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FHO Surgery in Cats

FHO Surgery in Cats

FHO surgery is a cost-effective and useful method for treating hip problems in cats. Our vets at Seattle will explain the structure of cat hips, the potential issues that may arise, as well as the FHO surgery process and recuperation.

Why has my cat developed hip problems?

If your cat has hip problems that cause them pain, it could be due to a combination of factors such as old age, injury, or genetics. Cats commonly experience hip issues, and some of the most frequent ones include:

  • 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.
Cats can suffer from conditions that cause them pain and trouble moving. Your veterinarian may recommend orthopedic surgery to alleviate these issues and help your cat move comfortably again.

What's wrong with my cat's hips?

Your cat's hip joint is like a ball and socket. The ball is at the end of the thigh bone and fits into the hip bone's socket. This allows your cat to move easily without pain. But if something goes wrong, like a disease or injury, their hips can be painful and cause problems with mobility. To help with this, a surgery called FHO is often recommended for cats. Even active cats with strong muscles can benefit from this surgery. And any healthy cat can have FHO surgery to relieve hip pain and improve their quality of life.

What are the signs of hip problems in cats?

If your cat is showing any of the following signs, it's possible that they have a problem with their hips:

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

Cat FHO Surgery

During your cat's FHO surgery, your vet will remove their femoral head, leaving behind an empty hip socket. Your cat's leg muscles will hold their femur in place at first as scar tissue starts to develop in their hip. Over time a "false joint" will form from scar tissue and cushion your cat's bones.

FHO Surgery Cost

FHO surgery is an affordable procedure that can restore your cat's mobility and alleviate pain. The cost of the surgery will vary depending on different factors. To get an accurate estimate, it's best to consult with your veterinarian.

Cat After FHO Surgery - What to Expect

Cats are unique, and their recovery after surgery varies. Depending on their health and other factors, they might have to stay at the vet hospital for a few hours or even a few days.

Phase 1

After surgery, the focus will be on controlling pain with medication, like prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. To keep your cat comfortable, they may need to be restricted in their activity. This can be done by keeping them in a crate or a small room where they can't run or jump. If your cat is not in too much pain, your vet may recommend some exercises to help their hip joints return to their natural range of motion. These exercises are called passive range of motion exercises.

Phase 2

After your cat's surgery, about a week later, it's time for the second phase of recovery. You'll slowly increase your cat's physical activity to make their joint stronger and prevent scar tissue from getting too stiff. Your vet will tell you which exercises are right for your cat. Most cats get better in about 6 weeks, but if your cat still isn't fully recovered by then, they may need physical therapy or rehabilitation to recover completely.

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.

Need help with your cat's painful hip condition? Contact The Cat Clinic of Seattle or ask your vet for a referral to our skilled specialists in Seattle.

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