Internal Bleeding in Cats
Internal bleeding, simply put, is when there is bleeding that occurs internally inside the body. Bleeding may or may not be evident on the outside physical appearance. Internal bleeding should be suspected when a cat has suffered from an injury, trauma, or accident, whether major or minor.
Internal bleeding is a dangerous medical condition. If left untreated, it can severely compromise the body’s vital organs until it can no longer sustain itself. Death can result from internal bleeding that is left untreated.
When internal bleeding occurs, there is massive blood loss occurring within the body. The body’s vital organs do not receive the amount of oxygen and blood it needs to continue its optimal functioning. Vital organs that do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients from blood can become damaged until coma and death occurs.
Causes of Internal Bleeding in Cats
There are many possible causes for internal bleeding to occur.
- Injury is the most common cause behind internal bleeding. Injury can result from an accident or trauma such as a vehicular accident or a serious fall.
- Ingestion of certain poisons can also cause internal bleeding. Rat poisons, for example, causes internal bleeding when ingested by a cat. This is because rat poisons have anticoagulant properties that disable the body’s clotting mechanisms. Without effective clotting, whenever an injury occurs, the blood will not be able to clot and hence bleeding will continue until it compromises the hemodynamic balance of the cat.
Signs and Symptoms of Internal Bleeding in Cats
Internal bleeding is hard to detect because bleeding is commonly not evident on the outside physical appearance. There are signs that can indicate internal bleeding is already occurring.
- White and pale gums
- Rapid respiration
- Heavy panting
- Lethargic and physically weak
- Hypothermic or a rectal temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Abdominal pain
- Weak pulse
- Dark red vomit, if any
- Dark or bright red stools
- Red, foamy mucus secretions
Treatment of Internal Bleeding in Cats
Treatment for internal bleeding in felines will be focused on preventing hypovolemic shock if it hasn’t occurred yet.
- Fluid replacement to replace fluid losses. This is done through intravenous fluid therapy and blood transfusions.
- Oxygen replacement. As the body receives little blood, it also receives little oxygen.
- Administration of antibiotics. This is given to prevent infection that occurs from the cause of injury.
- Intake and output monitoring. This will help monitor the hemodynamic stability of the cat.
- Surgical intervention. This is the last resort if bleeding cannot be resolved with medical management alone.