Causes Of Feline Aortic Thromboembolism (FATE) Treating your cat if she has FATE.

Causes Of Feline Aortic Thromboembolism (FATE) Photo by Rodrigo Souza:

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FATE or feline aortic thromboembolism is a fatal condition where a blood clot dislodges and gets stuck in a distant location, causing issues in blood flow and a decrease in oxygen supply. This article discusses the causes and treatment of FATE.

In the cat world, feline aortic thromboembolism (FATE) is better known as saddle thrombus. It's one of the most common causes of sudden paralysis in cats' hind limbs. If you're worried about your pet suffering from this condition, read on to learn more about its causes and treatment options.

Conditions Leading To Feline Aortic Thromboembolism

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle. It can cause feline aortic thromboembolism (FATE). Veterinarians diagnose cardiomyopathy with a stethoscope. Treatment involves pet medication, such as ACE inhibitors.

Other conditions that can lead to FATE include heartworm infection, hyperthyroidism, and cancer

  • Heartworm infestation is transmitted by mosquitoes and leads to inflammation of your cat's lungs and heart. Your cat may experience breathing difficulties or coughing as a result of this condition. There are various heartworm medicines available for treating heartworm infestation.

  • Hyperthyroidism is caused when an overactive thyroid gland releases too much hormone into your cat's body, which can happen due to hereditary factors or an underactive thyroid gland releasing too little hormone in your cat's body. An imbalance between the two types of hormones released by the thyroid gland can cause symptoms like weight loss despite eating more than usual, increased thirst or urination (polydipsia or polyuria), increased appetite (polyphagia), excessive panting, and irritability/depression. Methimazole for cats is one of the most effective treatments for hyperthyroidism.

  • Cancer also causes inflammation leading to thromboembolism at any point along the length of a blood vessel but most commonly affects major organs such as kidneys (renal cell carcinoma) and livers (hepatocellular carcinoma).

FATE Can Be Treated If Diagnosed Soon Enough

Fortunately, FATE can be treated with anticoagulant drugs. These drugs are available in several forms: oral pet medications that you give to your cat at home or injectable pet medicines that can be given either at the vet's office or the pet pharmacy.

There are several ways to treat feline aortic thromboembolism (FATE). The most common treatment is catheter-directed thrombolysis, which uses a catheter to give your cat a drug that breaks down the blood clots.

Another option is the surgical removal of the clot and placing a filter in your cat's heart, known as an endocardial bioprosthesis. This procedure can be done using open heart surgery, but most commonly, it's done by inserting the device through an incision in your cat's neck.

A less invasive option is percutaneous transluminal angioplasty(PTA), where a device is inserted into an artery in your pet’s leg and pushed through the body until it reaches the heart. The device then expands to push against the blood vessel wall, opening up blood flow through the blocked area.

Restrict the Movement Of Your Cat After Surgery

Restrict the movement of a cat after surgery. Some of the common causes for FATE include:

  • A cat's diet. Cats that eat a lot of dry food are more likely to develop FATE because they don't drink water, which is important for preventing blood clots. A good diet like Purina's professional diet can help with this.

  • Being overweight or obese. This can increase blood pressure in your cat's legs and cause clotting and other circulation problems that can lead to heart disease or stroke.

  • Inactivity due to age. Older cats tend to spend more time sleeping than younger ones do. So, if you have an older pet (over 10 years old), you should pay attention if he begins acting differently than normal such as not being active enough or seeming sluggish when he normally would be active at a particular time every day.


The most important thing for you to remember is that the sooner you seek treatment for this condition, the better. If you notice that your cat has trouble moving its back legs or doesn't want to use them, it's important that you take him or her to the veterinarian immediately. The vet will perform emergency tests in order to determine whether FATE is present and which treatment options are available.

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