Friday, April 27, 2012


Hello to all cat lovers! 

My name is Barbara and I am originally from Germany...so please excuse any mistakes with the English language during this Blog!
 I currently reside in Los Angeles, CA. Our household consists of my husband, a daughter and our beautiful 17 month old Maine Coon “Bentley”.
This blog is designed to help others undergoing an FHO surgery with their cats. The experience can be quite nerve racking and heart wrenching. If you Google "FHO surgery", you will also see a wonderful informative Blog by the name of: Jason’s cats. I found a lot of useful information there however; I don’t think it is no longer active! 
Here is our cat Bentley’s story:

We noticed a slight limp on our Bentley off and on. We didn’t think much of it since he played, ate and showed no other symptoms of discomfort. We thought that he must have stepped wrong and eventually would work it out. However, he started to have more and more trouble jumping up on things and sometimes he would actually completely miss the jump. That was odd for a young cat! We also started to notice that he would just lay down more and more and when it came to play time, he would just use his front paws. That was even odder. My husband said that he also started to hiss at him while playing, or when picked up…it was time for a Vet visit!
Our Vet gave Bentley a thorough exam and when she reached his right hind leg, he hissed and lashed out…it was time for X-Rays!
It turned out that our poor Bentley had a Femoral Head Fracture right along the growth plate. We were advised to have Bentley undergo FHO surgery.
A Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) is a surgical procedure that removes the femoral head and neck from the femur. FHO surgery is performed to alleviate pain.
Cats do quite well with this surgery. Our Vet explained that Bentley will form what is called a fake joint and that his strong muscle group in his hint leg will help keep the joint together. Hard to believe but true!!!
We were in a state of shock, since we never even saw him getting this horrible injury in the first place. Bentley is mostly an inside cat and if allowed outside; only on a leash under constant supervision! Our daughter however had witnessed him jump from our living room table the other day and landing awkwardly. But for a cat his size (he is a very large pedigree Maine Coon with a current weight of 18lbs 14oz and according to our Vet he is just at a right weight for his size), a jump from a table shouldn’t be a problem! Well obviously not!
We bought Bentley from a Breeder and we were advised to have him neutered at 6 month of age. Bentley’s Vet thinks that this could be the reason for his growth plate fracture. And I emphasize “Could”!!!These fractures are often seen in young male cats that have been neutered at 6 month or even younger. One of the hypotheses is that the lack of hormones (due to early neutering) prevents the growth plates from closing properly, which can result in a fracture at the weakened growth plate. More and more Veterinarians are discussing the possibility of a link between early neutering and growth plate fractures.
Please make sure to discuss with your Vet, what he thinks should be the right age for your little guy to undergo neutering surgery.
 Your Vet will know what’s best for your little guy and hopefully therefore safe you from a huge heartbreak, expense and the most important…your poor cat from a lot of pain and agony!

Bentley had his surgery on March 15th, 2012. We dropped him off Thursday morning 8:30 AM and my daughter and I picked him up the same day at about 5:30 PM. I was not prepared at all for what was about to come and to see my poor Baby in so much pain. He growled and howled, hissed and paced the floors none stop. He would not allow anybody near him without hissing and getting more and more agitated. We finally managed to confine him in a small area and by then he had somewhat settled down. His Fentanyl patch attached to his neck must have finally started to kick in. We were told that the patch could take 6-12hrs after application before it starts working. Beside the Fentanyl patch, he was also placed on an antibiotic Cephalexin, 25mg every 12 hrs.  

The next morning Friday his first post op day, Bentley would just lay there staring into space. He had used his litter box to urinate during the night but no bowl movement. He would only eat food out of my hand and he would barley move. Each time he would switch sides he would make a kind of squealing sound. It was so sad to witness! He pretty much spend the whole day just lying down. I wasn’t too worried about his water intake since he had a lot of IV fluids the day before and the wet food also contains enough moisture to help keep him hydrated.

