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How can you tell if your cat has heart disease?
Hi, I lost my almost 5 year old dilute calico cat, Cleo, on Valentine's Day.  She loved to take long walks with us, work on the car, be in the middle of all our board games, and eat.  She was a little overweight, 13 lbs, and was the most personable, and interactive cat I have ever seen.  We are just grief stricken over losing her.  The worst part is we do not know why she died.  I posted a question regarding her condition on the main ask a vet forum, and Dr. Almeda said that it sounds like she might have had an embolism.  Wouldn't this have shown up on her x-rays or ultr-sound; or for that matter a blood test?  I know when a human has had a heart attack or is about to have one, a protein, Troponin is released in the blood.  It may be different for cats but just what are the signs or heart disease, and how can you tell if a cat has experienced a heart attack?  My other kitty Daisy, who is just 2, also a dilute calico is now not eating her food.  She doesn't seem to be in any pain though.  Is this a normal behavior for a cat, when there has been a death in the house? I appreciate any input.  Thanks.  
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609884 tn?1227333003
It is possible for a person or cat to "throw a clot", (embolism) without it showing up on test. It's sudden, and it doesn't  necessarily mean the cat had heart disease.  I'm sorry about your kitty, I know what you're going through.

If your other cat is really not eating at all, you should take her to the vet immediately.  Cats can't go long without food and particularly water.  It could be an emotional reaction, absolutely, or it could be physical.

There is an article in the health pages (lower right of the screen, click see all health pages) about force feeding/hydration which might be helpful for you to read.

Good luck.  Keep us posted, ok?
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609884 tn?1227333003
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587315 tn?1333556383
Hi, I personally know for a fact that blood clots do not show up on plain x-rays!  I know, because I'm in the radiography field now (x-ray).  I've also had blood clots in my lungs that didn't show up on a chest x-ray.  To find blood clots, a CT scan with contrast injected in the blood vessels is the only way they will show up.  

Hope this has helped some!!  =D
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Thank You, it is a painful time.  I have had no experience with this sort of thing and I appreciate you're response.  How unexpected and shocking a thing like this is!  Not knowing what you're dealing with makes it hard to treat it.  Daisy is sad too, and seems to want more attention than normal.  She even sits in my husband's lap now. To my relief, she has eaten some and is drinking as well. Her appetite never has been big anyway,she is on the slender side, and wants to eat a little every couple hours.  So I think she is going to be okay.  I never knew cats could not go long without eating and drinking.  Thanks for you're concern.  God Bless
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Yes, thank you, it is very helpful for two reasons.  First, I am more knowledgable now than I was, and can be more proactive towards treatment for those in my care.  Secondly, I can stop second guessing my veternarian about his treatment of Cleo.  I know in my own experience that blood tests can be wrong...human error, so I kept thinking maybe he was missing something.  Thank you for enlightening me about the subject, I never knew CT scan was the only way to find blood clots. Now I know, therefore I am more powerful!!!  I'm still feeling sad about Cleo, it's like losing a best friend, but I am glad she is out of her misery.  I hope that you are doing well, and thanks again!  God Bless
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587315 tn?1333556383
Hi sweetie, sooooo glad that the info helped you!!  The CT will only work with contrast (dye) injected into the veins.  Actually, there IS a blood test for humans that can tell whether your body is breaking down blood clots.  It's called the D-Dimer.  Of course, it won't tell you specifically WHERE the clot is, but you'll know there's a clot somewhere.  Whenever there is a blood clot in the body, the body will put out certain chemicals to break that clot down-this is what the test picks up.  That really might be worth asking the vet if they can do this test on kittys.  If you find out, please let me know!!  

Just to let ya know, I know exactly how you're feeling.  It is the worst thing in the world to have your pet die with no warning at all.  I've been through it 3 freaking times!!!!  One was a young cat-3 yrs old.  He was indoor/outdoor and was found dead on our neighbor's porch.  Like you, I question and second guess things.  Not having answers is torture for me!!  But, I started looking at it in a different light-it was God's will and it was meant to be.  Sometimes there are no answers.....such a hard concept for me to accept, but I am trying!  You need to try your hardest, too!!

I am so sorry for your loss, my heart truly goes out to you!!  =D

PS-We've got some great tips in our Health Pages in this forum.  Top right of this page, right above Recent Activity and it says Health Pages!!
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587315 tn?1333556383
Hi, just want to clarify!!!  =D  The ultrasound can find clots, but ONLY in the extremities-legs and arms!!  Won't work on the abdomen, chest, or brain!

Alright, good luck-wish you well!!
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