ABSTRACT: There is limited data currently in Veterinary Medicine relating to the prognosis, long-term monitoring and outcome in felines suffering from traumatic brain injury. The current main prognostic indicator is the Modified Glasgow Coma Scale, which has limited value after the initial 72 hour survival. It is believed many felines who present with traumatic brain injury may be euthanased in the early stages of recovery due to a lack of data relating to prognosis and outcome. Improvements in clinical condition can persist for over three months after the inciting event and a Standardised Outcome Scale (SOC) would assist clinical decisions relating to these improvements and quality of life. An SOC was designed specifically for felines to monitor the progress of a stray cat who presented with head trauma and severe neurological deficits. The SOC enabled the author to accurately and objectively monitor progress. The SOC demonstrated a consistent improvement in clinical condition, even when the overall clinical presentation was poor. The SOC ‘s main benefit was the ability to quantitatively monitor condition, which proved a continued and sustained improvement, thereby preventing premature euthanasia. The primary objective of the SOC is the provision of an accurate monitoring tool to facilitate veterinary decision making.


Lucy Barton RVN CertVNECC ISFMCertFN A l SACDip

Lucy Barton qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2002 at a Small Animal Hospital in Lincoln. She spent a further four years in General Practice, before moving into Emergency and Critical Care. Lucy spent 7 years as a dedicated Emergency and Critical Care Nurse, completing her Certificate in Emergency and Critical Care with a Distinction. Lucy has spent many years teaching ad-hoc for local Universities and Colleges. Lucy currently works in General Practice at Vets4Pets Lincoln South, with a keen interest in ECC and Behaviour: She recently completed her Certificate in Feline Friendly Nursing with a Distinction. Email: lucy.louise.barton@hotmail.co.uk

Keywords:  head trauma in cats; feline head trauma; traumatic brain injury in cats;
modified glasgow coma scale; standardised veterinary outcome scale; post head
trauma monitoring

To cite this article:  Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 36(02) • February 2021 pp68-73

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