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Health

Blood Clots: A Stroke of Bad Luck
February 4, 2013 (published)

Strokes in people account for a huge amount of medical misery and expense. They are a leading cause of death and disability for humans. Strokes come in two major types, blood clots and bleeds. The term ‘stroke’ specifically refers to a bleed or clot in the brain, but these problems can crop up anywhere that blood flows: the lungs, the kidneys, calf muscles, etc. A heart attack (which is a thankfully rare condition in dogs and cats) is a ‘stroke’ of the heart. It can be thought of as a blockage that lodges in the blood supply known as the coronary arteries, which feed the heart muscle.

Even though my patients are spared the misery of heart attacks, blood clots are still a huge problem that is largely unrecognized by most pet owners. If blood decides to solidify and stop flowing, bad things happen.

The most common type of blood clot that we see is what is known as a saddle thrombus, so named because it sits at a fork in the road of some major arteries like a saddle sits atop a horse.

Saddle thrombi are seen almost exclusively in cats and are usually an indicator of serious underlying heart disease; one chamber of the heart enlarges due to disease and blood tends to pool there. The pooled blood can form a clot inside the heart, which can then break off spontaneously and travel down toward the legs, carried along by the flow of blood. When it hits the split in the blood supply to the legs, known as the aortic bifurcation, the clot lodges there, draped over the division between the two femoral arteries and blocks blood flow. One minute, cats are sitting happily at home, dreaming of taking over the planet. The next, they’re writhing in agony. Owners are shocked by how quickly this comes on, and most will utter some variant of “he was fine an hour ago, now you’re telling me he is dying?”

When a saddle thrombus hits (and it can happen with no warning) the cats are in tremendous pain and become instantly paralyzed. We can sometimes hear them as they enter the building, and they have a very distinctive howl that chills the hopefully freely-flowing blood of the clinician about to see the case. One of the first things we do for these patients is order up large quantities of weapons-grade pain killers for them, as the pain alone can tip them over the edge into heart failure and lead to their death.

There are three very bad things that make this an almost impossible condition to treat:

1. The degree of pain makes it almost inhumane to proceed.
2. The blood clots are secondary to serious heart disease.
3. The treatment is almost as bad as the disease.

In some cases, we use powerful clot-busting drugs, similar to what are used for people with strokes or heart attacks, to try to get the clot to break up and reestablish blood flow. The problem is that those legs have gone without circulation for as much as several hours. When the clot moves, all that bad juju and toxic soup that builds up in the tissues deprived of oxygen moves into the circulation, where it can kill the patient. When you add to this the serious underlying heart disease that is invariably in these cats and the pain that they are in, most veterinarians will recommend humane euthanasia as soon as the diagnosis is made. I have treated many of these cases, and I can honestly say that I feel worse about the ones that I have tried to treat than the ones that we have euthanized to relieve their pain. The outlook for this disease is that bleak.

There are those cats that will recover function in their legs and regain the ability to walk – about half of them may do this if given enough time and pain medication. But for those that do return to walking, the chances are very high that they will experience another clot within a few months.

Cats are not the only ones that we see with blood clot problems. We are recognizing more dogs with problematic blood clots. We see dogs with blood clots in their lungs, spleens, almost anywhere. They are often due to a host of underlying diseases, too, but the diseases are frequently more manageable than the feline variety. A few disorders you may have heard of include Cushing’s disease (an adrenal gland disorder), some cancers, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA), heartworm disease and the medical mouthful of glomerulonephritis (a kidney disorder).

So what is a pet-owner to do? If the treatment is so bad, how can these be prevented?

Sadly, the answer is virtually nothing. Some cats will offer up clues that they have heart disease, such as a heart murmur found during a physical – which is a good reason for a yearly physical examination by your veterinarian. That can be followed by an echocardiogram, and in some cases the heart disease or even the clot can be treated before it moves into the circulation and wreaks havoc.

The truth is in most cases there is little to no warning and the clot is the first sign of a problem. There are some emerging therapies currently undergoing clinical trials at Purdue, like clopidogrel, or Plavix, that may offer some hope of preventing clots. Unfortunately, the sedentary nature of most cats makes it hard to diagnose heart disease before the storm hits.

If you have a pet with any of the diseases listed above, or a cat with a heart murmur, it might be worth opening up a dialogue with your veterinarian about the risks of a blood clot and what, if anything, can be done to prevent it from happening. In any case, hug your dog or cat right now and love the heck out of them, because you never know what the future might hold.

204 Comments

Jaine
October 20, 2017

Lost my 2yr old cat Bonkers yesterday to saddle thrombosis. Heard a howl, went down & saw him trying to drag himself up the cat tree, he was just panting but no other noise at all, stroked him & rang vet, went down straight away & 5 mins later he was gone, just like that. This amazing little rescue cat that was so loving & bubbly was now lifeless & my heart is broken.


Brittney
October 5, 2017

My boyfriend and I just lost our cat today at 3:56 pm from this horrible disease :( He had beautiful big emerald green eyes and his name is izzy, he was 11 years old and I'm lucky to spent one of those years with him. In the last 3 months we found out he had beginning of heart disease and he had to be given insulin everyday for the last 3 months (he was like 25 lbs) he's been losing weight and he seemed to be better! - he also was introduced to my boyfriends ex-roomates kitten for about 8 months and to be honest caused a lot of stress on izzy... When I met izzy I knew he had underlying issues..he was overweight, his belly inflamed, his back legs - he had trouble walking (arthritis probably). My BF didn't shrug it off, he loves his cat...but I don't think he fully took me seriously...than when he noticed him panting hard three months ago (that's when he was diagnosed with heart murmur etc) Just like everyone says, happy - playful, purr'ing, walking....eating...everything than BAM, he is unable to move :( I was at work and my boyfriend said izzy isn't doing too well..I rush home from work - he's at the vet and he was told he has a blood clot and his legs have become paralyzed :'( He was heavily sadated and we just held him and cried and cried...told him what a sweet gift he was to both of us.... so sad watching half his body and trying to lift up and all confused as to why he couldn't...incredibly heartbreaking....he was completely fine and all of a sudden he can't walk and won't be returning home with us... My boyfriend said he threw up everywhere, and he watched him about half hour before he took him to vet... he thought he was just in shock and he didn't want to move..well nope, he was paralyzed, and panting :( :( shaking :( :( Oh god, my heart is broken and my heart goes out to all of you whom are experiencing this as well..very comforting reading these comments...our fur babies physical is not present but their souls and energy are always with us... Feels weird to come home and he's not sprawled on the floor and he used to eat hilariously! He's lay down and paw his bowl to him and literally scoop out individual pieces of cat kibble! SO FUNNY! LOL God bless our animals who had to be helped to heaven, where there is lots of catnip and their free of any pain. God bless everyone and four on the floor


Tamsin
October 2, 2017

I almost lost my 17 year old cat Polly to a saddle thrombus today.  When I adopted her 7 years ago, I was told that she had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  A few years ago she was successfully treated for hyperthyroid as well.  So I knew.  Nonetheless this morning her yowl and sudden inability to use her hind legs was not unexpected but still awful.  We raced to the vet. She was panting a bit.  Her left hind leg seemed more affected than her right.  The vet immediately gave her pain relief, aspirin and acupuncture.  Within an hour, she was walking again, wobbly but walking.  I've re-ordered some dermal Plavix.  Although she is curled up next to me now as though nothing had happened, I am grateful but concerned about recurrence. The vet and I sort of agreed that if/when this does recur and if the pain is worse, the heparin treatment is probably not going to happen because of the extreme pain and bad prognosis.  At that point, Polly and I will have to let each other go.  I hope that day is still a way off.


Lori
September 20, 2017

I lost my beloved Frank last night to this horrible disease. It's true what everyone says...fine one minute and near death the next. He was laying on the floor, couldn't move, vomiting, and digging his teeth into the carpet when we tried to lift him...possibly his way of letting us know he wanted to lay there and die. We took him the the Pet ER late last night and they immediately recommended euthanasia. There was barely enough time to say goodbye. He was only 17 months old and otherwise a very healthy cat. I feel so bad that he had to go through this and that I won't be able to see his sweet, innocent, beautiful face ever again. I will miss him forever. His brother is not eating today as they were best friends....I just hope his brother will get through this. I will hope for a cure  for this....this is a terrible situation for a cat to go through and I had never heard of this until my cat suffered it. Hug your kitties every day...this comes out of nowhere.


Amanda Radtke
September 18, 2017

I lost my sweet baby girl to this on September 11, 2017.  I feel so guilty I can hardly stand it.  I got the bill from the vet and it did not include pain meds.  She may have had them  with no charge, but I have yet to encounter a vet who gratuitously gives meds. She was fine one minute on the couch with me, then collapsed and began panting. The screaming I attributed to my mad ass drive to the vet 10 miles away was her in absolute agony.  I waited about 30 minutes when the vet said they were having a hard time stabilizing her.  I asked if she was in pain and she said yes, but was fading.  I requested euthanasia, but she was rushed into my arms already dying before they could do it.  I cannot describe the guilt. These kids are our babies.


Manny and Michelle
September 17, 2017

Our little boy, Oscar just passed away of this horrible condition today. He found us last year, a stray that became our little boy, best cat ever, so sweet and gentle. Now he's gone to be with his friends in heaven. My heart goes out to everyone who have lost their beloved cats to this awful and silent killer. God Bless, and take care.


Sarah
September 4, 2017

I lost my cat to this today. He was absolutely fine and rambunctious yesterday, and then today he was dragging his back legs around and howling. We brought him to the vet and he had all of these issues. The only option was to say goodbye.


Jo McClure
August 15, 2017

Reading all these messages is really eye-opening to this devastating condition. I lost my little cat just yesterday to this and I think I'm still in shock with how sudden it all happened. On Sunday evening her breathing was faster than normal and she had lost her appetite so I called the emergency vet for advice and was told just to keep an eye on her. The next morning it was clear that she hadn't moved from the same spot all night and when she got up she was a bit wobbly. I took her to the vet and they kept her in, all day the believed in was an allergic reaction to something. However, later in the day while still in their care she lost the use of her back legs and they realised it was a clot. I'll never forget the call from the vet to say she was in extreme pain and we had to let her go. If only I'd known that morning that it would be the last time I'd see her. Most of the stories on this forum start with the cat losing the use of its legs and howling with pain, so I'm thankful that I didn't have to see that. It would have been devastating. It took quite a long time for the vet to realise what was wrong, but reading this thread it seems that nothing could be done for her even if they would have realised on Sunday, so that is also reassuring. It's insane how quickly circumstances can change one day from the next. Here I am typing this on the sofa, alone. My thoughts go out to all the other people that have lost their precious pets this way.


Jennifer O.
August 11, 2017

We lost our 8 year old precious baby last night to Saddle Thrombus. It is amazing how quickly the evening's events unfolded. One minute happy and healthy, the next minute he collapsed and could not longer use his back legs. We are devastated, but have incredible vets. We will miss Robot so much!


Jason
July 12, 2017

We just lost our 5 year old cat yesterday to saddle thrombosis.  Our cat had HCM (enlarged heart) and had two congestive heart failure episodes prior to yesterday.  I knew this day would come someday, but I was hoping having him on Plavix and Lasix would have given him an almost full life.  Unfortunately we could not additionally give him an Ace Inhibitor (Elanipril or Benazapril) because he was allergic.  Before learning about the HCM issue he had stomach issues and had a urinary obstruction.  For the stomach issue he was continually given steroids and after that when he had a urinary obstruction they pushed fluids and that is when the HCM presented itself.  Be very careful with Vets that use too heavy of doses of steroids.  Maybe that contributed to his heart getting larger, maybe it didn't, but being that he had all these issues after the steroid doeses, I can't help but think this may have contributed to the progression of his HCM.  Also, once your cat has a congestive heart failure episode you will be asked to see a cardiologist and get an EKG every 6 months.  After this has happened I wonder how continually going to the cardiologist (which I did) to do this test would have prevented what happened yesterday.  It's not like his HCM would reverse, they said he was born with it.  Anyway, he was only 5 years old and was a great cat.  I really hope this information helps somebody else.


Lori
July 7, 2017

We lost our wonderful white kitty on July 1 due to saddle thrombosis. He was perfectly happy that morning playing with his girl friend. We came home to the most horrific crying and saw bitten boxes and blood. Poor Mario was paralyzed. We rushed him to the emergency vet where we were told what happened. We had him put to sleep as he was also in congestive heart failure. He had been on atenelol for 12 years and we had blood work and blood pressure checks periodically. I had no idea that such a horrible thing could happen to him. Poor, sweet baby.


Lilian Chapman
June 26, 2017

We have just had to have our beautiful cat Spooky pts.she was such a beautiful friendly cat.although we knew she had tumours,and had taken her the same morning to her vet for a little check up,we were not prepared for this awful episode,I was at work &my daughter rang me in tears as Spooky had lost the use of her front paw & was clearly distressed I could hear it over the phone! Spooky had been thrashing around in agony,she was such a placid cat, i rushed over from work,to find Spooky sedated.the emergency vet told us the blood clot which could have been a part of her tumour & the kindest thing was to let her go,such a sad decision to have to make for a much loved pet.but we could not let her suffer, we said our tearful goodbyes and let her go


Janet Heath
June 21, 2017

We lost our precious furboy this past Friday.  We had to have him euthanized due to a blood clot that paralyzed his hind legs.  We had been dealing with Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease since his diagnoses 2 months ago.  We were getting a handle on the kidney disease.  He had been hospitalized for 2 days getting flushed out.  When he came home and was let out of his carrier, he staggered for a bit.  But he was walking later and able to stand.  He had arthritis and would tend to stagger when he first got up after being off of them a while.  He was eating and drinking.  We were to give him iv fluids 1-2 times a day for a week then take him back in for bloodwork, in a week.  We were hopeful as the 2 day flushing had gotten rid of toxins and his #s was down that indicate kidney disease.  We knew we wouldn't have him too many more years but had hoped for a couple more years of good quality of life with treatment.  The disease is progressive and eventually the treatments quit working.  He was still eating and drinking fine.  My cats slept with me but would get up in the middle of the night.  They did their usual and got up in the middle of the night.  I noticed the next morning that Butler had not moved.  He was in the same exact spot that I put him in before I went to bed.  He did not get up on his own.  I had to pick him up and put him down.  However, he could not stand.  I thought he would after he was up a bit.  I finally got him to stand and walk towards me a few steps.  My husband gave him his iv fluids.  He never walked after that.  He wanted to eat and drink after his fluids but fell on the floor and crawled to his bowl.  He meowed a bit.  I think he was in pain.  He ate a little and drank.  That was the last he ate and drank.  We put him to bed.  I took food to the bed but he was not interested.  I knew it might be time to euthanize him.  I called the vet that morning to tell her what was going on.  We concluded that would probably be best.  She said she was busy but could make time for him if I made that choice.  I called the vet's office back fighting back tears and made his appt.  I got him in that afternoon.  In talking to the vet while there, she had no doubt that he through a clot due to heart and kidney disease.  In his charts, it was stated that he had a grade 3-4 heart murmur.  He developed that in later years.  He was 17-18 years old when he passed away.  I loved him so much and miss him!  He was my baby.  We had quite a bond!  He has a little brother who we took in a year later after we got him 14 years ago.  The little brother is getting up there now at almost 14 years old.  There is a lesson learned as I had not had cats long term before and had not experienced any of this.


Erin Michelle
June 15, 2017

Today my mom went into mu room around 6am to close window. Both cats fine, snuggling on my pillow as usual. I arrived home before 10am & noticed my little cat laying in a strange area. I went to him to see what was up, noticed he was panting with mouth open, lots of drool, no vomit, coughing & then the awful crying. He tried to get up & that's when I panicked, realizing his hind legs were dead weight. The most energetic cat I've ever had couldn't even stand. So I finally found a vet to see his asap. She said it was a pulmonary embolism & basically there was nothing to do. They seemed to know right away, only had me waiting 15-20 minutes. So I got on the net to understand more. Thank u all for posts. I was so confused. How could he turn this bad in this short of time? So thank u all for helping me understand, which may slide the grieving along a little smoother.


Lisa Maldonado
June 12, 2017

We lost our baby to this 5 days ago, Hans was only 3 years old . I had never even heard of this condition before this incident . As I read the comments I can see it happens to cats of all ages. It's so heartbreaking because it comes on very suddenly and has no previous warning signs. He was absolutely fine when we went to bed and when we woke up Wednesday morning he was walking strangely and wanting to hide from us. We took him to the vet, got the word that he had thrown a clot and there was nothing that could be done and within minutes we were holding him as he was put to sleep. We brought him home and made a beautiful flower garden where we laid him to rest. Such an unexpected and sad day!


Lynne Ann
June 9, 2017

P.S. to the story I just submitted.....the one thing about my Sydney and the mutual love we shared and tho my heart was in a zillion pieces he inspired me to rescue 2 cats...one was 7 months old Riley Salem and the other was 8 weeks Jesse Dakota....by rescuing these 2 babies it was a true tribute to my baby....because of him 2 cats have a home that may not have had one...at least not a good one lol.....this is a retreat/spa for them


Lynne Ann
June 9, 2017

Dec. 26 2014 my beautiful, sweet loving stray cat I had brought into my life and home many years ago named Sydney Romeo (his middle name gives a clue at loving he was)  pawed my leg to go outside but before he could take 2 steps he cried and fell over....long story short it was that hideous deal talked about here....it hit only one hind leg and we were able to get him back to walking again ect. after about 5 days.....the Vet said he was going to happen again within a month or so.....and it did....Feb. 2015 after sitting on the lap loving to be petted he got up and went to his fav chair by the fireplace peacefully watching the flames when suddenly he half fell half jumped to the floor writhing in pain....this time it was both his legs....it was 10 at night and we called the emergency place and they said there was nothing we could do except one thing and that was the last thing anyone wants to do....so since I still had two needles from the last event filled with pain meds I gave him a shot and wanted to wait to see his Vet first thing in the morning in hopes that another miracle might occur.....I laid with him all night long and when he started crying again I gave him my last syringe of meds.....it helped some but the poor thing was frustrated because he kept trying to stand and he couldn't...he was dragging himself across the carpeting and I was sad sickened frightened and helpless as to how to help him.....but I knew that by morning he would be leaving me forever......I still cry thinking about him and my heart breaks all over again....breaks due to having to let him go and beaks due to the pain and confusion he was experiencing ....Sydney was the most loving, loyal, sweetest cat in the world and did not deserve what he had to go through.....I loved him so very much and still do......  The thing about this whole disease is that there is NO cure......I am not sure how old Sydney was since he had been a stray but guessing he was between 15 and 17ish......I know that there is NO cure because I consulted with 4 different Vets.....you can spend a ton of money to go to a specialist and they try to help using meds but it is NOT curable or a guarantee of any sort....I don't understand with technology/medicine being what it is today that there isn't anyone who can cure this disease or slow it down.....It is horrible ....horrible to the cat as it is the worst pain in the world and horrible to watch your baby go through it.....The thing is we moved from the only home/territory he ever knew about 10 months before he went through this.....I had the Vet check him out before we left and he was in good health....then we moved 200 miles away and he was so good....he took to the new place right away without any problems.....but then a few months later I took him to his new Vet because he had allergies and needed some meds.....the Vet informs me that his heartbeat is irregular.....so basically within 5 months after his A+ physical he now had an irregular heartbeat and KIDNEY disease to boot....I was stunned and wonder if this all happened because he was actually so traumatized without showing it from moving away.....anyway when the irregular heartbeat occurred I asked the Vet what to do....he said really nothing because we would just be throwing money away if we went to a cardiologist because he knew there was nothing they could do about it especially since he was an older cat.......and my new Vet only treats cats so I was confident he knew what he was talking about...even tho I checked with 3 other Vets plus researched on line.....so even tho I know what could happen when it did it was like everyone is saying....all was fine and then it wasn't and became a tragic situation.  I feel for all of you that have experienced this and I wish and PRAY that someone somewhere comes up with a solution other then euthanasia.  God Bless all of you and your precious fur babies.


