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FHO Surgery: Femoral Head Ostectomy for Cats

Why she needed it, and Surgery.

February 15th 2013 7:46 am
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Why she needed it, and Day 1 AFTER surgery.

Chloe and her sister have been active since the day that I got them. They love to run, climb and play. Chloe used to do these little ninja rolls after catching her prey when we would play with a mouse at the end of a wand toy.

One day, I took her off of the bathroom counter and set her to the floor (low, about a foot, because I had older cats before these ones). She went limp and fell on her right side, got up and limped from then on. No more climbing, less playing, no ninja rolls. After a day of limping, I took her to the vet. Chloe was scared and she had to be sedated to get her x-rays. I had to leave her there for several hours. I think I had more separation anxiety than she did. By advice, we digitally sent the x-rays to a radiologist to look at. She had a fracture in her right hip that had healed (I didn’t even know), and re-fractured it and the growth plate was sliding. That is when the vet told me my options: I could let it go and she would have a terrible quality of life of pain in which the bones of her hip/leg would grind together, or we could do this surgery, in which, in cats, has been successful, and wouldn’t be painful over time. She is my baby, and I opted for surgery.

The night she came home was hard. She was shaved and had staples. She tipped over when she walked. Her sister didn’t recognize her and would hiss at her. She tried to eat her kibble, but would throw it up because she tried to gobble it up. I had left over can food and let her walk over to the food area. I gave it to her a small spoonful at a time.

I am very affectionate, and she responded with big purring, and I knew it would be okay. I used “earthbath” wipes to wipe her face (she has FVR and gets watery eye, especially so when stressed), and I had to wipe her toosh one day before surgery.

She walked where she wanted to walk. She jumped on the couch. The more she moves now, the better she will be able to walk later.

Signs your kitty has trouble:
-favoring one leg over the other
-trouble jumping
-using upper body rather whole body
-laying on one side a lot
-sensitivity to hips
-kitty wouldn’t sit up, or "loaf" sit


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