Saturday on his second post op day, he was a wee bit better since the pain patch was now working for him. He still showed discomfort but much less than the day before. He still would only eat out of my hand and not drink. I started to give him water with a syringe. At about 10:3OPM Saturday night Bentley crawled and wobbled into his litter box. He sat there squatting and shaking and crying. He tried and tried…and finally produced a very small and dried up hard poop, which just dangled of his back side. He fell over from pain and exhaustion and all I could do is watch and cry. I tried to clean him up which resulted again in anger hissing and growling and more stress. The pain patch was making him constipated.


On his 3rd. day post op which would make it Sunday now, Bentley still had not produced a good bowl movement and I now started to help him along by feeding him pure pumpkin paste 1tsp 2x daily. I had spoken to our Vet Friday before the weekend and was advised, that if he doesn’t produce a movement to also give him some Milk with the pumpkin. Cats are lactose intolerant and will usually go to the bathroom shortly after they had Milk. Not our Bentley… he does not like Milk, Cat Milk or any of the Laxatone brand’s at all, not even Tuna flavored. Since it was the weekend I contacted an online Vet Service for advice. Here is the post:

Please advise....
My 16 month old Maine Coon Bentley is the 3rd day post op from an FHO surgery. He eats wet food only Natures Variety Instinct Lamb. He eats if I hand feed him. I do not see him drink very much. He is probably getting all the moisture out of the wet food. My concern is that he has not produced a bowl movement since last Wednesday 3/14/12. I have been giving him about 2 Tsp. of Pumpkin daily and extra water through a syringe (my Vets advice). He is urinating but no poop. My Vet also said to give him Milk. He however does not like Milk.
He is wearing a Fentanyl patch and he is also on Antibiotics Cephalexin 25mg every 12 hrs. Should he be pain free with the patch? To me he still looks very uncomfortable. He barley moves and I guess this also does not help with his bowls. What else can I do for him?
Thank you in advance....Barbara

The response:
Hi there,

The poor dear. It is probably uncomfortable to get into the position to have a bowel movement. The Fentanyl patch may not be doing the whole job for him to keep him pain free. You could by Miralax over the counter at the drug store and give him some of that. It is safe and mild. You could also try Cat Lax or Petromalt or Laxatone that you can get at your vets or a pet store. The doses are on the labels. I find psyllium seed powder easier to use than the pumpkin you can get that at a health food store. 1/8 teaspoon on canned food at each meal. Yes the extra water is important. If he hasn't pooped by Monday then go to your own vet for an enema and sub cutaneous fluids. It is not life threatening if he does not go till then.

Off to the store I went to buy Miralax for Bentley. I mixed 1/8 of a tsp. with his tsp. of Pumpkin and he happily licked it of the spoon. Still no BM and you could tell that he was starting to feel more and more uncomfortable. He kept on licking his back side. Finally Sunday night at about 10:30 PM he walked back into his litter box and produced a normal size BM. After wards he felt so much better. He actually came and walked around for just a little bit and even played just a wee bit with his front paws. We all slept well that night!

Monday 4th day post op, we were back to square one! Bentley was just lying around and now not having much of an appetite either! He did not use his litter box all day and night which had me worried. I called the Vet and took the Fentanyl patch off which could have been the cause of his ongoing constipation.
We switched Bentley back to Bupernex for pain management every 8-12hrs.

My husband and I got up with him every hr. throughout the night and he looked very uncomfortable in his little bed. He did not move once.

Tuesday Morning 5th day post op, Bentley had not urinated or pooped since Sunday night and also completely stopped eating now. I was mostly concerned about him not urinating. I feared a blockage. My husband and I were devastated! My husband took the morning off and we went straight to the Vet. Our Vet gave Bentley a physical exam and performed an Ultrasound to check his bladder... which was fine. She also gave Bentley an Enema, an Appetite stimulant and an anti-inflammatory, which made a huge difference. Bentley came home and he was a different cat. He played, rubbed up against us and had a great appetite. He even walked around using his leg with a slight limp. We were amazed at the difference in his demeanor.  

