automobile injury in cats

Trauma/Automobile Injury in Cats

Overview of Trauma & Automobile Injuries in Cats

Automobile injury or trauma is defined as an injury sustained when a cat is struck by a moving vehicle such as a car, truck, snowplow, train or motorcycle. Injuries may also occur as the result of human abuse, falling from a height, or animal attacks.

The impact of traumatic injuries ranges from minor to life threatening and any body system may be affected. Common injuries include but are not limited to:

What to Watch For

Diagnosis of Trauma/Automobile Injuries in Cats

Diagnostic tests are necessary to recognize trauma/automobile injury, and exclude other diseases. Tests may include:

Treatment of Trauma/Automobile Injuries in Cats

Treatments for trauma/automobile injury depend upon the extent of the injury and may include the following:

Home Care and Prevention

If you suspect your pet has been struck by a motor vehicle or has suffered any other type of trauma, you should seek veterinary care immediately. The lack of external wounds does not rule out substantial injury.

Your veterinarian will likely recommend exercise restriction during your pet’s first few days to weeks at home depending on the injuries sustained. Animals with chest injuries require one to two weeks of exercise restriction. Animals with fractures of the extremities require four to six weeks of limited and supervised exercise. Animals with mandibular (jaw) fractures must be fed soft food until the fracture heals.

Your veterinarian may want you to cage rest your pet to allow some fractures (such as those of the pelvis) to heal. This means that you will need to confine your pet to a small area containing a bed and food.

Keep bandages clean and dry. Check wounds for redness, swelling or discharge. See your veterinarian if you have any questions or problems.

Return to your veterinarian for follow-up or suture removal if needed.

Animals with spinal cord injuries and hind limb paralysis may require assistance with a sling or harness to walk outdoors.

In-depth Information on Trauma/Automobile Injuries in Cats

Trauma may result from other accidents unrelated to moving vehicles. Other causes of trauma include:

In-depth Information on Veterinary Care for Feline Trauma Injuries

Veterinary care should include diagnostic tests and subsequent treatment recommendations.

Diagnosis In-depth

A complete medical history and physical examination will be performed to evaluate for broken bones and/or internal chest or abdominal injuries. Most traumatic injuries are self-evident; however, the diagnosis of trauma may be difficult if the owner does not witness the traumatic event and the cat does not have external injuries.

Your veterinarian will likely ask whether you witnessed the accident to determine where your cat was struck.

Tests other than the physical examination often are necessary to rule out the presence of internal injuries. These may include:

Treatment In-depth

Treatments for trauma/automobile injury may include the following:

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