen for more than 24 hours or 60% oxygen for more than 48 hours. FiO2 levels less than 50% are generally considered safe for longer periods.

The position of the animal’s body. lying on the sternum with the elbow joints apart, helps with gas exchange, probably by reducing atelectasis.

In patients with cardiogenic pulmonary edema the main therapy after adding oxygen is diuretic, such as furosemide, which helps to reduce both total fluid volume and increased hydrostatic pressure in the vascular system. It is assumed that furosemide directly affects the ability of the alveolar epithelium to pump fluid from the airspace. The drug is administered at a dosage of 1-4 mg / kg 1 time in 4 hours (possibly more often at the beginning of therapy).

In NCPE, edema is NOT due to an increase in fluid volume resulting in an increase in hydrostatic pressure. Therefore, the use of furosemide in these patients may contribute to systemic hypovolemia, which worsen the patient’s condition. However, in patients with severe endothelial injury, the oncotic pressure of the pulmonary capillaries decreases as a result of protein leakage into the interstitial and alveolar regions, so hydrostatic pressure is the main cause of fluid flow. In other words, the amount of fluid released from the damaged capillary is determined by its total volume passing through the vessel. For this reason, some clinicians advocate the use of furosemide in iPS (constant rate infusion) at a low dose of 0.1 mg / kg / h.

In an emergency, nitric oxide donors, which include nitroglycerin, are a useful group. It rapidly induces vasodilation, thereby reducing pre- and afterload. Phosphodiesterase inhibitors such as pimobendan increase cyclic adenosine monophosphate (to increase the reabsorption of fluid from the alveolar space) can also be used to treat pulmonary edema, but there is insufficient scientific evidence.

Since the hydrostatic pressure gradient is very important in the pathogenesis of pulmonary edema, it is reasonable restrict fluid administration to these patients. But the decision should be made taking into account the risks of impaired renal function and the development of multiple organ failure. The pulmonary microvascular barrier is relatively permeable to protein and therefore colloids can increase oncotic pressure in the pulmonary capillaries, which will lead to a decrease in fluid outflow into the interstitium. However, if the pores of the damaged endothelium are large enough for the penetration of colloids, the introduction of these drugs can aggravate the process. Therefore, bolus administration of drugs (crystalloids and colloids) is not recommended. In order not to cause an acute increase in hydrostatic pressure., But it is possible to use with IPA.

Corticosteroid and bronchodilator therapy has not been shown to be beneficial for pulmonary edema.

To stop the progression of pulmonary edema, it is necessary to conduct intensive therapy of the underlying process of the disease. An attempt to compensate for heart failure or disease leading to SIRS or neurological deficits. As a rule, intensive therapy is required for 24-72 hours until the edema is completely eliminated.

In the case of a cardiogenic cause, the prognosis is poor, the likelihood of relapse and further deterioration is high. In the noncardiogenic form, the prognosis is usually good if the underlying cause and appropriate treatment can be identified.

Noncardiogenic Pulmonary Edema BY ROBERT H. PRESLEY, DVM



Deborah C. Silverstein, Kate Hopper

Pulmonary edema (Proceedings)

By Elizabeth Rozanski, DVM, DACVIM, DACVECC


Introduction to Lung and Airway Disorders of Cats

By Ned F. Kuehn, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Section

Chief, Internal Medicine, Michigan Veterinary Specialists

If your cat shows signs of pulmonary edema, the veterinarians of the city veterinary clinic “VetState” will help provide emergency assistance, as well as conduct intensive therapy and complete diagnostics of your pet’s health and effectively cope with the problem.

We are glad to see you 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Excluding holidays and days off from 10.00 to 21.00.

For more detailed information, you can contact by multichannel phone

Prevention measures

The measures for the prevention of pulmonary edema in cats include, first of all, strict control over the pet. According to veterinarians, the most susceptible to the pathological process are animals that lead a sedentary lifestyle, as well as those who are obese.

You should not neglect routine examinations, which allow you to identify the pathology developing in the cat’s body at the initial stage. This is especially true of artificially bred breeds prone to heart disease.

In addition, the access of animals to electrical appliances should be limited and hypothermia should not be allowed.

