Hip problems in cats can be treated with FHO surgery, which is a relatively effective and low-cost procedure. Our Ventura veterinarians discuss cat hip anatomy, hip problems that may affect your cat, and FHO surgery and recovery today.
How Hip Problems Occur in Cats
Hip problems in cats can be caused by a mixture of old age, injury, and genetic predisposition.
- Hip fractures can't be repaired surgically either because of the health of the patient or the means of their owner.
- Hip luxation or dislocation, often associated with serious dysplasia is commonly treated with FHO surgery.
- Legg-Perthes disease is another condition that can affect your cat's hips. This condition is characterized by a lack of blood flow to the top of the femur, leading to the spontaneous degeneration of the head of the femur, resulting in arthritis and/or hip damage.
How Your Cat's Hip Joints Work
Your cat's hip joint works similarly to a ball and socket mechanism. The ball sits on the end of the thigh bone, or femur, and rests inside your cat's hip bone's acetabulum (the socket).
The ball and socket work together to allow easy and pain-free movement when the hips are in good working order. When your cat's normal hip function is broken or disrupted by injury or disease, rubbing and grinding between the two parts can cause pain and other mobility issues. Inflammation caused by a faulty or damaged hip joint can limit your feline companion's mobility and quality of life.
This procedure is frequently recommended for cats, particularly those who are in good physical condition. The muscle mass surrounding an active cat's joints can help them recover faster. Any healthy cat, on the other hand, can have FHO surgery to relieve hip pain.
Signs & Symptoms of Hip Pain in Cats
Your kitty companion may be suffering from a hip problem if they show one or more of the following symptoms:
- Muscle loss around their back limbs
- Increased stiffness and reduced range of motion
- Difficulty jumping
- Limping when walking
Cat FHO Surgery
Your veterinarian will remove the femoral head during your cat's FHO surgery, leaving the hip socket empty. The femur will be held in place by your cat's leg muscles at first, and scar tissue will form between the acetabulum and the femur. A "false joint" will develop over time, and scar tissue will form a cushion between your cat's bones.
The Cost of FHO Surgery
FHO surgery is a relatively low-cost procedure that can help your cat regain pain-free mobility. The cost of surgery for your cat will be determined by several factors, so you should ask your veterinarian for an estimate.
Your Cat After FHO Surgery
Each cat is unique. They may need to stay at a vet hospital for post-surgical care for a few hours to a few days after surgery. The length of their stay will be determined by their health and a few other variables.
In the days immediately following surgery, you and your vet will focus on controlling pain with medications such as prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Your cat will need to have their activity restricted by either creating them or confining them to a small room where they aren't able to jump or run.
If your pet is not in too much pain, your vet may recommend a passive range of motion exercises to encourage your cat's hip joint to move through its natural range of motion once again.
Starting about one week after surgery, the second recovery phase involves the gradual increase of your cat's physical activity to being strengthening their joint.
This prevents the scar tissue from getting too stiff and will improve your cat's long-term mobility. Your vet will instruct you on what appropriate exercises for your cat might be.
Most cats recover fully within about 6 weeks of the surgery. If your cat hasn't fully recovered by this time, they may require physical therapy or rehabilitation to ensure a full recovery.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
Is your feline companion suffering from a painful hip condition? Contact our Ventura vets today to book an examination for your cat.
Looking for a veterinary specialist in Ventura?We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.
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