Dog ate chocolate?

ask a vet

My kitten died.

Species: Cat
Breed: DSH Tabby
Age: Less than 3 mon
Hi Dr Marie,

We came home on Sunday after a night away (less than 24 hours) to find our poor kitten had died overnight. Gizmo was 10 weeks old and had just been to the vet a week before to get his FVRCP, pronounced perfectly healthy apart from a small limp he got when jumping from my husband's shoulder. :)

We lost another 3 month old kitten earlier this year to what looked like cardiomyopathy (his legs went completely limp, he went very slack and started crying, and within an hour - on the way to the emergency hospital - he had passed away). But we don't know what happened to Gizmo because we weren't there - and yes, we feel absolutely wretched for leaving him!

We had thought he would be OK overnight, we left plenty of dry food and water, etc. The first thing we noticed when we got home was some dry food scattered on the floor, then we noticed Gizmo lying close to his food bowl, and realised he had died. He was lying as if asleep and there were no signs of any accident or struggling.

We wondered if maybe he had choked on his dry food (we recently switched to IAMS and noticed the pieces were larger than the Royal Canin we were using). He had a habit of swallowing without chewing. Could this be possible, or, what are the chances of the same thing (cardiomyopathy) happening twice to two unrelated kittens? Both were rescued from the Humane Society and we had both for less than a month before they died, but gave them plenty of food, water, love and play in those short weeks.

I really don't want this happening again, if there is anything we might be doing wrong, but I have lived with cats for most of my life (until I went to college) and never had any issues. Any thoughts you have would be welcomed.

Jen


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am so sorry to hear that this happened. Cases like this are so difficult because it is extremely hard for us to ever know what happened.

By far the most common reason for a young, apparently healthy cat to die suddenly is a heart condition. And yes, cardiomyopathy (likely hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) is the most likely culprit. This type of problem is something that a cat would be born with. I would agree with you that the odds are extremely low for two unrelated cats to both die of cardiomyopathy. But, I'm guessing that this is likely what happened.

It is extremely unlikely that Gizmo choked on his food.

Is there any way that you could have your veterinarian do a post mortem exam on him? If so, they may be able to tell if the walls of the heart are abnormally thickened as we would see with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Please know that you did nothing wrong.

Dr. Marie.



Check out our dog age calculator and cat age calculator.

Want to receive pet coupons, vet advice and info on new pet products in your inbox?

* indicates required

We'll only send you great stuff, never spam. Unsubscribe any time.

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.

Search for similar questions:

ask a vet

Popular questions...

Cat died suddenly. Our cat just passed away suddenly last night. She was about 4 years old, and... (9313 views)

Should surgery be done? I have a female labrador, who is six year old and was nutered when she was 1 year... (5611 views)

Itchy bumps on back. I took my dog to get groomed about 6 weeks ago and I noticed that she got a few... (11352 views)

Cat with pseudomonas infection. Sorry to bother you again. I wrote to you abt Shakey who has Pseudomas bacteria... (8568 views)

Pink spot on dog. I noticed on my dog about a month ago he had a small pink raised bump on his chest... (24861 views)

Dog bleeding from nose and died. This might seem unnecessary and irrelevant now, but maybe even shedding a little... (69337 views)

Swelling on ear. My 2 year old male beagle has a bump on his outer ear flap which resembles the post... (6927 views)

Interstitial cystitis? Charlotte is constantly squatting as if she has to go, but nothing is coming out. I... (9416 views)

Cat xray with fluid in chest. We euthanized our cat this week based on the recommendation of our vet. We feel we... (19112 views)

Kitten died. Hello I work at the humane society. We recently adopted out a 13 week old long... (7250 views)

See all questions...

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.