Wednesday day 6 post op, Bentley urinated and pooped during the night and his appetite seemed to be back with the help of the Mirtazapine (Appetite Stimulant). His energy level on a scale from 1 to 10 however is about a 2. Well I guess that is not bad for his 6th   day post op.

Thursday 3/22/2012 one week post op.
Bentley has come a long ways. He is such a trooper!
Today Bentley ate without the help of Mirtazapine. We noticed that Bentley is trying to fight me all the way when it comes to his antibiotics. We think that the Cephalexin is really upsetting his stomach and that seems to be the worse of his problems at the moment. Sadly we have another week ahead with it. He is down to less than half a dosage of his Pain meds and managing very well. He is very alert and walking more through the house. We bought him stairs to help him get on our bed which he is using very nicely. He eats little throughout the day but more during the night. His cat box stays untouched throughout the day but in the mornings we find that he urinated and pooped during the night.

Friday 8 days post op

Today my husband got greeted at the bedroom door at 6 AM by a loudly purring Bentley waiting for his breakfast. His food bowl from last night was completely licked clean and he also had success in his litter box with both # 1 and # 2. I have a feeling that today will be a good day for our Bentley! This happy mood lasted until it was time again for the antibiotics. I don't know how he managed to spit them out 3 times but he did. When I finally managed to get the pill down his throat, he retrieved instantly back in his bed and all appetite was lost again. It finally dawned on me to start him on some Probiotics (Forte Flora) along with the Antibiotics, to help restore the balance in Bentley’s digestive system. It seemed to help… Forte Flora is very palpable to cats and once sprinkled over Bentley’s food he actually ate, not as much as he used too…but he ate.
He has been walking more and to my surprise he even wanted to go outside today! He also is starting to size certain jumps as if he wants to try! Unfortunately I had to turn him down with both of his attempts, he will have to wait 1 more week before he can resume his normal activities…Dr.’s order!
Today was the first day to see some of Bentley’s normal behavior back. There was also no need for pain meds toady. All Bentley is taken now is the Antibiotics, the Anti Inflammatory and Probiotics.
I finally see a light now and I think that Bentley is now gaining more and more strengths as each day passes in his recovery.
We still have a long road ahead of us but I think once he is done with his Antibiotics, then his tummy will feel better too and all shall be back to normal soon.

On his 10th post op day we again headed 2 steps backwards! Bentley completely quit eating and drinking and vomited once during the night and once throughout the day. After I called the Vet we decided to stop his Antibiotics but to continue with the Anti inflammatory meds until finished.
His appetite improved somewhat but from what Bentley ate before his operation, was now only a small fracture. He used to eat a whole 5.5 oz. can pre op and know if we were lucky he ate 1/8 of a can.
Partly to blame was also his inactivity.
Slowly but surely Bentley’s appetite improved somewhat within a few days after stopping the Antibiotics. And it got even better after we had finished the Anti-Inflammatory.

Bentley is now almost 6 weeks post op and a different cat. His appetite is back to normal. He runs and plays. He begs for his food in the morning or at night! And he is begging twice a day to take him outside on his leash to chase Lizards.
The only thing that reminds us still of his surgery is that he walks with a limp… because of his leg being somewhat shorter. He also still needs help with little booster stools to get up on things. He can jump up onto a chair but prefers the booster stool instead. Probably still too early and I am maybe expecting too much too soon.
Otherwise Bentley has come a long ways since his surgery on March 15th, 2012.
His bowl movements have also all turned back to normal. Time will certainly tell with him since we have read numerous times that the recovery for this specific surgery is a long one. It can take up to a year before fully recovered.




I will be more than happy to help answer any questions, should you have any!

134 comments:

  1. Thank you SO much for this...I just had to have this surgery for my 5 month old kitten. I had NO idea it was such a big deal...they told me little of the vastness and stress of the recovery..I was just so worried that kitty-boy was in pain. I had to take him back to the vet to spend the night as he pulled out some of his stitches ( you had to peal me off the ceiling..) They put a cone on his head and are keeping him for the night to monitor. We had no pain patch and only antibiotics for him so I am not sure what is going on there. I am SO concerned with the jumping part. There is a very dangerous ledge from our staircase that the cats like to walk on, in fact, that is where he fell a few week ago. I think, also, that he was neutered too young and this is the reason as you spoke about- SO SAD.....