Bandit's Mom
June 4, 2017

We lost our big beautiful 8 year old boy last night to this horrific and unforeseen nightmare. One minute he was fine as I was loving on him and petting him.  I went across the house and 15 minutes later heard 3 meows that sounded like he had brought in a lizard...we live in Florida.  I came into the kitchen to find him panting hard and his tongue hanging out.  We scooped him up...in our pajamas...thinking he ingested something...and rushed him to the emergency as our vet wasn't open yet.  When we took him out of the cage we realized he could not put weight in his right front  leg and he had inflammation and tenderness in his back and home quarter.   They took xrays and even did a heartworm test.  We were wondering why they were looking at that but heartworms can cause a clot.  That was negative but the did find his heart was enlarged. They did mention a possible clot but they thought he had hurt himself some how and sent us home with pain meds.  He seemed ok but favoring the one leg.  He rested comfortably all day until 9pm in the evening when the episode happened again with no warning but this time with horrific screaming in pain.  We could do nothing to console him and he was thrashin, howling and even biting us. Our vet rushed over but he was becoming unresponsive. We all rushed him to emergency which was closer than her office where he passed on the way.  Based on the pink fluid coming out of his lungs she said he had thrown more clots.  She and they told us there was nothing we could have done and we were lucky to have gotten thru the day with him.  There is no cure for this and the treatment is worse than the condition.  It is so hard to lose a 7 year old boy who appeared,so happy and healthy mi utes before in such a horrific way.  Until reading up on this and reading your comments I had the guilt of could we have done more.  It helped me to know I did the right things and all I could where there was no hope ...no matter what.  I hope anyone reading this gets that same comfort.  This is a horrible immediate thing that comes out of no where and takes our babies.  Love them all you can because we never know what awful thing tomorrow holds.


Susan Barbour
June 1, 2017

My beautiful girl was as fine as could be yesterday afternoon. I had to visit the doctor myself and this took about an hour. I got back home and my son had our girl in his arms, she was crying, growling and had gone off her back legs. I thought she may have been clipped by a car because she had been fine an hour earlier. Took her straight to the vets and they told us she had one of these clots. I rang this morning and they say she had improved overnight but the outlook isn't brilliant. She might be able to come home on aspirin but another clot could emerge as early as next week. I am heartbroken, she is only four. I really don't know what to do for the best. I just don't want her to suffer.


ang
May 26, 2017

My sweet angel Tiger (12y) was put down yesterday evening. I came home from work and shut the closet door that usually is not open. I heard a horrible yell and thought I had slammed it on Tiger. I hadn't he just started crying and never stopped after that. could only move front body. I went to the vet who told me about this and because I wanted to be sure the emergency room. Same diagnosis. His legs were paralyzed and he was panting hard, heart racing. I never saw him like that. I agreed to put him down. Stayed for quite awhile but he never stopped trying to get his legs to work. It was heart breaking. I only got him calm once and then when they gave him the sedative. I was shocked he had been walking that morning. Haven't stopped crying but I'm glad such a sweet patient boy is no longer in pain.


RIP Jasper
May 24, 2017

We just lost our loving 15 year old cat Jasper last night.  The blood clot went to the legs, he was fine one minute then trying to walk and meowing in stress. Took him to the emergency vet and told us what happen. We choose euthanasia. We got to say our good byes and stayed until he passed. I miss him with all my heart and feel broken without him. RIP my sweet boy.


Lucky's Mom
May 18, 2017

I'm so glad I found this site, and read these comments I lost my beautiful boy 3 days ago, to this horrible "thing". I was in such shock, as all of you were that the vet was not able to fix him. Your stories broke my heart all over again, but it was good to hear, I was not alone. Prayers of strength to all who are missing their babies.


Missingmyfurbaby
May 10, 2017

Lost my beautiful boy 3 weeks ago and still utterly devastated. I'm due to pick up his ashes tmrw and it's breaking my heart all over again. He was born in my flat, a massive grey fluffy bundle compared to the other tiny scrappy black and white kittens. He was my best friend,study buddy, spooning partner and home stalker for a mere 7 years before he was stolen away from me by saddle thrombus. His story is so similar to all yours, sudden, vomiting, paralysis and so much pain. I knew. I knew when I saw him that he was broken and that he would not be able to be fixed. I knew when I made the call and rushed him to the vets that I was going to lose him. I had no idea what had happened to him,I thought he'd broken his back. I'd never heard of saddle thrombus until my baby died. The vet informed about saddle thrombus and as she told me I knew it wouldn't be good. I knew where the conversation was going. All whilst hearing my beautiful boy yowling in the next room. She said it wasn't fixable, she strongly recommended euthanasia. My husband, of whom had witnessed my breakdown at home when I kept saying over and over 'im gonna lose him' and he was so sure that I wouldnt, broke down. My husband is a dog man, but he freaking loved my cat.They go in the back to bring my baby for good-byes and to put him to sleep and I'm just losing it,at one point I threw up in the vets sink. The grief and shock completely overwhelmed me (and still does). When they brought him in he was panting,in agony and looked like he was going to have a heart attack. Thy left him with us but I called them back in after a minute as it was so distressing to see him like that. He was lying on the table when he passed away, as I smothered his face with kisses, and told him how much I loved him. He love-bumped me twice just before he passed away. That moment kills me. It's like he knew it was goodbye, it was this moment between two souls who adored the other so deeply, and now it was goodbye. I lay on him and felt him go.I don't remember driving home. Telling my kids was awful. His absence was and is overwhelming. He was my cat officially but really he was everyone's, he was such a love whore and really adored the kids, he helped me bring them up in a way. For the first week I drove myself crazy, read how he could have been fixed, some cats do make it, that wasn't an option presented to me. I felt I gave him up too easily. Mainly I just miss the bejesus out of him. He'll always be my beautiful boy and I'll miss him forever. RIP Woody, thank you for being mine.


Jamukhas Mummy
May 7, 2017

We lost our 18 month old boy to this within a 6 hour period.  It was the most horrific thing to watch in such a beautiful young cat.  Our story is similar to yours - healthy and happy then we found him paralysed.  We rushed him to the vet on a Sunday night, was told it was saddle thrombosis and to bring him back in the morning for an MRI to find the clot and we would get medication then to break up the clot.  Imagine our horror when we took our little boy home and he just went downhill and died before midnight.  We experienced terrible guilt feeling we had let him down and insisted on an autopsy which confirmed that it was blood clots and lots of them.  At least he had a beautiful life with us.  It is very hard to get over.


Hobbes Mom
April 30, 2017

My cat has heart disease (started as a murmur when he was a kitten) which we've been treating for years and Thursday he got his first blood clot in his front paw. He was in pain.   His heart is enlarged and he's on meds.  He's around 6 years old.  Doc says he will likely get more blood clots and I'm scared to death of the pain he will likely endure, based on what I've read here.  It appears to be fatal.  I'm really struggling with whether I should put him down before he has to experience this again.  This way he can be in the calm, painless environment of my home.  Thoughts?  I love this cat madly and it's heartbreaking.  I feel like we are all just waiting around for the other shoe to drop.


Shelz
April 29, 2017

We just had this happen yesterday. So awful! Tiger normally came inside at night to sleep with us but he didn't and when I wasn't woken up to feed him the next morning I knew something was wrong. I went looking for him and there he was lying next to the sliding glass door making awful sounds. I thought he had broken a hip or something. I told my daughter who's 10 he'd be fine and I was going to take him to the vet while he was at school. When I got to the vet I knew it wasn't going to be good because of how everyone was acting. The vet pretty much said he was paralyzed, body temperature low, respiratory problems...I've never had to put an animal down before and it was awful but I know it was the right thing to do. My daughter is having a rough time with this one and is very sad but it's part of life. I couldn't believe how fast this happened.


Sad in Montreal
April 23, 2017

My cat Onno came home tonight with paralyzed hind legs. I thought he got hit by a car so I thought, at least he’s still alive he can be fixed!. After a quick exam by me, I could see no visible wound or broken bone so I was extra concerned. He was also very loud and vocal telling me something was wrong. I rushed him to the vet and was diagnosed with aortic thromboembolism. With such a horrible prognosis, we elected euthenasia. He was only 3 years old and I’ll miss him. Thank you all for your stories I feel less alone


Andypie
April 22, 2017

To rip mojito. I started crying reading your story:( Mojito is in a better place and you sound like such a caring pet parent. Glad you are not blaming yourself anymore, there is no way you would have known. You did the right thing ending his suffering. Sorry for your loss.


RIP Pierre
April 20, 2017

I lost my sweetie boy, Pierre, to this last night. He was around 12, though not sure of his exact age. I got him at a shelter 7 years ago. He was never diagnosed with a heart murmur and showed no signs whatsoever of any heart problems or illness. Feeling very sad today.


RIP Mojito
April 15, 2017

I lost my cat Mojito on Friday to this horrible onset disease. He would have been 10 on May 19th. He was my loyal companion and we traveled together. He lived life as a king taking total control of me and my house. Every morning he woke me up for work and then rested on the bath mat until I got out of the shower. Friday he woke me up and I got up to tell him I'm up Mo stop hollering. I found him in the hallway screaming bloody murder. I began to panic and I begged him not to play like that. I watched him pull himself through to my bathroom but something wasn't right he laid on my mat but he was defecating on himself. The dog ran up to him and he kissed him. I began to cry hysterically because I knew that was the end. I got his carrier and he actually got in it by himself, something that never happened. I got him to the ER and they told me that he had thrown a clot and recovery was slim. They did offer me some options to try and treat him but provided some info. I researched it and knew if i kept him a live it would be inhumane and greedy. I placed phone calls to our family and allowed everyone to say bye. I held him and told him I was sorry and that I loved him. He was screaming in agony and couldn't be consoled. I called the Dr in and I held him until he took his last breath. I then cleaned him up, brushed him and closed his eyes. I cried hysterically. I wrapped him in the towel and told them not to move him until I left. I opted for private cremation and a paw print. I'm waiting on his ashes. My dog is sad without his companion. I blamed myself for this and have been extra hard on myself because I had to end his life. I have read the comments and I feel better because there was nothing I could do. RIP my sweet boy. Daddy forever loves you and again I'm sorry!


Stacy Wilde
April 14, 2017

Just lost my 13 year old boy Montgomery to saddle thrombus. He had his first attack a little over a month ago and was diagnosed with heart disease. He was in emergency for a few days and sent home with medication to reduce the fluid around his heart. He did well until last night. This was a much more severe blood clot, his hind legs were completely paralyzed and he was screaming and howling out in pain. I rushed him to the closest emergency. His time in the hospital and with meds for the past ruffly six weeks came to over 5k. I know that's not an option for many people. It gave us a month together to spend every minute we could with him so for us it was worth and something we could provide for him. I'm writing for those folks who may not have that option. It only gave him a month more to live. I'll miss Monty forever. I have a huge hole in my heart. My other 3 babies are helping me get through it but he was my special little fighter.


Susan
April 8, 2017

My cat Bobi died today from this - she was 14.  No indications of any problems.  Her paralysis was on toal left side though, left rear paw and front.  I heard her howl in the other room and found her bowels moving but she could not get up.  Took her to the emergency vet right away and they basically kindly said they could do nothing.  So glad now we put her out of her pain.  The vet was leaning toward euthanasia and I flat out asked if she would get better.  The answer was no and it would probably get worse.  It happened in a matter of an hour. I a so devasted but I know we did the right thing for her and we were with her till the end. So sad.


Julie
April 8, 2017

sending prayers to each and everyone of you who have lost your babies to this terrible condition...I lost my precious 12 yr.old baby only 2 days ago, still in shock over what happened.  So hard to lose such a special friend unexpectedly,  rest in peace sweet Monkey.


Paula
February 19, 2017

My 13 year old female cat Patches was euthanized yesterday (Saturday) for this.  She was perfectly fine Thursday.  Friday she was very lethargic and had no appetite.  I wasn't concerned then because in the past after a day like that they'd be fine. I have 3 cats btw.   Saturday she seemed worse and I expected a trip to the vet Monday morning.  But 5:30 I noticed she was lying in the hallway panting heavily.  I brought her to the living room and lay with her until she calmed down.  Then she'd try to move and start meowing at me...not the painful cries mentioned in the article.  It was then I realized she was paralyzed and leaking poop. I called the vet and she explained what it sounded like a blood clot and unfortunately the only option would be euthanizia.  So I brought her to the vet and in 15 minutes it was all over. I don't believe Patches experienced the pain mentioned in the article.  Her cries where more of confusion and panic and stress...like why the heck won't my legs work???  And while difficult, I kept my emotions in check to keep her calm.  In fact while the vet was shaving the injection site, she was relaxed and purring...actually purring!  The vet did not give any painkillers.   I stood in front of her and was the last thing she saw. I'm heartbroken and spent most of today crying.  My other two cats are figuring out something happened.   They're also getting hugged and cuddled to death by me.   I felt guilt at first...I've seen stories about paralyzed pets who were almost euthanized and almost wondered if I moved to quick.  But then I read this article and realized this was the right decision.   I'm now at peace and am grieving the loss of my little princess. I'm having her cremated and the ashes will be put in her favourite spot in the flower garden.


suzie
February 10, 2017

My cat Charlie has saddle thrombosis i found him early one morning he couldn't walk and his breathing was very fast he cried when i picked him up so in the morning we took him to the vets he was given pain killers and what ever else they gave him after a week three young vets said we should put him down so we brought him home for the week end he picked up but still needed help this practice told us the success rate was 5% we got a second opinion .Charlie has had two clots now but he has regular meds and can walk properly again he purrs eats drinks and he has survived now for over a month now. dont ever let someone tell you that your is ready to go trust your instincts get a second opinion we have spent alot of money on him but hes worth every penny . Lida vets in Newmarket Suffolk are very well informed on this condition they saved my cats life he may only live another week month months who knows but hes back home and enjoying what time he has got left . Never give up i didn't.


Chanda
February 1, 2017

My sweet kitty Selene suffered a blood clot two weeks ago and to my heartbreak I found out that she has heart disease. She is home now and seemed to be making progress, but blood tests now show that her kidneys are not functioning properly. So I am at a loss and my hope that things were becoming better are now becoming worse. She is only 2 1/2 years old and had a whole life ahead of her. I was trying so hard to give her a frighting chance.


Laura
January 27, 2017

I lost my beloved cat Bacon a week ago to this condition. Its been very hard on me as this particular cat was my favorite pet off all time. He was always on my lap or next to me,  would follow me around and was with me for six years.  Thank you all for sharing at least I feel less alone. Ive shead so many tears I just wish he was still here life is just not the same without him.


Brittany
January 24, 2017

I just lost my 8 year old cat barely 2 hours ago and I can't stop crying. He was fine when I got home from work and was curled up next to me purring. It was so sudden, he goes to the litter box and next thing I know, he's crying and struggling to get out. After picking him up and putting him down I saw he was dragging his back end so I immediately called my mom so we can take him to the animal hospital. We thought it was because he was constipated - I had just moved and brought him home 3 days ago so I thought it was stress. The hospital took him back immediately and the vet came in a little while later saying she's sorry but he's paralyzed and there's nothing they can do. We asked to see him and the vet explained that he appears to have heart disease and that a blood clot did this to him. Hearing him cry and seeing him drag himself with his front legs was the most heartbreaking thing I've ever seen. Deciding to euthanize him was the hardest decision I've ever made and now that it's over I can't help feeling like there was some way to have prevented this or cured him. I feel so guilty but the last thing I'd ever want was for him to be in any more pain. I wasn't ready to say goodbye and I wish his last few days weren't in a new environment so he could have been content. I'll be getting his ashes but being home without him and knowing he won't be sleeping curled up next to me with his crazy loud purr ever again breaks my heart.


S. Kelly
January 14, 2017

Anyone ever hear of a thromboembolism happening to a cat 2 years old or younger? On July 3, 2016, my beautiful kitten, Oreo, barely 20 months old, was just fed and was playing with his big Brother, Chance. All of a sudden, Oreo made an ungodly noise he never made before. I jumped right up to see what happened. Oreo wad vocalizing in pain and he was dragging his front right paw. I scooped him up and took him to the emergency vets just 5 mins away! He was in so much pain, I thought he broke his leg.  Little did I know, before the night was over, I would wish it was JUST a broken leg. After hours at the vets and me going out of my mind trying to get someone to tell me how to  "fix" my cat, I get told my cat will never be a ten year old cat even with medication treatment, and that my other option is euthanasia. I was not ready to give up so they gave me pain meds and the medication and I took my kitten home. I tried to massage that leg and gave him the medications religiously.  But after a week his leg wasn't moving and was actually "dying". After ten days, the leg was gangrene, I had to let Oreo go.  I had no idea it was even an issue with cats. Definitely not a cat this young. I did ask the vet if there was something i could have and should have done...he said there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. I see a lot of comments about how this happened to cats that were much older than my Oreo. I have not found anyone that had this happen to a very young cat like Oreo, not even 2 yrs. old.


Amber Genett
January 8, 2017

Last night my 12 year old loving, sweet cat Toga was put to sleep because if this terrible, terrible affliction.  There was nothing wrong with him - sitting with me on the couch purring one minute - the next minute vomiting and paralyzed the next.  He just was given a good physical a few months earlier.  I'm devastated.  It was the hardest decision I had to make in my life - and the pain he was in and he was still purring and sweet.  He was so special....I will miss him terribly.  I send all of you who posted warm thoughts...this is just overwhelming.


Melissa Lorenzana
January 2, 2017

Yesterday, my 7 1/2 year old, Pumpkin was put down. There was nothing wrong with him.. then he threw up and became paralyzed in both of his hind legs. On the way to the vet, I searched the internet and learned about Feline Aortic Thrombosis..and feared that it might be the case. He was screaming bloody murder, and was taken into ICU and diagnosed, right away. I am getting his ashes and clay paw print next week. I still can't believe that he went from a clean bill of health, to having an enormous blood clot. I'm not thrilled with starting the new year this way, but I'm glad that he's not in pain. He was a special being.


Alyx
December 29, 2016

We just had to put our baby boy Axel to sleep last night. He was only 6 years old. One moment he was fine and the next he was howling this terrible howl and was rushed straight to the vet. While there we found out he also had a huge tumor in his abdomen that appeared within weeks since his last checkup along with the blood clot that was hitting his spinal nerves. I'll never forget my baby.


