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Feline Hip Dysplacia

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
The vet thinks Zorro might have feline hip dysplacia. He goes in for ex-rays in a few weeks to find out for sure.
I don't know much about feline hip dysplacia. Is it similar to canine dysplacia? Zorro's only 1 1/2 year old. It seems kind of young for him to be getting something like this doesn't it?
I don't think I'd be able to afford the operation if that is what he has. Are there medications out there that will help, or will I have to put him down? I'm so worried that I'm going to lose him.
It started out with just one hip hurting. It slowly started to get better(over a few weeks), but then the other night, he hurt the other hip really bad(we have no idea what happened). The poor thing couldn't walk and was dragging himself along the floor.
He's on pain killers right now, so he's able to move around a little, but I know it still hurts him.
Does this sound like hip dysplacia, or something else? I know you guys arn't vets or anything, but I was just looking for some advice and opinions since I'm worrying myself crazy and his regular vet won't be back for me to talk to him until friday.
post #2 of 21
Wow, we're going through a very similar situation right now!! I think your baby either has hip dysplasia OR has Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. It's a disease where the kitties get "idiopathic femoral head/neck necrosis" (which in layman's terms means that somehow the blood supply to the head and neck of their femur bones (the part that articulates at the hip joint) gets compromised, and thus the bone essentially dies and becomes weakened, which can lead to pathologic fractures. If their bones are weakened like that they can break their little hips with something as simple as a jump off the couch.

I just got home about an hour ago with Milo (who is on post op day one from a bilateral femoral head ostectomy). Our story is that last Saturday morning, we woke up around 8:30....when Milo heard my husband moving around in the kitchen, he woke up too, and tried to stand up. When he tried to stand up, he let out a very strange meow and plopped back down. I tried to entice him to walk with kitty treats, but he wouldn't. So I was freaking out (he's only 1.5 years old as well, and had been completely healthy), and so we went to the vet immediately. As it turns out, he had broken BOTH of his femur bones right at the epiphysis (where the femoral neck and head meet, up near the hip joint). He is a totally inside cat, and nothing was out of the ordinary at home, so we're pretty positive that he must have had weakening of the bones in that area that led to their easy breaking.

Anyway, it sounds like your kitty may have the same problem. Zorro and Milo are the same age, and when Milo broke his femurs, he could only drag himself around too. The GOOD thing about Legg-Calve-Perthe disease (or hip dysplasia, for that matter) is that their bones are only compromised in that one area, and the rest of the bones in their body are fine. So if they have the surgery that Milo had, they have a really good chance of recovering to a pain-free, almost normal functioning existence.

I do understand the money thing...we don't have much either. The FHO procedure does cost quite a bit, especially if you have to have it done bilaterally. But maybe Zorro would only need one side done...the Xrays and the vet's interpretation of them would tell you. I have been going nuts researching the disease and the surgery for the past several days...I will PM you with some links to check out! And of course feel free to ask me any questions you have! I've become a bit of an expert with my frantic research these past few days. Best of luck to you and little Zorro.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the information. I'm going to start researching it and mention it to his regular vet when he comes back.
The vet said that nothing seems to be broken though. Can they have this disease and not break the bones?
I guess we'll find out whenever i can scrounge up the money for the ex-ray. (Hopefully I'll be able to afford it next pay check). I'm also expecting a baby in the next month or so, so were a little tight for money.
I guess if he does need any major surgery, I could try fundraising. It might work since he has such a sad life story. I just have no idea how I'd go about doing it.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I just read the links you PM'd me. They were very useful. It does sound like it might be what he has.
He has never been able to jump from any height without hurting himself, and he always sits on one of his hips with his legs both sticking out to the same side (he's sat like this ever since he was a kitten)
Ever since he could play we have been trying to keep him from jumping since his legs are so short. He never jumps ONTO things(like the couch or bed. he uses his front legs and back claws to climb his way up onto the couch, lol) I think what happened was that he tried to jump off the couch when we wern't looking.(we usually pick him up and put him onto the floor)
I guess I'll find out soon as to what it is. He has one day left of pain meds(they have him on metacam so its only VERY short term. I'll find out in a few days whether or not he needs to go on different pain meds.
post #5 of 21
Man, that sounds exactly like Milo. He has always let out a little "hmph" every time he jumped down off of something (as if it hurts) and he used to sit the same way, with his legs both out to the same side. He also did the thing where he used his front legs to pull himself up onto the couch instead of jumping up on it. My gut intuition says that Zorro has the same problem. Even if nothing is broken, it might be that he still has weakening of his femoral bones at the head/neck and it's painful.

