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The story of Phantom and info about Saddle Thrombus

Phantom Was Very High Strung. He Was Passed Around From Foster Home To Foster Home Until We Saw Him And Brought Him Home To Live With Us. He Was The Happiest Cat I Ever Knew. More Like A Dog Than A Cat He Loved Humans And Other Cats. He Was Never Diagnosed With A Heart Murmur At The Time. One Day We Came Home And He Was Paralyzed. WE Took Him To The Emergency Vet Where He Was Diagnosed With Saddle Thrombosis And Also With A Heart Murmur. They Were Unable To Save Him. Phantom Passed At Age 6. Pet Parent- Deana


What Is Saddle Thrombus?

Saddle thrombus, more properly called feline aortic thromboembolism (FATE), is an often fatal condition caused by a blood clot that blocks blood flow to the cat's rear legs. It tends to strike suddenly and causes severe pain along with paralysis of the hind legs. Although the underlying cause of the condition is usually heart disease, the saddle thrombus is the first symptom of heart trouble in more than 75 percent of affected felines.1

Any cat can develop FATE, but it is somewhat more common in adult cats between the ages of 8 and 12, in male cats, and in Abyssinian, Birman, and Ragdoll breeds. Unfortunately, the outlook for a cat with saddle thrombus is poor, as only 50 percent of cats survive with treatment. Still, the other half do survive, and with rapid treatment, your cat may be among that half.

A saddle thrombus occurs when a blood clot becomes lodged in the base of the aorta where it branches off to each of the cat's rear legs. Your vet will probably refer to the condition as feline arterial thromboembolism or feline aortic thromboembolism.



Symptoms of Saddle Thrombus in Cats

Many cat owners, when discovering their cat crying out in extreme pain, unable to move its hind legs, and hyperventilating, assume that the cat must have had some sort of trauma or been hit by a car. However, those are the primary symptoms of a saddle thrombus.


Causes of Saddle Thrombus

A saddle thrombus is typically caused by a blood clot that formed in the left atrium of the heart. Approximately 89 percent of cats with arterial thromboembolism have underlying heart disease, although often the owners are unaware of their pet's condition.


* Sourced from:


More Information

Saddle Thrombus: Every Cat Owner's Worst Nightmare

 Aortic Thromboembolism in Cats

Evaluating oral rivaroxaban- an anticoagulant-in cats

 Developing a Screening Test for Heart Disease in Cats

Identifying Cats At Risk for Blood Clots


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