Pleural effusion

FeebysOwner

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Hi. I am sorry about your little buddy. Very nice-looking gent. I searched this site for pleural effusion and came up with nothing, even though I swear I have seen related posts. So, I found this article (see link below) that might help give you some ideas about what could have happened. Perhaps you can address these with your vet to see what they have to say.
Evaluating causes of pleural effusion in cats - EveryCat Health Foundation
 

fionasmom

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I am so sorry for your sudden loss of your beautiful friend. There are several predisposing causes to pleural effusion, certainly not all of which would apply to your boy. I am guessing/presupposing that he did not have trauma to the chest or a wound in that area, for example. If you rule those out, a cat who suffers from this may have a heart condition or cancer, either of which may or may not have been clear, or idiopathic which means there is no clear cause. Can you speak to your vet about what might have specifically caused this?
 
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Robyn5678

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I am so sorry for your sudden loss of your beautiful friend. There are several predisposing causes to pleural effusion, certainly not all of which would apply to your boy. I am guessing/presupposing that he did not have trauma to the chest or a wound in that area, for example. If you rule those out, a cat who suffers from this may have a heart condition or cancer, either of which may or may not have been clear, or idiopathic which means there is no clear cause. Can you speak to your vet about what might have specifically caused this?
I did ask and she said she’s not sure. She said it’s usually caused by trauma, a cat getting into blood thinner meds or rat poison. Since his cavity was 100% full they were trying to get some of the fluid out so they could figure out if there was an underlying issue like his heart. Sadly he went into cardiac arrest as soon as they started the procedure and CPR 3 times didn’t bring him back. This was his chest xray

IMG_7096.jpeg
 

fionasmom

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I do understand that as your cat was not the typical case of this condition. You vet did the right thing to try to drain the fluid; for as much as I am sorry that it did not work, she made the best attempt possible.
 
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Robyn5678

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I definitely don’t blame the vet. I’m wondering if I missed something, what else could cause it and now I’m hyper paranoid about my other 2 😩
 

FeebysOwner

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I definitely don’t blame the vet. I’m wondering if I missed something, what else could cause it and now I’m hyper paranoid about my other 2 😩
I offered an article about possible causes earlier in this thread and thought it might give you some things to discuss with the vet. Here is a link to the article again in case you missed my previous post. Again, I am so sorry about what happened to your little buddy..
Evaluating causes of pleural effusion in cats - EveryCat Health Foundation
 
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fionasmom

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Pleural Effusion in Cats | VCA Animal Hospitals
This article lists eight potential causes. You might ask your vet if any of them apply but, as I said earlier, I don't think that most of them have anything to do with your care of him.

I don't think that you missed anything. Some of these conditions, such as those related to the heart, appear out of nowhere. What you noticed was a difference in his breathing over the last few days and you did what any concerned cat owner would have done which is to take him to the vet. Even if you had run to the vet within the first few minutes of the irregular breathing, it is unlikely that the outcome would have been different. These subtle conditions gain a foothold and proceed to do their damage from there.
 

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Congestive heart disease is the most common cause of PE as I said befroe.

Chances are he was just predisposed to it provided he was indoor only. I've been assuming he never free ranged but maybe I was wrong.

Did he have a pot belly apperance at all? Or any time prior? This often comes with PE because the chest cavity swells like a ballon filled with water.

Things to watch for would be fatigue or reluctance to play, reverse sneezing or honking/hacking cough, laying on strange places (linolium tile, hard floor, bathroom floor etc) and off food.

Kabuto had many of these signs with his diagnosis of heart disease and PE. They drained it with diuretics in his case.

Kabuto still has bouts of reverse sneezing and a heart murmer but his was caused by hyperthyroidism. He still damage to his heart but it seems to have stabalized with medication.

As another user pointed out these heart conditions are very sneeky. Kabuto was diagnosed at a routiene checkup. I had no idea his heart was in rough shape.
 