8 (495) 106-04-95. Causes of the disease

Pulmonary edema is not an independent disease, but a process that develops against the background of diseases of an infectious or non-infectious nature. All the reasons that cause the accumulation of fluid in the alveoli of the lungs, veterinarians are divided into two large groups. cardiogenic and non-cardiogenic.

Cardiogenic causes are understood as heart diseases, which can be congenital or acquired. Some destructive processes in the heart and blood vessels impair the flow of blood and lymph, which leads to stagnation of fluid and filling the lungs with it. Pulmonary edema can lead to hypertension, pulmonary embolism, cardiosclerosis, aortic heart disease and other pathologies.

Non-cardiogenic causes of pulmonary edema include various disorders in the body, inflammation, infectious and non-infectious diseases, trauma, allergies, tumors, poisoning with toxic vapors, burns of the respiratory tract and even electric shock.

Is it possible to save a cat with pulmonary edema??

Pulmonary edema in cats is a dangerous condition that develops rapidly or slowly, which in most cases ends with the death of the animal. With edema, fluid accumulates in the cells (alveoli) of the lungs, complicating the process of gas exchange in the body and causing oxygen starvation.

As a result of a lack of oxygen, most of the brain cells die, hypoxia occurs.

Treatment method and prognosis

There is no single treatment regimen for pulmonary edema, it will depend on the cause that caused the pathological process, and, accordingly, is aimed at eliminating it.

If the condition is critical, the animal must be given first aid. To do this, the cat is given an intramuscular injection with a drug that relieves swelling and eliminates hypoxia. Prednisolone, Dexamethasone, Diprospan, Hydrocortisone.

Oxygen replenishment is carried out by placing a pet in a pressure chamber, using an oxygen mask, ventilation procedures.

To remove excess fluid, diuretics are used (injectable or oral).

To eliminate infectious diseases that caused the edema, a course of antibiotic therapy is prescribed. For viral etiology of edema, antiviral agents are indicated.

During the period of illness, cats, as a rule, experience severe stress, therefore, they are prescribed sedatives.

If, after carrying out the necessary medical procedures, the cat’s condition has stabilized and nothing else threatens his health, the fluffy is sent home for recovery.

If all first aid measures and further treatment were carried out correctly, the prognosis is positive. However, if the sick pet was brought to the clinic too late, the risk of death is very high.

The main symptoms

At the initial stage, pulmonary edema may not manifest itself in any way. Cats do not know how to speak, so even if something bothers them, they cannot tell the owner about it. An attentive owner may suspect a pathology of changing the pet’s behavior.

The animal becomes lethargic, restless and prefers to lie in one position. on its side. The characteristic symptoms of pulmonary edema include:

  • Hoarse breathing with gurgling;
  • Dyspnea;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Open mouth with tongue rolled out;
  • The mucous membranes become bluish or pale;
  • Discharge of mucus from the nose;
  • Arrhythmia;
  • Coughing up mucus (sometimes bloody).

If you find these dangerous symptoms in your pet, immediately take it to the veterinary clinic.!

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Diagnostics in the veterinary clinic

If the veterinarian suspects pulmonary edema in the cat, in addition to the history and visual examination, he conducts the necessary diagnostic tests, including general and clinical blood tests. The most informative diagnostic method in this case is an x-ray of the lungs.

Having decided on the diagnosis, the specialist prescribes appropriate treatment at home or in a hospital.

Treatment of the disease

Treatment of pulmonary edema begins with resuscitation measures designed to support the life of the cat. First of all, this is oxygen therapy, which consists in the fact that the cat is forced to breathe through a special mask, where oxygen is supplied or placed in an oxygen chamber for a certain time.

If the cause of pulmonary insufficiency is a foreign body or the ingress of vomit into the airways (aspiration), then they are removed by tracheostomy (removal of the trachea outside).

