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FHO Surgery in Cats

FHO surgery can be an effective and reasonably priced surgical treatment option for feline hip problems. Today, our Mechanicsburg veterinarians discuss cat hip anatomy, hip problems that may affect your cat, and FHO surgery and recovery.

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. 
  • Another condition that can affect your cat's hips is Legg-Perthes disease. This condition is distinguished by a lack of blood flow to the top of the femur, which results in spontaneous degeneration of the femoral head, resulting in arthritis and/or hip damage.
These relatively common conditions can cause mobility issues and pain for your cat. To correct the issue, orthopedic surgery may be recommended.

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).

A Normal hip function involves the ball and socket working together to allow for easy and pain-free movement. When an injury or disease disrupts or breaks down your cat's normal hip function, rubbing and grinding between the two parts can cause pain and other mobility issues. Inflammation caused by a faulty or damaged hip joint can also impair your feline pal's mobility and quality of life.

This procedure is commonly recommended for cats, particularly those who are in good physical condition. The muscle mass around active cats' joints can help them recover faster. Any cat in good health, 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
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty jumping
  • Limping when walking

FHO Surgery on Cats

Your vet will remove the femoral head during your cat's FHO surgery, leaving the socket of your cat's hip empty. The muscles in your cat's legs will initially hold the femur in place, and scar tissue will form between the acetabulum and femur. A "false joint" will form over time, and scar tissue will form a cushion between your cat's bones.

The Cost of Cat FHO Surgery

FHO surgery is a relatively inexpensive procedure that can frequently help your cat regain pain-free mobility. The cost of your cat's surgery will be determined by a variety of factors, so you should consult your veterinarian for an estimate.

Your Cat After FHO Surgery

Each cat is unique. They may need to stay at a vet hospital for a few hours to a few days after surgery for post-surgical care. The length of their stay will be determined by their health and a few other factors.

Phase 1

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 crating 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.

Phase 2

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 Mechanicsburg vets today to book an examination for your cat.

New Patients Welcome

Looking for a vet in Mechanicsburg PA? Silver Springs Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our skilled veterinarians are passionate about improving the health of Central Pennsylvania companion animals. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment.

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