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Cats + Emergency Situations

  • Smoke inhalation injuries are caused by a combination of heat and airborne toxins. Clinical signs of smoke inhalation vary, depending on the materials contained within the smoke and how much smoke the cat inhales. Common signs include coughing, shortness of breath, eye injuries, and burns. Neurologic signs can also occur, especially in cases of carbon monoxide inhalation. Treatment typically involves oxygen therapy and other supportive care measures.

  • Strokes are rare in cats. Some causes include a blood clot such as a thrombus or embolus that lodges in a cerebral blood vessel, or cerebral bleeding from trauma or as a result of thrombocytopenia; however, the cause is often unknown. Signs of a stroke are variable depending on the region or regions of the brain affected, and the degree and duration of blood and oxygen deprivation. Magnetic resonance imaging is the ideal diagnostic test for diagnosing a stroke. Treatment is quite complex and there is no guarantee of complete success. Your veterinarian will help you assess progress and plan remedial action.

  • Summer is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy nature and the warm sunshine, especially with your pet. Pets are inquisitive creatures and love to investigate their surroundings. Unfortunately, this trait can lead pets down the path of injury and illness. The following information will help you to avoid many summer dangers that can affect your pet.

  • Normal body temperature for dogs and cats is 101 to 102.5°F (38.3 to 39.2°C). Pets with temperatures above 104°F (40.0°C) or falls below 99°F (37.2°C) need immediate veterinary care. Temperature can be taken rectally or aurally. If taking your pet’s temperature is too difficult, take your pet to your veterinarian. If your pet’s temperature remains high or low, take him to your veterinarian.

  • Telehealth is a broad term that refers to the use of telecommunications to provide health-related services. Telehealth services can be delivered by a variety of methods including telephone, text messaging, internet chat, and videoconferencing. Teletriage is the act of performing triage remotely, via telephone or internet and helps determine the urgency of your pet’s medical concern. Telemedicine refers to the practice of medicine at a distance. In the context of veterinary medicine, telemedicine refers to a veterinarian formulating a diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet without an in-person examination. Telemedicine is typically only permitted within the context of an existing Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic and social/physical distancing requirements however, some federal and local governments have relaxed the requirements surrounding telemedicine.

  • Toad poisoning (or toxicity) occurs when a cat is exposed to the toxins secreted by certain species of toads. The two most common species of toads that cause poisonings in the United States are the cane or marine toad and the Colorado River or Sonoran desert toad. While there are toads in Canada that secrete toxic substances, their effects are much less severe than the toxins secreted by the cane or Sonoran desert toads. Death can occur quickly and immediate treatment is required.

  • Vitamin D poisoning occurs when a cat ingests a toxic dose of vitamin D. A common source of vitamin D poisoning is when a cat accidentally ingests rodenticides containing vitamin D. Vitamin D poisoning causes a variety of clinical signs. The initial clinical signs, occurring anywhere from 8 to 48 hours after ingestion, include depression, weakness, and appetite loss. Vomiting, increased drinking and urination, constipation, and dehydration typically follow these signs.

  • Vomiting describes the active evacuation of food from the stomach. Vomiting may be caused by disorders of the stomach, but is a clinical sign that can occur with many diseases and problems. Most cases of acute vomiting resolve quickly with simple treatment, without the underlying cause being diagnosed. Any required tests are determined based on physical examination of your cat and questions regarding how your cat has been acting and feeling at home.

  • Pets and people need some zinc in their diets. However, too much zinc can cause serious health problems.