Marie
December 10, 2016

On 11/30/16 my cat Tasha was diagnosed with saddle thrombus... She seemed fine all day a little needy, then she always was, at 4.30 that evening I noticed she was trying to get comfortable on the couch and I noticed she was dragging her legs.. I immediately picked her up and put her on the floor... I had to see what the problem was, she started dragging her hind legs We immediately took her to the vet which was an agonizing 25 min ride.  There they took her in to examine her and about 20 mins later gave us the bad news. The vet said she must have had a heart condition  and that her prognosis was not very good and that she would probably not regain the use of her hind legs and would be incontinent, even with treatment.  So we made a very very hard decision  and put her to sleep. We decided to take her home I didn't want her to die there.  So we took her home put her on the couch gave her lots of loving, she was full of Morphine and did not seem to be in a lot of pain, but her eyes were like saucers and darting allover the place, it almost seemed like she couldn't see,  she kept trying to move herself, I then felt guilty for bringing her home.  7.45 pm a vet came out to euthanize her.  I CAN'T STOP CRYING. The feeling of loss and guilt I feel for my decision is too overwhelming.  I hate going home the place is so empty and cold without her. I just don't know what to do, she was my Baby. We found her as a little Kitten wondering the streets 14 years ago, so we took her home. I work from home and had her around me all the time. She has had a few medical problems...over the last year and a half:  Breast cancer, she chemo for that,  the lump was removed. Pancreatic cysts which was operated on. We did notice over the last two months she was sleeping a lot, lost her appetite and lost 4 pounds in 4 weeks so another trip  to the vet, they gave her  prednisone to help with the lack of appetite, the vet did an ultrasound of her heart and said it was good and TWO weeks later this happened, did he miss something!!!! can somebody tell me would this clot have shown up in the ultrasound???


George Steen
December 7, 2016

BELLA i lost my 5 year old british shorthair mix the sweetest cat I've ever had one minute eating a treat and happy to see me after i had been home for 30minutes ,,, the next running around crying with her hind legs dragging a bit then i picked her up and placed Bella on the couch and placed her in a sold carry cage and off to the vet i drove 80mph through traffic like a madman to save my Bella - when i got to the 24hour emergency vet ,,, everything else local was closed on sunday ,, this was 15 to20 minutes away i made it in less than 10 in a panic they took her in the vet gave me the impossible to believe news saddle thrombus ,,, my faith in God is gone after a 5 day 2 vet ordeal , rest in peace Bella i cannot wait to see you again - very very hurt and still in shock this was 2 weeks ago.


Jane Workinger
December 6, 2016

I lost my boy yesterday morning due to a blood clot and I can't believe that he is gone. Just a couple of hours earlier, he was sitting in my lap happily purring away. I noticed that he was panting heavily and so I  picked him up to hold and comfort him, and he continued to pant. I placed him on my bed and noticed that he could not stand up, it appeared that he suffered paralysis with his back legs only. I rushed him to the emergency vet and waited a few minutes, before the nurse called me back to the exam room to speak with the Veterinarian. I expected the Vet to tell me that he would be fine and what the course of action would be. She told me that a blood clot had formed and was blocking the flow of blood to his back legs. I asked her if anything could be done and she said that there was a slim chance of recovery. Blood thinners could be administered, but due to the location of the clot, it would not sufficiently dissolve the clot and my boy would require a lot of pain medication throughout the procedure. He was administered pain medication upon arriving, but I could see that he was still in a lot of pain, and I just couldn't let him suffer knowing that the procedure might not be effective. I choose to have him euthanized. I stayed with him throughout the procedure petting him gently and letting him know how sorry I was and how much I loved him and would miss him terribly. After it was done, he looked so peaceful and I knew that I had made the right decision. Kashmir you brought such joy and happiness to my life, and for that I feel blessed.


B. Galbraith
November 15, 2016

Lost our cat Oscar 3 months ago to a saddle thrombus As in other descriptions  it came on very suddenly with no warning. We  knew he had cardiomyopathy after a echocardiogram was done a year ago  and had him on blood thinning meds but obviously this was just a stop gap measure till the heart got to a point where they ceased to help. The hardest thing to deal with is the guilt and postmortems you go through even months after because of your decision to euthanize. You pay a hell of price for playing GOD with your pets' life but on the other hand you have to thank GOD for having had the pleasure and wonderful companionship of your little pet for as long as you did . I miss Oscar every day and the house seems so empty and devoid of energy without him but I try to think of the great times I had with him and that keeps me going.RIP Oscar.


Marlena
November 13, 2016

I lost my 5 year old baby 2 days ago. I knew he had a heart murmur. They told me a few years ago. No one mentioned I could have been doing something to help prevent this. I thought it was just like humans. It didn't effect his activity. He was my spunky one. Always up to something. I decided to let him go and do the humane euthanasia. I feel like I gave up on him. I didn't give him a fighting chance. Reading this and some other articles about the pain he was in makes me feel a little better. But I feel selfish. I couldn't bear the thought of him sitting in a cage while I was at work and dying all alone from another clot. But I still don't feel confident in my decision. And I'm riddle with pain because he wasn't sick. He wasn't old. This came out of nowhere.


Linhandley
November 12, 2016

Lost the best cat I ever had last Sunday evening to this unknown condition. He taught me to like cats really, as I used to be more of a dog person. I adopted his mother Mommie Kitty pregnant and hanging around my apt 12 years ago. She had eight kittens all but one siamese like herself. One solid black. I thought I'd keep the last one nobody wanted. Truly thought it would be the black one but ended up being Alex. He was a beautiful large,loving,verbal cat, with lovely Siamese markings. At one point in his 12 years he weighed 18 lbs. Mommie Kitty loved on him throughout his lifetime. He enjoyed hunting outdoors and normally slept right up by my head at night. Occasionally he would want me to lift the covers so he could crawl under and he would put all four paws up against my leg to warm them. I let him out Sunday morning before I left for my 12 hr shift. I headed home from work just after receiving news my 83 year old mother had fallen and was heading to the hospital up in NC. I live in SC. Pulled into my driveway and it's dark. I see Alex's eyes glowing when I pull in. At the moment I didn't notice he had a problem. He moved fast enough to get in the door before me and the dog jumped him as usual and there was some scrambling going on. I turned around he was lying on the counter as usual. It wasn't til he got on the floor that I realized there was a problem. I was on the phone with my dad and began freaking out some. I told him something was wrong and I had to take him somewhere. A friend gave me the name of s vet Hosp. I really thought he had been hit by a car or something like that. I called and they mentioned the possibility of a clot and I needed to get him in there. I had the very best, kind doctor who explained all this to me. Alex was not in pain, when I found him he was past that point. He was numb and quite nad because he couldn't do what he wanted. I work in the medical field and I was floored by this diagnosis. I had never heard of anything like it. Looking back it makes a lot of sense now. I did the best thing I could for Alex. He laid in his cushy bed and I stroked his soft fur as the doctor first gave him propranolol to sleep and then the medicine to end his life. And my heart was broken, just torn apart over my loving cat. I have yet to pick up his ashes and the hospital made a paw print for me to keep. He leaves behind Buddy my 1 1/2 year old dog whom Alex tolerated graciously when he was brought to our home. KitKat my 2 1/2 year old calico whom he became friends with and enjoyed some tumbling with. Mommie Kitty who cleaned and took care of him his entire life. And myself who is probably more a cat person than a dog person because he came into my life. Alex will forever live in my heart.


Dorothy McLean
November 6, 2016

I, too, just lost my precious boy Jonathan Bear a week ago tonight to a sudden saddle clot. He was 5 yo, had a clean bill of health as recently as a vet check-up in the end of July. He was adopted from the NYC high-kill shelter system in June. A big brown tiger who was the kissiest cat around. I greatly appreciate the kind words here. I have to say even with a cat sanctuary I am really grief-stricken. I was making myself nuts with what I had to have missed that this happened. One minute he was up on the table looking into my eyes asking for smooches and half an hour later his back legs were limp and cold. I rushed him to the 24 hr vet hoslital nearby but nothing could be done. Four months with this fabulous baby wasn't anywhere near long enough but it will have to do for the rest of time now. And I'd still adopt him again in a heartbeat even if I had known I would lose him so soon. Some cats just bond to you like Krazy Glue. He was my beautiful Jonathan Bear, an old soul. My heart goes out to everyone here who has lost their furry kids. This really sucks.


Michele Gaspar, DVM DABVP (Feline Practice)
November 4, 2016

Dear Melanie, I know how grief-struck you are by the loss of your dear boy.  The love you had for him shows through in your words.  As a board certified feline specialist, I want to tell you that missing a dose here and there in no way contributed to the death of your boy.  You were not negligent and even daily therapy would not guarantee that he would not have passed away. Heart disease in cats is tricky.  Some cats have no murmurs or rhythm disturbances and succumb as your boy did.  Others have echos/scans that look great, but the disease progresses silently.  So, it's even possible for a veterinarian to give a cat a "purr-fect" exam report one day and have the kitty die the next. I know how devastating it is to lose a companion cat while one is away.  The same happened to me several years ago.  We blame ourselves for our absence as if anything would have changed if we were there. Please take care of yourself in the days and weeks ahead.  I hope that in time my words will be taken into your good heart and believed.


Melanie
November 4, 2016

I lost my beautiful boy to a blood clot a few days ago - I wasn't at home but a plane ride away - he was found in his usual sleeping pose on my bed and looked very very peaceful. The vet said he was definitely in no pain when he died and it would have happened whilst he was sleeping but I am absolutely riddled with guilt because my boy was diagnosed with a heart murmur nothing major but I followed up with a heart scan again to be told all was fine and nothing major to worry about - as a precaution we put him on a quarter tab of Clopidogrel daily but there were times he didn't have it - either he wasn't around or I was working or I just plain forgot and I never really grasped how bad he was I just listened to experts telling me it was nothing major to worry about and at times he missed it I thought well he has had this for over 2 years with no ill effect so missing one day or two days won't hurt - the day before he died I had managed to give him a tablet the day he died I didn't give him one because he was sound asleep and looked so comfortable I didn't want to disturb him instead I just gave him a kiss and went off to catch my flight. I have been so torn up about this I feel totally responsible and I absolutely hate myself for what I basically feel I killed my cat - There are no words that will console me an anyone reading this can call me all the names they want - I deserve it - I feel lazy and irresponsible and believe in my heart if I had given him a regular dose he would be her now giving me his usual aloof miaow - I am so gutted plus he left 2 other cats and ever since it happened I am looking at them to see if they are grieving in - they all grew up together and often you couldn't see where one started and the other ended when they were curled up in a ball together - time is a great healer but this will take me a long time to get over the guilt I feel.....Please all follow the instructions from your vet don't ever be stupid like me...


Mark Capeling
October 16, 2016

I lost my beautiful 9 ½ year old chocolate British short hair cat Horace to this one Tuesday.  No signs that he was suffering from a heart condition.  He had been his normal cheeky self all day but one minute he was fine and the next his back legs were all funny.  I called the vets and got him there within the hour thinking perhaps he was constipated as he had had a few bowel issues in the last few months, had just eaten white fish and whilst he was using the litter tray there was a lot of noises as if he had an upset stomach.  It’s when he exited the litter tray I noticed that he was uneasy on his rear legs.  The vet knew straight away what was happening as his rear paws were cold as ice and he was in a lot of pain to the point he was hissing and panting.  Horace was the most laid back funny cat you would ever meet.  After a night of being on a drip to try and dissolve the clot and lots of ring to other vets for help and even though there was a glimmer of help from a vets 2 hours away, I had no choice but to ask the vets to put him to sleep as the vets said he would never had made the journey.  I'm now taking his brother to the vets tomorrow for a heart scan to make sure  his heart is OK as he was from the same litter. Such an awful way to go for a cat so special.


Taryn
October 12, 2016

I lost my 19 year old cat early hours this morning. She had gone in for an enema due to constipation. When we got home she started crying and kept falling over. Called the vet to check if she was given any sedatives and she wasn't, advised I should keep her comfortable and see how she is in the morning, that perhaps she had a small stroke. As the night progressed she just got worse and worse, intermittent spasms of pain, I was so helpless. Just tried to comfort her until the morning came for me to take her back to the vet and end her suffering. That time never came, she let out a final screech and died in my arms. It was so traumatic to watch my baby suffer this way, I didn't want it to end like this. I feel a lot of anger towards my vet, he should have told me to bring her straight back when I called, even if it meant her being put to sleep, atleast she would have gone peacefully. If your cat is ever acting out of sortstock, don't ignore it.


Candy E
October 10, 2016

We had to lay our cat Kitty to rest last night as well.   She was stray we found 2 years ago all skin and bones.  She was so happy t o come live with us.  She talked all the time and stayed by our side. Yesterday our dog alerted us to her crying and dragging her back legs as well. She had a great life with us and we will miss her daily.


Beth
October 7, 2016

This just happened last name to our sweet boy, "Boss".. He was such a wonderful cat with a great loving personality. I had never heard of this before and am still in shock at how suddenly it all happened. My heart is just breaking.. I Love You Boss Forever & Always...


Alex W
September 29, 2016

We had to put down our beloved JJ today at 11 years old. Exactly the same symptoms as has been described: fine until painful meowing, then hind-leg paralysis. RIP Buddy :-(


Kate
September 6, 2016

This happened Sept. 2 to my Atticus. I've had several family pets but he was the first one I was responsible for and The absolutely loveliest guy you'll ever meet.  Recently,  he started spraying and that so wasn't like him but we thought with a new baby and several family members and friends staying with us because I've also recently broke my ankle that he was stressed out. I now wonder if his body was slowly failing because he'd also lost 2 pounds over the last year (we found this out when we took him in for spraying) and he was only 10, now down to 8. But of course, blood work showed nothing.  Because of the spraying, we had put him on medication and when I first found him I just thought he was a bit groggy from that but it became clear really quickly that something else was seriously wrong. He made my life happier every day and I will forever love him.  I'm absolutely devastated. I don't know what to do without him. He should be here.  I am now very grateful for my broken ankle because it gave me a couple weeks more with him that I would have been at work.


Nadine
August 31, 2016

Same thing just happened to my cat on Sunday. Seemed perfectly healthy on Saturday, didn't come home Saturday night so out looking for him. 5.30am Sunday morning whilst out looking for him I seen him dragging himself out from under my neighbours car whilst meowing in pain. Picked him up and immediately took him to the vet, on the cat journey to the vet he was struggling to breathe. Thought he may of been hit by a car as he couldn't use his back legs. Vet informed me that he hadn't been hit by a car and in fact it was a blood clot and there was nothing more she could do. She said in 25 years she had only seen 1 cat who made a recovery and the humane thing to do was to put him to sleep. Absolutely heartbroken he was 7 years old and I adored him. The house isn't the same without him.


Barb Call
August 18, 2016

My cat is in the ER right now with this condition affecting both hind legs. His temp has dropped from 97 to 91 but his blood values are ok so there is 50/50 chance he will pull through. I don't like the pain aspect of all this but he is very medicated and his eyes have some life in them. There is no easy way out of this one. Have to see what tomorrow brings.


Dana
August 14, 2016

I just lost my Moo to this on August 12, 2016. She was 14 and a very happy cat. I'm still in shock over how quickly things changed -- exactly the same as most people are expressing here. She was happy in the morning and ate her breakfast. Then suddenly she let out a yowl and her hind legs were paralyzed. Within a half hour she was at the vet and being given pain medication and were being told that humane euthanasia was the only option. Before the vet could put her down, she passed away on her own. We are just so distraught. In hindsight, Ms. Moo was giving us signs of what was to come six months ago. She had a string of what were diagnosed as seizures, three days in a row. We put her on anti-convulsants. Now we think it's possible she was throwing smaller clots then. I miss Moo terribly and feel for every single person on this thread whose kitty had to go through the same horrific thing.


Lisa
 August 12, 2016

I am dealing with this issue now and also a lot of quilt. I brought my cat to the vet for something totally diff and the stress of going to the vet and being there for almost 6 hours set my poor cat into throwing a clot i think. Because ever since we got home he has not been the same. I thought it was maybe from being sedated and it needs to wear off its been more then 24hours and he just doesn't seem to want to walk or have much energy. Plus his rear legs seem wobbly. I know i caused this on my lil baby but i was trying to do the right thing and bring him to the vet for the other issue of not eating or going to bathroom for 2 days. He does have a heart murmur. I want to bring him back to the vet but i really don't want to put him through all the stress again. I dont know what to do


Will
July 25, 2016

I am very grateful for those of you that have shared your experiences about your beloved pets in such a sad time. My cat Zelda was 14 when today we had to put her down due to this sudden clot disease.  I had no idea it ever existed until today and was absolutely stunned at how my girl went from being so happy playing outside to crying in pain and unable to move her back to legs a few minutes later inside.  I was terrified for her and just knew that when we got to the vet that they would make her better.  When they saw that she had many of the same common symptoms that many here have described and I too felt how cold her back feet were we were forced to humanely allow her to go on to a better place without undue pain and suffering that trying to do very low percentage procedures would probably entailed and also in the company of complete strangers.  Out vet was so kind and gracious and allowed us time to say our goodbyes in our own ways.  I feel for everyone here and elsewhere who gets blindsided by such a rapid and unexpected fate to such sweet members of our family who have no idea why it is happening to them.  Rest in peace Zelda.


Anita
July 6, 2016

We had a bit of a different experience with our cat, Oscar. He was fine with my husband and I left for work, when we got home he was sleeping on the front porch steps, a favorite place for him in the summer since it is shaded and cool in the afternoon.  I went to check on him a bit cause he usually gets up and greets us.  He was lethargic and breathing heavy.  When he stood up his front paw was hanging and limp.  He let us touch it and his whole leg so he was not in pain.  It was almost looked like a person who had a stoke and their hands seize up.  Took him to the vet that night and got x-rays done to rule out a break.  The only thing they could find was an enlarged heart so she determined he must have "thrown" a blood clot. She said it much more common in the back legs but it can happen in the front.  She was also baffled by his lack of pain. He was very docile when touching him and even purring. She gave him a steroid pill and sent more home with us to give him.  He does have heart disease and he wheezes so this is how she determined it was a clot.  She let us take him home to make him comfortable and love on him and keep him in his normal routine since there is no cure for the heart disease.


