FHO surgery can be a relatively inexpensive and effective surgical treatment option for cats who are suffering from hip problems. Our Torrance veterinary team is here to explain the anatomy of your pet's hips, what is involved in FHO surgery and your cat's recovery process.
Why Hip Problems Occur in Cats
If your cat is suffering from health issues affecting their hips, they may have their root cause in old age, genetic predisposition, or injuries. Some of the most common health issues affecting the hips of cats include:
- 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.
- Hip fractures that 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.
These relatively common conditions in our feline companions may result in long-term pain and mobility issues. In order to help return your cat to their previous level of comfort and mobility. orthopedic surgery may be required.
How Your Cat's Hip Should Function
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).
With normal function in your cat's hips, their ball and socket should work together to allow for easy and pain-free movement. When disease or injury begins to break down or disrupt your cat's normal hip function, there may be rubbing or grinding which begins between the two bones. Inflammation caused by a poorly functioning or damaged hip joint can also reduce your feline friend's mobility and quality of life.
This procedure Is commonly recommended for cats, especially ones who are fit. The muscle mass around active cat's joints can help to speed their recovery. However, any cat in good health can have FHO surgery to alleviate their hip pain.
Signs That Your Cat May Have Hip Problems
Your feline friend may be suffering from a hip problem if they show one or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty jumping
- Limping when walking
- Muscle loss around their back limbs
- Increased stiffness and reduced range of motion
Cat FHO Surgery
While conducting FHO surgery on cats, your vet will remove the femoral head, leaving the socket of your cat's hip empty. Your cat's leg muscles will initially hold the femur in place and scar tissue will develop between the acetabulum and femur. Over a period of time, a "false joint" will form and the scar tissue will form a cushion between your cat's bones.
FHO Surgery Cost
FHO surgery for cats is a procedure that is relatively inexpensive! And often, it can restore mobility to your pet without pain. The boost of your cat's FHO surgery will generally depend on a variety of factors so you should always ask your veterinarian for an estimate.
Your Cat After FHO Surgery - What to Expect
Each of our fine feline friends are very different, so their needs when it comes to FHO surgery will be different too! They may need to stay at a veterinary hospital for anywhere from a few hours to a few days after their surgery for dedicated care. Their base level of health and a few other factors will influence the length of their stay.
In the days following surgery, you and your veterinarian will need to focus on controlling your cat's pain with medications like non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory meds.
Your cat will need to have their activity restricted by either keeping them comfortably enclosed in a crate 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 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 will prevent your cat's scar tissue from getting too stiff and will help to improve your cat's long-term mobility. Our vets will instruct you on what appropriate exercises for your cat may 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 people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms.