Cats who suffer burns and smoke inhalation in fires end up with significant heart problems, according to research conducted at the University of California’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Davis. Scientists there studied more than 50 cats who had been in wildfires only a week or two earlier and found that they had an increased incidence of both clot formation and heart muscle thickening. Clots can block blood flow and result in sudden death. And thickened heart muscle makes it harder for the heart to pump. A half dozen cats had to be euthanized because of heart problems resulting from the fires.
Cardiovascular risk also goes up in people affected by burn injuries, but the rate was higher in the cats. If your pet is injured in a fire, make sure the veterinarian checks his heart function.