The main treatment is drug therapy:

  • Getting rid of puffiness and excess fluid in the tissues. diuretics, diuretics (Furosemide);
  • Normalization of the heart. drugs that relieve heart failure and affect tissue metabolism (Carboxylase);
  • Reducing the pressure of the small circle of blood circulation. ganglion blockers (Bromide, Trimetafan);
  • Respiration stimulation. drugs that stimulate the parts of the brain responsible for breathing (Sulfocamphocaine);
  • Removal of inflammation. antihistamines (Dexamethasone);
  • If pulmonary edema occurs in a cat with a bacterial infection, then antibiotic treatment is started.

After the relief of the acute condition, therapy of the underlying disease begins, during which drugs of a different nature are used, according to indications, depending on the nature of the disease.

Treatment of pulmonary edema and concomitant diseases should take place only in a hospital, since the serious condition of the animal requires constant medical supervision.

Disease predisposition

Pulmonary edema of a cardiogenic nature often occurs in cats of certain breeds, which have a hereditary tendency to cardiovascular pathologies. Such a breed disadvantage is inherent in many artificially bred cat breeds:

  • Sphinxes;
  • Maine Coons;
  • British;
  • Scottish Fold;
  • Persian and other breeds.

Kittens are more likely to suffer from traumatic pulmonary edema. Pathology develops in them after chest injuries, to which they are very susceptible.

There is no difference in the incidence of this pathology between males and females.

Causes of the disease

Pulmonary failure in cats almost always develops as a complication of heart ailments, but it can also be of another, non-cardiogenic nature.

What it is

The respiration process in animals, like in humans, occurs with the participation of alveoli. a kind of vesicle formations in the lungs, entwined with a network of blood vessels. Under normal conditions, the alveoli of the lungs on inhalation are filled with oxygen entering the blood, which then carries it to the brain, nourishes the heart and tissues. On exhalation through the alveoli, exhaust air containing carbon dioxide is released.

With pulmonary insufficiency (edema), for various reasons, the transudate (edematous fluid) and the liquid part of the blood exit into the alveoli. infiltration. A sharp decrease in the working volume of the lungs disrupts the breathing process and leads to progressive oxygen starvation of the body.

Cardiogenic pulmonary edema

The most common cause of pulmonary edema is the progression of heart failure in cats. Heart failure develops as a result of a malfunction of the left ventricle of the heart. This provokes pathology of the pulmonary circulation and edema in various organs and tissues, including the lungs. Cardiogenic edema accompanies the course of such diseases:

  • Cardiomyopathy;
  • Aortic insufficiency;
  • Mitral stenosis of the heart;
  • Pulmonary embolism;
  • Myocarditis;
  • Hypertension;
  • Infective endocarditis.

Cardiogenic pulmonary edema in cats is characterized by a gradual filling of the alveoli with fluid, an increase in oxygen starvation of the tissues, which turns into asphyxia. In this case, in order to save the animal, you cannot do without resuscitation measures.

Types of disease

According to the rate of progression of symptoms, several types of disease are distinguished:

pulmonary, edema
  • Lightning fast. has a rapid development, leading to a rapid death.
  • Acute. characterized by a high rate of development. Symptoms build up over several hours. In this case, promptly started treatment is the only way to save the animal.
  • Subacute. has an undulating development. The periods of increase in symptoms are replaced by periods of subsidence.
  • Lingering. has erased symptoms. Characteristic for chronic pathologies.

Noncardiogenic edema

Infectious and non-infectious ailments that can be complicated by pulmonary insufficiency are as follows:

  • Respiratory system diseases: pneumonia, bronchial asthma, tuberculosis, chest trauma, inhalation of volatile toxic substances;
  • Diseases of the excretory system: nephritis, renal failure;
  • Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: pancreatitis, intestinal obstruction, volvulus;
  • Diseases of the nervous system: encephalitis, meningitis, brain tumors, reaction to anesthesia after sterilization or castration;
  • Complications of infectious diseases: influenza, inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, distemper;
  • Severe allergic reactions.

Key symptoms and treatments for pulmonary edema in cats

Pulmonary edema in a cat or acute pulmonary failure is not an independent disease, but a complication of certain ailments of a cardiogenic or non-cardiogenic nature. It is accompanied by acute suffocation, progressing as the edema grows. If the veterinary care is late, the animal dies from asphyxiation. In the article we will consider the causes of pulmonary insufficiency in animals, answer the questions: why is the disease fatal, is it possible to cure the pathology, what preventive measures exist.

