Head trauma in the cat: 1. assessment and management of craniofacial injury

Sophie Adamantos, Laurent Garosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


PRACTICAL RELEVANCE: Feline trauma is commonly seen in general practice and frequently involves damage to the head.

CLINICAL CHALLENGES: While craniofacial injuries following trauma vary widely in severity, affected cats can often be severely compromised in terms of their neurological, respiratory and cardiovascular status, and their management can be challenging in both the short and long term. They need prompt stabilisation and careful monitoring in the initial period to maximise prospects of a successful outcome. Many cats with severe facial trauma will require surgery to stabilise skull fractures or address injuries to the eyes, with its inherent issues surrounding pain management, ensuring adequate nutrition and the necessity for ongoing hospitalisation.

DIAGNOSTICS: Cats with head trauma benefit from imaging of the injured areas as well as thoracic radiography. Imaging the skull can be challenging and is best performed under general anaesthesia. In unstable patients this can be delayed to prevent any associated morbidity.

EVIDENCE BASE: The clinical evidence base relating to injury to the feline head is limited, despite its relative frequency in general practice. This review focuses on the initial approach to craniofacial (in particular, ocular and jaw) trauma, and outlines simple techniques for management of soft tissue and bone injuries. Much of the information is based on the authors' clinical experience, as there is a paucity of well-described clinical case material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-14
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2011 ISFM and AAFP. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Craniocerebral Trauma
  • Emergency Treatment
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Multiple Trauma
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Pain Management
  • Skull Fractures


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