Our Walnut Creek veterinarians provide valuable information on FHO surgery as an effective and affordable solution for hip problems in cats. The anatomy of feline hips, the potential issues that can arise, and the details of FHO surgery and recovery.
Why has my cat developed hip problems?
If your cat is experiencing hip pain, it could be due to a combination of factors such as old age, injury, and a genetic tendency towards hip problems. Some of the most prevalent hip health issues in cats are:
- Hip luxation or dislocation, often associated with serious dysplasia, is commonly treated with FHO surgery.
- Hip fractures that can't be repaired surgically either because of the health of the patient or the means of their owner.
- Legg-Perthes disease is another condition that can affect your cat's hips. This condition involves a decreased blood flow to your cat's femur, causing degeneration to their femur's head and affecting the function and comfort of their hip.
These relatively common conditions in cats can result in mobility issues and pain. To help return your cat to comfortable mobility, orthopedic surgery may be recommended.
What's wrong with my cat's hips?
Your feline friend's hip joint operates like a ball and socket mechanism. The ball is located on the end of their thigh bone, known as the femur, and fits into their hip bone's acetabulum (the socket). When their hips function normally, the ball and socket work together seamlessly, allowing for pain-free and easy movement.
However, disease or injury affecting their hip function can lead to mobility issues and discomfort. The rubbing and grinding between the two parts can cause inflammation, which can further affect your cat's mobility and quality of life. One common solution for this problem is FHO surgery, which is often recommended for active and fit cats. Even cats in good health can opt for FHO surgery to alleviate their hip pain, as the muscle mass around their joints can help speed up their recovery.
What are the signs of hip problems in cats?
If your cat displays any of the following symptoms, it may be indicative of a hip problem.
- Difficulty jumping
- Muscle loss around their back limbs
- Limping when walking
- Increased stiffness and reduced range of motion
Cat FHO Surgery
During your cat's FHO surgery, your vet will remove their femoral head, leaving behind an empty hip socket. Your cat's leg muscles will hold their femur in place at first as scar tissue starts to develop in their hip. Over time a "false joint" will form from scar tissue and cushion your cat's bones.
FHO Surgery Cost
FHO surgery is a relatively inexpensive procedure that can often help restore your cat's pain-free mobility. The cost of your cat's surgery will depend upon several factors, so you will need to consult your veterinarian for an estimate.
Cat After FHO Surgery - What to Expect
All cats have unique needs. After undergoing surgery, they may require a stay at a veterinary hospital for a duration of anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on their overall health and a variety of other factors.
After surgery, you and your veterinarian will concentrate on managing pain using prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
To limit your cat's activity, you can keep them in a crate or a small room where they won't be able to run or jump.
If your cat is not experiencing severe pain, your veterinarian may suggest rehabilitative treatments like passive range of motion exercises to assist your cat's hip joints in regaining their natural range of motion.
After a week of the surgery, your cat's recovery enters the second phase, where you gradually increase their physical activity to strengthen their joints.
This helps prevent scar tissue from becoming too stiff and improves their long-term mobility. Your vet will guide you on suitable exercises for your cat.
Usually, cats recover completely within six weeks. However, if your cat hasn't fully recovered by then, they may need 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. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.