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Dr. CW
Dr. CW, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 190
Experience:  Amost 10yrs of clinical experience in small animal and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
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I have a cat who died all of the sudden and the only thing

Customer Question

I have a cat who died all of the sudden and the only thing I can see is that he have blood near his nose and mouth ... what can be the reason? stroke? poison?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. CW replied 7 years ago.



I am so very sorry to hear about your cat. What a shock. I want to help as much as possible, but first need to ask a few questions.


Is he indoor? outdoor? indoor and outdoor?

Was he in or out when you found him?

Is there blood anywhere else or any other sign of injury?

Has he been healthy prior to this?

Any signs of illness, upper respiratory or otherwise?

Any coughing, exercise intolerance or difficulty breathing prior to you finding him?


Again, I am sorry.


Dr. CW


Customer: replied 7 years ago.



The cat was an indoor cat, i found him inside the house lying on the sofa where he liked to sleep sometimes.

The blood was just on the sofa where he wa


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX name of the cat is Tiger so I will call him with this name


Tiger was an indoor cat, i found him inside the house lying on the sofa where he liked to sleep.

The blood was just on the sofa where he was lying and not in other places


The cat was healty with no problem ... he was very active cat.


No signes for nothing before


Thanks again

Expert:  Dr. CW replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your answers. I will try to help give you some possible answers, but you might want to take Tiger to your veterinarian in the morning so they can do an autopsy (if you wish). They might be able to find some more clear-cut answers for you.


My top differentials would be feline heartworm disease, other heart problems, anaphylactic reaction (severe allergic reaction), clotting or platelet abnormality, electrical cord injury, toxin, or trauma.


I think toxin or trauma would be lower on the list if Tiger is a strictly indoor cat. Sudden death can sometimes be the only sign in feline heartworm disease or heart disease in general, if they weren't in congestive heart failure. They can certainly throw a clot with heartworm or heart disease (something like a stroke). Sometimes respiratory disease can cause this, but I would expect coughing, sneezing, off food, or other symptoms if it was bad enough to cause death. If it was from chewing an electrical cord, there should be tell-tale sores in the mouth. If a clotting issue, there could be blood in other body cavities or bruises on the skin.


Yet again, words can't express how sorry I am for your loss. I hope this has helped, and if there are any further questions, just reply and I will get back to you as soon as possible.



Dr. CW

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank You Dr. CW.


I took Tiger to the Vet in order to do Autopsy and the explanation they supply was electric cord bite but it doesn't make any sense to me.


The only thing that was different in the last week was food from a new can (he usually eats dry food only) that was given to him twice once on Tuesday and once on Thursday and he was found dead on Saturday night when no one was with him in his last 24 hours so I don't know when the death took place.


When he was found there was seems that he has blood from his mouth near where he was laying (like asleep in one of his favorite sleeping location in the house). I tried to look on things on the internet and found the following links that both sounds close to what happened to Tiger (except the legs part that I don't know if it happened or not) (I am not sure if the blood was from vomiting or just regular bleeding from mouth and nose, it looks in Tiger case that it was more bleeding than vomiting)


I am writing down the autopsy results I received from the Vet but pay attention that Tiger was taken to the Vet on Sunday morning when the death most probably took place sometime on Friday or Saturday so it took some time and as I have been explained several changes started to happened in the body due to the time that pass from the death.


The Autopsy results are:

"There were multiple areas in the tongue that were black discoloration either from hemorrhage or burn from an electric cord bite. There was evidence of bleeding from the eyes and gums. Internal abdominal and thoracic organs were also hemorrhagic, but there was no obvious compartmental bleeding. There was no obvious gross mass or tear in major vessel to explain the sudden death. The most reasonable explanation is an electric cord bite"


I am sorry for my long reply but I really want to understand the reason for the sudden death as I wasn't at home and was very attached to Tiger. I want to understand want went wrong.




Expert:  Dr. CW replied 7 years ago.

I am sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I have been away for a few days. I looked at the links you posted, and I really think rodenticide poisoning is pretty unlikely. Unless you had rat poison set out somewhere in your house, there really is no way Tiger would have had access to it. I can't imagine the food was a major factor either.


Certainly, heart disease and saddle thrombus is a possibility. I would, however, have thought that they would have found an enlarged heart if that was the case. You can also visualize a clot in a vessel on the autopsy if you are looking for it.


A clotting problem is still a possibility, even though there was no free blood in any body cavity. They can get something called immune mediated thrombocytopenia, and you might not actually be able to prove it on autopsy. There usually isn't free blood in the chest or abdomen. Usually you see bruises, pinpoint bleeds in the eyes and in the mouth. Here is a link about this problem.


This can actually come on fairly quickly in some cases, and might have presented as sudden death, like you witnessed.


Electrical cord burn is not impossible, even though it may seem unlikely. Truthfully, I think it is more possible than a rodenticide poisoning. They don't have to be near the chewed cord, as some of the effects build-up and death can be delayed. If a cat were chewing a particular cord, the shock could cause small hemorrhages, frank bleeding and severe consequences for the respiratory and circulatory system. They may not occur or even be immediately apparent.


I wish I could give you some definitive answers, but unfortunately, you may never know exactly what happened. If you have more questions, just reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.



Dr. CW