Dog ate chocolate?

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Healthy cat died suddenly.

Species: Cat
Breed: Tabby
Age: 5-8 years
Why did my cat die?

I came home from work today to find that my cat had died. I was hoping you might be able to help me figure out what happened. He was on my bed and under my covers (he crawls under there sometimes). His legs were outstretched in a normal sleeping pose. One eye was closed, the other partially open. Pupils dilated, mouth closed. The sheets were soaked with urine which I guess he passed when he died.

This morning he was acting perfectly normal and there was no indication that anything was wrong. The only health problem he's ever had is that he can sometimes throw up several times in a row, but this only happens about twice a month. Vet looked at him and thought it might be allergies and gave him a steroid shot. This was about 4 months ago.

He's an indoor cat, in case that matters. He was a little overweight at 18 lbs. Had some anxiety issues, too. That's about all I can think of. Oh and I don't think there were any sources of poison he could have come into contact with. I take paroxetine 25mg. I suppose it's possible I dropped one which he ate, but that seems unlikely.

Thanks for the help,

John





Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am sorry to hear that this happened. How traumatic this must have been!

By far the most common reason for an apparently healthy cat to die suddenly would be a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. When cats have this heart condition there are often no external signs. Some cats might have a heart murmur that the vet can hear, but many are completely healthy on outward appearances.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy causes the walls of the heart to be very thick and can cause a cat to die suddenly.

You're right, the dilated pupils and emptied bladder don't really tell us much and likely happened because of the death process.

The only other thing that I could think of would be if he chewed on an electrical cord and had a sudden electrocution but this seems unlikely.

I wish I could give you more answers. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I just saw your additional question. I'll put it here so that everything is in one place:

Update on Simon -

I had the vet perform a necropsy. She couldn't find anything that was obviously wrong. No heartworm, no visible heart problems, no signs of cancer, no fluid in the lungs, no obstructions. She didn't check the brain.

So what's most likely? Some kind of blood clot or aneurysm maybe?


Cases like this are so tough. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy still is a possibility. While some cats with this condition have very obvious issues with the heart that can be seen on post mortem, sometimes only a pathologist can make the diagnosis.

There really isn't a brain issue that I can think of that would cause sudden death.

Unfortunately I'm afraid I don't have any answers for you. But, I would say that by far the most likely possibility is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.