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Factors associated with survival to hospital discharge for cats treated surgically for thoracic trauma

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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.
  • | 2 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 Pet Emergency Center, 1100 Atlantic St, Roseville, CA 95678.
  • | 4 VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, 1900 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025.
  • | 5 Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 6 Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • | 7 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.
  • | 8 Department of Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.
  • | 9 Department of Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.
  • | 10 Department of Clinical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.
  • | 11 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 12 Martingale Consulting LLC, 2420 Martingale Rd, Media, PA 19063.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine the most common types of injuries in cats surgically treated for thoracic trauma, complications associated with surgical treatment, and factors associated with mortality rate and evaluate the effectiveness of the animal trauma triage (ATT) scoring system for predicting outcome.

DESIGN Retrospective case series with nested observational study.

ANIMALS 23 client-owned cats surgically treated for thoracic trauma at 7 veterinary teaching hospitals between 1990 and 2014.

PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed to collect data on signalment, medical history, clinical signs and physical examination findings at initial evaluation, clinicopathologic findings, initial emergency treatments and diagnostic tests performed, type of trauma sustained, imaging findings, surgery details, postoperative complications, duration of hospitalization, and cause of death, if applicable. All variables were evaluated for associations with survival to hospital discharge.

RESULTS Types of trauma that cats had sustained included dog bite or attack (n = 8 [35%]), motor vehicle accident (6 [26%]), other animal attack (2 [9%]), impalement injury or fall (2 [9%]), projectile penetrating trauma (1 [4%]), or unknown origin (4 [17%]). Intrathoracic surgery was required for 65% (15/23) of cats. The overall perioperative mortality rate was 13% (3/23). Mean ± SD ATT scores for surviving and nonsurviving cats were 6.4 ± 2.2 and 10.0 ± 1.7, respectively. Nineteen of 20 cats with no cardiopulmonary arrest survived to discharge, compared with 1 of 3 cats with cardiopulmonary arrest. Only these 2 variables were significantly associated with outcome.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The perioperative mortality rate was low in this series of cats with thoracic trauma; however, those with cardiopulmonary arrest were less likely to survive to hospital discharge than other cats. Cats with a low ATT score were more likely to survive than cats with a high ATT score.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Lux (clux@utk.edu).