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Is Emergency Vet Necessary for Cat with Fluid Around Lungs and Rapid Breathing?


Dear VetBabble,

I recently found out that my cat has fluid around her lungs and she’s been breathing rapidly. She was diagnosed with breast cancer by our veterinarian, but no blood tests have been given yet. She also ate a mouse a few days ago and had an x-ray done. I’m not sure what to do. Should I contact an emergency vet for this situation? Is it possible that the fluid buildup needs to be drained?

Fluid Buildup Around Lungs in Cats

First, I’d like to express my sympathy for the situation that both you and your cat are facing. Fluid buildup around the lungs, known as pleural effusion, can be a serious issue in cats and requires immediate attention, especially when accompanied by rapid breathing. There are a number of potential causes, including infections, trauma, and underlying health conditions such as kidney disease, liver disease, or cancer.

In your cat’s case, with a recent diagnosis of breast cancer, it’s possible that the fluid buildup is related to the cancer. Fluid can accumulate as a consequence of the body’s response to the tumor or as a result of the cancer itself progressing. It’s crucial that you consult your veterinarian or emergency vet as soon as possible to assess the situation and provide appropriate treatment for your cat.

Emergency Steps to Take for Rapid Breathing in Cats

Rapid breathing in cats is a cause for concern and indicates that something is wrong. It could be a symptom of an underlying health issue, like feline flu, or related to the fluid buildup around your cat’s lungs. In any case, you should contact an emergency vet as soon as you notice rapid breathing or any other unusual symptoms in your cat.

Your emergency vet will assess your cat’s overall health and take appropriate steps to address her symptoms. They might suggest draining the fluid buildup around her lungs, which can provide relief from the respiratory distress your cat is experiencing. This procedure may need to be repeated if the fluid continues to accumulate.

It’s also important to discuss with your vet about any further diagnostics or tests that need to be done, such as blood tests, to better understand your cat’s condition and monitor her progress.

Addressing the Underlying Issue: Breast Cancer in Cats

As your cat has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s important to address the underlying issue to prevent further complications, like the fluid buildup around her lungs. Cancer in pets can be treated in several ways, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Based on the specifics of your cat’s condition, your veterinarian will determine the most appropriate course of action to manage her cancer and maintain her quality of life.

Remember to closely monitor your cat’s condition throughout her treatment, and to contact your vet or emergency vet if any troubling symptoms arise, such as rapid breathing or changes in appetite or behavior.

In conclusion, it’s vital to address the fluid buildup around your cat’s lungs and any other symptoms she’s experiencing, while also managing her breast cancer diagnosis. Ensuring she receives the proper care and treatment will help maintain her comfort and overall well-being. It’s of utmost importance that you work closely with your veterinarian or an emergency vet for the best possible care and guidance during this difficult time.

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