Firefighters and cats rescued from wildfires can suffer from the same disease

I researched this some time ago but another study has been recently published (July 14, 2022) on the subject. The study itself is very technical but essentially what it is saying is that domestic cats and firefighters can suffer from blood clots and cardiovascular disease as a result of burns and smoke inhalation from wildfires such as the ones that took place in California and in Australia to such devastating effect on wildlife.

Rescued cat from fire
Rescued cat from fire. Great picture. The best firefighter and cat picture I have seen. Don’t know who took it.
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As I understand it, platelet-derived ‘microvesicles’ are present because of thermal burn injuries and smoke exposure and these microvesicles cause a thrombosis which, as I further understand it, can lead to strokes and heart attacks when the blood clot moves from one part of the body to the heart. “Microvesicles” are also described as ‘platelet dust’. They are bubble-like structures (cysts) filled with proteins. Platelets are cell fragments. Their purpose is to form blood clots. The microvesicles can cause cardiovascular diseases.

And in separate research, it has been found that firefighters have a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. This is because they are at a greater risk of blood clots and as I read it, the same cause and effect is happening in firefighters and domestic cats under these extreme circumstances.

In the case of firefighters, a study found that the heat caused damage to the heart muscle which makes formation of blood clots more likely leading to an increased risk of heart attack. This study was published in 2017, and I believe that the current study adds to it in finding that platelet-derived microvesicles cause thrombosis.

Domestic cats predisposed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM are even more likely to develop blood clots when involved in a fire. The research concerned wildfires but I would expect that the same result would occur in house fires.

The production of plate-derived microvesicles was due to “platelet activation”. The study, in fact also remarks on the parallel effect on cats and firefighters in respect of “myocardial thickening” which means thickening of the muscular tissue of the heart.

The research helps to understand how wildfires impact cardiovascular health in humans and of course in domestic cats and we must include stray and feral cats. It should lead to better and earlier treatment plans for cats rescued from wildfires and I would suggest also house fires.

Below are some more articles on firefighters.

5 thoughts on “Firefighters and cats rescued from wildfires can suffer from the same disease”

  1. Had to get this video out of my archives. I don’t know why by it always makes me cry. Maybe cuz they went in twice to find her, they cared that much to save her life.

  2. Hey Mike that’s firefighter Dana Brown in 2013 and looking at other pictures I think the cat had also stopped breathing and he brought the cat back to life. Never did find out the cats name.

    And this is why every fire dept needs to have the masks for cats and dogs not all do.


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