Common Cat Hip Problems

There are two common cat hip health problems. Glucosamine treatments can help to improve cat hip joints, and reduces the chances of a cat developing these hip problems.

Coxofemoral Cat Hip Luxation

Coxofemoral cat hip luxation involves a dislocated hip joint. The head of the femur slips out of the pelvis socket. Coxofemoral luxation usually occurs following an injury, such as being hit by a car. However, other underlying conditions, such as hip dysplasia, can also cause the hip joint to dislocate.

Caught early, the bone can be put back into place without too much difficulty. If the condition is missed, severe arthritis in that joint can occur. Knowing the symptoms can help you seek immediate care. They include:

  • Cracking or popping sounds near the joint
  • Excessive movement of the affected limb
  • Limping

Once diagnosed, surgery may be needed to secure the ball within the socket. If surgery is required, a torn ligament may need to be surgically removed to allow the femur to return to place. A pin may be needed to hold the bone in place or a prosthetic joint may be necessary. In some cases, the veterinarian can simply manipulate the bone back into place; this is most likely if there is no wear or damage to the joint or ligaments.

After the procedure, the cat's leg will be immobilized for a few weeks to allow it time to heal. If your cat's injury is related to being hit by a car, keeping him inside can prevent future accidents.  New x-rays will be taken in about a month to ensure the bone is in the joint and that it has healed properly.

Feline Hip Dysplasia

Cat hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint no longer fits into the femur socket correctly. In most cases, the cat hip disorder is genetic and not readily noticeable until the animal ages. There is some belief that larger cats, such as Maine Coons, are also more likely to develop hip dysplasia. Additional studies find that overweight cats are more likely to develop the painful condition. This is due to the extra stress on the hip joint.

Symptoms of feline hip dysplasia include pain in the hip joint. If your once active cat suddenly spends all day laying around, refusing any effort to play, this can be a key sign. Limping is another important sign.

Giving your cat daily liquid glucosamine can be effective in helping repair the hip joint. Add the supplement to canned food and offer that as a treat or meal to your cat. Strong fishy flavors often work best to attract the cat and get him to eat all of his food and supplement.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are health supplements proven to help heal tissue and cartilage. Because they are nutritional supplements, you'll find them in many health food stores. The proper dosage for a cat is 500 milligrams per day.

If you suspect your cat has hip joint issues, contact a vet. X-rays can diagnose hip dysplasia. Treatments often include anti-inflammatory medications and maintaining proper body weight. If the problem is severe, surgery can be used to correct the bone and joint formation.