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17857Pulmonary embolism - any one have experience?

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  • Ellen
    Nov 30, 2004
      Hi everyone,
      My cat was breathing open-mouthed last Monday night (11/22) and I
      took her into the ER vet. She also has dilated pupils with one
      larger than the other, and I know I had read somewhere (CRF list?)
      that sometimes that can mean a clot (which I mentioned to the vet
      and she said, no since she has no history of heart disease). Vet
      took x-rays, said it was asthma attack (she has bronchitis and
      coughs, never dyspnea, but I think once the vet heard she had
      asthma, she went down the wrong diagnostic path), gave her
      epinephrine, morphine, brethine & she was in oxygen cage. Seemed to
      help, but once out of oxygen she began the breathing open-mouthed
      again. Another x-ray showed pulmonary edema & enlarged heart, she
      gave lasix and dexamethasone, she was by now gasping for air and
      they said, she's going to die, do you want to ventilate. I say,
      yes. That was over a week ago. She's still here, still in the ICU,
      off the ventilator but still on oxygen, and her PCO2 and ph are
      finally normal. They think it may have been pulmonary embolism.
      She has been on heparin, brethine, dex, low-dose lasix continuous
      drip. Her biggest problem now though, is anemia. She's had low-
      grade anemia, probably from chronic inflammatory disease (IBD and
      liver, but both under control), but it keeps falling shortly after
      blood transfusion, and I don't know why. She's also developed a
      transient gallup rhythym, which is maybe from the anemia? A cardiac
      ultrasound done today (by the traveling cardiologist) ruled out
      heart disease - some slight enlargement but nothing to cause current
      symptoms of difficulty breathing.

      I guess that's a short history. She's a 14 or so year old calico
      (she was a stray so we are not sure) who is 2+ years in remission
      from nasal lymphoma. Oncologist does not think it's a return of
      cancer and neither do I. She is eating well, on 1/2 maintenance
      fluid and has had to have extra potassium added as it keeps
      dropping. She's off the lasix for now, her BUN was going up
      (creatinine is normal, was slightly high mid week). I have been
      with her at the ICU from 9am-10pm every day (much to the dismay of
      the techs there) and watch her breath. They tried to take her off
      the oxygen a few times, I think too soon, but at some point we need
      to wean her off (unless I get oxygen at my house which has crossed
      my mind!)

      I guess it's not technically a heart problem, but I don't know much
      about clots and how they start etc - any insight or advice
      appreciated!

      Thank you.
      Ellen & Ms P
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