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It can be frightening to see your cat suffer, particularly if you are unsure of whether or not the situation is an emergency. If you are in doubt, contact the vet or the nearest hospital. Here are some of the most common feline emergencies that are looked after in vet hospitals across the country.
- Coughing, choking and difficulty breathing – Choking can be quite serious, even if the symptoms resolve themselves in minutes. Lack of oxygenation or fluid build-up in the lungs can be one of the dangerous consequences of choking. Breathing difficulties are to be taken seriously and they need to be addressed by the vet immediately. Your cat might need a radiograph to evaluate the airway and lungs. Coughing is usually a vague symptom that could be the result of several possibilities, including bacteria, viruses, allergic bronchitis, fungal pneumonia and congenital heart disease. Compromises on the respiratory ability of your pet must be evaluated by the vet as soon as possible.
- Diarrhea and vomiting – Diarrhea and/or vomiting can be caused by many different factors, including a change in the diet parasites, infectious diseases, dietary indiscretion, toxins and a whole lot more. Some cases of diarrhea and vomiting are self-limiting and mild. However, severe or persisting diarrhea and vomiting can become quite problematic. Your cat will become dehydrated and depending on the root cause and the symptoms can worsen in hours.
- Trauma – Trauma can be the result of being hit by a moving vehicle, an attack by another animal, falling from a great height or any other accident. Trauma can lead to blood loss, broken bones, shock, lacerations and internal bleeding, internal injuries and pain. It might become life-threatening. If your cat is going through any kind of trauma, he should be thoroughly examined by the vet, even if he looks like he is unharmed from the outside. Complications from trauma are uncommon and the earlier you intervene, the better the chances of recovery.
- Ingestion of toxins – There are plenty of substances that are toxic to cats. True lilies are among the most dangerous plants for cats. Antifreeze is another potentially deadly toxin. Medications, cleaning chemicals, garden products (plants, fertilizer, bulbs), rodenticides, chocolates and insecticides are also potential toxins. If you are in doubt as to whether a particular substance is toxic, contact the vet for more advice.
- Allergic reactions – Cats can also develop allergies. The causes for the allergic reaction range from insect bites to vaccine sensitivity. Anaphylaxis is the most serious kind of allergic reaction. Anaphylactic symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and collapse. Cats also suffer from allergic reactions that include hives, facial swelling and itchiness.
- Ingestion of foreign bodies – Cats are curious by their very nature. If they ingest a foreign body, it can become problematic, leading to gastrointestinal problems like intestinal perforations or obstructions. The foreign body also has a great likelihood of getting stuck in the trachea o the throat, causing your cat to choke and suffocate. Make sure that your cat does not come into contact with linear bodies like rope, string, fishing wire, ribbon and other such items.