Cardiac tamponade in cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

Cardiac tamponade in cats is a very serious condition, which can endanger the life of the cat: let’s see what to do.

Cardiac tamponade is the consequence of an accumulation of fluid inside the cat ‘s pericardium . It can hinder the heart’s freedom of movement, proving to be lethal. Let’s find out in detail what it is, what its causes are, how to recognize it in time and what treatments to submit to the cat.

What is cardiac tamponade in cats

To understand what cardiac tamponade is in cats, it is necessary to analyze the functions performed by the pericardium.

It is a serous membrane that surrounds the heart, performing numerous and important functions, including:

  • Protection from inflammation and bacterial and viral infections;
  • Maintaining the correct position within the thoracic cavity;
  • Prevention of incorrect expansion movements.

This small cavity contains the dose of liquid necessary for lubrication between the organs. However, if there is an accumulation of excess fluids, what is referred to as cardiac tamponade will occur.

In this case, it will be possible to distinguish between:

  • acute cardiac tamponade, which presents severe symptoms, which occur suddenly;
  • chronic cardiac tamponade, which consists of the progressive accumulation of fluid, with progressively more serious symptoms.

Symptoms and causes

How to recognize cardiac tamponade in cats?

Given the potentially fatal consequences, it is important to be able to identify it in time, in order to intervene quickly. As we have seen, however, this is a condition that is not always easy to recognize.

In the case of chronic cardiac tamponade, in fact, the cat could manifest its malaise only following a large filling of the pericardial cavity.

Among the main symptoms of cardiac tamponade in cats are:

  • Abdominal distension;
  • Loss of appetite in cats
  • Weight loss;
  • Difficulty in breathing;
  • Shallow breathing;
  • Cough;
  • Weakness and lethargy;
  • Hypothermia;
  • Tachycardia;
  • Pallor.

What are the causes of cardiac tamponade in cats? Among the main factors responsible for this condition are:

  • Tumor;
  • Feline infectious peritonitis called FIP ;
  • Pericarditis;
  • Hyperthyroidism;
  • Ruptures of the heart cavity;
  • Presence of foreign bodies;
  • Changes in blood clotting
  • Immune-mediated diseases.

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