B.C.
July 3, 2016

Mr.Kiitty died of a very painful death from this syndrome for lack of a better word. From what I'm reading on this website, there is nothing I could have done. No pet clinic that was close to my house would take him on an emergency basis even though they could hear the horrible pain the cat was in. I had to drive this poor kitty 12 miles away to have Mr. Kitty put out of his misery . I will never get over the inhumaine disregard vet. Hospitals have become these days. They should be ashamed and they know who they are. Even though Emergency Vet was 12 miles away they were so gentle and kind to Mr Kitty to help end his misery. Thank you Emergency Vet
Roanoke, VA


Ellyn LaVine
July 3, 2016

I lost my 17 year old Nigel to this horrific disease. I got him at 3 days old when I was working at Ann Arbor Animal Hospital. He did come with 4 other siblings that I hand reared. They were left outside the back door of the humane society  in a box with a note that told us their age and that they had been taken away from Mom right after birth! I couldn't believe they were still alive! They all were slated for euthanasia and thank goodness our Oncologist Dr. Hale brought them to us. She owns and operates the Midwest blood bank and was there to adopt a large kitty who would service a year of blood and then be adopted out by our hospital. Nigel was a true poly cat with 5 digits on all four paws, the runt of the litter. He almost died twice and was deemed not suitable for adoption, but that didn't matter because I had already decided to adopt him myself. So sweet, so lovable, would wrap his arms around your neck and pull you close to lavish you in kitty kisses. He loved to be held like a baby and took advantage every time I sat down. I've worked in animal medicine and been in feline rescue over 20 yrs. as well as a foster Mom. I have been responsible for hundreds of kitties through my home, their care, their adoption and have never had a cat this wonderful. He was my love. He was a gray and white medium haired tuxedo cat, but not very large. He was absolutely beautiful! Being as responsible as I am I knew years ago he had a heart murmur and was placed on Atenolol medication as soon as I found out.  Because I've worked in hospital I knew immediately what had happened to my baby boy. I had seen it before. As soon as I picked him up to wisk him to the hospital he pushed me away with great strength because of the severe pain he was in letting out a cry I will never forget!. The night before I was to take him into the bedroom for I sleep with my door closed, but he was curled up sound asleep, dreaming in his favorite bed and I didn't want to disturb him. I'll never forgive myself for that. His cry is what woke me up and I've no idea how long he layed on the dinning room floor next to his vomit. His feet were ice cold to the touch. Saturday morning on May 21st this year 2016 my worst nightmare. And just 1 month after his 17th birthday on April 8th. Being a Saturday my hospital is only open to noon and my Dr. wasn't there. A newer Dr. I had seen before, but barely knew came in to the exam room. I did tell her sadle thrombus and she decided to prolong his agony wanting to discuss his treatment and starting to explain. I know I was rude. I yelled at her not to touch him let alone exam and knew had I taken the option he probably would have died alone in the hospital. Worse the tech that came in was new as well and was trying to scruff him with her hand under his throat to hold him for euthanasia. I lost it again telling them both I had worked there years ago and would hold my baby myself. Even worse while I'm consoling him at his head and not looking  this new Dr. actually tried to go through his thigh vein to euthanize. Again I lost it telling her there could be no pulse, how could you get a vein! He's paralized! I was so upset with the reality of what happened to my baby, how fast everything happened with no time to digest and who was to euthanize my angel. Nothing could've been worse! I'll probably never get over how this happened and how utterly messy his euthanasia was. Of all my cats this is how his last minutes on Earth were spent. Severe pain so bad he couldn't hold his head up and the two idiots that were involved in his euthanasia. And to think I had lost another hand rear, Bobby at age 12 just one month prior on April 19th and one month after his birthday in March! A year prior in May another to cancer, but none of their euthanasia's were as awful (thank god) as my Nigel's. The most wonderful, loved by all my friends and family alike. Rest in Peace my sweet boy. I'll see you when I get there. P.S. My sincerest condolences to all that have lost their precious angels to this cruel disease. I promise they are all safe at Rainbow Bridge and beinv cared for by loved ones passed. My Nigel and all my others are beinv cared for by my maternal Gramma Marie


Sandra
July 2, 2016

I just lost my beautiful ginger Olly to this awful thing. He was 17 and fit and well, iv been off sick from work and we had been sleeping together one minute and I got up to try and make some food and I heard this noise and he was paralyzed. I thought he had some how broken his back.  I rushed him to the vet and they put he in a little oxygen tent with pain meds. The vet said there was nothing they could do, so he was put to sleep while i sat with him telling him how much I loved him. I have never heard of this before its just such a shock, its been 24hours and I'm just so lost.  He was amazing and I will miss him forever. It's really helped to read all your stories, it makes me feel better that I didnt do anything wrong.  So sorry for all your losses


Mandi
June 26, 2016

I actually lost my dog to this on April 15, 2016. It was absolutely horrific to hear my angel, Winnie, yelping in pain. It was so sudden. She lost control of her bowels, and couldn't walk. Her gums turned white. The vet let me lay with her at home before we said goodbye. We decided to put her down. Winnie passed away in my arms. I still kick myself for not preventing this. This happened over two months ago, and I am still sad and shocked. My heart goes out to anyone here who has had to experience this with their pet.


Tracy
June 7, 2016

I just lost my lovable fur baby Mr.Nicky on June 6. Nicky was 12 years old. He was such a fun loving cat that I had ever had. We loved to cuddle, sing, dance and play. I fed Nicky in the morning before I left for work he was great. I came home around 4pm and heard my baby crying, he was laying on the basement floor and his breathing was laboured. I knew that he could walk and his hind legs were paralyzed.  I knew this wasn't good and needed to take him to the vet right away. I received the news that I already knew. I had to let my fur baby go to heaven. I didn't want him to be in any more pain. I feel so lost without him here. I always looked forward to seeing him and getting our cuddles in. I just can't believe that he's gone. I love you so much Mr. Nicky. Love mommy


Janet Lattanzi
June 3, 2016

Today we lost our beautiful 12-year-old Siamese/fluffy cat mix, Sam, to this awful syndrome. He slept with me last night and my husband fed him this morning. I came downstairs a few hours later and found him lying on the floor in a puddle of urine, unable to move his back legs or tail, both of which were ice-cold. We got him to the neighborhood vet clinic in ten minutes but the damage was done - no pulse in his back legs, not even a temperature reading in his rectum. Mercifully, he didn't seem to be in much pain, but he was terrified and his breathing was labored. After taking x-rays and blood work to confirm the diagnosis, the vet told us that there was no chance for a positive outcome. We tearfully said goodbye and petted him as he passed away. I take comfort in knowing that there wasn't any way of predicting this or preventing it - his last checkup was absolutely fine - but I will miss my fluffy angel cat.


Dr. Tony Johnson
June 3, 2016

Dear Lynda, Although anesthesia carries some risk for any patient, and that risk may go up a little with any sort of heart condition, I don't think of anesthesia as a major risk factor for clots. It may be related, but it's impossible to tell with any degree of certainty. I think having an open-minded conversation with your veterinarian is a good idea.


Gigi
June 2, 2016

We just lost our beloved Jingles from this awful disease. The sweetest cat ever, he was just a bit over 3 years old. We are all still in shock how quickly it happened and how incredibly awful it was to see.  We thought he was bit by a snake when a few days ago just one leg was affected.  He was treated but had a more massive stroke two days later.  I will never get over how cruel this disease is and the look of fear on my kids' faces when it hit and heartbreak when he died (mercifully while on painkillers and asleep).  So sorry for all your losses.


Lynda White
May 31, 2016

I lost my 8 year old cat Kimba on Saturday.  He exhibited all the same signs that I'm reading about - fine in the morning and all of a sudden he's paralyzed and in pain.  I knew he had a heart murmur but did not know that blood clots occur because of it.  He had received a dental cleaning on Monday and was under anesthsia but was fine when he came home and on the following 5 days.  I am wondering if the anesthesia could have triggered the blood clot in any way?


Jennifer
May 31, 2016

We lost an 8 year old cat last year to this, and now our younger male cat, Eddie, showed the same symptoms this morning (lost use of back legs) and was rushed to the vet, where they diagnosed a blood clot and they recommended having him put down, which we agreed to as it was so distressing for Albert last year and he ended up in so much pain at the end, after hanging on for a week after first symptoms.  Eddie was a very active cat, very alert, always into everything, and caught a wren just yesterday.  It seems unreal that two cats would have the same thing so close together with no previous problems - I thought maybe there was an infection or something but I'm told not.  Albert was very lazy and sedentary but Eddie is the opposite, so why would he have heart disease?  They are also unrelated.  We made sure they had the best diet, and I would love to know what else we can do to help prevent it in other cats in the future.


Tyler
May 26, 2016

I lost my 3 year old cat Moe to this just yesterday. It's devastating and comes with no warning. One moment Im watching him play with our other cat while Im making my lunch, 1 minute later he is paralyzed and howling in pain. 3 years old. We opted to euthanize Moe after seeing the pain he was in and seeing his heart beating so aggressively. It's only been a day and I can't seem to grasp the reality of losing Moe so quick out of the blue.


Michele
May 1, 2016

I am so glad that I found this article yesterday morning. My son called me in a panic telling me our 16 year old cat Faith, who he had just let out, was wailing in pain and appeared to be paralyzed. I had him take her to the Emergency Vet and while I waited to hear, I frantically searched the web. Faith had all the symptoms as indicated. After having xrays done and confirming that she indeed had an enlarged heart and was in distress your article left me with no doubt that her quality of life was gone. My poor son cuddled and loved on her and held her while she passed. I am devastated that I could not be with her.


Cindy
April 26, 2016

We lost our beloved Samantha, 15 years young and vibrant.  On April 21st, 2016 my husband found her lying in the sun on her favorite rug paralyzed in her back legs, panting, heavy heart paplations and making a very howling painful sound.  We rushed her to our vet where they proceeded treatment with oxygen and trying to get the fluid out of her lungs.  Samantha passed away during treatment.  I felt so guilty that we did not find her sooner but after reading this article and all the comments I know know that we did all we could do.  Thank you all for your comments and to this this article as it helped me make more sense of my cats death.

Janine
April 22, 2016

I lost my Itchy on the 29th.  We came home and she couldn't stand. Her head lobbing to one side.  WE took her in and they said she has little chance of a recovery.  I had to let her go.  We are devastated. So sudden. I keep thinking, she didn't know that would be her last day. I know I shouldn't think about it, but it hurts.


Jill
April 18, 2016

I just lost my Tigger this morning.  He was 13 and was fine yesterday.  This morning he was howling in pain, laying on his side with his tongue out and shaking.  I took him to the vet immediately and he said we could do all these test to find out what was wrong but he suspected this and he would not recover.  It's such a shock that it happened so fast.


Kathleen Stevenson
April 9, 2016

i just lost lucky kitty of 17 yrs he had chf with pancreitis for a over a year.this morning he was drinking his water and fell over tongue out shaking legs where stiff no howling.took him in gave oxygen ran test was given plavik and another drug was told blood clot atrial enlargement and decreased motion of the free wall of the heart i found this sight will ask the vet but from what i am reading it sounds like what my poor baby went through.within an hour of them sending me home he collapsed after making a gut wrenching sound rushed him back he was shaking tongue out gasping for air.with in minutes of arriving at the vet again he died.i knew with the condition it wouldnt be another year.didnt expect this fast.has anyone ever had the sense something was wrong before it happened this death is new atm.i had a bad feeling when i woke up today then it totally went downhill fast i feel like i failed him


Eaurina Clay
April 8, 2016

I lost my dear cat Jasmine to this two days ago.  She appeared to be acting normal all day until around midnight when I found her in the kitchen by the refrigerator unable to move her hind legs.  I immediately picked her up and placed her on the bed and begin calling around for a pet emergency clinic.  It's unfortunate that our town had none and the closes one was 50 minutes away. She died on the way to the clinic.  This illness struck her briefly and she only lasted less than three hours.  I am so heartbroken because I had her since she was a kitten for over 16 years.  She was my baby and she loved me unconditionally.  She would stay by my side and follow me with joy in her eyes.  She didn't have to suffer the way she did.  I would never forget the look of confusion she gave me before she passed. I would always love her.


My Beautiful Sweetpea
April 5, 2016

My beautiful sweet cat, Sweetpea, has died. I came home to fined her unable to walk and crying. Although she was in terrible pain, she started purring the moment I picked her up and started rocking her. I immediately took her to the vet and they started performing tests on her to rule out any possibilities. The Dr. told me she has a blood clot and that I could do many more tests to substantiate the diagnosis, but there is nothing they could do for her. At this point she was is so much paint she couldn't eat, sleep, get comfortable or use the litter box. I felt hopeless...shocked...as if I failed her. The Dr. assured me that these events cannot be controlled nor predicted. Worse of all, they couldn't do anything to make it better.  I had to make the terrible decision no one ever wants to make for their baby. Either way, she would continue to be in pain. I had to think about it. It was 2:30 AM when I finally got home and slept on the floor with her that night. I did some research and call my family. I finally made the decision that it was time for her to go to heaven. She was such a happy, sweet, loving cat. So funny and full of joy and I was blessed to have her for 15 years. I just couldn't see her go through this any longer, knowing this is how it's going to be. I took her in that afternoon to a different doctor and they confirmed the diagnosis of the original doctor. At, 3:30 she passed away in my arms and looked so peaceful and sweet.  My Sweetpea will always be the sweet little girl I could never have.


Leejames
March 31, 2016

I lost my 1st of the 3 I have to this.  We knew she had a murmur.  She lived like a queen, all our cats won the lotto with us.  This killed me just walking in the door from a long trip.  Within an hour of being home, everything mentioned on his happened.  She was gone within 20mins.  We did make it to a vet, I hope she got those pain meds.  I still cry for her & this is only 2 months ago.


Gail West
March 28, 2016

I lost my little man Maurice a week ago to a saddle thrombosis I had never heard of this I found him &he had lost the use of his back legs, I took him to vet & that is what he had. I miss him so much, he was little but he was the boss of all my cats. I couldn't let him suffer. He was 11yrs.


Laurel
March 20, 2016

My beautiful tabby Gus was euthanized on Friday and I am going through the usual grieving process. I rushed home from work after my husband called to say something was seriously wrong with gus. he had urinated and defecated and was panting and lost the use of his front leg. we rushed him to the vets and was confirmed that his heart was enlarged and a clot was causing the paralyses. he told us the most humane thing to do was to euthanize gus. so within 1 hour of finding my baby like this we had to say our goodbyes. I am also glad I came across this site because I was feeling that I could have done more, or seen some signs. he was fine that morning and I always pat him and say goodbye see you soon. I still can't believe he is gone. the vet said he was surprised gus made it to this age without something happening sooner. I found gus as a young adult and had him with me for 13 years. I love him and miss him and I know now that there was nothing I could have done. sorry for everyone else's loss.


Kristen
March 7, 2016

My 4 year old cat was just diagnosed with this about 5 hours ago, after no signs whatsoever and then bam, she had peed on herself and was vomiting and howling in pain. Brought her to VET immediately and they told me she had this. They gave my cat heparin, a pain medication injection, plavix, and we are now home, my cat is wrapped in a heating pad and blankets (trying to keep her body temp up since she isn't getting any blood to her hind legs - she was 92 degrees) and we are monitoring her. We will give her another dose of pain meds in a few hours, and hopefully she recovers. However, she did puke about 2 hours after we gave her plavix and the puke was pink tinged just like the pill, we hope and pray enough got into her system to help break apart the blood clot. We are going to access her in the morning and decide if putting her down is the best option. I've read that plavix works best after 72 hours, so I'd hate to put her to sleep so quickly and the medicine have a shot at saving her. We are going to hope she makes it three more days and the plavix helps her...but all we can do is wait and see. If she gets worse, or her body temp is decreasing, we will have to say our goodbyes to our most amazing cat ever. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to go through, I'm so terribly sorry for everyone who has written about their loss, I truly can't imagine, I am so not prepared for this.


Jake
February 28, 2016

This hit home. I just got back from the vet from a humane euthanasia. She had showed some signs. Threw up twice, little interest in activity and food. She would still eat cat treats and allow me to brush her. She even went to sleep with me the night before.. The next day I was on the phone and she began yowling. I ran her into the nearest ER for the bad news. Wasn't much that could be done. She was nine year old I had rescued at seven. Life won't be the same w/o my Kitty Kat Johnson.


Charlie
February 21, 2016

I lost my 4 year old hopscotch today. I could not sleep during the night. I awoke at 4 am and he was by my side. We played and watched a movie. We went back to sleep only to wake up to the horrifying screams that I will never forget. I found him and he was lying with his hind legs behind him (as a dog sometimes does), with gray gums and difficulty breathing. I immediately took him to the er vet, Where I was asked if he had heart disease? I was unaware of any issues and explained that he was fine at 4 am. However now that I look back, I realize he was trying to warn me. I had to euthanize him due to a embolism that dislodged from his heart and caused paralysis. He was in too much pain and I did not want to be selfish. I will never forget the howls and the look on his face. I continue to blame myself and still feel as if he were here. I hope to never experience this again.


Marina
February 8, 2016

We lost our 13 and yr old female tuxedo cat to saddle thrombosis on Feb 5, 2016.   Our situation was similar to many of the commenter's, we had no warning at all.  We had no idea that our cat was hiding a serious heart condition and hyperthyroidism.  She looked and acted youthful and healthy until the last minute.  At midnight on a friday night, we were left scrambling to find an emergency vet to perform euthanasia.  It was instantly obvious that our cat had suffered a life ending event although we thought it was a "stroke" until the vet explained about saddle thrombosis. I still feel shock.


Ann Ohl
February 3, 2016

I lost two of my beloved cats to this disease. Bobbi Sox was a 7 yr. old neutered male Manx & Cappy was a 7 yr. old neutered male Himalayan. They were perfectly fine one minute & dying the next. I miss them every day.


Dee
January 19, 2016

Sweet kitty Precious just got this diagnosis.  Last night she howled a few times...we got up to check on her and she couldn't walk.  Her clot is affecting her right front leg.  We're meeting with Precious and the vet in a few minutes.  I could tell the vet tech was concerned when I described the symptoms.  Such a sudden thing - no time to really adjust.


Jeff
January 16, 2016

On January 14th 2016, what started off as any other day turned for the worse.  My wife just happened to be home when my 17 year old cat Gizmo started screaming in pain. She had found him behind one of small personal refrigerators.  He was laying on his side and she had picked him up.  She put him on one of the recliners and he somehow managed to crawl into one of the cat tunnel toys. He started to throw up. She frantically called me in a panic telling me to come home from work.  I told her to call the vet down the street. I was home in 30 minutes and when I saw and heard how he was screaming I knew something was very wrong.  We got to the vet, admitted him and were told what the problem was; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  She gave us the options but it really was a no brainer, as hard as it was to do, to have Gizmo peacefully euthanized. I am still in shock at how this disease manifested. Over the years Gizmo lost weight, would throw up a lot, etc.  Things you would just chalk up to his age or him eating something off of the carpet. I will always ask myself what I could have done differently to help prolong his life.  I really thought he had a lot left.  But 17 years is a great run for an indoor cat.


SM
January 16, 2016

My daughter and I just dealt with this same thing on Jan. 11. She woke me up just after midnight telling me something was wrong with our cat, Eddy (which I thought was not possible because I had just seen him maybe 30 mins before that). I went downstairs to find him panting and meowing so loud. As I immediately put him in a crate to take him to the emergency vet, I noticed he was dragging his back legs. As soon as we got to the vet, I told them he couldn't move his back legs and the nurse said "uh oh" and ran him to the back right away. Not even 10 mins later the vet came in and informed us of the clot and said the only option was euthanasia. So we said our goodbyes to our 8 years young cat and three days later I am still in shock. I couldn't believe at the time that there absolutely nothing they could do. My (what I thought) healthy, young fur baby was just fine and here they were telling me they had to put him down now. I am glad I can across this article because now I know for sure that I made the right choice that night. Especially now knowing that he was in so much pain (the vet told us he wasn't in pain, just uncomfortable..I'm sure she was just trying to ease our pain at the time). Unfortunately, now I will constantly worry about my other kitty and pray the same thing doesn't happen to her. It's just heartbreaking. Thoughts and prayers to all of you that have gone through this.


MW
January 8, 2016

My almost 13-yr.-old male cat had to be euthanized on Jan. 6 due to this horrifying malady.  He'd been playing with his sister and all of a sudden, he screamed and fell on his side, paralyzed.  He'd always been healthy & had had a complete physical with blood panels in Oct., 2015.  As he screamed, I rushed him to the ER vet; talked to his regular vet on the phone - but there was nothing anyone could do.  I ask myself, did I fail him?  Meanwhile, his sister walks around the house, looking for him...  This is just heart-breaking.


