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Pulmonary Edema in Cats

By Ned F. Kuehn, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Section Chief, Internal Medicine, Michigan Veterinary Specialists ; Neil W. Dyer, DVM, MS, DACVP, Director and Pathologist, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, North Dakota State University ; Joe Hauptman, DVM, MS, DACVS, Professor of Surgery, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Michigan State University ; Stuart M. Taylor, PhD, BVMS, MRCVS, DECVP

Pulmonary edema, the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissue, airways, or air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs, may occur along with circulatory disorders or in some allergic reactions or infectious diseases. Head trauma can cause pulmonary edema in cats. Labored breathing and open-mouth breathing may occur. Animals stand rather than lying down, lie only on their chest, or assume a sitting position. The veterinarian may be able to hear wheezing and crackling sounds in the chest.