Main Article Content
Background: Feline aortic thromboembolism (FATE) is a fatal disease where a blood clot gets lodged into the aortic trifurcation.
Aim: This study describes the diagnosis and treatment outcome of FATE in 15 clinical cases.
Methods: Fifteen cats with a sudden onset of hind limb paresis/paralysis, vocalization, and pain were admitted to the surgery clinic. A full case history was obtained and clinical, orthopedic, neurologic, radiographic, electrocardiographic, and echocardiographic examinations were performed for each cat. The treatment protocol included daily administration of multiple anticoagulant drugs with different mode of actions and meloxicam for 7 successive days. Prophylactic anticoagulant therapy (clopidogrel and acetylsalicylic acid) was continued for 6 months. All data were statistically
analyzed and the correlation between time of admission and treatment outcome was tested using Pearson’s correlation coefficient.
Results: The case history and clinical, orthopedic, and neurologic examinations revealed a sudden onset of hind limb
paralysis (n = 12) or paresis (n = 3) associated with vocalization and pain, absence of trauma, cold and pale paws of hind limbs (n = 13, 86.7%) or cyanosed hind paws (n = 2, 13.3%), absence of femoral pulsation, shallow and rapid open-mouth respiration (61 ± 8 breaths/minutes), hypothermia (37.9°C ± 0.6°C) and tachycardia (155 ± 12 beats/ minutes), with a muffled heart sound in four cats (26.7%). Radiography revealed no abnormalities in the hind limbs, pelvis, and spines, cardiomegaly in five cats (33.3%), mild pleural effusion and vascular pattern of the lung in six cats (40%), and Valentine’s heart shape in four cats (26.7%). Electrocardiography (ECG) revealed an R-wave< 0.9 mV, prolongation of QRS interval in five cats (33.3%), and conduction disturbance in four cats (26.7%). Echocardiography was consistent with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in five cats (33.3%). A statistically significant (p = 0.023) strong negative correlation (r = −0.6) was reported between time of admission and subsequent early treatment and recovery from clinical signs. The treatment was successful in nine cats (60%), while four cats (26.7) were euthanized and two cats (13.3%) were subjected to hind limb amputation, at the owners’ requests.
Conclusion: Clinical signs, radiography, ECG, and echocardiography are valuable for diagnosis of FATE. The outcome of the multiple anticoagulants therapy depends mainly upon early diagnosis and treatment within the first 6 hours from the onset of clinical signs.
Keywords: Anticoagulant, Aortic thromboembolism, Cardiomyopathy, Echocardiography, Paralysis.