Library

Cats + Emergency Situations

  • Mothballs are solid pesticides that slowly release a vapor to kill and repel moths, their larvae, and other insects from stored clothing and fabric. Mothballs are sometimes also used to repel snakes, mice, and other animals, although this use is not recommended and can be harmful to pets, children, and the environment.

  • House paint, art paint, varnishes and other decorative or protective solvents come in many varieties… and most are dangerous to dogs and cats. Water-based paints, the most common, include latex, tempera, and poster paints.

  • Penetrating wounds such as sticks, arrows, or gunshots can be life-threatening though the outer appearance of a wound may not seem as severe. Take immediate steps to calm your pet, stabilize any foreign body that is present, and get your pet to your veterinarian. Surgery may be necessary after your pet is stabilized.

  • Pericardial effusion refers to the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the sac surrounding the heart. Pericardial effusion can have a number of underlying causes, including inflammation, infection, cancer, and hereditary defects. Mild cases of pericardial effusion may be asymptomatic, but more significant fluid accumulations can interfere with the heart’s function and lead to severe effects such as sudden death. Treatment and prognosis is dependent upon the underlying cause of the condition.

  • Pleural effusion refers to the abnormal accumulation of fluid within the chest cavity. In pleural effusion, the fluid is not found within the lungs, but instead within the pleural sac. Pleural effusion can have a number of different causes, including diseases of the heart, lungs, or other systemic diseases. Cats with pleural effusion often have rapid, shallow breathing and pet owners may notice increased respiratory effort. Cats may develop open-mouthed breathing in an effort to increase air flow. Some affected cats may also cough. Pleural effusion is typically diagnosed with radiographs. Determining the underlying cause typically requires thoracocentesis.

  • Pulmonary means lung, and the word thromboembolism describes a blood clot that has moved through the blood vessels, lodged in one of the pulmonary arteries, and blocked blood flow into the portion of the lung served by that artery. This seems to be more common in medium to large-breed cats, and generally in middle-aged to older cats.

  • Pyometra is defined as an infection in the uterus. Pyometra is considered a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated quickly and aggressively. Pyometra may occur in any sexually intact young to middle-aged cat; however, it is most common in older cats. Typically, the cat has been in heat within the previous 4 weeks.

  • Pyothorax occurs when pus or inflammatory fluids collect in the space around the lungs causing fever, anorexia, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. It is the result of infection around the lungs caused by wounds either internally or externally, migrating foreign bodies, or lung infection. It is diagnosed through history, physical exam, radiographs, and thoracocentesis. Treatment may involve repeated thoracocenteses or the placement of a chest drain, as well as antibiotics and supportive care. Prognosis is variable but good if the cat survives the critical early stages.

  • Pyrethrin insecticides are naturally derived from the chrysanthemum (mum) flower, and pyrethroids are the synthetic versions. The formulations of these products vary in concentration, synergists, and carriers depending on their intended use.

  • Warfarin rodenticide is an over-the-counter anticoagulant rodenticide used to kill mice, rats, and other pests. Warfarin rodenticide poisoning occurs when a cat ingests the rodenticide accidentally. Clinical signs of poisoning are hemorrhage (bleeding) which usually occurs about 2-3 days after consumption.