Just for Fun

Case of the Month

Meet Stripes!

Stripes is an 8-week-old kitten whose new owners found last week. With her owners’ permission, we thought this was a good case to share!

Last week

Stripes was very lethargic, wouldn’t stand, eat, or drink! She had fleas, ear mites, and was crying out. We took x-rays (see below) and very quickly found out what happened to poor Stripes. Can you figure it out?

Right lateral view of Stripes on x-ray

What do you you see wonky in this image? Hint: Look at the head!

Here is what we found!

Right lateral of Stripes on x-ray

The green bracket shows us blunt force trauma on the back of the skull (she got hit really hard on the head) and what looks like a probable fracture in her neck.

What does that mean?

Stripes had severe neurologic signs (eyes flicking, crying, unable to stand, no reflexes in her limbs) because she got hit in the back of the head and neck so hard she had a concussion, a couple fractures, and serious pain in that area. That’s why she couldn’t walk and everything else.

What’s next?

Neck and skull fractures in very young animals tend to heal pretty quickly with intense TLC. We gave her medications for pain, to decrease the swelling, and strict instructions for food/water by syringe every few hours and such.

What about now?

Check out the x-rays we took today! Stripes is trying to walk, has normal reflexes, immediately rubs and purrs to say hi! She can even eat and drink on her own!! Thanks to her wonderful new owners, Stripes is healing up very well! She does still have side-to-side swaying of her head and is unsteady. These symptoms will probably improve to a certain extent but she might stay a little neurologic but she can still live a happy, wonderful life!

Right lateral of Stripes on x-ray

The bright white at the back of her head is new bone growth to heal over those fractures! Her neck bones are much more normally spaced out now although it still has some healing to do.

Take-home Points

A broken neck is NOT always a death sentence! Stripes obviously had a rough start to her life but, she found an absolutely wonderful home! Her progress would NOT have happened without such wonderful nursing care at home!!

Stripes & myself (Dr. Alisa Boomer) this morning

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