Contrary to popular belief, cats do not always land on their feet. Many are injured from falls, so take care to prevent the worst from happening to your feline friend. From a fall out a window, oﬀ of a balcony or from a rooftop, cats can sustain a variety of injuries including broken bones, jaws, ruptured organs and even death. If you notice your cat is limping or refusing to move or eat, it is possible that she could have suﬀered an internal injury that may not be easily noticed but can become dangerous very quickly.
Our feline friends have a ﬂuid-ﬁlled organ in their inner ear called the vestibular apparatus that helps them “right” themselves during a fall. When they topple from heights, cats sometimes “parachute” a loose fold of skin under their legs relaxing those parts so that the abdomen and chest absorb more of the impact rather than their head and legs. When cats fall shorter distances most tend to land on their feet with legs rigid, resulting in multiple fractures, chest, jaw and spinal injuries, concussions and even ruptures of the internal organs. Either way, it is not a good thing for your furry friend and can prove life-threatening.
Dogs are even more likely to be injured in the event of a fall. Their bodies are denser than cat’s and they do not generally right themselves which means they fall faster and harder, exponentially increasing the likelihood of severe injury.
Make sure you have screens securely in place on all windows and don’t give pets unsupervised access to balconies, rooftops or other high places. Cats are climbers. Even if you don’t live in “earthquake country,” secure shelves, bookcases, television sets and anything that your feline friend might climb upon so that it can’t fall when kitty jumps up. Don’t place pets in harm’s way for photo ops or other reasons. Four on the ﬂoor, on sturdy ground is best!
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Blood or clear cerebral spinal ﬂuid coming out of ears, nose and/or eyes
One pupil larger or pupils non-reactive to light
Unstable, crooked stance of head/neck or paralysis
Breathing & bleeding concerns
From your pet’s first aid kit, grab the following: gauze squares and gauze rolls, adhesive tape or ﬂexible wrap, towel, board, cookie sheet (and strips of fabric to restrain animal to board) to move or lift pet, well-fitting muzzle
HOW TO HELP
Check to see if your cat is breathing. If not, administer rescue breathing by giving two quick breaths into his nose while closing his mouth. Make sure the chest rises. Then give breaths according to chart on page 105 until pet breathes on his own or you reach medical help.
Every 30 seconds, check for a pulse at her inner thigh (femoral artery) or by cupping your hand behind the front elbow at the chest feeling for heart beat. If there is none, begin CPCR. Do realize though, this is not a cure, and you must quickly get your cat to the Veterinarian even if she starts breathing on her own. Transport her gently on a cutting board, cookie sheet or similar stiﬀ object and secure her with rolled gauze so that she does not shift oﬀ of it.
If your cat is breathing, check for bleeding injuries. Apply direct pressure with a sterile gauze pad to stop external bleeding and prevent infection. If you notice a “sucking” chest wound (you’ll see bubbling and hear air rushing into the body as your cat strains to breathe), wrap the body with plastic wrap to seal it and get your pet to the Veterinarian immediately — do not delay. See Bleeding Injuries, Rescue Breathing, CPCR and Transporting an Injured Animal sections of this book for further details.
Realize any blood coming from or pooling in the eyes, nose or mouth could mean a head injury or internal bleeding requiring quick medical attention. Don’t forget that a conscious animal in pain may bite even his most loyal human friend, so restrain his head with a towel or use a muzzle as long as it doesn’t interfere with injuries.
Do all you can to prevent falls in the first place, but be prepared for when the worst happens.
Taking pages 196 and 197 out of 'The Pet Safety Bible" today to talk Falls and Highrise Injuries. Here's the blog: https://www.petsafetycrusader.com/falls-high-rise-syndrome/
Posted by Sunny-Dog Ink on Thursday, June 20, 2019