Disease symptoms

In cats, symptoms of pulmonary edema include signs of oxygen deprivation. Their onset may be preceded by a characteristic condition of the animal, indicating a deterioration in health. It is anxiety, hoarse cough, refusal to eat, pale mucous membranes.

With an increase in oxygen deficiency in the tissues, the animal begins to suffocate. The shortage of air is determined by the specific behavior of the cat:

  • Heavy breathing with open mouth and protruding tongue;
  • A posture in which it is easier to breathe: widely spaced legs, an extended neck and a lowered head;
  • Cold paws;
  • Bluish mucous membranes of the lips and nose;
  • Abdominal breathing.

Pulmonary edema in cats: causes, symptoms, treatment and first aid

Pulmonary edema in cats occurs when the pulmonary capillaries overflow with blood, accompanied by the release of the liquid part into the surrounding tissue. By its nature, the disease can be cardiogenic, that is, arising against the background of heart disease, and non-cardiogenic.

Symptoms of pulmonary edema in cats

An animal suffering from heart defects, especially if it is already of advanced age, is at risk. Therefore, any self-respecting owner of a sick pet must learn to recognize the signs of impending danger. And they are as follows:

  • The cat unexpectedly takes a forced pose: it stands with its forelimbs widely spaced and its head lowered, trying to breathe in as much air as possible, its sides swell strongly;
  • Feet become cold;
  • After a while, the beast falls on its side in exhaustion and no longer gets up;
  • The mucous membranes of the mouth turn pale or become cyanotic;
  • It is difficult for the animal to breathe, it coughs heavily, while pinkish sputum is released;
  • The cough is seething, bubbling;
  • Foamy outflows can go nose and mouth;
  • The tongue falls out;
  • The work of the heart weakens, the pulse first increases, and then becomes weak and intermittent;
  • Death occurs as a result of paralysis of the respiratory center.

The behavior of the animal also changes:

  • First, he is scared, and fear is read in everything;
  • Secondly, the lack of oxygen confuses consciousness, the look becomes insane, and then empty and unseeing;
  • Thirdly, the cat ceases to react to the environment, does not recognize its owners at all.

Despite the fact that edema is an acute and rapidly developing condition, you can notice the approaching danger in advance if you carefully observe the pet and its behavior. Usually, the breathing rhythm can be lost in a few days:

  • The animal breathes in the belly (the abdominal stacks are shaking) or through the mouth;
  • The number of rhythmic inhalation and exhalation per minute increases significantly (more than 40);
  • Breathing itself is wheezing and difficult with intermittent hacking coughing.

It is clear that such symptoms do not always indicate developing edema, but it is time to ring the bells. It is better to play it safe and take the animal to the clinic for diagnosis, where they will prescribe an X-ray and conduct auscultation (in other words, listen to the lungs using a special device), check the heart.

over, it is better to record a cough and an altered state on video. since now almost everyone has a phone with a camera. This will help the veterinarian see the development of the disease in dynamics, determine the appointment of additional diagnostic tests and speed up the diagnosis.

Treatment of pulmonary edema in cats

The disease requires immediate intervention from specialists, attempts to help the pet on their own will significantly aggravate the condition and accelerate the approach of death.

All that the owner can do (provided that the edema has arisen against the background of heart failure) is to inject a solution of furosemide intramuscularly. a diuretic drug helps to remove fluid from the body. and urgently go to the veterinary clinic.

In case of hyperemia, resuscitation cannot be avoided; in the future, observation in a hospital is required. It will not work to cure an animal with a telephone consultation!

It is important when collecting to the hospital to try not to irritate the animal, especially at the time of the attack, so that the situation does not become even more complicated. There is no need to fuss, run, sob, cry. the cat feels all this and, naturally, is stressed. And stress, as you know, does not lead to good.

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The resuscitation regimen usually includes the use of an oxygen bag (chamber), in some cases a tracheotomy and the appointment of:

  • Diuretics (diuretics) to remove accumulated water in the lungs
  • Defoamers;
  • Vasodilator drugs;
  • Cardiac agents to stabilize the heart;
  • Bloodletting;
  • Novocaine blockade of sympathetic nodes.