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Tummytrouble

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My beloved Fennel had pleural effusion when she died. She had chronic kidney failure as her main illness, but underlying was most likely congestive heart failure and my vet thought cancer. She had a suspicious area on an xray. Both congestive heart failure and cancer can cause pleural effusion. I'm very sorry you also went through this. It comes on fast and just isn't fair. My sincere condolences for your loss. You did everything you could, please know your kitty knew how loved they were. I know a lot about pleural effusion bc I went down the rabbit hole in my grief after her death. Please don't beat yourself up like I did.
 

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Hi. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a very common heart disease in cats that is often times undetected until fatal. HCM can cause congestive heart failure.

I am very sorry about your cat. Such a beautiful cat, I know you must be hurting.

I have copied a link below that goes into technical detail, it is from a vet site. It may be to cold and clinical to read right now. But it does explain what causes this.

Again, I am so sorry.

 
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Robyn5678

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Congestive heart disease is the most common cause of PE as I said befroe.

Chances are he was just predisposed to it provided he was indoor only. I've been assuming he never free ranged but maybe I was wrong.

Did he have a pot belly apperance at all? Or any time prior? This often comes with PE because the chest cavity swells like a ballon filled with water.

Things to watch for would be fatigue or reluctance to play, reverse sneezing or honking/hacking cough, laying on strange places (linolium tile, hard floor, bathroom floor etc) and off food.

Kabuto had many of these signs with his diagnosis of heart disease and PE. They drained it with diuretics in his case.

Kabuto still has bouts of reverse sneezing and a heart murmer but his was caused by hyperthyroidism. He still damage to his heart but it seems to have stabalized with medication.

As another user pointed out these heart conditions are very sneeky. Kabuto was diagnosed at a routiene checkup. I had no idea his heart was in rough shape.
He never had any signs aside from his more rapid breathing. No open mouth breathing or gasping. Never sneezed, coughed. Still ate and played and ran around. He was on the thinner side so I never noticed that his belly hung. He was born outside but after they were trapped and fixed they have only been indoor cats and i have never let them outside

I may never know what happened and that’s a hard pill to swallow
 
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Robyn5678

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Hi. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a very common heart disease in cats that is often times undetected until fatal. HCM can cause congestive heart failure.

I am very sorry about your cat. Such a beautiful cat, I know you must be hurting.

I have copied a link below that goes into technical detail, it is from a vet site. It may be to cold and clinical to read right now. But it does explain what causes this.

Again, I am so sorry.

[/URL]
Thank you. I will read that once I am able too
 
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Robyn5678

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My beloved Fennel had pleural effusion when she died. She had chronic kidney failure as her main illness, but underlying was most likely congestive heart failure and my vet thought cancer. She had a suspicious area on an xray. Both congestive heart failure and cancer can cause pleural effusion. I'm very sorry you also went through this. It comes on fast and just isn't fair. My sincere condolences for your loss. You did everything you could, please know your kitty knew how loved they were. I know a lot about pleural effusion bc I went down the rabbit hole in my grief after her death. Please don't beat yourself up like I did.
How old was she? Mine was 2. Seems so young for CHF. I’m trying to stay off the internet because I am already beating myself up with what ifs.
 

Tummytrouble

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She was 17, but I do think like Silent Meow mentioned that these silent killer heart issues could very well be the case for your kitty as young as he was. I'm so sorry again. The self blame is very much a part of the grief. Perhaps consider counseling if you can. I did that and it genuinely helped me so much. Hang in there, you're a great cat mom.
 

fionasmom

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Pet Loss Support Hotline
Pet Loss Support Hotline | Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
The Tufts webpage lists several more hotlines as you scroll down.

A very close friend used Cornell several years ago and was very happy with them. I am a firm believer in grief counseling for pet loss.

I have a boy with HCM. It was the last thing we were looking for, no symptoms, no reason to expect to find it. He had early kidney disease with no specified reason including anything found on an ultrasound. His vet believed that there could be a link between kidney conditions and heart conditions. Ironically, the cardiologist strongly disagreed that there could be any connection. To this day, I have never "seen" one symptom of HCM. Please don't blame yourself for not being psychic, if heart disease even were at the root of this.
 
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