Sheila Mombourquette
January 3, 2016

I found this article helpful in settling my mind. I lost my cat yesterday in the very way that you described. She was 12 and a half yrs.  She was fine, always. She was a real hunter except in the winter months. She played with toys all the time and used to sleep on top of the clothes dryer. I was just looking at her and she fell over and was shaking and instantly paralyzed. I took her to the vet, which is about a forty min drive but unfortunately, there was nothing they could do. There was no femoral pulse and she couldn't move. I had to then make the heart wrenching decision to end her suffering. After reading your article I am sure I made the right decision. Thank you


SteffaniandRascal
December 22, 2015

Last week my kitty Rascal (15 yrs old) didn't come to dinner. He was upstairs lying there unable to use his back legs.   Strictly indoor kitty. I picked him up and both back legs the paws tucked under and he couldn't stand on them. I quickly Google it. I felt all kinds of fluid in his abdomen.  I gave him an enema to clear him out and manually massaged his whole belly gently. He seemed OK a minute so I Google it. Saw saddle throbs and watched videos.  I knew this was it. I gave him a baby aspirin and called the vet. They advised euthanasia immediately if he was in bad pain.  At that moment he was not.  I said S soon as he pants or shows me pain, I'll bring him.  Well, I read more and took the 50/50 chance at massaging the body and MOVING his legs.  Either it would do good or be his demise if I dislodged the clot and it stuck somewhere else.  I did bike pedaling with his legs and massages hI'm everywhere. Carried him to his litter box and helped him go. Bathed him and slept with him tucked under me. He made it through morning.  I cried the whole night. Knowing this new killer was upond us. I know movement breaks up clots in humans, so off I went gogling. I stood him up and placed his feet and walked him.  The clot must've moved or dissipated. ..he is still here 8 days later.  His movement improves daily.  Still can't use much of back right leg.  I am so sad it could be hours to days any minute. I am more than thankful we had time, to a knowledge our last moments together as quality.  My three boys are terribly sad, and don't know why mommy cries so much right now before Christmas.  My first baby is inevitably dying.  There is nothing to do to fix that.  Thank you for the support, and your stories.  They are touching.  My heart begs for more time....and so does Rascal's.


Craig
December 12, 2015

Thank you so much and ive never responded to anything online ,but last night i had to put down the best friend i had ever had.he didnt seem n pain when he was found but couldnt use his back legs and flies had started laying eggs on his rear end and vet just said it was best to put him down...Just wish i would have at least asked them to try something


Linda J.
December 9, 2015

Thank you so much for this article. Last night we put our beloved 10 year old Burmese cat, Champ to sleep. During his life he had excellent medical care and check ups. He showed no signs of having heart disease. Yesterday I brought him to the vet because I suspected that he might have an ear infection. During the appointment he all of a sudden, lost the use of his back legs. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and was later diagnosed with Saddle Thrombus. The vet kindly explained the grave situation. He was put on strong pain medications and we were able to spend time with him before we put him to sleep. He was a true "Champ" in all ways and he is greatly missed. Thank you again for this article. We take so much good care of our cats. Our animal hospital is one of the highest rated in our area. They are also a recognized Feline Practitioner hospital. He had all is regular check ups by excellent veterinarians, and there were no signs that he had heart disease. We as a family are still in shock over the sudden loss of our pet. Our vet explained this as a silent killer. I hope that in the future veterinary science will be able to find a way to prevent and treat this condition. My heart goes out to all others who have experienced the same loss of a pet.


Christine
November 23, 2015

I lost our Mitten to cardiomyopathy some years ago. Tomorrow I have to lay her daughter to spirit for the same. She is 17 beautiful Torrie like her Mom. I am struggling so bad right now. Being a furbaby Mommy is so hard. She have lived a long happy and spoiled life. But it is still hard.


Charlotte J.
November 21, 2015

I forgot to mention last night while writing about my cat Roscoe to thank you for publishing this informative article that explains this horrible event.   I have never heard of it and my Vet explained it to me but at the time, I was so upset over having to put Roscoe to sleep, I did not take in all that he told me.  I looked back at when I took him to the Emergency Clinic in Sept. for what I thought was a broke front paw.  Now, after reading the other comments, it makes me wonder if he had a stroke at that time.  Over the next few weeks, keeping him contained to a large dog kennel and brief walks with me, he got better but never did quit limping.  I am so mad at myself because I did not know of this disease or I would have requested to have blood pulled.  They did X-ray him and assumed he must have jumped off of something and overcompensated.  There was nothing noted on his record for his temp, his respiration, or BP, it only stated 'purrs'.  I have had cats all my life and this is a first for me and I honestly thought I had seen and dealt with it all, lol.  Like I told my devoted local Vet, it was his time, the Lord called him home.  At least I find peace in knowing he is resting in my Mom's lap as she adored these 2 kittens we bottled raised.  Bosco died a couple of years ago, had a large tumor that was found in his chest. It happened on the weekend when my Vet was not opened and had to take him to a ER clinic.  I told them I wanted to wait until Monday but they said he would be in so much pain and suffering so I went ahead and had him put to sleep.  These 2 are going to haunt me for a long time as I am feeling so much guilt that I let them both down.  Bosco's came on sudden as well.  Fine up until that Saturday.  Well, I got into more detail than I should have but wanted to thank you for explaining this in simple terms and hopefully I will find peace one day knowing there was nothing i could have done to prevent it. Thank you and God Bless you!


Charlotte J.
November 20, 2015

I lost my beloved cat Roscoe Wed (11-18-2015) to this horrible thing.  He was fine when I put him to bed  the night before and when I went to feed him that morning, I found him, screaming on the cold concrete floor, not in his warm safe bed and he could not move at all.  I gently put him in his carrier and took him to my vet immediately.  There was no hope. He explained basically everything mentioned in this article and had no choice but to put my baby to sleep.  I had raised him and his brother from a bottle. I found them when they were not even 10 days old as their eyes were not open.  My horse was standing guard over them protecting them from any harm!  I don't know what happened to the Mom, she was feral and had taken up at the barn and had the kittens.  He was only 12 years old.  If there had only been some kind of sign but it appears to be a silent killer.  He is in Heaven now with his brother Roscoe and my horse as well.  My Mom helped me feed the kittens and she enjoyed it as she was getting sick with severe dementia by then and it was a God Send to give her something to do to make her feel like she was needed and she was always needed.  I am sure they are both in her lap now in Heaven.  It has taken me this long to even be able to write about it.  It has upset me to no end.  I can usually tell when any of my animals are sick but this silent killer completely caught me off guard.  I shall miss you my sweet Roscoe <3 You will never be forgotten!  Love you!


Susanne Basque
November 16, 2015

I feel numb. Today our beloved big boy Poots had to be put to sleep BC of this horrible illness. Same story as I've read here over and over. Happy seemingly healthy, then boom. Fighting go his life, for each breath. Heartbreaking having to say goodbye to our beautiful big black monkey boy. Rest in piece Poots, run free without pain. Till we meet again buddy boy.<3


JewelD
November 11, 2015

My cat actually survived this at approximately age 15, and after 6 weeks of convalescence (3 of those weeks confined to his sleeping box, since he couldn't move) - he had a pretty normal life.  But the vet didn't mention underlying heart disease, nor did I suspect it.  I should have known better, actually.  I mean, I know blood clot means heart problems in people.  That was 3 years ago. Last week, at age 18, he apparently suffered another blood clot to the heart.  We were able to save him, since he was in otherwise amazing health for an old guy, but then another blood clot to the brain got him yesterday.  Even though he was an old cat who lived a great life, we were still devastated to lose him. Lesson learned: since economics prevented even better preventative care of my cat, from now on I'm getting a credit card just for vet bills.  There are also financial deals like Care Credit and others that work similarly.  That will allow me to get annual, in-depth checkups for my favorite furball, just like I do for myself.  (Yay, Obamacare!) And remember: saddle thrombus points to an underlying heart condition.  Somehow the vet never mentioned that, and I didn't figure it out until recently.  By then, I was lulled into complacency by my cat's apparent lack of symptoms.  Don't make that mistake.


Sue
November 8, 2015

This happened to my 15 yr old Monkeyboy last night-one minute he was sleeping next to me and within 1/2 an hour I had to make the decision to put him down. For Monk, his front paw was affected--I found him near the litter box with one front paw hanging in the box and he was as still as a statue. I picked him up thinking he was just being his crazy self but when he tried to walk he just collapsed and lay on the floor panting. Luckily we have an emergency vet within five minutes of our apartment so I got there minutes after it happened but it didn't matter. He was frantic with pain and confusion and started having trouble breathing and I knew I had to end his suffering right away...nothing I did seemed to calm him and I'm ashamed to say I was so frightened and freaked out I asked them to euthanize him without me being there. He was ok one minute and the next minute he was at deaths door-it still seems surreal. Hopefully this next part doesn't make me seem nuts, but first thing in the morning I went back to the vet and asked if I could see my boy. They were very gracious and brought him out for me to say a proper goodbye. My loyal friend actually looked like he passed on peacefully and I was able to let him know how much he meant to me and how ashamed I was that I was unable to protect him and help him when he needed me most.


Carol
November 4, 2015

My cat passed away yesterday and I suspect this was the problem.  She was recently diagnosed with cancer and I took her to see an oncologist.  We scheduled surgery and when I walked out of the office she seemed fine. Not a minute or two later she was laying on her side in her carrier but I thought she was groggy from the medicines they'd given her. Instead of taking her back in to the emergency clinic I drove home.  When we got home it was obvious something was very wrong and she started howling. She passed when I was just two blocks away from the clinic.  I only adopted her 10 months ago and I'm just heartbroken. I know her death was not quick nor painless and it just kills me.


Christina
November 1, 2015

I just lost my cat Woody on Friday to exactly this...he just collapsed in front of me, couldn't move his legs.  No howl of pain, though.  Rushed him to the ER in 15 min, but his heart stopped within the hour.  He had HCM, unknown by anyone.  I'm devastated, and I understand logically that there was nothing anyone could do.  But he was so young (3 yrs old), and I had just rescued him 9 weeks ago.  Such a painful loss, and my heart goes out to anyone who has lost their furry friends this way


Valarie
November 1, 2015

I just lost my little boy two hours ago to this. My heart is broken. I felt helpless finding him unable to move his back legs. I could tell he was in pain and rushed him to the emergency. They told me the prognosis was 50/50. After she explained everything she mentioned euthanasia and I knew it was the right thing to do and not prolong the pain. After saying good bye and being guilt ridden, I did as much reading on it and know in my heart of hearts I did the right thing for my little boy. I am thankful that he did not die alone and in pain and that I was there for him and was able to say good bye and tell him that I loved him very much. I am sorry for anyone else who has had to go through this grief, it is heartbreaking. Peace, strength and love.


Chris
October 27, 2015

Just lost my cat Charlie to this last night. He was 13. He was fine earlier in the day; I went out to the store and came back and he was lying on the floor with his back legs splayed out.. They were cold, and he was howling. I rushed him to the vet, and they gave him heparin and morphine.. Then an xray showed he was also riddled with cancer. I so didn't want to say goodbye; I had never done that before.  But the vet told me since his rear body temperature was 90 degrees, his prognosis was extremely poor even without the cancer, and even if he made it, he'd be in pain until the cancer got him - and that this would likely recur before then as well. I never felt so helpless - I wanted to help him so badly, but couldn't. I still am riddled with guilt, but I don't know what else I could do.


Linda
October 26, 2015

Kim, So sorry to hear about your Rocky.  It's devastating, and happens so quickly that it's hard to make a decision -- that decision.  Even if a cat is brought in immediately after the clot happens, the chance of it recurring are great and within two weeks.  It is very painful on all levels. My heart is forever broken over this loss.  My boy Simon was, and is, a great love of my life.  He taught me so much, and continues to every day.  I have been forced to look at the afterlife, and am starting to believe it is possible. Peace to you, Linda


Kim
October 25, 2015

I lost my 11 1/2 year old cat, Rocky, due to this horrible condition early Saturday morning.  He had come into the living room to lie down around 2:30 a.m.  Almost immediately, he panted several times, which concerned me.  I started talking to him, and he stopped panting.  He rolled over on his back and then back on his stomach.  All of a sudden, he started to get up and couldn't move his back legs.  I was stunned, as he'd been just fine moments before.  I quickly realized he might be suffering a stroke or blood clot, so I took him to an animal emergency clinic.  We arrived there around 3:00 a.m.  He was given pain medication, and then the vet informed me of the Saddle Thrombosis diagnosis.  He said that's the worst thing they see.  I was stunned, when he said there was basically nothing we could do to assure a good prognosis.  He recommended euthanasia, which I, reluctantly, agreed to.  I'm struggling with this.  I thought they'd give him heparin, and he'd be fine.  The vet said it was difficult to determine proper dosing and how much damage may have already occurred to tissues, nerves, & blood vessels because of lack of O2.  I was so devastated to know I wasn't able to help my sweet Rocky!  I had never heard of this before.  BTW, I stopped by to see my vet yesterday to tell him about Rocky.  He said he had had a mentor, who had this happen.  He did not survive.  I'm sad for all of us who've lost our special friends to such a terrible condition.


Ashley D.
October 21, 2015

Today I had to put my cat down due to this same issue. My cat Blanca was laying on the ground howling and wasn't able to walk. I was worried he had broken a leg since he was just fine the night before. I took him to the ER to find out that his back legs were paralyzed and that he was in excruciating pain. He had a low temperature, and was miserable. I'm still in tears now because I lost him so suddenly. It seems that blood clots are common with cats which makes it harder for me to ever think about getting another


Lorrie
October 19, 2015

I have the same story as Mr. Bud below.  My cat Jelly was perfectly fine and in the blink of an eye he began howling.  I thought he was locked in a closet so I wasted time checking each closet.  I have never heard such howling from him before.  I finally found him lying on his side, he had vomited and he couldn't stand up.  I thought he may have been choking on a hairball.  We immediately took him to the ER vet and he was diagnosed with saddle thrombus which we had never heard of before.  I took him for annual physicals and he was due to one in two weeks.  I could feel that his heart seemed to be out of rhythm, but the vet never mentioned it so I thought the heart rhythm is different in cats. He was immediately given oxygen and pain medicine, but it didn't seem to help the pain for he was still howling but a little softer. He had no pulse in his legs and he had to be euthanized.  I have been crying my eyes out for two days and I don't understand how a healthy cat (or so I thought) could fall to this disease in a blink of an eye.  We will not get another cat for I cannot go through this agony again.  We will never find another "Jelly" who was so well behaved and followed orders as a dog.  He was the light of our lives and now he is gone.  RIP Jelly.


Eileen S.
October 17, 2015

Thank you all for your insights... I lost my beloved 11 yr. old kitty, Bella, in July to a stroke which incapacitated her back legs, followed by horrific, gripping seizures (and of course it happened at 2 AM) She had been to the vet for a full panel just 6 wks. prior and showed no issues of concern at that time. I have felt burdened by guilt since she passed in my arms that night, wondering if I had compromised her health in some way. Reading these accounts, and Dr. Johnson's comments made me see the randomness of this cruel event, While I miss my girl tremendously, I hope to now think of her only with all the love and pleasure that she brought to me. I have another cat and 2 dogs, each one well loved, but my girl was extra special and will always be remembered that way.


Lisa Benne
October 7, 2015

My Thelma is 20 years old!  She had her first saddle thrombosis last year. Luckily, she wasn't in tremendous pain but she was uncomfortable. Her long time vet said that I owed it to her to try and see if the clot will dissolve. He said that it sometimes can. She couldn't use her hind legs so I carried her to the litter box when she tried walking. I also brought her water and food. She drank & ate a little. After 3 days the clot broke and age started walking again. Vet has be giving her low dose aspirin cut into 1/4 pieces. I feed her one in cheese every 3 days. This has worked for at least 8 months. She is 20 years and 8 months old now  (that's 100 human years!). Unfortunately just yesterday she had another episode. I am following the same routine as last time. Hopefully this clot will dissolve as well.


Karen Quenneville
October 6, 2015

This happened to our 15 years old cat Trinity today.  Was so sad to see her go but she didn't suffer for long.  It's like losing a friend.  You never forget them and have memories of them.  RIP Trin.  You were very loved by us all.  We miss you xo


Lori
September 20, 2015

My 14 year old cat got blood clots and lost the use of his back legs for about a month. He now can walk but can't control his bladder or bowels. Has this happened to anyone else's cat. Thankfully my cat didn't seem to be in pain when it happened as I have heard with other cats. My vet said there's nothing I can do about his bladder problem...any advice?


Ryan
September 19, 2015

I hope they can develop a way of early detection and treatment for this terrible disease so no pet owner has to go through what my family and my M.J. just went through. This morning M.J. lost her battle with this disease after attempting to let her fight. A second clot developed and went to her lungs stopping her breathing. Her pain is over but every cat has a 20% chance of falling victim to this. Even though early detection is still difficult, I urge everyone to ask their doctor to check their pets hearts. Rest easy baby girl, my queen, we love you and you will always be with us.


JJ
September 14, 2015

9-12-15 I woke up this morning to a howling of my cat Murphy. He has howled before, usually when getting his hair cut or vet trip. This seemed way more urgent. I ran down the stairs to find him under a car. I pulled him out and noticed he couldn't use his back legs. Rushed him to the vet to discover saddle thrombus. It was difficult to come to a decision because I would have paid anything for him to come home again. I just frantically looked up info on my phone. It seemed the only humane thing to do was put him down. He was the sweetest cat we ever had never noting or scratching us or anyone ever. He used to pet me with his tail. I have guilt like some of you when I read about cats surviving this. But they are few. Our home is so empty now I miss my handsome boy. Saddle thrombus truly is a cat owners worst nightmare!  Love you murph


Nancy
September 12, 2015

My sad story is very similar -- my 11-year-old cat Tuffy passed on Sept 5th.  He jumped up on my bed to say Good Morning, and then collapsed and couldn't move his legs.  Luckily the emergency vet was close by, and they immediately gave him pain meds.   He passed very peacefully with me holding him and loving him.   I guess I take some solace in that this happened when I was at home so he didn't have to suffer for hours.


Jessie
September 10, 2015

Our 7-year old cat, Chatty, died from this just this past Sunday, Sept 6th.  As the article states, and others have written, it was so sudden.  He was in such pain.  It was at least comforting to me to find supporting articles like this.


Anne
August 31, 2015

My cat Puma died two weeks ago from this.  It is a terrible thing. It comes on so suddenly, and it's over so quickly. Barely time to say goodbye.


Stephanie
August 24, 2015

My sweet boy Duke. On July 16th we took him in for a routine physical, and his vet noticed a murmur in his heart. We decided to spend the $$ and had an echocardiogram of his heart which determined he had Congestive Heart Disease. He was diagnosed with HCM and put on 4 drugs to take. An ACE inhibitor, Beta blocker, and two blood thinners. Pilling him wasn't easy, but it was like he knew he had to take them so we could keep him alive. This past Thursday, 5 days ago, as my honey was leaving for work, Duke made a strange sound. We watched him for a moment, and then his hind legs stopped working. This was at 10am. We rushed him to the vet, it was less than 5 minutes away, he was in agony those 5 minutes: screaming, howling, digging into me with his nails. As soon as we got him to the vet,  they confirmed it was a blood clot and the best thing would be to put him down. We didn't even think twice. We knew we had to, he was in so much pain. When we went into the back to say our goodbyes, he wasn't himself. He was panting, drooling from his mouth staying open, and crying out in pain. He even bit my honey as he tried to pet him. We knew we had to stop his suffering, but now I can't help myself but to think I acted too quickly putting him down. He could have been one of the cats that can live after a blood clot. I have this horrible guilty feeling eating away at my heart now. My home seems wrong without him here. My second cat is depressed looking for Duke. My honey and I can't get over it, at least we still have each other and are both mourning the loss together. I will always remember Duke's soft fur, his purrs, his vocalizations, his amazing green eyes, and his tremendous love for me and my honey. We had him for 9 years, he even died on his birthday.


