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Cats + Emergency Situations

  • Metaldehyde toxicity occurs when a dog (or, less commonly, a cat) eats slug bait that contains metaldehyde. The signs of metaldehyde toxicity include vomiting, anxiety, ataxia (due to muscle incoordination), stiffness, muscle tremors, elevated heart rate and respiratory rate, increased salivation, and increased sensitivity to touch. These signs often progress to continuous muscle tremors and seizures. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and history. There is no antidote to metaldehyde; treatment is centered upon decontamination and supportive care. Prognosis is good, with aggressive treatment.

  • 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.

  • Pleural effusion refers to an accumulation of fluid within the pleural cavity. This fluid is usually located within the pleural sac which is a serous membrane covering the lungs. The pleural sac can be thought of as a "plastic wrap" around the lungs that can potentially hold fluid or air (a potential space).

  • 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 refers to the presence of inflammatory fluid or "pus" within the chest cavity, which is the area between the lungs and the inner walls of the ribs.

  • 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.

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