    Anyway, I am a single mom with 2 young children and we have been BESIDE ourselves. It is so hard and I feel so helpless to ease him. I slept on the floor next to him with my fingers touching his fur the first night which made him purr and calm down.....

    Being able to read what you went through is very helpful. It is so stressful right now and I am kicking myself for not doing more research first...although, I would have been more stressed going into it, that is for sure...and, is there ever a really "good" time to do a surgery like this?! I just pray that my kitty-boy will feel better and moving around soon....

    Thanks again,

    meghan
    delaware

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  2. Hi Meghan, you are very welcome! I am glad that Bentley and I could be of help.
    Hang in there, your little guy will get better. It's heartbreaking to watch I know but he will get better! Bentley is now 10 weeks post op and he is running, playing with the neighbors kitten... rolling on the floor like nothing happened. He has come a long ways. The only thing still reminding us now is that he walks with a little bit of limp(mechanical not painful)probably due to the leg being a bit shorter and he still hesitates to jump up on things. Otherwise he is doing great.
    Good luck to you and your little guy. Bentley and I are sending healing thoughts! :)

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  3. Your blog has been very helpful. My cat is due to have a FHO procedure tomorrow. My husband found my cat in my neighbor’s yard this morning. My neighbor has two aggressive German Shepard’s. I took my cat to the vet to discover her pelvis is broken in two places and her right hind leg was dislocated and pushed forward. The vet was able to put the leg back into place, but it would pop back out, thus needing the surgery. She only has three legs as it is.. I can’t figure out how or why my cat was in my neighbor’s yard. I’ve had her for four years and she knows very well not to go next door. It’s a miracle to me that the dogs didn’t kill her. Reading your story and others has helped me have hope. I was wondering how much actually needs to be done and how much is the vet getting money. I have recently sent my daughter off to college, so the funds are tight. My cat loves me so much and I owe her every chance possible. So we’ll be eating mac and cheese for a while.. I hate having her at the vet overnight. I know she is scared and wants to be home. I’m looking forward to getting her home..
    Jackie :)

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    1. Hi Jackie
      I am sorry to hear about your kitties ordeal. Who knows what made her go into the neighbors yard all of a sudden?!
      I read before that even with 3 legs a cat can have a normal life.
      When Bentley had his first surgery, he came home the same day which was very hard on him and on us. We had him at a different Veterinary Hospital for his second surgery and there, he was kept over night. We were very pleased with the second hospital and how he was cared for. It was also comforting to know that they have a Vet on board 24 hrs. When Bentley came home the second day he was much better off than the the first time around. His Fentanyl Patch had kicked in and he was much more relaxed.
      To the costs, the first time we paid about $!800.- plus an additional $600.- for X-rays and lab work. And the second time we paid $ 2500.- for the surgery and again $600 for pre op work i.e. X-rays and Lab work that had already been done at our original Vet. We have pet Insurance for Bentley now "Healthy Paws" and are getting 80% back from the total Vet Bill. I can only advise for every pet owner to check into pet health insurance. It is a lifesaver when it comes to expensive vet bills in a case like this.
      I hope all goes well. My advise to you...call different Vet and shop for the best price. Some charge more than others.
      Good luck :)

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  5. Dear Barbara:

    I too want to thank you so much for posting this blog. I have 2 male cats...Zorro is almost 5 years old and Tarzan is almost 2 years old. Tarzan is the one that is needing the FHO.

    I am shocked that I have been reading that the neuter could be what has caused this growth plate fracture. He was neutered at about 4 months old. I was told that the sooner you neuter a male cat, before they reach maturity, then they will not spray...that was happy news to my ears; however I would never have done the neuter that soon had I known this "could" happen.

