It is not only dogs that get hip dysplasia so do our feline friends. A cat that has hip dysplasia means that the ball and socket are misaligned and loose, which prevents the femoral head from moving smoothly. This partial dislocation, called subluxation, causes the femoral head and the acetabulum to knock and grind against each other. Sadly, this condition is painful for cats, and needs to be properly cared for to ensure your cat has a comfortable, happy life. The cause of most cat hip dysplasia is genetics. This is a multi-gene disorder, so there is no simple DNA test for it.
Signs of hip dysplasia include:
- Avoiding exercise or physical activity
- Excessive licking or chewing of the affected area
- Difficulty getting up and moving
- Getting in and out of the litter box or sudden reluctance to use the litter box
Cats are sneaky at hiding their pain, some cats with hip dysplasia may not display any symptoms at all and that’s why it's important for cats to get regular check-ups with the vet. Joint supplements can help to minimize the progression of bony arthritic changes in the hip joints. Most joint supplements will have glucosamine or chondroitin in them. These help to repair any cartilage damage from abnormal wear and tear and keep cartilage healthy.
The most common treatment suggested by vets for hip dysplasia is surgery. The surgery will remove the deformed head and neck of the femur and, in time, your cat's muscles rebuild and form a new, false joint. After recovery, most cats will live a happy, normal life. In rare cases your vet may consider a total hip replacement.
Hip dysplasia is mostly a genetic condition, but environmental factors may have an impact too. A thorough physical examination by the vet can ascertain if your cat has a problematic hip or not. If hip dysplasia is left untreated it will reduce range of motion, increase pain and result in arthritis development