After the crisis is over, the animal is placed in a cool, well-ventilated room (but ventilation does not mean a draft) and symptomatic treatment is applied: expectorants, antibiotics, etc. It is very important to determine the cause of the edema and eliminate it.

Most cases of pulmonary hyperemia ends with the development of complications, which are also necessary, if not prevent, then at least correctly diagnose and treat. The most common consequences are:

  • Pneumonia;
  • Collapse of the alveoli (atelectasis);
  • Alveolar overgrowth with connective tissue (pneumosclerosis);
  • Emphysema. the overflow of the alveoli with air and their subsequent rupture.

In addition, prolonged oxygen starvation negatively affects almost all organs, especially the cells of the brain and kidneys suffer from it.

Prognosis for pulmonary edema in cats

There is no need to amuse yourself with unnecessary hopes: in most cases, pathology is regarded as a near-death condition! There is a chance to get an animal out of the world only if non-cardiogenic edema occurs.

Even if it was possible to stop the development of the process in the case of cardiac causes, then the likelihood of a repeat attack is too high.

Causes of pulmonary edema in cats

Heart causes

Cardiogenic edema, as noted, is the result of heart failure. As a rule, with weak work of the left ventricle (one of the parts of the heart), the work of the small circle of blood circulation is disrupted, which leads to stagnation of blood in the lungs and subsequent sweating of fluid into the surrounding tissues.

This state can be compared with a porous sponge: until a certain moment it swells and absorbs water without a trace, but there comes a moment when there is no space left and water flows out.

With cardiogenic causes, edema begins in the lower regions, but gradually the process moves to the bronchi.

It is quite logical that the alveoli (in other words, the pulmonary vesicles) are filled with liquid to the eyeballs, do not have the ability to function normally. to carry out gas exchange. Naturally, the animal will suffer from asphyxia (oxygen starvation) and eventually die.

Other factors

The noncardiogenic causes of hyperemia (another name for the disease) are as follows:

  • Inhalation of hot air;
  • Inhalation of strong gases with a pungent odor (for example, prolonged exposure to high concentrations of ammonia vapor will easily cause swelling);
  • Croupous pneumonia;
  • Heat or sunstroke;
  • Bacterial or viral infections that affect the lungs (pasteurellosis, plague of carnivores, etc.);
  • Exposure to electric current;
  • Brain trauma from an unsuccessful fall or impact;
  • Development of the septic process;
  • Taking some potent drugs at a dosage much higher than the recommended dosage;
  • Renal failure, when the concentration of protein in the blood decreases sharply;
  • Allergy;
  • Bronchial asthma;
  • Malignant growths in the lungs that interfere with normal blood supply.

Preventive actions

For heart cats, constant monitoring of the state of the cardiovascular system and the work of the heart is necessary. It is especially important to constantly monitor animals at risk:

  • Obese;
  • With confirmed karyomyopathy;
  • Leading a “couch” lifestyle;
  • Have relatives with heart problems;
  • Britons, Scots, Meikuns, Persians, Abyssinians and Sphynxes are the breeds most commonly affected by heart disease;
  • Sleepy and easily overworked.

In other cases, they monitor the general condition of the animal, feed the correct food, and not cheap, dubious quality, treat lung diseases on time in order to prevent them from overflowing with blood and fluid.

And one more important point that you should listen to: if you already know that the cat is not all right with the heart, then learn by the teeth the signs of impending danger in order to take everything necessary in time and not to miss the precious minutes that can cost the pet’s life.


This type includes all other conditions that are not associated with the work of the heart.

  • Allergic reactions (including to anesthesia).
  • Aspiration pneumonia.
  • Internal injuries from falls from a height.
  • Electric shock.
  • Reaction to medications.
  • Choking (carbon monoxide poisoning).
  • Anemia.
  • Heatstroke.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Laryngeal paralysis.
  • Head trauma: contusion and concussion.
  • Severe stress.
  • Internal injuries during sterilization / castration operations.
  • Poisoning with poisons and chemicals.
  • Bacterial blood infections.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Prolonged seizures (epilepsy).
  • Poisonous snake bites.
  • Uremia. intoxication due to renal failure.
  • Anorexia.
  • Sepsis.
  • Aspiration. the entry of vomit into the respiratory tract.