    I have also heard that this surgery is not as common in cats as compared to dogs?? I was also told that this type of thing will show up when a cat is around 2 years old?

    Did you have the pet insurance BEFORE your cat had any symptoms? Did you get it before his first FHO or is second FHO? How likely is it that a cat would need to have the 2nd FHO on the other side??

    Again, thank you so much for all your information and thank God that Bentley is on his road to recovery!!

    Blessings,
    Lisa

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    Replies
    1. Dear Lisa

      I am sorry to hear about your little guy Tarzan.

      To help answer your questions. These types of fractures happen in most male cat's under or by the age of 2. I was told by our vet that when the cats are over 2 years old the growth plates will have closed in most cats.
      We did not have the cat insurance for Bentley for his first surgery therefore, we had to pay the full amount. Also when we got him insured shortly after his first surgery the insurance company will not cover anything that happens to his right leg, which is understandable. His right leg is considered pre existing and not covered.
      For his second FHO surgery on his left leg, Bentley was insured with "Healthy Paws" and they covered right away 80% of the total bill. Bentley has to go for his 6 week check up this coming Wednesday on the August 8th, 2012. I will post an update to his Blog.

      Best wishes to Tarzan for a successful FHO and pain free live.

      Take care
      Barbara and Bentley

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  6. Hi Barbara

    I know it has been many months now so Bentley should be almost completely recovered...thank god its over. My maine coon was 11 days before his 2nd birthday, jumped off my bed just right or wrong and broke his leg in the same place as Bentley. It took my vet 3 weeks to do the FHO, he kept wanting to "watch it" to see if it would heal naturally. Well a week and a half later he re-injured it and started dragging his leg, so I insisted he do the surgery. Well we are now 5 days post surgery (merry christmas to my poor baby) I can't help but just cry for him. The cone around is neck is just as aggravating as the pain in his hip. He is also on antibiotics and buprenex. He is so drugged that he can't even walk for more than a few feet. I think his potty times are okay but I noticed that he pees on his leg, so sad. I got him neutered at 4 months and my breeder was very upset with me afterwards because she said it would interrupt something to do with his growth plate....of course I didn't pay attention because I have had cats all my life so just figured .. blaaa, I just knew I did not want him to spray in my house so I was gona make sure he was fixed early enough so as not to have he urge to spray. But in doing my research on maine coons I saw that they have a propensity for hip problems so I was smart enough to get pet insurance with a rider for hip displaysia. Thank god for Truepanion they pay 90%. But my question is this, when Bentley was first xrayed did that see anything in the growth plate of the opposite side? When my vet was explaining the xrays to me he said "the left side closed nicely" so does that mean I shouldn't have to worry about this happening to his other side?

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  7. Hi Cosmo&39's mom

    Merry Christmas to you and I am sorry to hear about your little guys surgery. Hang in there he will get better. The first few days are rough. Bentley had a really hard time too with the stiff cone around his neck so my husband went to our Vet and bought him a soft cone which worked wonderful. Bentley didn't mind it at all! You can also buy the soft ones in most pet supply stores. If you look at the pictures on Bentley's blog you can see Bentley wearing the soft blue cone.
    To answer your question about the first set of x-rays? At that time there was no evidence of anything wrong with his growth plate on the opposite side however, my Vet warned us and said that this condition is in most cases bilateral. She told us that it would most likely happen to his opposite side. I was devastated and sure thing he fractured it 3 month later.
    But I can assure you that Bentley is doing great now. He runs and jumps and plays like a kitten now.
    Bentley and I are sending healing thought to your little guy and we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.

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  8. It was so nice to have this blog to read while my cat was going through surgery.

    I started my own blog, moFHOsurgery.blogspot.ca. My cat is now day 7 post surgery!