Liam's mom
August 19 2015

This past Sunday morning, a little after six AM, my handsome 6 year old tuxedo woke me with his howling. At first I thought he merely wanted to go out. He had been brought in earlier the night before because I stained my deck. I yelled at him to use his litterbox. Then I realized it was something more. He was laying in the middle of the livingroom floor. His back end was paralyzed and his breathing laboured. Immediately I started calling vets. No one was open and no local vets were taking emergencies so I had to drive him 45 minutes to get the diagnosis I knew was coming. On the phone, the vet told me he was too young for a stroke, but I knew; his predecessor had the EXACT same thing happen to him - also on a Sunday without vet care readily available. This cat was five. Once we got to the vet's office, he examined him and confirmed my fears. I instantly made the decision to euthanize him. The vet and technician were wonderful. They took him and tranquilized him and got him ready for me to be by his side. I said goodbye and let him go. Poor little fellow. Like so many of the other stories, he was a thriving and happy cat. He was gentle with his two large dogs and loved them dearly as they did him. I brought them with me for the 45 minute drive. They knew something was up. I held his little paw that he always held out through the cat cage (he hated driving in the car), caressed him the best I could and tried to bring what comfort I could. This is the second cat in a row of mine to die in such a tragic and horrific manner at such a young age. I thought it was rare, or so I was told. I feel empty because even though I have the dogs, cats add something completely different. I have never been without a cat for more than a couple of months of my entire 51 years but I just can't go through losing a cat so young again. That's it for me for cats for a while. The sudden demise is simply too painful.


Sandra C
August 8, 2015

I am going through this horror with my newly adopted torti named Sugar, She is a 2-3yo fast running, wonderfully tempered kitty. Twice in the past month, we have witnessed the yowling and legs going numb. But then she bounces back within an hour. The cardiac ultrasound is pending. Not looking good prognosis-wise. How do I prepared my 7yo that we are likely to lose the cat? On the one hand I don't want any one to have to experience a painful death, but I don't want to prematurely euthanize her either. Awful choices all around.


Karen Cudnohoske
August 4, 2015

Just lost my Mr. Noogler from this saddle clot.  A true lover of life and me.  We slept together and whenever I was on the couch, he was on my lap.  He was four and beautiful tabby.  Markings were incredible.  I knew he was in pain but he still calmed as I scratched his chin.  Vet was incredible with care and info. The only decision was to stop his suffering.  He had no quality of life.  His sister is on my lap now.


Roshelle
August 3, 2015

This morning, at 1:00 a.m., I very unexpectedly had to say goodbye to my 11 years young, beautiful Noche Onyx Resurrection. We fought his diabetes together for the past year, and IBD for five years before that, cancer added in there somewhere as well; 2 surgeries there & 2 more for genetically bad teeth, but heart disease crept in like an unwelcomed sonofa & threw a clot leading to saddle thrombosis & paralysis. Out.of.nowhere. There was nothing more I could do for him, that wouldn't have been traumatic at best & no guarantee. It was agony trying to make that call in a moment. I am grateful I was restless & couldn't sleep, however, so I clearly heard the howl & had him to the ER vet in 10 minutes. Not even the narcotic helped with the pain. Admittedly, I wish the ER DVM wouldn't have waited nearly 30 minutes to onboard pain meds,now reading your stories about how excrutiating the pain is, though they didn't seem to help my boy. He had one episode of panting/ howling 3 weeks ago when I took him to ER & they found nothing. His heart & lungs sounded "great." This is the ninja that CHF can be. I'm vascillating between agony & shock. Beside myself, really. He stole my rescue-happy heart on Easter Sunday, 2006 & has been my best friend since. He's seen me graduate college. Twice. Find love. Lose love. Bury five people I've deeply loved. He was my true North in feline form & my most faithful companion. I miss everything about him; his drool- ridden-bliss purr, the way he loved to roll over on top of my feet & his insistence on "marking" my nose. With all he endured, one would never know- he was just so happy. Grateful from day one, he let me know every day that he never forgot that. I am busted wide open, but I didn't let him see that. He was scared & in terrible pain & fighting for breath. So I sang to him and held him and kissed him until the pink juice took him away. Then I lost it. Heart.broken. RIP Black Beauty


Linda S
July 13, 2015

Hello to All, I keep coming back here to read and to learn more about this horrific condition.  Your stories are so incredibly sad.  Six months ago, I lost my great love -- my Simon kitty who had HCM and developed a clot very suddenly.  He was eating his treats and playing one evening, when he was paralyzed and had difficulty breathing.  He was on four meds, none of which were for felines. My heart is broken and will never fully heal from this loss. If any of you are in need of more support, please check out petloss.com.  There are people there who understand, who are grieving, and will welcome you. Peace to all who are in this terrible predicament.


Ariellah Shochet
July 9, 2015

I am brokenhearted. Yesterday I lost my beloved 11 yr old cat to a saddle thrombus. I have done cat rescue for 15 years and I have had 2 other kitties that experienced the same. One was 5 years old
and the other was 9 yrs old; both were being treated with aspirin and atenolol by vet cardiologists because of murmurs. My problem is this: my vet to me that Squeaker had a grade 3-4 murmur about a year ago. Seeing the vet cardiologist is even more expensive now ($750.00) than It used to be and I didn't have the money. I was saving for it and actually had an appointment coming up. But then this and I am feeling like it is my fault. That somehow his death was premature because of my inability to pay for the cardiologist. I loved that boy so much and I feel like I failed him.


Eric M
July 5, 2015

I want to add to the conversation because I am a dog walker.  I love my job and have been doing it for ten years.  On June 19th of this year one of my long-time clients, a Siberian Husky named Apollo, came down with this condition. It started as limping and we could only do short walks.  A week later he was howling in pain and rushed to emergency by his owner, and very sadly, put down.  I wanted to share this because it really shocked me how fast it occurred and how unknown this condition is.  The owner and I never heard of it, he was relatively young and healthy prior at only 7 years old, and he had even seen three specialists that week while still in the limping stage: his vet, who did X-rays and saw nothing wrong, figured it was arthritic or a pulled muscle and gave him anti-inflammatories, a neurologist, who found no nerve damage, and an ER vet who basically concurred with the first vet.  The next day he was howling, rushed back to ER and was gone, and that was the chosen path because the doctors, after doing a sonogram-type evaluation of his legs found the clots, felt treatment is too painful, and only a short fix.  Sadness all around.  Hopefully, we will learn more about this in the future, possibly have better diagnostic tests for it, maybe some preventive measures, and ways to educate more pet owners.  I, personally, had never heard of this before this incident, and I have had, or been around, dogs and cats my whole life.  Let's all hope there can be a treatment in the future.


lucylu
July 1, 2015

I've been crying while reading all of these. My beautiful 14 yo girl, Lucy, cannot use her back legs since 3 days ago. Sunday morning was normal, I even took a pic, which I haven't done in a while, of her sleeping in her bed that she loves. I went out for a couple of hours, and at 6:30pm saw her dragging herself across the floor. I took her to the animal hospital. The young dr. was nice, but I wanted to take her to my own vet the next day for any further testing. The ER didn't think it was a clot, since her legs are warm and pads are pink. My vet thinks it's something with her spine. When he examined her she meowed more when he pressed on her back and should could feel her legs. Maybe she landed weird from jumping off the couch. He thinks it's an injury. She has a hyperthryoid that she's been taking meds for. The tests from the other day show her thyroid is high. She also has a heart murmur, that we all knew she had. She doesn't labor her breath or pant. I thought she was doing okay because she's eating. Now, looking back the past couple of months, she has been drinking a bit more water and peeing more. I attributed it to the heat and humidity, since I do that too! As for her legs, she just doesn't move like she did when I adopted her 7 years ago. I've been attributing it to age. Now, I feel really guilty that I could have prevented this. I don't know. I won't have her take an MRI. My vet agrees that she isn't a good candidate, since they have to put her under. When she was put under 2 years ago to remove teeth, she had a reaction to the anesthesia and almost didn't make it. Her kidneys and liver were affected. But, she made it and was happy again. I won't put her through surgery. Today, I notice a very slight improvement in that her legs react more when I touch her. She desperately wants to go to the litter box, but can't use her hind legs to get in. So, I bought crib diapers to lay out on towels and she goes there, and I wipe her. If she doesn't regain use of her legs, there's just no quality of life for her. Other than that, she purrs, kisses, and cuddles when I pet her. She only meows when she needs to do her thing. I hate that I'm possibly facing a really tough decision. I love this furball so much, so gives nothing but unconditional love. The vet says to see how things go this week being on a steroid and 1/4 baby aspirin every 3 days. How long to give a situation like this to see if there's improvement? To top it off, I'll be losing my job at the end of the month (which we were given the notice 2 mos ago) and don't have a new one yet. I simply can't afford lots of expensive tests. I just don't want her to live without functioning back legs. I can see how frustrated she is when she tries to move around, looking at me for help. I feel helpless. I put her in the box and hold her so she can do her thing, but she doesn't. I just wish I knew exactly what happened to cause this.


Missn3priss
June 24, 2015

My cat Heston has this happen a month ago. After  going to the vet and staying 24 hours he made it. He came home regained his ability to walk and was acting normal. Two weeks later he began dragging his legs. I was at the beach and my friend took him to the vet where again he regained his ability to walk. They have sent him home on plavix but he just doesn't seem well. Today his one leg is starting to drag...they gave him no pain medicine what so ever. We have spent $400 in 3 weeks. I'm almost afraid I should have had him put down than suffer. I'm not sure what to do, this is heart breaking. I was almost thinking it wasn't a blood clot since he recovers and then goes back.


Joyce Aoyama
June 23, 2015

I can feel all your pain.  Today at 5 pm when I fed my three cats I suddenly lost my seven year old precious calico, Remy. I had my back turned for a minute cleaning their super bowls when I heard a commotion behind me.  I turned to see Remy in distress on her side on the floor.  It took me two seconds to get to her when she let out a little growl and was gone.  I tried CPR but it was to no avail.  I then sobbed my heart out and I am still in a state of shock.  In less than an hour I lost a beloved friend and took her to the vets so she could be cremated.  She was such a healthy little thing running around and playing with her brothers all the time. I miss her so very much and as I write this I can feel my heart in my throat. The vet said she had an embolism.  The only comfort I can find in all this is that she most likely didn't suffer very long if at all. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost your little furry kids to this terrible disorder.


Gloria
June 23, 2015

Hello everyone.  My cat Helms (Aka:Helmet) passed away last night.  Yesterday appeared like a good day for him, he was himself...cuddly, protective and fun to watch when he played.  I was in the kitchen and walked by his condo and noticed him come out of the condo through the bottom and he sorta staggered...I thought maybe his leg fell asleep? Maybe he took a bad step and would just shake it off but sadly that was not the case.  He dragged himself over to the stairs and looked upwards...probably contemplating how he'd manage get get up all that way?  I wanted to hold him, to carry him but I was so afraid I'd hurt him more because my initial thought when I saw this was that he broke his spine, or his pelvis, or hips...I did t know?!?!  I stayed by him tried to keep him calm but he suddenly pulled himself all the way up the stairs so fast and he then went under our bed.  He was panting hard, his tongue sticking out.  I noticed his mouth was turning pale and his feet were cold.  I knew that he knew I was worried and trying to help him.  He allowed me to gently glide him out from under the bed.  I was getting him ready to take to the pet hospital which unfortunately isn't very close to us at all.  The trip seemed to take forever.  Poor Helmet soiled himself.  He panted to whole way there, he was so stressed.  When we arrived the vet immediately told us what was going on and we decided to do what we could to make him comfortable.  He had a horrible sound which developed in his lungs.  We were told he could be treated in UC Davis but it was a lot to put a cat through plus he'd most likely develop another clot with some 6 months or so.  We decided to have him put to sleep.  This was soooo very heartbreaking, sad and horrible to have go r through.  I am glad that I happen to be home when this occurred, had I gone out and just arrived at home I probably wouldn't think much of him not being around...I'd think he was out in the yard or sleeping upstairs.  I can't wrap my head around this...how is it that it happened all of a sudden?! How is it that he's not here now?! I keep thinking of "what could I have done or what should I have done!?".
Helmet showed up by our home one day...I don't know if he was a stray or if someone dumped him off.  He's a tuxedo cat and his markings made it appear to me as if he had a helmet on.  He was a very big boy and had beautiful color eyes.  We lived in a small place and had other cats so we kept him outside but made sure he had shelter and food.  Little by little we got used to each other...so much so that he now stayed indoors and when we moved we brought him with us.  Not sure if his age...maybe 10?  He turned out to be an awesome furbaby.  He brought us much joy and he is so missed.
I am feeling not only sad but confused and frustrated that I had not been made know that he had this condition!? We took him to the vet regularly.  I looked online and apparently many things he had were indicative of heart disease.  He did have feline aids and figured he'd have some complications as time passed but not heart disease?!  He had a very hard and distended belly, he heaved a lot, he'd throw up his partially digested food and he had gotten heavier.  This was made known to the vet but they never diagnosed him properly!  Idk I just feel like I failed...maybe there was more I could have done, maybe a different vet would have seen the signs, I feel bad I didn't help him up the stairs.  I'm just a mess right now.  Thank you for allowing me to share and thank you for sharing with me.


Linda
June 20, 2015

Hi Nancy and all others who have had to endure this painful experience....I am so sorry.  Many of us, myself included, have heavy guilt in not doing more for our sweet babies. I just wanted to reiterate that meds aren't that effective.  We had our boy on four meds, including Plavix, and although they may have extended his life by a bit, they didn't "save" him.  He was only eight, and I miss him every second of every day. This is a horrid disease, stealing their lives in a second without warning.  There is no reason or explanation, it simply is. Extending heartfelt condolences to you, Linda


Nancy
June 16, 2015

I too have been experiencing  very similar guilt and frustration.  My cat Humphrey, I also call him "My Buddy", was flipping in his favorite chair one minute and then the next he had paralysis in his lower two limbs.  We did not know at the time it was a blood clot known as saddle thrombus.  He had experience a milder stroke 8 days earlier but was never put on asprin and plavix  to help with potential problems in the future. He is now dragging his left rear leg and we are managing his pain but from what I am reading the future is a little bleak.I do not understand why my cardiologist in 2013 did not suggest plavix daily  and aspirin twice weekly knowing he had a heart murmur and a high potential for  heart disease.!!!!!!!   I am slowly saying good-bye to my best friend  and buddy of four wonderful years.  He is a lynx-point siamese from the Virginia siamese rescue that in the beginning of our relationship  was a biter and had bad behavioral issues but as I always say," There are no bad pets just bad uneducated owners.  He has become the most loving and beautiful companion ANYbody would ever ever ever want and much too young (5 years old) to say goodbye to. As I read different articles about rescue cats, I really believe they know you have saved them. I just wish I could have done more. I am putting my trust in the Lord for a a miracle and I know God has a plan, even with his beloved furry creatures. . I am so sorry about all your babies.


Wendy
June 15, 2015

My cat Buddy died June 11, 2015 of an embolism. He came home late June 9th dragging his legs.  He was able to get home thank goodness.  I took him to the vet who identified the situation as an embolism.  I knew he had some kind of a heart murmur from prior vet visits.  I had no idea he could have had some kind of preventive aspirin treatment until researching feline embolism.  Not sure if it would have helped but I feel helpless and very sad I let him down.  We brought him home after vet gave him an anti-inflammatory shot.  No other treatment was suggested.  The vet said the clot may break down on its own with time.  He suffered the next night and I felt he was having a hard time breathing. We returned to the vet who said there was no hope.  I am so devastated and heartbroken.  He was a funny cat and had such an amazing personality.  I miss him greatly.  Finding this blog and reading all of these helped be so much.  Buddy was only 5 years old.  I rescued him from the city streets of Detroit when he was about 2 years old. I know he loved his forever home.


Linda
June 14, 2015

Hi,  if you want more support go to petloss.com.  I started a heart disease thread that may help.  I lost my soul kitty in January, and am heartbroken.  HCM is a horrific disease, with limited prevention measures.  Best to you, Linda


Mary Ellen
June 13, 2015

Our precious Buddy just died 2 days ago of this.  One minute laying on the couch, the next struggling to walk, then virtually paralyzed in the back legs.   He was euthanized 3 1/2 hours later.  With no symptoms, his heart was failing.  We was in end stage heart failure.  We never knew it.  His heart had been checked at annual exams but no murmur was heard.  He had no change in activity, appetite or behavior in any way.  I have read these entries and feel reassured that we did everything we could.


Sara
June 9, 2015

Our cat Livi died because of this early Monday morning.  What makes me somewhat angry is that the ER vet examined her without giving her pain medicine first.  When I read how painful this is, I didn't understand why he wouldn't give her some relief before he examined her.  We dropped her off at 7:30pm and at 6:30am he called to say that she had passed away some time in the night.  I was able to say goodbye before we left the vet, but now I wonder if she was alone or even conscious after the pain meds and blood thinners?  I want to ask more detailed questions but I am scared that they will be annoyed with me.  Our usual vet was out of the country and so we had to take her somewhere else for help.  I just had a bad feeling about the vet.  I understand our Livi probably would have had to have been euthanized anyway, but now I just wonder what her last moments were like and would she have survived a little longer if her pain would have been treated sooner?  I know I can't bring her back, but the memory I have now is of my poor kitty trying desperately to find a place to hide, confused, and dragging her legs behind her.  I know over time the grief will subside, I just want to ask more questions to get closure.  Like most of you said, it just happens so fast you have no time to process what just happened to your beloved friend.   


Mr. Bud 
June 1, 2015

We lost our sweet girl Ms. Cali less than a week ago to this terrible condition. She was a 12-year-old calico. She had been her usual self that day and we had gone outside to work in the yard. When we came in we heard her crying out in extreme pain and was panting very hard. She could not move so initially we thought she had jumped off something and hurt her leg. We quickly put her in the cat carrier and rushed her to the ER Vet about 15 minutes away. We got into the doctor right away and the diagnoses took only a few minutes. When we heard the shocking diagnoses we were devastated.  We had never heard of this condition and just thought this would be an expensive vet visit to have her leg taken care of. Ms Cali was having a hard time breathing because of fluid buildup in her lungs. We knew that she probably would not survive long so we said our goodbyes and took her pain away.  The hardest part about the whole experience was seeing such a sweet calm kitty in so much pain in her last moments as well as the suddenness of the whole ordeal that lasted less than 45 minutes. We have another younger cat that seems to have adjusted to the change better than we thought. She has been extra needy, but we’ve given her lots of extra attention and got her some new toys to play with. The experience made me realize that a pet can be taken from us in just a matter of minutes and we should cherish those special moments we have with them every day just as we should with our loved ones. I always thought as cats got older they just slowed down and we’d know when our time with was getting shorter. One regret that I had was that we had been very busy the last couple of months and she hadn’t received as much attention as in the past. If only I could have cuddled with her one more time. We have lots of pictures and video of Ms. Cali that I’m thankful for because we will be able to remember her forever.


Kevin Howard 
June 1, 2015

We just lost our baby, Bub, on Saturday night. He was gone within TWO hours. just earlier that day he was up on his hind legs trying to get at my lunch. I miss my Bubby.


