Causes of Death of Domestic Cats in a Veterinary Hospital of Minas Gerais State, Brazil: A Retrospective Study
Cats play an important role as pets in the present society. The knowledge about their main diseases and causes of death is fundamental to prevent various pathologies. However, when dealing with domestic cats there are very few researches in veterinary medicine.
We identified the causes of death in cats through a retrospective study in the Animal Pathology Laboratory in the Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU) (Brazil), in a period of 36 years, in which 350 cat necropsies were conducted.
Necropsy medical records of cats were selected from the archives of Animal Pathology Laboratory (UFU) (Brazil, Minas Gerais State). Epidemiological data as gender, age, and breed were collected. The necroscopic reports were evaluated and the cause of death recorded. The diagnostic method used was anatomopathological examination, considering all the complementary post-mortem examinations performed for definitive diagnosis (histopathological, toxicological, and immunohistochemical). Only definitive diagnosis was considered, and when elucidating the cause of death was not possible, the diagnosis was considered inconclusive.
The most frequent causes of death were digestive system diseases (13.71%), and among them, feline hepatic lipidosis was the most frequent etiology (18.75%). The second most affected system was the respiratory (10.86%) and acute pneumonia, pulmonary edema, and diaphragmatic hernia were the main diseases in this system. Other decease causes were rabies, squamous cell carcinoma, fibrous osteodystrophy, fractures and traumatism, hypovolemic shock, and feline lower urinary tract disease.
In conclusion, the digestive system was the system most frequently related to the death of cats, and feline hepatic lipidosis was the most frequent disease.