The window-cat syndrome is an illness in cats after getting caught in a top “hung-window”. After this disease they show the symptoms of an acute traumatic paralysis of the hindlimbs.
Our hypothesis was that in spite of the poor condition of our cats after beeing trapped in a top hung window the recovery rate was high.
The hypothesis was confirmed in our study.
The aim of this retrospective study was to document a maximum number of parameters of the traumatized cats in the top hung window and to determine the course of the disease.
The characteristics of 98 cats treated from 2001 to 2012 with window cat syndrome at the Clinic of Small Animal Surgery and Ophthalmology, Veterinary University of Vienna, were evaluated.
The most common breed was the European shorthair with 85,7%.
No gender predisposition was found: 28 female cats (30%), 21 spayed female cats (23%), 17 male cats (18%) and 27 male neutered cats (29%).
Most accidents in the tilted window occurred during the months from May to September. In blood biochemistry it was striking that the creatine kinase activity showed the highest increase (range: 17.05 to 20801.88 mkat / L, median = 837.35 mkat/L). An increase in activity of creatinine, urea, ALT, AST and alkaline phosphatase was seen in many cats.
The most common radiographic findings were pneumothorax (n=4; 21%), enlarged bladder silhouette (n=4; 21%) as well as fractures of ribs and limbs (n=7; 36,9%). The ultrasound findings showed that frequent findings were bladder bruising (n=2; 28,6%), ascites (n=2; 28,6%) and peritonitis (n=2; 28,6%).
Nine cats were treated with a monoparesis / plegia of the forelimbs, nine cats with monoparesis/plegia of the hindlimbs, three cats showed atactic gait, 15 cats showed a paraparesis of the hind limbs and 28 cats showed paraplegia of the hind limbs.
Ninty (18/20) percent of the cats in which the neurologic status was recorded before and after the treatment showed considerable improvement in their neurological status after treatment. A total of 27 cats (29%) did not survive the accident in the tilted windows. 12 cats (13%) died and 15 cats (16%) were euthanized. A frequent cause of death were lung problems, resulting in problems in breathing.
Seventytwo percent (71/98) of the cats survived the accidents in the tilted window and recovered well.
An treatment is recommended in any case, accompanied by diagnostics in form of abdominal ultrasound and thoracic radiographs and pelvic radiographs, as well as the control of blood parameters and subsequent physiotherapy.