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Trouble breathing and died.

Species: Cat
Breed: dsh
Age: 2-5 years
my beloved cat mr whippy died recently and i am breaking my heart thinking i could have saved him.about 2/3 wks ago he had a short episode of panting and fast breathing but he recovered quickly and i thought he had got hot or something and he was relatively overweight.the day he died he was panting for short bursts occasionaly but otherwise was normal self eating etc.by the evening/night he got worse and lay on bed on his side gasping for breath if i tried to pick him up he cried i had phoned vet but when i got back upstairs he had gone under the bed and had died.i am devastated i should have got him to vet sooner he may still be alive please please help tell me why he might have died i miss him so very much my heart aches and aches he was my beautiful baby he was only 4 how could he just die like that? I will never forgive myself i sometimes think i cant carry on. i let him down when he needed me .he definately hadnt been knocked by a car


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am sorry to hear about Mr. Whippy. (What a cool name, by the way.)

When a cat has significant difficulties with breathing there is always a very serious medical problem going on. The vast majority of the time this problem is something untreatable.

The most common reason for a young cat to die after having breathing problems is a heart condition called HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). This is a condition that cats can be born with. They will often have no symptoms throughout their life and then just suddenly the heart will fail.

If this was HCM then there is nothing you could have done.

There are other possible reasons for fluid in the chest such as trauma (but you said that was unlikely), or cancer (which is not common in a 4 year old cat.)

It is very unlikely that things would have been different even if you got to the vet's sooner.

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.

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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.