Traumatic head injuries in cats
The ability to recognize clinical signs consistent with a declining neurologic status is critical in the management of cats following head trauma. Trauma significant enough to cause brain injury will have systemic effects, which may be life-threatening.
A thorough systemic evaluation of any cat which has been involved in a traumatic event is essential prior to focusing on the nervous system.
The neurologic exam of the head-injured cat can be condensed into assessment of mentation, limb function and pupillary light reflexes.
Imaging the brain of the head trauma cat can help identify causes of the neurologic dysfunction, but rarely leads to a surgical treatment.
Fluid therapy is essential for all cats which have suffered a head injury and should focus on restoring systemic blood pressure.
Flow-by oxygen therapy is recommended as a first-line treatment for cats with traumatic brain injury.