Fatti Muhd 
June 1, 2015

i just lost my 12 years old persian booboo.his first heart attack was when he's 8 years old.he paralyzed from lower to back.he could not control his bladder and bowel...but after brought him to ER several test had been done they prescribe him with hebresser 30mg 1/4 twice a day with aspirin diluted w h20 once in 3days.he survived.but this times i can see that he's in pain he kept rolled his body and tried so hard to move his body.very uncomfortable and he's crying alot.i brought him to the hospital and get the doctor to check they told me his condition aortic thromboembolism and chances to survive is only 20%.they put him on heparin and monitoring 24hrs he look calm but weak.2nd day in hospital they call me and tell that booboo passed away on midnight. i feel so sad and cried out loud for him rip booboo


Mr. G 
May 27, 2015

Lost our boved boy kitten Shtitretz to what the vet could only describe as "he threw a clot". poor guy, always attentive to me in the morning, he came in to the bed as soon as heard I moved around. he jumped on as usual, licked my hands and face, then laid as usual right next to my head patiently purring and waiting for me to get up and feed him. I got up and went downstairs, and he happily followed me down, led to his bowl place, I opened a can of his favorite wet food, he chopped up half bowl, drank his water, purred and went to the window to seat on the sun light and began his daily self washing procedure. I gently pet him behind his year and went upstairs to shave and get ready for work. half way through my shaving I heard this scary loud crying noise with hissing and rapid meowing... I freaked out, thought maybe he saw another cat and was on defense stand for his place where he lived... I will never forget what I saw next, downstairs by the stairs case there he was stretched out in the puddle of his own vomit, making those scary loud noises, not moving at all, I tried to pet him and get his attention but when I touched him he felt like a rag doll all lifeless and his big eyes rolled out of the orbits fully black and lifeless... I ran as fast as I could, picked up a cover put him in it, he was so lifeless but warm, my hands were shaken. I put him in the car, and drove to the vet clinic through red lights and around cars, I hoped to get him there and save his life. I ran in asked the nurse what to do, that my cat is sick, she got my name and ran with me to the car to get him. then she took him back, asked me to follow her and put me in the empty room to wait on the vet to come out. when the vet came out, she looked sad and said that my kitten does not look good at all, and that they are doing all they can to revive him, gave him emergency medicine, put tubes in his lungs and we're doing CPR to get his heart beating again. she also said it all looks like he "threw a clot" and is probably not going to make it... she saw my dismay and sadness and I couldn't hold my tears balling out of my eyes... I said is there anything you can do? he is a picture of health, perfect furr and body shape, full of energy, he was just running around few minutes ago... she held my hand and said let's hope but be prepared we may have already lost him.. then she left, and returned after awhile... and she looked the same, no happy news on her face that's when I realized it was all over... she sat next to me and said, after everything we did he shows no signs of life, his heart isn't beating anymore and it is time to let him go. I cried like a little boy, then she said it was over and there is nothing can be done. it is just one of those many unlucky kittens who had a time bomb ticking in him and today was the day when it went off... we lost him, he is not coming back home with me, I felt so lost and scared. I witnessed how fast and sudden he was just taken away, and now can't stop thinking of I did give him all the love I had for him? did I kiss and hugged him enough? did I let him do those mad things that drive me crazy but made him happy? did I do all he deserved to have had, that little funny full of life furry kitten that he was?... I finish this story and the drops of tears fall on the phone as I finish typing this.... please, find where they are hiding right now, your little faithful companions, be it cats or dogs, and give them a big hug and a kiss, make them feel loved and cared for, because you just never know how fast they can be taken away from you.... and to never be returned back to you... rest well baby boy, we miss and love you forever!!!


Marti 
May 22, 2015

I too lost my Cocky to this condition three days ago.  I am still in shock really.  He was completely fine and happy the night before and the next morning BAM!  He was panting hard, paralyzed from lower back down, couldn't control bladder or bowels, and was in extreme pain.  We chose to put him down  because there were no guarantees, and we did not want him to suffer any more than he already had. He lived a long and happy 15 years almost to the day!  I had him longer than any other pet and honestly the fact that he was fine at 10:00 pm and in complete misery at 5:30 am has made it worse!


Susannah 
May 21, 2015

On January 13th 2015 I lost my beautiful pet Panda to a bloodclot that paralyzed his hind legs. He was fine and then suddenly he flopped and rolled onto the floor and let out a blood curdling scream. He lost his faculties and I rushed him to the hospital. He had had a terrible cough before and I was told he had asthma. The cough similar as if he had a hairball. His coughing spells seemed to become infrequent.  I thought he was getting better. Come to find out he had heart disease. Had I known what I know now, I would have seen a cardiologist and done a lot of research. Cats MUST have TAURINE in their diet which is essential for their heart and can help reverse heart disease.
A cat's diet should be only the best with no carbs or veggies only protein since they are carnivores. And no dry food, it dehydrates them. Carbs only contribute to possible future diabeties. The pain in my heart is still there. I can only share what I now know in the name of my sweet Panda kitty. I also suggest complete dustless kitty litter, this will prevent respiratory problems. RIP Panda, I love you


Rosemary Toth 
May 16, 2015

We just had our cat, Scully, put down. She was suddenly paralyzed in her hind quarters, but, otherwise, fine. No pain. Our family vet was not open on the week end, so we took Scully to another ER hospital.  The vet said it was saddlethrombus and said the blood clot treatment would cost $4,000.00. When we go back home, I went online. Every piece of info states the cat is in horribly severe pain. Ours was NOT. She just sat on Donna's lap in the SUV looking around like normal.  Scully had two past strokes and recovered just fine.  Could this have just been another stroke and not saddle thrombus?


Hanna
May 6, 2015

It honestly depends on the cat. We just lost our cat, Sage, to saddle thrombosis yesterday and honestly I'm still in shock. It hit her fast and hard. Bless her heart she hissed like a demon but never once bit me, dad, or the vet. On the other hand, a good friend of mine has an elderly cat who pulled through two saddle thrombosis episodes and is now just fine, albeit on aspirin daily. Sage's back legs were completely paralyzed and feeling was reduced. Her temp. was dangerously low and her circulation rate was low. She was panting and really beyond help. Rest easy, baby girl.


Karen 
May 3, 2015

I have never heard of saddle thrombosis and I have had several cats, one lived to be 20 years old. On April 30, I came home to find my 12 year old Shadow unable to move her back legs. Of course, we grabbed her up and rushed to the vet and got the bad news. We euthanized her and I'm heart broken by all of this. She was never sick one day in all of the 12 years and wham she's gone. This is a terrible thing, and I think cat owners should have some idea that this condition exists. I am so sorry for everyone's terrible loss.


Shelly 
May 1, 2015

My baby Thor was fine when we left in the morning.  Returned at night and found him laying in the cat litter box unable to use his legs.  We are devastated and relieved to know it wasn't something we did wrong


Scott 
April 30, 2015

Hello, Reading all of your unfortunate stories I feel at ease with my decision to euthanize "Rudie" She was almost 13 years old when the saddle thrombus happened on April 28th. Same thing as others said, her back legs stopped working and I could tell she was in severe pain. The emotions did not come out until about 1/2 hour after leaving the Vet. I woke up the next morning thinking of how several smaller versions of this happened to her but like others I thought she fell or twisted her leg or something. She always seemed to recover and never seemed to be in pain. I also knew she had a heart murmur. Rudie had it since she was a kitten. I was never told by any vet that the thrombus could happen. Had I known perhaps Rudie would be here now. Thanks for the support.


Deborah 
April 18, 2015

I too just lost my beloved Gino to this horrible condition. he was at the vet yesterday morning, by last night he was gone.they were monitoring a slight heart murmur, that just appeared.no one ever said anything about a blood clot. I can't believe he's gone, especially being told he was ok. I'm heartbroken.


Maya 
April 13, 2015

I'm heartbroken by all the stories about this horrible disease. We just lost our sweet boy Jack late Saturday evening. He was diagnosed with both forms of heart disease and have been treating his symptoms since December. Even though I know he was in the late stages of the disease I was hoping that we would have been able to manage the end better. He came in running what I thought was his usual enthusiasm. He rolled to the ground and what I thought was playful behavior turned in to his inability to stand. He started to cry like I'd never heard and I immediately knew what was happening and also knew the chances of recovery were not on our side. We immediately rushed him to the ER and although they were able to control the pain we made the decision to stop any further treatment and let him go. We are heartbroken and brought his best friend (dog) with us so he could say goodbye. For a while we were able to manage his other symptoms with medication 3 times daily including Plavix but it was his time. I came here to make sure we made the right and best decision for him and it looks like we did. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories and experience. Jack was almost 6 years old and so young. We miss him terribly.


Mark Burton 
April 3, 2015

We lost our beloved cat, Smudge to this awful condition on Saturday 14th March 2015. We arrived home from a short trip to town the previous day, to find him behind the TV in agony and having lost the use of his back legs. We rushed him to the vet having no idea what was wrong to be told he was suffering from a blood clot. Smudge had been diagnosed with a heart murmur when he was about a year old. Nothing was said about what could happen to him in the future, or about preventative measures to stop blood clots! We decided to give him a chance to recover, and he improved slightly overnight only to deteriorate the next morning. We took the heart wrenching decision to put him to sleep as there was no hope for him. We are devastated at the loss of such a loving family member, who cannot ever be replaced. All cat owners should be aware of Saddle Thrombosis, especially those with a heart condition. We had no idea that it even existed, the vets should have told us. Our hearts go out to everyone that has, and is, suffering like us. RIP dear Smudge, aged 7.


Dr. Tony Johnson 
April 2, 2015

Hi, If you have a neurologist or orthopedic surgeon in your area, that would be your best bet. If he's not in too much pain and you can do it safely, keeping his muscles and joints working properly by doing physical therapy will help when and if he regains function.  You can move all the joints through a range of motion every few hours. I think euthanasia (putting him to sleep) is an option as well, if you don't think he can continue or is in pain that can't be controlled.  Talking to your vet is the best idea - they can help lead you.  Good luck and I hope your cat finds relief soon. Best, Dr. Tony


Musa 
April 2, 2015

My cat was caught by dog and his back leg is not working (left leg back side). I took him to doctor they told he got paralyzed so it is not working and they have done x Ray but it's normal they gave two injection to my cat. But after 3 days no improvement seen on my cat still his leg is not moving at all so pls suggest me some remedies to treat him well


Kathi 
April 1, 2015

We had the same experience with saddle thrombus with our precious "Bentley", he was 2 1/2. The ER vet said that it is unusual in younger cats, but could be congenital heart defect.  We have siblings of Bentley's and are concerned for them.  I spoke with our vet about preventative treatment.  She was not optimistic and told me that cats cannot matabolise aspirin and while it is the only preventative treatment, it will cause liver damage.


Linda 
April 1, 2015

Janice, I'm so sorry to hear about your little Bumble.  I'm guessing you weren't aware of a heart murmur?  I've read only about half of kitties who experience this have heart murmurs. In our case, we knew but were not directed to preventative care.  It seems like it does help to extend their lives by 3-5 years, and I wished we would have seen a cardiologist much earlier.  By the time we did see her, the heart disease was advanced.  It is a genetic disease, and it will come up unexpectedly.  Like your kitty, ours was fine on the day it happened --eating and playing.  It is so incredibly hard.  Our hearts are breaking, our boy was the joy of our lives.  


Janice 
March 31, 2015

I too was horrified on Sunday last when my 3 year old lovely little buddy "Bumble" was having a perfectly normal sort of day or so I thought  until I spotted her lying on the lawn in the most awful pain.  She seemed to be paralyzed from the waist down and was screaming out in the most awful manner.  We rushed her to the emergency vet and I was in disbelief when he explained about the saddle thrombosis.  I was convinced she had jumped from a height and broken both legs or her back.  I asked for x-rays and the vet found no breaks!  We opted for euthanasia and I have sobbed for 2 days - I can't believe it she was a beauty!!  Reading the stories on this site has helped me to know I did the right thing.  I just wanted the pain to stop.  Thanks to the others who have posted on this site - your comments have helped me to realise I'm not on my own in this awful condition.


Dr. Tony Johnson 
March 30, 2015

Hi Sarah - The aspirin dose used for cats to prevent clots should be well below the amount that could cause kidney issues. I am sure you did what you were asked to do out of love and a desire to help and that it didn't harm him. I hope this sets your mind at rest.


Sarah 
March 29, 2015

My cat Severus had a grade 2 heart murmur. Was put on 81 mg of aspirin every 3 days. The vet wanted him on it since the murmur was a new thing. February 17 2015 he died while the vet removed bloody  fluid from his lungs. His vet said his kidneys were poor. He was 13 years old and had only been on aspirin therapy since 2013. I was told kidney problems could cause fluid in the lungs as well as heart problems. I just wish I knew what he died of or if I hurt his kidneys with the aspirin?


Vin 
March 26, 2015

So sorry for everyone .I have rescued 3 cats from our local animal shelter throughout my life and 2 have died from this terrible disease. My current cat is 7yrs old and of course he is my BEST LITTLE BUDDY. But 2 days ago he all of a sudden was falling over and couldn't get his balance and i jumped up freaking out saying to myself NOT AGAIN! He wasn't crying or anything and actually stood up after about 30secs which seemed like an hour. I rushed him to emergency care and of course they didn't find anything wrong with him except a heart murmur which I knew he had. Just from my experience with the other 2 cats I know he had a little stroke or blood clot but it didn't catch. But now I'm wonder to myself when will happen again? And will the next time be the last time. I'm bringing him to local vet to see if anything else can be done except for MONITOR him as they say. I love my little buddy so much and I hope I get the chance to catch what ever is going on with him early so he doesn't end up having the same thing happen to him as it did to so many others on here and also my other 2 cats.


Dr. Tony Johnson 
March 26, 2015

I'm very sorry to hear this, Michelle. This is an awful condition and you certainly made the right call. I hope reading this and the stories of others will help you deal with the grief. I never fault anyone for making the decision to euthanize with this disease as the outlook is so terrible. Please rest assured that you did the right thing for Pumpkin and he would thank you for it if he could. All the best, Dr. Tony


Michelle Flaherty 
March 26, 2015

Around 8 hours ago, my precious baby died from this horrible condition.  It all happened so fast and he was in so much pain. I rushed him to the emergency vet and the doctor told me there was almost nothing that could be done. He was fine earlier last night then out of nowhere he couldn't walk, was panting, and howling. I knew he was in pain.  My heart is shattered with grief.  Reading that he was in pain is breaking my heart.  I'm glad I got him care quickly and he's no longer suffering.  R.I.P. Pumpkin. <3


Dr. Tony Johnson 
March 20, 2015

Hi Sarah; If it was aspirin (and not Tylenol) and the dose was reasonable (around 1/4 to 1/2 baby aspirin) then you should be fine and don't have to worry that you harmed your cat. Aspirin is very safe when used in low doses. Hope this helps you and makes you feel better. Best, Dr. Tony


Michele Gaspar, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
March 20, 2015

I am so very sorry for the loss of your kitty.  There is no doubt when I read this that you loved him so much.  The aspirin that you gave lovingly and diligently did not harm your kitty.  The dose and dosing interval was a safe one.  There are many causes for the signs that your kitty had.  However, the aspirin was not to blame.  


Sarah 
March 20, 2015

My cat had a heart murmur the vet insisted he be placed on a small amount of baby aspirin every 3 days. That was around 2013. He died 2015 due to blood in his lungs and loss of weight and muscle.
He was vomiting and refusing to use his litter box to poop. I'm so afraid I poisoned him giving him the aspirin the vet insisted he get to prevent blood clots. I'm heartbroken.


Hmk
March 17, 2015

Just a few days ago i realized my cat who is under a year old was having trouble getting up. I walked over to help her up and when i sat her up she just fell right over. Ever since she's been laying and every once in awhile she'll try to get up but never succeeds. I bring her her food and water and bring her different places so she's not laying in one place all the time. But she sounds just like all of those stories. Fine one day and like this the next. Its tearing me up to think i may have to put her down when she hasn't even lived a life yet.


Dr. Tony Johnson 
March 13, 2015

EJR: Yes, it is rare, but cats can have strokes and blood clots without structural heart disease. In most cases, like with people, there is some underlying disease, like hyperthyroidism or blood clotting abnormalities. The true incidence and cause of many of them remains a mystery, however, and most blood clots in cats are associated with heart disease as described in the article.

 AMY:I have no experience using a laser for this, but as long as it does not cause the patient pain, delay other treatments or break the bank to the point that other treatments are not affordable, I see no problem with it.


Amy Storm 
March 12, 2015

Has anyone had any experience using laser therapy to treat saddle thrombus?


ejr 
March 9, 2015

Can a thrombus happen in a cat without heart disease and what could have been the cause?


Janice 
February 24, 2015

I happened to be at my Vet with my Lily yesterday to see why she wasn't eating (thinking tooth problem) when she suddenly started howling and lost the use of her legs.  I have never seen anything like how she was acting and hope never to again.  I am coming to grips with the fact that it was lucky we were right there so she didn't suffer long.  She was 13 so from reading here I am lucky to have had her that long.  Sorry for those who lost such young cats to this.


Dr. Tony Johnson 
February 17, 2015

I'm very sorry.  I also have seen so few outcomes that are positive that I'm quite certain you made the right call and did the kindest thing.  I'm very sorry for your loss.


Betty 
February 16, 2015

Today, I lost my   soon to be 3 year old cat. He was playing around with me around noon hours and perfectly fine. Around 2:00 Pm I heard him from basement with this loud cry. I run to him and noticed he is sitting on his back legs and unable to move. His cry was loud and heartbreaking. Being Family day in Ontario, We couldn't find a local vet. We drove him to Niagara Animal ER. The DR. told us that he has a blood clot and there is nothing he can do. We decided to let him go so he can be free from pain. He was a very nice DR. He said that he is been practicing for 25 years and never seen a positive outcome from this.  I miss my little guy so much. He is everywhere with me.


Linda 
February 13, 2015

I am so sorry for all of you that experienced this horrible loss.  Just over a month ago, I lost my sweet boy.  He had a heart murmur which was found years ago, but the vet did not recommend pursuing it with a cardiologist.  I wish to god I would have at that point. Last July, we took him in for a regular checkup.  The new vet heard a heart gallup, which is an irregular beat, and recommended we take him to a cardiologist.  We did, about 10 days later because everything was fine.  So we thought.  The cardiologist did and echo, and came out in the middle of it to tell us he was in heart failure.  They kept him overnight to drain the fluid off, put him on four meds -- including a blood thinner to prevent clots. None of the meds were for cats -- all were for either dogs or humans.   Our boy was happy and you'd never know anything was amiss. A recheck appointment six weeks later with the cardiologist went well, no changes. The next recheck was for 2-3 months, no specific date.  This is where I missed it and feel extreme guilt.  He was doing very well and we were giving him four meds twice a day without fail.  I didn't bring him back in for that recheck.  It will always be my fail.  On January 9th, he was doing fine as always.  Playing, eating.  In the evening he had a clot, which paralyzed his back legs.  We immediately took him in and were told that even if they could move the clot, he was in heart failure and would likely clot again soon. Although I'll never know if getting him in for that recheck would have made a difference, it is something I will have to live with. I do know for sure that heart disease is very serious and cats typically will not show they are in distress until it is very late. And, there is no cure or real prevention. The unbearable decision was made.  He was only eight years old.  The love of my life and the joy of our household. Peace be in your hearts.


Nel 
February 10, 2015

Our 9 year old female cat was just diagnosed with a saddle thrombosis, although it seems to have effected one leg more so than the other. It happened suddenly and with no warning. One minute she was sitting by my feet, the next she was curled up under the dining room table. A heard 2 or 3 hacks, like she was trying to pass a fur ball but much worse. Then hissing like two cats going at it but unlike anything I’ve heard before. We have two other cats so I got up off the coach and ran to see what the fuss was only to find her crutched down and not moving. She wasn’t panting or crying out, but when I went to grab her around her belly to pick her up, it was hard like as if it was bloated. I let go and she made a run for it, but dragging her legs as she clearly was running for shelter and scarring herself with her sudden loss of function in her hind legs. We grabbed her, immediately got dressed and drove to the vet. After describing what I had observed, the doctor stated most likely it was a blood clot. She checked her heart and no sign of a murmur. She even checked her pulse. Shaved a little patch of fur above the pad on each leg and taped a small transducer. Faint but you could hear her pulse on the monitor and it seemed to be within the limit which was promising. The doctor ran several exercises to determine her reaction including light pinching of the toes, knuckling (turning the paw over and seeing how long it took her to turn it back over and onto her paw pads), rotation of the legs and joints. The doctor also felt her spinal column and stated she could feel her react slightly when she pressed lower on the spinal column. The doctor stated that she seemed to have more function in one leg over the other but that we’d put her on medication (buprenorphine) 3 times a day to help with the pain as blood clots are very painful in cats when passing though. We took her home and returned two days later for a follow up. Although the improvement went unnoticeable in each day, there was improvement from one day to the next. It’s only been 4 days, but we’re heading back Friday from yet another follow up. Kitty is doing well and the progress is promising that she’ll have a full recovery at least in my eyes and I pray that this is true. I am however discouraged by all of the research I have found that states she is prone to having another blood clot before the year is over. Once she has recovered fully, I will place her on ¼ of a baby Aspirin every 3 days to reduce blood clots if the doctor agrees.


