California’s wildfires that burnt domestic cats also damaged their hearts and caused blood clots
I was surprised to read a study published on 14 February 2020 on the nature.com website which concluded that domestic cats with thermal burn injuries from the California wildfires showed that they had heart disease and blood clots as well. The technical term is that they suffered with myocardial thickening (thickened heart muscle) as a result of the fires together with intracardiac thrombi (blood clot where the blood enters the heart).
I would never have imagined this being an unqualified medical person. But apparently there is a link in humans with high temperatures and heart attacks. Firefighters have a higher heart attack risk because they work in high temperatures. Apparently the high temperatures thicken the blood which might be a cause of blood clots as it enters the heart (intracardiac).
I couldn’t find any definitive answer on the Internet as to why cats caught in the fires suffer from myocardial thickening which can cause a narrowing and a reduced blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta. Myocardial thickening occurred in 18 out of 51 cats and blood clots formed in 16 out of the 51 cats. Of these cats 42 survived and were discharged and six died or were euthanised due to a possible cardiac cause.
The study itself does explain the link between the high temperatures and smoke inhalation suffered by the cats and heart disease but it is very technical and therefore difficult to understand for a layperson. In layperson language they say that there is a surge in the chemicals produced by the brain when the body is under stress which leads to a much increased metabolic rate which in turn increases oxygen flow to the heart muscles which in turn perpetuates cardiac stress. This leads to the enlarged muscle, as I understand it. Also there is marked inflammation (an inflammatory response) which leads to increased work by the heart.
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Cats caught in wildfires are both burnt and suffer from smoke inhalation. The same sort of link between cardiovascular injuries (as I’d call them) and thermal burn injuries combined with smoke inhalation are also found in humans.
YOU CAN READ THE STUDY BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW:
California wildfires caused heart disease and blood clots in cats
SOME MORE PAGES ON CALIFORNIA’S WILDFIRES:
Animal rescue crew search around burnt out homes and discover a surviving cat
Mom and daughter drive into California wildfire to save a stranger’s cat
Domestic cats that survive fires are more likely to die of a heart attack
Burned habitat forces mountain lions in Santa Barbara to feed on feral cats
Millie is home after nearly 8 months lost during the evacuation of the Carr Fire
California wildfires: This story shows just how intelligent a cat can be during life or death emergencies
Facebook: California Wildfires Pets has rescue photos of 592 cats and 210 dogs
Social media rumor: Butte County cats rescued after California fires labeled as ‘ferals’ will be killed Monday