Feline high-rise syndrome, a fall from the second floor or higher, can result in shock, facial trauma, abdominal bleeding, thoracic injuries, and orthopedic injuries. Orofacial findings included bilateral epistaxis, hard palate fracture +/- tear of palatal soft tissue, palatal soft tissue bruising, mandibular fracture, mandibular symphyseal separation, tongue injury, facial soft tissue injury, dental trauma, and other oral soft tissue injury.
Zorro, a 2-year-old mixed tomcat rushed to emergency OPD at night in shock, with epistaxis and oral hemorrhage after sustaining a fall from terrace of a four-storied building. The patient was stabilize with IV fluids at shock rate, painkillers, hemostatic drugs, antibiotics and oxygen support.
Radiography done to rule out fractures and hemorrhage of internal organs, which revealed no major defects, except over-riding fracture of sternal vertebrae. Oral examination of the patient revealed hard palate fracture. Patient was having normal urine & fecal output throughout.
Blood reports were in the normal range, except for slightly elevated liver markers.
The hard palate repaired under GA. Patient treated as IPD patient for next three days; serial hematology revealed normal values post-surgery.
Patient discharged with antibiotics and pain relief, advised to have just wet food and avoidance of liquids. Pet made a complete recovery and wound healing found satisfactory.
It has advised that cat owners should make terraces and balconies inaccessible to their cats, and always consult veterinarian. Not every fall would result in visible trauma, but there is always high risk of delayed onset of signs 2-3 days later, due to internal organ rupture and abnormalities.