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FHO Surgery in Cats

Our Tigard 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.

What's wrong with my cat's hips?

The hip joint of your cat operates on a ball and socket mechanism. Your cat's hip bone cradles the ball, which is located on the thigh bone or femur, in the socket known as the acetabulum. Your cat can move effortlessly and without discomfort when their hip is functioning properly thanks to this mechanism.

But if disease or injury interferes with this mechanism, your cat may feel pain and have trouble moving because of the rubbing and grinding between the two parts. Poorly functioning and damaged hip joints can also limit your cat's movement, which can have a negative impact on their quality of life due to inflammation. Cats who are active and have good muscle mass are recommended to undergo FHO surgery, as it can aid in their faster recovery. However, this surgery can be performed on any healthy cat to relieve their hip pain.

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

The FHO surgery is a procedure that can restore your cat's mobility without causing too much financial strain. To determine the cost of your cat's surgery, it is best to consult your veterinarian. They will consider various factors and provide you with an estimate.

Cats After FHO Surgery - What to Expect

Cats vary in their individual characteristics. Following surgery, it may be necessary for them to remain at a veterinary hospital for a period of time, which can vary from a few hours to a few days. The duration of their stay depends on their health and several other factors.

Phase 1

You and your veterinarian will prioritize pain control in the days following surgery. Doctors commonly prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for this purpose. Your cat can be kept in a crate or a small room to restrict their movement and keep them comfortable. If your cat's pain is manageable, your veterinarian may recommend rehabilitative treatments to promote natural range of motion in their hip joints. These treatments may include passive range of motion exercises.

Phase 2

About a week after your cat's surgery, they will enter the second phase of their recovery. In this phase, their physical activity will be gradually increased to strengthen their joint. Preventing scar tissue from becoming too stiff and improving your cat's long-term mobility is important. Listen to your vet's advice on suitable exercises for your cat. Cats usually fully recover within six weeks of the surgery. If your cat is not fully recovered by then, they may require physical therapy or rehabilitation to ensure a complete 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 Cascade Veterinary Referral Center today for more information.

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