Piper the cat was found at the base of a nine-storey apartment building in late February with injuries suggesting she fell from a balcony. When council rangers brought her to the Home, it was clear she needed immediate vet attention.
Physical examinations, blood tests, x-rays and an ultrasound revealed Piper had subcutaneous emphysema (air in her chest and under her skin), bruising along her belly, a graze on her chin and damage to her liver.
Piper required urgent overnight care with a specialist, so we sent her to Sydney Veterinary Emergency and Specialists (SVES) where she was put on IV fluids, pain relief and antibiotics.
Repeat blood tests and monitoring overnight revealed Piper’s health concerns including her subcutaneous emphysema and liver trauma were temporary and resolved with time and medication.
While Piper was receiving treatment at SVES, Sydney Dogs & Cats Home Animal Care Manager Dr Renae Jackson was determined to find Piper’s owners. Renae printed some lost posters and plastered them all over the apartment building where Piper was found. Within 24 hours, Piper’s owners contacted the Home to reclaim her and cover the costs of her medical treatment.
It’s now over two months since Piper’s fall, and we’re pleased to reports she has completely recovered and is getting back to her active self. There’ll be no more balcony adventures for her in the future.
Injuries like those sustained by Piper are one of the many reasons we recommend for apartment cats to be kept inside, away from open balconies. Renae notes, “Cats and open balconies can be a very dangerous mix. Usually, cats who fall from balconies have a fractured jaw, their bladder may burst, their diaphragm may rupture or they may have broken bones. Piper was lucky not to have any of these.
We recommend for all apartment cats to be indoor cats. Cats are very agile and they can slip, be startled or try to chase a passing bird, which can have disastrous consequences on an open balcony. A fully enclosed balcony is great, but if you don’t have one you can still give your cat a great quality of life indoors by providing lots of enrichment like toys, hiding areas, scratching posts and cat trees.”