Good idea with the fundraising. Do a google search and see what you can come up with. Also, be sure to check with multiple vets to see what they have to offer...maybe they do pro bono work every now and then and would be willing to take Zorro on as a pro bono client??
post #6 of 21
One more thing, about pain meds....when I took Milo in on Saturday morning after his fractures had apparently happened during the night Friday, they put a Duragesic (fentanyl) patch on him for pain control, and also gave me Metacam to give him every day. Post-op, he's got a fresh patch and I'm supposed to give Metacam daily x 10 days. If you feel like Zorro's pain control isn't enough, maybe ask about a patch?
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'll have to ask the vet about that patch if he's still in a lot of pain after his meds are done. He has tonight left, so I'll wait until Saturday to see if his legs are still bothering him.
I have to take him to my mothers for the weekend, so I'm thinking about locking him up in a large wire crate since my mothers house has stairs, and Angel will probably want to play with him.
post #8 of 21
Yeah, Milo is in a large wire crate right now. I think it's good because if you take away the opportunity to run around, they will rest, and rest is a good thing.

Keep us updated on the developments...I hope Zorro is doing OK and isn't in too much pain!!
post #9 of 21

Last year I had a cat that needed hip surgery and I had no money... His name was JJ... He was a great cat that was in dire need. I wanted to help him but was broke....

Go to this site.. Go through the whole process. Once you have your paperwork together and send it in [I faxed mine], it only takes a day or so to get approval.

Once approved, they open up a webpage featuring your animal and what his/her situation is... then the donations roll in.

You have to check with your vet and find one that is not adverse to using this organization.

Since you have already paid some money to a vet trying to help your cat, they know you are sincerely trying to help him/her.

It took approx one to two weeks to raise ALL the money JJ needed for an amputation. They will also pay for a dose of frontline and for spay neutering at the same time if your animal needs it.

They are wonderful wonderful people. JJ would still be draggin a dead leg if not for them. Now he has a full life. go here and click on the link "pets in need" and you will see some of what they do. They have different types of help catagories depending on what is wrong with your animal.

And this is the online forum for IMOM. I started posting about JJ before he was approved so everyone would know I was trying and so the people willing to donate would also be aware that JJ was and "up and coming pet in need"...... I do think because of this, the funds were raised so quickly.

Open up an account here.

This is another organization that donated 200.00 toward JJ.
but alas, they are not currently able to help anyone... but it's good info.

It is not as difficult a process as it appears..... I promise.

Post your progress regarding IMOM here so I can read about it...... good luck!!!

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Wow Jenn. Thank you soo much for that info. I've been starting to get a little downhearted, but your post gave me a little more hope.
I'm staying at my mother's house this weekend, so I brought over a crate so that he wouldn't run down the stairs. Well, then I was setting it up, I put him on the floor for a minute and BOOM, off he ran down the stairs. The more I chased him, the faster he ran. Now the poor man can't walk at all again. He was able to limp around this morning.
I'm sure he's going to need more pain meds though. He's still in alot of pain and tonight was his last night on metacam. This vet comes back tommorow, so I'm going to call the clinic and see if they can get him to call me today about getting a pain patch or something because if hes in this much pain being on the meds, I don't want to know what he'll be like when they wear off.
I feel so bad for him. He's so depressed in that crate and just isn't himself anymore. It makes me cry just to look at him. He's not really eating anymore and is starting to lose weight. He's eating maybe half of what he usually eats. He still hasn't finished his breakfast from this morning, and its almost 11 at night now. He just looks so down that it breaks my heart.
I hope I'll be able to afford those ex-rays next pay check, and if he needs that surgery, I hope that site will help. I've also thought about going to the paper. He was an amazing story that might touch people enough to help out.
Things arn't looking too good for him right now. The poor thing.
post #11 of 21
Kudos to Jen for finding that info for Zorro!!!

gothicangel, I just wanted to say that Milo and I are thinking about you guys and sending happy good luck thoughts your way. Please keep us updated and let us know if you get a donations page set up for Zorro!! I'm sure us folks in the CatSite community would be able to help at least a little!!
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
I just registered for the site, and introduced Zorro to everyone. I told them pretty much his life story. I'm going to wait and see what his regular vet says before starting a donations page. That website really gave me hope.
Everyone on here is so supportive. I think I would be an absolute mess in I didn't have anyone to talk to about this.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Zorro's not doing very good at all today. He's still not really eating and we won't go to the bathroom. I'm not sure if thats because he's not eating alot of something but its very worrysome. He hasn't had a bowel movement since wednesday and he only peed once yesterday, and it was only a tiny tiny amount (he got most of it all over himself). He hasn't peed yet today, but has been laying in the litterpan all morning.
He's still in alot of pain, even while being on the pain meds. I just called the vet and left a message on his voice mail telling him to call me asap.
I'm starting to think that maybe I'm not doing the right thing. I won't have money for the ex-ray for at least another week. I'm not sure if thats fair to him or not leaving him locked up in a crate, in pain for that long.
It doesn't help that my family isn't supportive. They all love Zorro, but know that I don't have the money. They keep telling me that the best thing I could do for him would be to put him down.
I just don't know what to do anymore. I've been crying all morning trying to figure out what the right thing is to do...
post #14 of 21
I'm sorry to hear this news. I can tell that Zorro is a very special cat.

