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A 6-year-old 5.25-kg (11.6-lb) castrated male domestic shorthair cat was referred to the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Emergency Service for management of thromboembolism in the distal portion of the aorta. The cat had no history of important medical problems.

On initial evaluation, the cat was bright, alert, and responsive. Body temperature (measured by use of an aural thermometer) was 39.7°C (103.5°F). The heart rate was 180 beats/min with an intermittent cardiac gallop. A grade 2/6 left parasternal systolic murmur was ausculted. The cat was eupneic (respiratory rate, 36 breaths/min), and auscultation of the lungs revealed no abnormalities. Paraplegia

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine reference values for kaolin-activated thromboelastography in echocardiographically normal cats.

Animals—30 healthy cats without evidence of cardiomyopathy on echocardiographic examination.

Procedures—All cats underwent echocardiographic examination, the findings of which were reviewed by a board-certified cardiologist. Cats that struggled (n = 10) received mild sedation with butorphanol and midazolam IM to permit phlebotomy without interruption in jugular venous blood flow. Blood samples were collected for analysis of thromboelastography variables, PCV, total solids concentration, platelet count, activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time, fibrinogen concentration, and antithrombin concentration.

Results—All 4 thromboelastography variables had < 5% mean intra-assay variability. Mean values were as follows: reaction time, 4.3 minutes; clotting time, 1.6 minutes; α angle, 66.5°; and maximum amplitude, 56.4 mm. Compared with nonsedated cats, cats that required sedation had a significantly shorter clotting time and greater α angle, whereas reaction time and maximum amplitude were not significantly different.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Kaolin-activated thromboelastography was a reliable test with unremarkable intra-assay variability in echocardiographically normal cats. Sedation may affect certain thromboelastography variables, but the effect is unlikely to be clinically important. It remains unknown whether subclinical cardiomyopathy has a significant effect on thromboelastography variables in cats.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To develop, validate, and evaluate a questionnaire (Cats’ Assessment Tool for Cardiac Health [CATCH] questionnaire) for assessing health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—275 cats with cardiac disease.

Procedures—The questionnaire was developed on the basis of clinical signs of cardiac disease in cats. A CATCH score was calculated by summing responses to questionnaire items; possible scores ranged from 0 to 80. For questionnaire validation, owners of 75 cats were asked to complete the questionnaire (10 owners completed the questionnaire twice). Disease severity was assessed with the International Small Animal Cardiac Health Council (ISACHC) classification for cardiac disease. Following validation, the final questionnaire was administered to owners of the remaining 200 cats.

Results—Internal consistency of the questionnaire was good, and the CATCH score was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification. For owners that completed the questionnaire twice, scores were significantly correlated. During the second phase of the study, the CATCH score ranged from 0 to 74 (median, 7) and was significantly correlated with ISACHC classification.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that the CATCH questionnaire is a valid and reliable method for assessing health-related quality of life in cats with cardiac disease. Further research is warranted to test the tool's sensitivity to changes in medical treatment and its potential role as a clinical and research tool.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association