Lana 
February 7, 2015

Our beloved cat Casper had to be put down on February 5, 2015. I cried my eyes out, we miss him so much. He was only 2 and a half years old. I could never unseen his little body being twisted in horrible pain, it broke my heart. I heard him crying, ran from the kitchen to see what was wrong and found him not being able to move his rear legs. We immediately took him to the vet... His temperature was 93.1... Vet said it was the best to take him out of this suffering. My whole family misses him but I just can't stop crying, it is so difficult for me, it hurts so much... I love you Casper, you brought us so much joy, you are very much missed... My condolences to everyone who is going through pain of losing their beloved pet.


Kim 
February 1, 2015

I came home to find Piper (our 10 year old male cat who had just gotten a clean bill of health 2 weeks prior) on the kitchen floor meowing loudly. He wasn't crying but trying to talk to me. I noticed he had wet himself and he was paralyzed from waist down. He had no sensation and was trying to tell me. I knew something was very wrong. I took him immediately to vet and he did not have a pulse to his legs. I am a cardiac nurse and even though I know so much I was so confused by him seeming okay and with no pain other then he couldn't move his legs. Usually they would be in great pain. His temp was low though and stayed at vet to warm and get X-rays to check for enlarged heart and fluid in lungs even though his heart and lung sounds were normal. It was painful because I understood what was going on and when the vet called to tell me his heart was very enlarged and lungs were not clear my heart sank. At this time he was still stable with no pain but temp was low but the vet encouraged me to wait to see how he did.  We decided to leave him at vet over night to see how he did and by mid morning he started to have difficulty. He still was resting and such a strong cat. I chose to not treat him with meds for heart failure or clot and let him rest in piece. It was soooooo painful for us to let him go but I am glad that we saved him from unneeded pain or suffering. It came on quick and without a sign.


Tess 
January 31, 2015

My baby has been diagnosed with this too, she hasn't presented in the same way as most others here. She was slow to move for two days & in pain when picked up so thought cat fight & took to vet. We couldn't find cat bite but treated with antibiotic & pain relief. After two days & no change I took back, she was walking. I agreed to sedation so could X-Ray & have good look. Nothing was found, but her back legs are now paralysed. We've increased pain relief, her pads are not as cold as they were, I'm praying for that blood to start flowing!! I've been advised to have her put down but I feel there is still hope, she's not crying in pain, she's eating. I was told blood thinners don't work, was not offered any to try. This site has given me more hope & I pray I can get what she needs.  It's a week tomorrow that she started moving slowly. The hope!!


Nicole 
January 20, 2015

To Jennifer and all owners with cats who have had Saddle Thrombosis.  I just found my cat "Momma Kitty" today, when I got home from work.  She was already gone, but here's her story and I hope someone out there learns from my experience....(cause I wish someone would have told me). On Dec 13, 2013....I came home to Momma crying in pain and dragging her back legs the best she could, and the cry gave you goose bumps. This was late at night, so I ran her to the ER Vet about 30,min away. She lost her bowels at the vet and was still crying, so I feared the worst.  Sure enough he wanted to put her to sleep.  I asked if he could make her comfortable until I could take her to my vet the next day.  So, he gave her pain meds and some aspirin to take home....and to keep rubbing her legs, to get blood circulation back.  Well, my vet wasn't sure what to make of it, so I did all that the ER vet said for 5 days and it worked.  She was running and jumping less than a week later.  Oh yeah, I also used a heating pad on her leg, I believe.  So anyway....u asked my vet about getting some more aspirin, to keep momma's blood thin from clots.  She said it couldn't have been Saddle, cause cats don't bounce back that fast.  Well, the ER vet was right....he told me her next clot could be in her lungs, where she would be in enormous pain and drown in her own blood, from the lungs filling up with blood.  It did happen as he said and I wasn't here for her.  If anyone is or has experienced the same thing, please make sure to continue therapy and get aspirin.  I continued to rub momma's legs from time to time, just in case.  I should have made the vet give me aspirin.  I am kicking myself now and blaming myself for her death.  Based on how she looks, she went through a lot of pain.  Try to keep them from dying that way please!!!  But also maybe try to keep them alive.  I had Momma for another 13 months and she was perfectly fine, until today.  RIP Momma Kitty.....I Love you very much and will miss you greatly!!


Dr. Tony Johnson 
January 20, 2015

Hi Andra; I'm so sorry to hear about Squidward - I know how these things can really tear people up. Please rest assured that you could not have done anything to prevent it, and I also feel very strongly that you made the right decision in euthanizing him, as hard as it is to do that. It sounds like the vets helping you had a pretty good grasp of how bad of he was and their advice was based on empathy and good medicine. I am very sorry for your loss.


Andra 
January 15, 2015

My seven year old cat Squidward passed away January 15th, 2015 from saddle thrombus.  I am still in shock as he was perfectly fine the night before.  He had even been in for his yearly physical three months ago, and received a clean bill of health.  I woke up at 3:30 to a sound I had never heard before from any of our cats ever.  I found him on the kitchen floor, writhing in pain, and completely numb from the waist down.  There was no other recommendation than to have him put down.  I called three of my friends who are vets, and all recommended the same.  I did it because I wanted to end his suffering.  He was in so much pain.  I have a lot of guilt if this was something I could have possibly prevented in him, and also questioning if I did the right thing when I agreed to have him euthanized.  Could he have been saved?  I don't know.  My best guess is that if the vets offered me no other courses of treatment that they were doing what they knew was best for him, and I should accept their knowledge and diagnosis.   I still feel terrible that I lost him either way.


Jennifer 
January 19, 2015

Our 8 year-old cat Sonny continues to amaze his doctors.  On Thanksgiving weekend we found Sonny in the next door neighbor's yard, unable to walk, in the middle of a cold rainstorm.  Got him to the ER where we got the bad news that it was probably a saddle thrombus, since x-rays were normal, there was no pulse in his hind legs and they were cold.  He was not in pain, though, so after an overnight in the hospital we took him to the cardiologist, who found an enlarged heart but luckily no heart failure.  Still, he said, the prognosis was extremely guarded.  Within several days of starting treatment Sonny began to improve.  It took about 7 to 10 days before he began walking, at first just from his box to a favorite chair, about 6 feet.  One leg recovered more quickly than the other, and soon after he got circulation back to the more affected leg he developed a wound on the paw that wouldn't heal.  He also had probable nerve damage that caused his leg to buckle when walking.  So even though he had survived the first ordeal, we were told just before Christmas he would likely lose that leg.  Fast forward one month and amputation is no longer necessary as Sonny continues to amaze everyone with his progress. Every case is different, but this condition is sometimes treatable.  If you're visiting this site because your pet is ill I wish both you and your pet all the best.


Linda 
January 17, 2015

Jason, if you are still checking in on this thread, can I ask you some questions?  Your post really resonated with me as we also knew our sweetie had CHF six months ago.  Thanks, Linda


Lisa 
January 12, 2015

My 12 yr old cat smudge had to be put to sleep yesterday because of this, the blood clot had paralyzed both his back legs and it wasn't a very nice sight to wake up too.. his last hours must have been pure agony ,I was so shocked as it happened so suddenly as he was absolutely fine the night before, it was heartbreaking having to get him euthanized  and to let him go but I held him until he passed, I absolutely adored him and I'm truly devastated he's gone and will miss him terribly, so so sad wish there was something to prevent this.


Ashley 
January 2, 2015

My 20 year old cat died the morning after Christmas. She exhibited similar symptoms but it was in her front right leg. She was healthy but shocked us with this painful howl in the middle of the night. We thought she fractured her leg. She hid under my bed and began cleaning herself. I made an appointment to the vet asap (difficult due to the holiday) but it was too late. She died within a couple hours of onset. If anyone experiences these symptoms with their kitty, bring them to animal hospital asap!!


Glenna 
December 16, 2014

I have a cat right now at the vet.  She is a stray that I found in a parking lot.  I have had her about 8 months and adore her.  I took her to the vet when I first found her and they estimated her to be about 1.5 years old so she is now about 2.  She was fine walking around last night and jumped up on the sofa with me and then got down.  I looked up about 15 minutes later and she was dragging her back legs and bad pain you could tell by her cries.  She started flipping and flopping all over as if to try and get up.  I called the vet and they met me within an hour.  They have her on blood thinner and pain meds and thought she was doing somewhat better this afternoon and even moved her right hind leg a bit but then later when I called they said she seems to possibly have some damage in her brain as she acts very odd now.  We have decided to give her another day at the vet.  If you are reading this please I am asking for your prayers for my girl. 


Jason 
December 15, 2014

Unfortunately, I've experienced this twice, most recently on Saturday, 12/13.  This time, it was my boy Spartacus.  He was diagnosed with severe cardiomyopathy 9 months ago, so we were aware of the risks.  He was on all appropriate medications, including Plavix to help reduce the possibility of clots.   Even with all the medications and constant checkups, it still happened.  One minute he was playing, the next we was paralyzed.  Based on his history and the severity of the paralysis, we had to let him go.  For all of you questioning yourselves, we knew about the heart disease, were aggressively treating it, and had him to the hospital in less than an hour.  Best case scenario across the board, and nothing mattered.  And once you see the pain involved, waiting days to weeks to see if things get better isn't an option. I mentioned this was the second.  The first was Samantha.  She was 18-20, no history of heart disease.  One day she was acting a little weird, a little unsteady but still completely mobile.  I rushed her to the vet, and they suspected cardiomyopathy.  I got an appointment with the cardiologist the next day, and she had HCM.  Her walking was still unsteady, but nobody suggested a stroke. That night, she did have a stroke, to her brain.  She still had feeling in her legs, but her jaw was locked shut and I just couldn't see her recovering.  Turns out it was a series of strokes, so even if the first isn't major, there is a great chance there will be others, more painful and likely catastrophic.  With wait and see being the only viable option, it's up to each person to figure out what's best.  For me, as much as I was willing to do anything, I didn't want them to spend there last days in a hospital, in pain, and alone.


Karlyn 
November 12, 2014

November 09, 2014-we said goodbye to our black lab Bailey.  Fine on a Thursday, by Saturday she had trouble walking on back legs. Vet suspected arthritis, gave her an anti-inflammatory and meds, sent her home. She never walked again-her condition spread to her front legs and a blood clot was suspected. She couldn't get comfortable and panted continually. It was best to not have her suffer. Stunned, she was fine one day and gone so soon. Stunned and miss her terribly. Just cannot believe it happened so suddenly. 


TheAnomally 
November 11, 2014

My cat Bo died 6 months ago of a blood clot in his hind quarters. It was all very sudden and heart breaking. Last night the same thing happened to my friend's little 3yr old cat; he had to be euthanized. I wish something more could be done to predict this.


Harry
November 10, 2014

We are very lucky - as is our Onyx.  He's 15 and suffered this 4 days ago.  He however did not exhibit the sever pain, and is slowly starting to use his back legs again.  Currently his toes on one foot are still affected, and his entire foot on the other side is affected, with little or no control.  His more significantly affected leg has recently become much warmer to the touch, as soon after his event, his foot and toes were quite cool. Although it is symptomatic of a larger heart disease issue, we are guardedly optimistic that he may be one of the lucky ones and pull through this challenge, if only to live out the rest of his days in more comfort and mobility.


PG 
November 9, 2014

We had a cat who passed with this issue in May.  Never saw this coming.  Our cat Scarlett seemed fine but acting a bit strange the day before.  Didn't want to be touched and was a bit distant which is strange for her because she is lap cat.  We kept an eye on her and the next morning she didn't come for her food and found her in another room not moving.  I went to check on her and immediately felt her back paws and they were ICE COLD. I tickled her paws/hair between the paws which usually results in pulling back and found nothing and the leg plopped down.  I called the vet and they said bring her in.  Once at the vet they said what has been diagnosed and they advised to put her down.  She was a trooper during this whole thing but really got vocal once i got her in the carrier and i knew then this was not good.  It was a horrible day and still have not gotten over the final hour i was with her and now that i read this didn't know what type of pain she might have been in.  I hope this never happens to anyone else as it has haunted me after several months what i saw and what she had to experience.  It did come out of nowhere and so fast. I wish i could have helped her more. Very sad folks...very sad..


Beth 
July 23, 2014

I honestly can relate to these stories, especially Kayla's. Our Murphy was barely seven when we helped him over the Rainbow Bridge a week and a half ago. He also suffered a sudden clot, affecting his front leg. All the same horrible symptoms of pain I have read here happened. He was completely fine leading up to it, and had never been diagnosed with a murmur before. We had no idea, and are still in shock he's gone.


Lindsey 
July 18, 2012

My second Siamese cat died of this a couple of days ago. Is this common, or just really bad luck to have 2 cats die this same way? Timmy died on Wednesday, was 12, perfectly healthy, if neurotic, and then had paralyzed back legs that were cold to the touch, and he was in agony, almost identical to what my first cat went through years ago when he died. My other cat is a Maine Coon, and I am terrified that this is going to happen to him, too. I live about an hour away from emg vets, so Timmy suffered in a lot of pain for almost an hour until they could give him pain medication. How common is a saddle thrombus? I don't know if I can handle having to go through that again. Having to put down a cat is one thing; it is painful, sure, but a natural process. Having them dying in excruciating pain suddenly is something else. Is this going to happen again? Timmy was a sweet creature, never harmed anything, and he definitely didn't deserve to suffer. I can't find statistics anywhere about how likely a cat is to suffer from saddle thrombus.


Kayla 
July 7, 2014

I had 2 twin boy house cats.. They're my babies.. I don't have real children so they keep me a bunch of company while my husband is always working .. We came home from vacation (my mom and mother in law took care of the cats while we were gone) I walked thru the door and only one of my cats were around.. I knew something was wrong.. I walked in the back bedroom and heard him meowing.. There he was laying half way under the bed breathing so hard and fast.. Moaning every breath.. My heart sunk.. I had already took him to the vet once over this the month before because he was throwing up like crazy (which we seen he had done this time too) I was hoping this was all it was.. But when I picked him up he screamed in pain and I laid him down and that's when I seen his legs would not work.. I was devastated.. I knew something was horrible wrong.. It took me forever to find a vet that would actually meet me out since it was a holiday weekend during after hours.. We flew to the vet and that's when I got the news.. He had a blood clot and his back legs were stiff.. He was in shock.. His temperature was only 93 degrees.. He was in a horrible amount of pain.. He less than 5% chance to live and that was if he was completely healthy. The vet said him throwing up was not a sign of a blood clot so obviously he had some health problems.. I had to make a decision fast.. He said treatment would just most likely fail and he wouldn't make it .. It was the hardest decision I've ever made.. I put my sweet boy to sleep.. I still am not over what happened and I hate being home cause I see all his favorite spots.. I know I should be glad he's not in pain anymore and he's in kitty heaven but I want him home with me.. I loved him sooooo much.. I miss him soooooo bad.. I regret every time I yelled at him for getting into things.. I should have let the poor boy do all he wanted. He had such a short life.. I regret not trying to save him.. I'm mad at myself.. I hope I gave him enough attention and have him a good life and let him know he was loved because I will always love him !


Kristin 
June 9, 2014

I want to tell the story of Elliot. As I type I am watching him sleep, next to me. On April 17 Elliot threw a clot to his back legs right in front of me. Literally, one moment I was watching him lay on the floor and the next he was screaming and flipping himself around on the floor in pain. We rushed him to the vet and noticed he was fully paralyzed in his hind legs. The doctors wanted to put him down and we said fight. He made it through to the morning and regained full mobility in his left leg/paw and full in his right leg/partial in his right paw. We prayed a lot that night and on Good Friday we had an awesome miracle. We then took Elliot to a cardiologist and he begin a strong regimen of diuretics/blood thinners/and ACE inhibitors. Once his heart failure was stable for a month we began Atenolol which reduces his heart rate/work load. He is going back in about a week to check his stats and that there is no new clot formation. My family and I pray every day for him and keep up with his medication, reducing stress, feeding a low sodium diet, and giving love. I know that Elliot is an exception and that he is still ill, but he is happy now. Elliot is young (this is more than likely genetic for him as he is only 4) so that may have helped him pull through, we also got him to the vet asap and knew exactly when the clot was thrown because we were there. Had it happened while we were out the story may have looked different. However, I believe that through prayer and good veterinarians we are able to still have our wonderful Elliot with us right now. Not all cases are lost.


Tina 
May 27, 2014

My 13-year old Caesar had to be put to sleep because of a blood clot that paralyzed his front leg. I was gone all day at work and by the time I got home in the early evening, I could see my baby was in terrible pain and could not sit up and crying something awful.  I immediately too him to the Animal Hospital it was pretty much what was said in this article mirrored what had happened to Caesar.It was the most horrible thing to have to make a sudden choice to put him to sleep since there was very little they could do otherwise.  I was told he had a heart murmur and that most likely had heart disease which attributed to the clot. His age was also a factor and I am devastated as this happened so suddenly.


Selina 
May 10, 2014

My 17-year-old cat Heidi died to one of these just a couple months ago. I remember seeing her laying down with her back pressed against the front door, since it was still winter it was cold. I thought it was a funny thing for her to be doing, but I ignored it. A couple minutes later I heard a thumping, like a bunny hopping. Of course we don't have a rabbit, so I went out to see what it was. And there she was, dragging herself across the kitchen floor. She only made it a few feet before she collapsed down and started letting out these agonizing screeches. It was painful to watch. Her back legs were cold, so I started furiously rubbing from her hip down until they felt warm again. It helped for a minute, she sat up and took a couple of steps and then she went right back to the way I found her. We rushed her to our nearest vet, which is a 3 hour drive. The incident started at 2am, we arrived at the vet at 6am, but they wouldn't even take us in until 10am. The vet had one quick look at her before he told us that it was much too late and that because of her age we couldn't even try the medication to remove the clot. It was positively the most heartbreaking thing I've ever gone through. We still have her mother, who recently turned 19. She's incredibly clingy without another cat in the house. It would have been nice if there had been some warning, it was just too sudden. Now I live in constant fear that the same thing is going to happen to her mother.


Harry Bryan 
December 26, 2013

My 8-year-old cat Marshall developed what the emergency vet believed to be a saddle thrombus late Monday night (12/23/13).  He screamed intermittently while we tried to figure out what was wrong (he'd been fine just 10 minutes earlier, it was a scream that alerted us), but mostly just panted very hard, unable to catch his breath.  It wasn't until he moved that we were able to see he was unable to get his legs under him, and he had released some feces, which he had never done in the house before. We got him to the emergency vet, and he told us essentially what Dr. Johnson has written here, and put him to sleep (he was clearly in great pain, and we were afraid he wouldn't even make it to the vet). No warning, only 8 years old, gone like that.

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