I received an email the other day from a client of mine. She has two cats, Miles and Shay. She told me that Miles had passed away last week. I was stunned. The last time I saw him, he was playful, eating well and just fine! No illness that we were aware of. He was the picture of health. Of course I responded with how sorry I was to hear this news. I  asked what happened. She told me he had been diagnosed with FATE and that he had to be sent to the rainbow bridge. I had never heard of this before.

What is FATE?

FATE stands for Feline Aortic Thromboembolism.  My client explained to me that she had no idea anything was wrong with Miles. She said he wound up paralyzed in his back end. She took him to the vet and the way they explained it was that he had a heart attack which paralyzed him. I decided to do a bit of research on this topic as I knew nothing about this disorder. FATE happens most commonly in cats. As described in www.petmd.com, this disorder occurs in cats with heart disease. The heart may appear to be fine during a basic exam but in reality, much is going on that is not easily seen.

According to www.petmd.com, “the clots begin to form because blood is not circulating normally through the heart chambers. The clots can then break off (at which point they’re called emboli) and travel through the cat’s arteries. A common place for them to lodge is where the aorta divides into two vessels, one supplying blood to each of the hind legs. Depending on the size and exact location of the thrombus (what we call a blood clot that is lodged somewhere it shouldn’t be), a cat may lose some or all of the blood supply to the limb and function of one or both hind legs.”

Prognosis of living with FATE

Prognosis for most of these cats is considered guarded. Unfortunately most do not fair well once diagnosed.  So many tests are needed to properly diagnose and give the proper treatment for the heart disease which is most cases is what caused the clots to begin with. Some cats have been given blood thinners and have regained some usage of their hind end. Most cats that have been diagnosed with FATE are at an extremely high risk for another cardiac event.


Miles’s Life

Miles with his toy. Such a handsome boy. He will be missed!

Miles with his toy. Such a handsome boy. He will be missed!

In Miles’s case, his Mom told me that he could not move his back end at all. He was fine one minute and not the next. His Mom decided to let him cross the rainbow bridge. Miles was one of those cats who instantly grabbed your heart. His Mom found him as a stray who wandered up to her door. It was unimaginable that someone wasn’t looking for him. Not only was he beautiful, but he was sweet and affectionate. He wasn’t the type of cat to scratch you or be overly independent. He loved, loved, loved his treats! I would come over to the house and he would wind himself around my legs meowing. Once that treat bag came out, he would go crazy. Standing on his hind legs, meowing all the while. He loved to be petted and to sit in the sun. He also loved his brother Shay who was also found as a stray. Miles will not be forgotten. Love you little boy. May you find peace on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

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