Feline Hip Dysplasia Symptoms

The feline hip dysplasia is an abnormal position of the hip joint in cats. A displacement of the joint occurs when the femur does not fit properly into the hip joint. In time, this condition can lead to bone deformities and joint swelling and the cat will be in a lot of pain. The pain will disable the cat to perform normal activities such as running or jumping. An early detection of the hip dysplasia symptoms can prevent a lot of these complications.

Causes of Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a recently discovered disease that can affect any breed of cat, in cats over the age of 2. Kittens are less likely to develop the disease, as they don’t have fully formed hip bones. Larger cat breeds may be more susceptible to the disease, as the bones are larger and they are not as protected by muscles and ligaments as smaller bones.

The cause of the deformity may be genetic, but a lot of stress on the hip joint may also cause its dislocation.

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia

A cat affected by hip dysplasia will show the following symptoms:

  • Limping
  • Difficulties walking, due to the deformities in the bone and the joint swelling
  • Lack of interest in games and activities, due to the pain caused by the deformity
  • Lack of energy
  • Lameness
  • Hesitation to jump or run
  • Difficulties waking up
  • Pain in the hip area, the cat may react aggressively when you touch the area
  • Licking  the hip area in attempt to relieve the pain

These symptoms may also be indicative of arthritis or joint swelling so a closer exam must be performed.

Diagnosing Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia in cats may be diagnosed by performing an x-ray, which will show if there are any bone deformities. The dysplasia can be present in one or both hip joints. The x-ray will reveal if the bone is also deformed.

Hip Dysplasia Care

Hip dysplasia cannot be cured with medication. Pain medication will be administered to comfort the cat. Anti-inflammatory medication may also be prescribed; the anti-inflammatories may be non steroidal or may contain steroids. The pain may be sporadic, so the vet may discontinue the medication for short periods of time.

Periodical examinations are essential in monitoring the cat’s condition and administering the best possible care. Glucosamine supplements may help in repairing the joint and may reduce the symptoms in time.

In severe cases, surgery will be necessary to repair the bone deformity and to fit the femur bone into the hip joint.

If the cat is overweight, this can aggravate the condition, so a strict weight loss program should be followed to reduce the stress on the hip joints.

Exercise is not recommended. However, to avoid a sedentary lifestyle, low impact exercises may be performed. The cat may exercise while swimming or walk at a slow rate.

The cat should also have a soft bed and bedding, to offer support and relieve the hip joint pain.