Aortic Thromboembolism in Cats
Will result in immediate and severe pain if not caught and treated

Aortic thromboembolism in cats is a life threatening condition and in most all cases will be the first sign that your cat has a serious heart condition.

This embolic situation will attack your with cat with immediate pain.

As a result they will start to howl very loudly and cry out in pain as they in the beginning stages of death if not treated.

Shortly after the initial attack they will lose partial or all ability to move their rear legs.

They may suddenly become paralyzed in the worst cases, or only partially paralyzed as they can still move their back legs but they will be dragging them.

Their paws will also turn very cold to the touch.


Also referred to as saddle thrombus it is a blood clot in your pets system and is a common complication that is associated with heart disease.

It is also considered an embolic event as an obstruction has happened in a blood vessel caused by either a blood clot or some other foreign matter and has become stuck.

When this happens it blocks the flow of blood.

These clots are most always forms by blood, but there have been occasions where they have also been made up of air, fat, or a tumor tissue.

Green eyes in catsWatch your cats back legs very carefully

Most embolic events will either be small and multiple, or they will be very large and massive.

In either case, they can threaten the life of your cat.

This situation that your cat is now facing is the most common form of heart disease in cats where the walls of the diseased heart allows for the formations of these clots.

These formations develop in the left atrium which is located in the upper chamber of your pet’s heart.

Aortic thromboembolism in cats usually affects your pet between the ages of 5 to 7 years and will attack any breed of cat.

However, there is some evidence that it attacks male cats at a three to one ratio over female cats.

These clots break away from the wall of the heart and start to travel down the aorta which is the main vessel from your cat’s heart.

Once inside the aorta, they most commonly will become stuck at the base of this vessel where it divides into the arteries that supply the flow of blood to your pet’s rear legs.


However, these clots can and do get stuck anywhere.

They can also affect the arteries that lead to the kidneys, the front legs, or even the brain.

These clots will very rarely lodge in the veins of your cat which is controlled by the right side of the heart; simply because the right side of the heart rarely causes clotting to form.

With Aortic thromboembolism in cats, clots that do become stuck in the vessels will almost always start to dissolve and breakup over a period of time.

However, even if stuck for a short period they can cause a tremendous amount of both nerve and muscle damage.

The blood flow is critical and stopping the clot it is now a severe situation.

The signs that you need to watch for will almost always be the same in any cat.

There will be the initial and very sudden dragging of their rear legs. If that does occur, immediately check their back feet.

If they are cold and the pads are a bluish tint, they have no blood going to them.

This has now become an emergency situation and you should get your cat to a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

Your cat may also experience a difficulty in breathing that could be caused by a clot.

But most likely will be from the extreme pain of that is affecting the back part of their body as the result of Aortic thromboembolism in cats.

Your cat may also start to pant and breathe heavily through their mouth.

But the most chilling and telling sign will be their howl. You will know the howl when you hear it. They are in extreme despair and a lot of pain.


The treatment for Aortic thromboembolism in cats will depend entirely on the location of the clotting, which can be diagnosed very easily by your veterinarian by series of tests.

It will also depend on the underlying severity of heart disease that Aortic thromboembolism has exposed.

If the underlying disease is diagnosed as congestive heart failure your cat may need oxygen, heart medications, and diuretics for fluid that will be accumulating in the lungs.

Pain medications will also be used as well as blood thinners.

Heparin is a very effective medication in reducing the bloods ability to clot but it will not dissolve clots that have already formed.

There have been other blood thinning drugs used, but most of them are no longer used as they killed about 50% of the cats when used when treating for Aortic thromboembolism in cats.

Aspirin will also be recommended, but cats have a very low tolerance rate to aspirin as compared to other animals. In most all cases cats can only tolerate baby aspirin.


There is a newer drug called Plavix that has tested very well in humans and has shown little or no side effects in cats and is much easier on your cat than aspirin.

Warfarin is another drug that has proven very effective in preventing future episodes of Aortic thromboembolism in cats.

This drug prevents the synthesis of certain factors that cause the blood to clot; however, hemorrhages are a concern when using this drug.

Vitamin E may be a lot safer for your cat than this drug. It has the same properties, crystalline warfarin sodium, but is a lot safer for your cat when used in recommended dosages.

Following treatment of Aortic thromboembolism in cats, about 40 percent of all cats are able to walk again.

Sadly, about the same percentage of cats do not survive the underlying heart conditions that are uncovered by Aortic thromboembolism.


Cats that do survive will have about a 90 percent or higher chance of the clotting occurring again.

There are other remedies for blood clotting such as garlic and ginger, but these are very dangerous for your cat.

The best method for preventing blood clots will be baby aspirin and vitamin E in preventive measures, not as reactive measures.

Treatments for Aortic Thromboembolism in Cats

Cat Vitamin Store

Heart Murmurs in Cats