Pyothorax in cats is a life threatening situation that can be caused by an infection in your pet’s bloodstream, a migration of some type of a foreign object, or even an extension of pneumonia.
It has a lot of similarities to Pneumothorax, which is air in your cats lung cavities and also causes a difficulty in breathing.
However, it is considered much more dangerous because of the infections that may be involved.
If the cause of this fluid buildup in the lungs is not promptly identified and treated, it often results in a very rapid death in your cat.
Pyothorax in cats is the term that is used to describe an infection in your cats pleural, which is the space between the lungs and the body wall.
The infection is caused by some type of an organism, generally a bacterium, but it may also be caused by a viral or a fungi infection.
However, unlike Pneumothorax which is air in this cavity, these infections cause fluid to accumulate.
Once the fluid starts to accumulate, it also allows pus to enter from the infection.
When this occurs, it basically opens the floodgates for large amounts of fluid to enter.
When this occurs, dyspnea develops, which is also called air hunger, as makes it very difficult for your cat to breathe.
This is than followed very quickly by cyanosis, which are the physical signs of bluish discoloration of your pets skin and mucous membranes.
This is the result of the lack of oxygen.
Pyothorax in cats is so dangerous that it is essential to identify the symptoms as early as you can and than react very quickly.
This fluid that is entering into their cavities is literally causing your cat to starve for oxygen, and the first symptom you will see is a very sudden and challenging difficulty in breathing.
As soon as you notice this, you need to check for a fever.
A cat’s normal temperature is between 100.5 and 102.5, and anything higher than that is considered dangerous, and this infection can cause extreme temperatures.
After this, quickly check your cats gums and lips; if they are bluish in tint, you have very little time to spare to get your cat to your veterinarian or an emergency animal clinic.
There are several potential causes of Pyothorax in cats and the infection that is allowing fluid to enter your cats pleural, but the actual known entry point may never be found.
In fact, the bacteria may be inhaled by your cat, start the infection, and then exit the body entirely.
It may be caused by lawn awns, pneumonia, plant sticks, or some type of an abscess.
But there is one thing in common with any of the causes, it develops very rapidly and can be very deadly.
The most common cause is usually the result of something that has either penetrated your cats rib cage or has been inhaled.
If it is a penetration, it is some type of a small foreign object that your cat has accidentally ingested and is contaminated by a bacterium.
However, it is may also be a virus or a fungi, although fungi infections are very rare.
It may also be caused by pneumonia, which is an infection in the lungs that has spread to the pleural, and as a result is allowing fluid to enter.
It may also be caused by sudden leak that has developed in your cats esophagus.
This tear is usually the result of a bone that has become stuck in the esophagus, which causes the blood supply to slow or stop.
This then causes the protecting tissues to become weak or even die; and as a result, a leak develops.
This is perhaps the most dangerous cause because food and fluid spills into your cats chest cavity and it results in a very rapid death if not caught and repaired.
Another potential cause of Pyothorax in cats may be a tumor that has developed in your cats lung tissue. If the tumor is large enough, the blood supply becomes inadequate.
Once this happens, it very easily becomes infected, ruptures, and then leaks into the cavity. In this case, if it is caught, the tumor can be removed but the key is catching it early.
If your cat has infection in surrounding tissues, especially in their vertebrae, they may spread into the pleural.
If this does happen, you will see symptoms of your cat wobbling and lose there balance before you see the difficulty in breathing.
However, other than infection by a foreign object, perhaps the largest cause of Pyothorax in cats is from an abscess.
An abscess is an enclosed collection of tissues that has become liquefied, which is also known by the term pus.
An abscess in your cat is the result of their natural immune systems responsive to a foreign invasion and comes in two forms; septic and sterile.
Most all abscesses are septic, which simply means they are the result of an infection.
They can easily occur anywhere in your cats body as all they need to form is a germ and your cat’s immune reaction.
It is this reaction to the invading germ that activates your cat’s immune system to release white blood cells to the infected site.
Once there they begin to produce chemicals that attack the invading germ and destroy it.
These chemicals, called enzymes, act like acid and kill the germ and break it up into very small pieces, allowing it to be picked up by the blood stream and then eliminated from the body.
But there is one drawback; they also digest body tissues in the process.
The result of this is a thick yellow like liquid substance called pus that contains digested tissue, white blood cells and enzymes.
Sterile abscesses are similar, but they are milder and are not caused by germs, but by a reaction to a drug.
Grass awns are absolutely notorious for causing abscesses in cats.
They usually cause an abscess in your cats third eyelid or in their ear canal, but they can also very easily be ingested and end up in the pleural causing an infection.
And as a result, it places your cat in severe jeopardy.
Pyothorax in cats is a very serious and life threatening condition that can cause a very rapid death if not caught and treated very early.
The symptoms tell you all you need to know and understanding them could make the difference between life and death in your cat.