An Aortic Thromboembolism (ATE) is an extremely painful, common, life threatening complication of cats with heart disease. It occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms (usually in the heart) which then passes down the aorta (the main artery which leaves the heart and lies along the spine before splitting into 2 to go down each leg).
What respiratory diseases commonly affect cats? Many cats may be affected by obstructive and allergic respiratory diseases, sometimes called "asthma" or "bronchitis". Although not easy to classify these conditions do share a common finding of "hyper-responsive" or "over-reactive" airways. Inciting agents may act as direct irritants to the airways or provoke an allergic response in the respiratory tract. The end-result is the same: 1) muscle spasms in the bronchi, 2) increased production of mucus, and 3) the accumulation of cellular material in the airways. The airways can become narrowed, and the inability to clear the bronchi of this material leaves the cat susceptible to secondary respiratory infections. In obstructive or allergic lung disease, the cat experiences greatest difficulty during expiration or breathing out. Air may become trapped in the lungs, causing the lungs to over inflate. In some cases, this chronic trapping of air leads to the development of emphysema in the cat.
Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia is a condition whereby an animals' own immune system destroys it's red blood cells, leading to anaemia (too few red blood cells). This destruction can occur in the blood vessels (intravascular) or in organs such as the liver and spleen