It is necessary to show the animal to the veterinarian in all of the above cases.

Causes of pathology

There are many reasons why edema appears. They are classified as cardiogenic (associated with the heart) and non-cardiogenic.

What is pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema in cats is not an independent disease. A pathology that is life-threatening to an animal is a complication of other diseases. an abnormal accumulation of fluid occurs in the cat’s lungs.

What Happens With Pulmonary Edema

Extravascular water accumulates in the pulmonary alveoli, reaching a critical volume. In a normal state, the alveoli (vesicles) of the lungs are responsible for breathing and the supply of oxygen to the bloodstream. The lungs filled with fluid coming from diseased blood vessels and tissues cannot cope with their function. The cat cannot breathe normally, suffocates, suffers from oxygen starvation.

A similar condition develops due to:

  • Increased penetration between alveoli and capillaries;
  • Increased pressure in the capillaries of the lungs;
  • Drainage disorders of the lymphatic system of the lungs.


What should alert the owner and become a signal that the cat is developing pulmonary edema:

  • Loss of interest in food and play, lethargy, anxiety, restlessness.
  • The cat tries to remove fluid by coughing and swallowing.
  • The animal has difficulty breathing: shortness of breath, breathing with effort, “belly”, rapid breathing.
  • The cat breathes like a dog: with an open mouth and protruding tongue.
  • During breathing, wheezing, gurgling sounds are heard.
  • When coughing up fluid, blood may be observed.
  • Cyanosis of the tongue and gums appears.
  • Mucus is secreted from the nose.
  • The cat tries to expand the ribcage and assumes a position with legs wide apart.
  • When the condition worsens, the posture changes to lateral recumbent.
  • Interruptions in heart rate. alternating high and low heart rate.
  • A sharp drop in pressure and body temperature, cold extremities. collapse.

If one or more symptoms appear, it is urgent to show the cat to the doctor. Pulmonary edema is a rapidly developing pathology that threatens the life of an animal. You can lose a pet in a few days or hours.

Pulmonary edema after sterilization / castration surgery

Many cat owners refuse to neuter their cats for fear of postoperative pulmonary edema. Such cases have been recorded in veterinary medicine. Pathology develops like a cat’s reaction to anesthesia.

Fluid in the lungs of a cat after anesthesia does not accumulate due to the operation itself. But because the animal had chronic heart problems. Therefore, it is important to conduct all the necessary research before the operation. to make sure that the pet does not have heart problems.


Due to diseases of the cardiovascular system, blood flow in the capillaries is disturbed in the lungs. As blood flow slows down, fluid from the blood vessels enters the cat’s lungs.

Cardiogenic pulmonary edema in cats occurs when:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  • Chronic heart valve disease.
  • Heart disease.
  • Heart failure.
  • Arterial hypertension.
  • Cardiosclerosis.
  • Pulmonary embolism.

Most often, these causes of pulmonary edema are found in artificially bred cats.


Pulmonary edema in cats is a very dangerous condition that develops rapidly and can be fatal.

Cat owners must be prepared for such a development of events and understand that in this case, time is everything.

The hospital has all the necessary tools for diagnosing and providing assistance to the animal: X-ray, oxygen chamber, injections and drugs.

Competent intensive care at the initial stage of the disease is a guarantee of success. It is unacceptable to treat pulmonary edema on your own. it can kill your beloved pet.

What will you learn from the article

A diagnosis of pulmonary edema in cats always sounds like a death sentence. The sudden nature of the disease, the many reasons that cause it, the rapidly deteriorating clinical picture. this scares the owners. To save your beloved pet, you need to overcome your own confusion and fear. Pulmonary edema is a terrible diagnosis, but not always fatal! The cat’s life depends on the quick and competent actions of the owner and the veterinarian.

In this article we will talk about what this pathology is, how it is caused and how it manifests itself, whether it can be cured.