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FHO Surgery in Cats

FHO Surgery in Cats

FHO surgery can be an effective and relatively inexpensive way of treating hip issues in cats. Here, our Argyle vets explain the hip anatomy of cats, the problems that may affect your cat's hips, and what is involved in FHO surgery and recovery.

Why has my cat developed hip problems?

If your cat is experiencing painful hip problems, it could be due to a combination of factors such as old age, injury, and genetic susceptibility to hip issues. Some of the prevalent hip health issues that cats may experience 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. Orthopedic surgery may be recommended to help return your cat to comfortable mobility.

What's wrong with my cat's hips?

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).

Cats rely on the proper function of their hip joints to move around comfortably and without pain. When disease or injury affects their hips, it can cause problems with mobility and discomfort due to the rubbing and grinding of the joint's ball and socket. This inflammation can significantly impact your cat's quality of life and make it harder for them to move around.

This procedure Is commonly recommended for cats, especially ones who are fit. The muscle mass around an 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.

What are the signs of hip problems in cats?

If your cat displays any of the following symptoms, it's possible that they may be experiencing a hip issue:

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

Cat FHO Surgery

When your cat undergoes FHO surgery, the vet will eliminate their femoral head, resulting in an empty hip socket. Initially, your cat's leg muscles will support their femur as scar tissue begins to form in their hip. Eventually, scar tissue will create a "false joint" to cushion your cat's bones.

FHO Surgery Cost

If your cat is experiencing pain and mobility issues, FHO surgery could be a cost-effective solution. However, the final cost of the procedure will vary depending on various factors. To get an accurate estimate, it is recommended to consult with your veterinarian.

Cat After FHO Surgery - What to Expect

Every cat is different. After surgery, they may need to stay at a veterinary hospital for some time, ranging from a few hours to a few days. The length of their stay will vary based on their health and a few other factors.

Phase 1

During the first few days after surgery, you and your veterinarian will work together to manage pain using prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

To prevent your cat from running or jumping, they will need to be confined to a crate or a small room that is comfortable for them.

If your cat is not experiencing severe pain, your vet may suggest rehabilitative treatments such as passive range of motion exercises to help restore their hip joints to their natural range of motion.

Phase 2

After one week post-surgery, the second phase of recovery for your cat begins. Gradually increase their physical activity to strengthen their joint and prevent scar tissue from becoming too stiff.

This will improve their long-term mobility. Your vet will guide you on appropriate exercises for your cat.

Typically, cats recover fully within 6 weeks after surgery. If your cat hasn't fully recovered by then, they may need physical therapy or rehabilitation to ensure 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.

If your cat is having difficulty moving due to painful hip conditions, please get in touch with our veterinarians in Argyle for an assessment of their hips.

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Contact (940) 464-3231