Since I guess your current vet isn't willing to do the xrays on 'credit', could you call around and maybe find another vet willing to work with you and/or one that will work with IMOM. Then you can xrays, diagnosis, and get started with IMOM. I know it's a lot of work and a lot of places will say no...but if you can find one place, that would be great.

You and Zorro are in my thoughts.

ETA: Maybe Zorro's having an especially bad day just because he's at your mom's house...out of his "comfort zone".
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes, I guess he could just be having a bad day since he's at my mothers house instead. (plus he's locked in a crate)
He peed twice today, which is good, but he peed all over himself, which is not soo good.
I called the vet a few times today and asked him to get back to me as soon as he could. Well, I never got a call back from the vet, but the receptionist did call me back after me hassling her a few times about pain meds. She called to say that more metacam will be ready to pick up tommorow. I told her I didn't want metacam since its not that good for cats, but she said that thats what he made up, so its the only thing I can get right now.
I'm a little upset that he never called. I've been wanting to talk to him since Monday. I understand that he might have had a busy day, but if someone promises to call back, they should keep that promise. He's a great vet, don't get me wrong, I'm just upset because this is my little baby we're talking about and he's in pain.
He played with his turbo scratcher for a half hour tonight. I think he likes it because he doesn't have to move his back half to play with it.
Its very hard going through this when no one in you family supports you. They all think I should put him down. They keep telling me that he's just a sick cat, and that even if I fix this, something else will happen and that he's just got problems that can't be fixed and I should learn to accept that. I get so upset just thinking about putting him down. I don't think I've cried this much in a long time.
post #16 of 21
GA, I'm so sorry to hear that you guys are having a hard time.

I agree that maybe you should see if any other vets are willing to help you guys out by possibly doing the Xrays on credit?? Let them know that you're in the process of getting the fundraising started...

I wish there was more I could offer besides my thoughts and prayers...I know it must be super hard without your family supporting you. Just remember that we support you here, so you're not alone.

Please keep us updated. I will continue to send you and Zorro happy thoughts and prayers of comfort.
post #17 of 21
go ahead and gather the paperwork necessary in case you use IMOM....... go ahead and get approved.......

They are the ones that set up a donation page. You do nothing but get approved.

Will you vet HOLD a check till your payday so he can go ahead and xray the cat..... I know lmy vet lets me postdate a check if I have to.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
I went in today to get his pain meds. The vet wasn't in, so I had to go with the metacam again. I don't like using it, it makes me uncomfortable, but they said to just watch him, and if he gets diarrhea or vomits to stop using it right away.
I told them that he hasn't been eating much, so they gave me a free can of Hills A/D to try. I got home and Zorro ate 1/4 of the can, so thats good. I'll give him another 1/4 later on tonight.
He's getting used to the crate now. He actually went in my himself and laid down this morning when he realized I was going to work. He's such a smart kitty!
He's also going to the bathroom by himself now (still getting a little on him, but not as bad).
I also noticed today, while he was drinking, that his toe (the thumb one, lol) looked a little wet. I looked at it, and its all swollen and infected. The wetness that I saw was pus, not water.
He was a very good kitty though. He let me but a little peroxide on it(diluted), then let me wash it out with epson salts, then water, then put some polysporin eye drops on it. There was litter in the socket where the nail goes in, so I'm assuming thats how the infection started. So hopefully now thats its all cleaned up the infection should go away and the swelling should go down.
All in all he's doing a little better. His legs are still hurting him alot, but I think he's getting used to the idea that he's not supposed to move around alot.
I'm going to call around on Monday to get differet prices for the ex-rays.
Right now I have two estimates. $350, and $310. I should be able to afford it this comming friday, but we'll see if a clinic around here can maybe do it on credit, and then I'll pay for it when my check comes in.
post #19 of 21
GA, glad to hear things are a bit better today. I wouldn't worry TOO much about the long as you're not giving too big of a dose, Zorro should be fine. My vet (the one that did the surgery) told me that I should give one drop per pound of lean body Milo gets about 10 drops a day (he's 12 pounds but vet says only about 10 of that is lean).

We're all thinking about you guys!!!
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh ok. I feel much better then. Zorro's only getting 0.25 mL once a day. It makes him really drowzy and dopey though. Is that normal? My mother's dog's on it everyday for arthritis and she never gets doped up on it. Maybe its just that cats are different?
post #21 of 21
Yeah, I don't want to mislead you to think that the metacam is entirely safe; I was just checking online and there have been cases of metacam-induced deaths in kitties. Technically, the oral solution is only approved for use in dogs (there's an injectable that is approved for cats) but the oral still gets used in cats as well. The important thing is to watch for side effects...perhaps you should call the vet tomorrow to ask about Zorro getting doped up on it to make sure that it's still OK to give him?
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