Our Boulder and Westminster veterinary team has found FHO surgery on cats to be a cost-effective and successful method for addressing hip problems. In this post, we will outline the anatomy of feline hips, common issues that can arise, and the details of FHO surgery and recuperation.

Why has my cat developed hip problems?

Painful hip problems in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, including aging, injury, and genetic predisposition. Cats often experience hip issues, which can lead to a variety of common health problems:

  • 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.

If your cat is experiencing mobility issues and pain, it may be due to some common conditions. Orthopedic surgery may be recommended to help your feline friend regain comfortable mobility.

Are hip problems in cats considered an emergency?

Hip problems in cats can vary in severity, with some cases requiring immediate medical attention while others may be managed with medication and physical therapy. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your cat's specific condition.

What are the signs of hip problems in cats?

Your feline friend may be suffering from a hip problem if they show one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Difficulty jumping
  • Muscle loss around their back limbs
  • Limping when walking
  • Increased stiffness and reduced range of motion

Cat FHO Surgery

During FHO surgery, the vet removes the cat's femoral head, leaving the hip socket empty. Your cat's leg muscles will support their femur as scar tissue starts to form in their hip. Over time, scar tissue will form a "false joint" and offer cushioning for your cat's bones.

The Cost of FHO Surgery for Cats

FHO surgery is a cost-effective way to restore your cat's mobility. Consult your veterinarian to find out how much your cat's surgery will cost. They will assess various factors and provide you with an estimate.

Cats After FHO Surgery - What to Expect

Cats differ in their individual characteristics. Following surgery, they may need to stay at a veterinary hospital for a few hours or days. The duration of their stay is determined by their health and a number of other factors.

Phase 1

In the days following surgery, you and your veterinarian will focus on pain management. Doctors frequently prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for this purpose. Your cat can be kept in a crate or a small room to limit their movement while keeping them comfortable. If your cat's pain is manageable, your veterinarian may suggest rehabilitative treatments to help them regain natural range of motion in their hip joints. These treatments may include passive range-of-motion exercises.

Phase 2

About a week after surgery, your cat will begin the second phase of their recovery. During this phase, they will gradually increase their physical activity in order to strengthen their joints. Preventing scar tissue from becoming too stiff and improving your cat's long-term mobility are critical. Listen to your veterinarian's advice on appropriate exercise for your cat. Cats usually recover completely within six weeks of surgery. If your cat has not fully recovered by then, they may require physical therapy or rehabilitation to ensure their 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.

Is your cat's mobility being compromised by painful hip conditions? Contact Boulder and Northside Emergency Pet Clinics today. We can assess your cat and determine if surgery is necessary.