    For anyone else interested, you can follow our journey to recovery, I try to post every day!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kaley

      I just looked at your blog....very nice!
      It looks like Mo is doing great after his FHO surgery. Best wishes for a speedy recovery:)

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  9. Dear Barbara. I know it's been a while since Bentley's ordeal and I am hoping he is all back to normal. I have a 19 pound Main Coon , Leo. But this is about our newest addition Toot. He is almost a year old , and is one week post FHO surgery. He eats fine can food and treats, almost done with antibiotic , he goes to the bathroom fine. He is very good, and tolerant. I am a little concerned though , because he still drags his leg as if he is afraid to use it , is that normal and how long did it take Bentley to get back to be Bentley.
    Thank you for this blog , it sure helps when you feel like you're the only one going through this!
    Bless you and Bentley

    Solange

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    Replies
    1. Hello there

      I am so happy to hear that people do find this Blog. It is so heart breaking having to watch your Baby go through this ordeal. Be patient the recovery takes a long time, we were told up to a year. Toot is 1 week post op, that is still very early. Bentley hobbled for about 2-3 weeks before he started to put more on more weight on his post op leg. I was on the phone with my Vet none-stop asking questions. Bentley has recovered completely now from his double FHO ordeals. He now however, has developed allergies something completely new to worry about for us...lol!!! Hang in there it will get better.
      Bentley and I wish Toot all the best for a speedy and complete recovery. Bentley just caught a Lizard this morning in our yard, when you see him run now...one would never know that he had 2 FHO surgery's.

      God Bless you Leo and Toot

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  10. It was so nice seeing blogs about other cats with FHO surgery, so I started my own blog about my cat Mo's FHO.

    He is doing sooo well about 3 months post-op and I would recommend this surgery to absolutely everyone!

    To read about our journey post femoral head ostectomy, go to mofhosurgery.blogspot.com!

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  11. Hello there

    Thank you for posting your link to Mo's experience on Bentley's blog! When Bentley underwent his surgery we couldn't hardly find any info on the recovery phase of the FHO surgery in cats... to help ease our minds. With Bentley's blog and others like yourself, we can hopefully be of help.

    Best wishes to Mo...who by the way is a gorgeous little guy!

    Barbara and Bentley

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  12. Hi Barbara,

    Thank you for sharing Bentley's story! Our cat Wayfare just had FHO surgery 1 week ago, and we were told to restrict his activity quite a bit--small room or kennel for at least 2 weeks and no access to stairs/jumping for 1 month. He is a small 8.5 lb cat, and his recover has luckily been relatively easy. He was already putting weight on his leg 1 day post-op. He's used to spending about half his day outside, and is getting very restless with the restrictions we were given (single/small room no stairs). From your story, it sounds like Bentley was jumping and using stairs pretty soon after surgery. Do you think that being more aggressive with activity is better after your experience? I hate seeing him so sad and bored. Even if he can't go outside yet, more access to the house will probably make him much happier.

    Thanks again!!

    Tiffany

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    1. Hi Tiffany

      I understand your dilemma! Bentley went stir crazy too...so we went out and bought him a pet stroller. He actually loved it and we are still using it to this day when we have to take him places. Bentley weighs 20 lbs and therefore is to heavy for me to carry, the stroller came in handy for us. I am certainly not saying that you should do the same but maybe you can place Wayfare in a secure kennel or crate outside for a bit so he can see and smell things. Or have him sit on Harness and leash...so that he can't get into trouble but still enjoy the outside.
      Most Vet's opinions differ when it comes to the post op care. Bentley had 2 different surgeons. The first one discouraged exercising the leg and moving it early on and the second surgeon was all for it. In both cases Bentley turned out just fine. But both surgeons didn't want him to climb stairs or jump for about 2 weeks post op.
      I hope this helps a little bit...good luck to you both! And best wishes to Wayfare for a speedy recovery. Keep us posted on his progress....it does take a long time. Don't get discouraged hang in there;)

      Barbara

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    2. Hi Barbara! Thanks fo your reply. Wayfare is now 2 weeks post-op, and he's doing well!! He got his stitches out yesterday. We've been letting him have more access to the house and he's managing the stairs quite well. And his limp and back arch are improving slowly. He's slow, but I think it's helping to provide some physical therapy. He hates it when I try to stretch his leg like the vet showed me. I definitely think I'm going to get a harness and leash and see how he does with that. He won't keep a collar on, but I think a harness would be much harder to take off.

