Hip dysplasia in cats can be a concern for any breed. It was once thought to affect only dogs, but now we know cats can suffer from it as well. Although it is very painful, it's also treatable.
Here, we'll talk about signs, symptoms and treatments for Feline Hip Dysplasia.
If you have a Maine Coon, you know how unique and different they are. You know you have a special cat! And if you're new to the breed, you are probably wondering what their unique needs are.
Since we're on the topic of health care for Maine Coons, I want to mention our E-book, The Care and Keeping of Your Maine Coon Cat. It's full of info. Check it out, and review the table of contents to see for yourself!
This is a genetically inherited condition. There is not one specific gene responsible, but a combination. Both parents must have the disorder or be carriers. Responsible breeders are aware of this and are screening their cats.
A kitten is born with the genetics for hip dysplasia, but not the condition itself. Many cat never develop symptoms.
Larger breeds, such as the big Maine Coon cat, will be more likely to develop signs and symptoms as they grow. This is simply because they bear more weight on the area.
Hip Dysplasia is basically a poor fitting hip joint. It is a ball and socket arrangement. The "ball" is the top of the femur (leg bone) and the "socket" is part of the pelvis. They should come together in a nice fit.
With cat hip dysplasia the fit is poor, and misshapen. The femur rubs in the hip socket. This causes is a wearing down of cartilage, and bone rubbing on bone. As a result the cat will experience pain and osteoarthritis.
Sometime after the age of six months or so, symptoms of hip dysplasia may show up. The cat might limp off and on, stop running and jumping as usual, or be obviously in pain. He might even refuse to walk.
If a vet suspects feline hip dysplasia, he might take x-rays. This will involve anesthesia because the cat will have to be completely relaxed on the x-ray table. They will want to x-ray the hip from various angles.
There are a couple of options for treatment. One is anti-inflammatory drugs. It's important to note that a cat should only be given drugs prescribed by your vet. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is poisonous and deadly to cats. Advil or Aspirin can be incorrectly dosed and deadly as well.
The vet will also recommend restricted exercise, such as jumping or going outside. Also, a glucosamine supplement is sometimes recommended.
There is surgery called femoral head ostectomy. It involves the vet going in and removing femur head. Tissue will build up in the area, and muscles will hold the hip in place. Although it sounds odd, it really provides relief.
With no more bone rubbing on bone, the cat feels better and goes on to live and play normally.
There are a wide array of quality supplements for hip dysplasia in cats. Joint support supplements can contain Glucosamine and Chondroitin, herbs, or even Chinese remedies.
They promote connective tissue health, help maintain healthy cartilage, and most importantly ease discomfort.
Hip dysplasia in cats can be incredibly painful, but thankfully it is fully treatable. With the right veterinary care a cat who suffers from feline hip dysplasia can still live a long and happy life.