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17861Re: Pulmonary embolism - any one have experience?

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  • jen
    Dec 1 12:50 PM
      Hi Ellen,

      I'm sorry to hear about your kitty, she sounds very sick.

      Pulmonary embolus usually presents with dry lungs (ie no edema) and
      a very fast heart rate with dyspnea. The presence of the pulmonary
      edema has me leaning away from an embolus. The fact that her red
      count keeps dropping after transfusions, especially combined with
      the low potassium, which is involved in blood clotting, has me
      wondering if she is bleeding somewhere. Have they done an abdominal
      ultrasound and tested her stool for blood?

      The clots for pulmonary embolus are formed in the body and travel to
      the right side of the heart and lodge in the lungs. They can also
      be formed in the right side of the heart due to arrthymias or
      enlargement issues. Since most HCM kitties have mostly left sided
      involvement, a pulmonary embolus is not a common complication of HCM.

      The gallop rhythm might related to her anemia. If her red blood
      cells are very low, they cannot always get enough oxygen to the
      heart to fully oxygenate it, so areas can become "irritated" and
      fire off before they should. If her blood pressure is low the same
      thing can happen. Potassium is also essential to normal heart
      rhythm, so her hypokalemia may also be a contributing factor. Her
      dilated pupils were likely a response to the stress of not being
      able to breathe - it is part of the fight or flight response.

      These are just some ideas; I'm not a vet or MD just a paramedic, so
      I deal with acutely life threatening situations, not the ongoing
      illnesses. It sounds like she is getting the best of care by vets
      who are able to observe her directly and have the whole picture.

      Good luck, Ms P will be in our thoughts. Keep us updated.

      jen, deagan and kira the dog
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