      I'll update you in a few weeks. Thank you for your encouragement!

      Tiffany

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    3. Hi Tiffany
      Thank you too for the update on Wayfare! It sounds like he is doing great after such a short amount of time. I hope that he will tolerate the harness! I think once he figures out that the harness is connected to something positive...he will love it ;)

      Good luck to you both.....!!!

      Merry Christmas to you and yours

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  13. Barbara, Thank God we found your blog when our little kitty Elsie shattered her hip about 1 year ago. All sorts of horrible scenarios were on the table at first including euthanasia, amputation etc. We were very upset about the situation. We then found your blog and with an excellent surgeon became convinced that if we tried the surgery that odds of recovery were good so long as we were patient and followed the good advice you and others provided. Little Elsie was a trooper and surgery went well. She stayed at the vet under medication for about 5 days and then we brought her home. We restricted her to one room and she was not very mobile at first. We spent a lot of time playing with her and just spending time with her when she was completely immobile after surgery. We had to cone her for a couple of weeks and were absolutely blown away when she would stick her neck out and let us slip her cone on. Once she started to become more mobile in her room, she would wake us up in the morning by banging her cone on the door! One concern we had for the first few days was that she was not mobile or strong enough to use the little box. I would carry her and support her when she peed....but when she had not pooped after a few days we were very worried. We called the vet and he was very encouraging. He recommended giving her hairball remedy in a tube. Lo and behold, the morning after we gave her the hairball remedy, she sauntered over to the litter box and pooped the biggest poop I have ever seen! Only a pet owner can relate to this! I was so happy I woke up my wife and told her about little Elsie's poop surprise! We were thrilled. Elsie's recovery was slow but steady. She gradually got comfortable enough to climb up and down stairs and after 4-6 months was jumping onto furniture. She was a bit heavy so we paid more attention to how much we fed her and her brother and sister and she has slimmed down. It is now one year later and she blows us away as she is now running and jumping. We were told she may recover fully after 6-12 months and the surgeon claimed that eventually we would not even know she had had the procedure. I know that not all cases turn out so well.....but please take comfort that this is a procedure that can work and that your cat can live a very happy, normal life after recovery. Thanks so much Barbara for your advice and encouragement. Merry Christmas from Mike, Karen, Elsie, Peabody and Rocky!!

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  14. Dear Mike and Family
    I am so happy to read that Elsie also had a wonderful outcome with her FHO and that she is doing so well.
    I am also very pleased to see, that Bentley's Blog is found online for those who need information about the FHO experience and comfort during the pre and post op part of it.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours too from Les, Barbara, Nina and Bentley

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  15. Dear Barbara

    I've been on the web for a very long time, I rarely comment in a blog due to privacy concerns but your blog is so helpful I feel compelled.

    My 1 year old 18lb domestic shot hair Herr Major Flöhe has been limping and crying a little the last week or two. He's a big boy in height, weight and length but very gentle and calm (even now) but I knew something just wasn't right. Although he has not been making a big deal of things, much like Bentley he's been laying around a lot and just not himself.

    The first vet dismissed it as a muscle or tendon strain and sent him home but after 4 days with no improvement a visit to a second vet and x-rays have shown a fracture of the hip under the ball.

    Being a pensioner I can't afford the $3000+ for a full hip replacement and thought this was the end for him but the vet didn't even suggest a replacement but instead suggested a FHO as the first and best option.

    I was very dubious due to his size and weight and just not knowing enough about the procedure, I was wondering if the vet was just trying to line up $1000 of income with no real hope of a positive outcome and if it wouldn't be kinder to euthanise him which would break my heart so of course the answer was some research.

    Based on the research and in no small measure to your very imformative blog I'm going to go ahead with the surgery because I can see with a little care he'll have a worthwhile life after a few unpleasant weeks after all.

    I realise it'll take a bit of work on my part but that's no issue. I syringe fed his mother's entire litter every 2 hours for 4 weeks when they were born prematurely, they all survived against the odds and it was one of the most rewarding experiences.

    His mother who was one of that litter keeps going to visit with him and looks at me as if to say "well, what are we going to do?".

    So, Major Fleas is booked in for the first opening for surgery which is in 48 hours and we'll see how we go.

    I'll update in a week or so and let you know how he is getting on.

    Thankyou for telling us of your experiences and I wonder how Bentley is doing now almost 2 years after the fact?

    Regards
    Ari L
    Brisbane Australia

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    Replies
    1. Dear Ari

      I am so glad that you have decided to go ahead with Major Fleas surgery. Bentley is also a very big cat and that didn't seem to have any negative outcome with his recovery. Bentley is a pedigree Maine Coon which makes his breed the largest of all house cats. Bentley weighs currently 19lbs but is not considered overweight.His Father weighs 26lbs and is also not overweight. Our Vet told us to keep him at his current weight which would be perfect for his size.
      Bentley is doing wonderful even 2 years post op. He runs, jumps with no problems, catches lizards and just acts like a normal cat, except he has developed allergies now:(
      A little advice that I can offer is you, is that we offered our Vet cash for Bentley's second surgery and got a much better deal....almost $400 less. I don't know if this is a possibility in Australia...but I don't think it will hurt to ask;) Another thing our Vet told us is that cats in general due really well with this surgery!

      I hope and pray that all goes well for Major Fleas and that he too will make a complete recovery!!! Please keep us updated with his progress.

      Best wishes and the best of luck
      Barbara and Bentley from Los Angeles, CA

      Delete
  16. Greetings again Barbara and readers

    Well it's been a week and a day Since Major Fleas had his surgery.

    We picked him up the next morning, I took him a nice treat down when I went to get him just to gauge his condition. He sniffed it at the surgey and decided to stand on his dignity and refuse and I couldn't blame him, he looked such a sorry mess.

    The vet handed me his hip joint in a plastic bag. The ball was neatly sheared down the middle. Imagine half a marble. The vet said he was amazed as this was the kind of injury he generally saw in cats that had been hit by a vehicle and not inside animals like Fleas.

    He rode home on my lap and when we pulled into the driveway he made it clear that he would appreciate that chicken now after all. That's my boy ;)

    We confined him the first 3 days most of the time and I carried him into the main house several times each day and put him on a near by chair or bed so he could be watched but have company. He was obviously in some pain and pretty listless but you could tell he appreciated the company.

    Here in Australia they don't really do fentanyl patches and the like for cats and Metacam is the first line of treatment for pain. I'm well aware of it's dubious reputation in the U.S. and other places and so I resolved to give him no more than absolutely needed.

    I gave him a carefully measured dose for the first 2 days, about a 60% dose on the 3rd day and nothing there after. He let me know a couple of times in the first 2 days he was in pain and wanted to be handled with care but he' s a good boy and didn't make much of it.

    He ate and drank from the time he came home, the first two days I had to hand feed him and hold the fluids up to him as he didn't want to get up but when I did he ate with his usual gusto. He took a liking for milk which is unusual for him but anything to get the fluids in and the laxative effect helped offset the pain medication induced constipation. Once and only once each day for the first 3 days he made the trip slowly to the litter box for a nature call.

    We had to put an Elizabethan collar on him as he wanted to constantly bath the wound, he had a touch of burn from the clipprers which made him itch badly as well.

    By the end of day 3 he was seeking out his usual sleeping spots so we allowed him back into the house on day 4. He made it into the kitchen at dinner time so I knew he was on the right track..

    Part 2 follows due to size restrictions

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  17. On day 5 he jumped down from our bed before I could stop him, later than day he made it up on to his favourite lounge chair under his own steam. On day 6 he made the jump from my work bench to the foor and walked away calmly to everyone's astonishment.

    On day 7 he slipped his collar and attacked the stitches making a right mess of them. I removed the remainder to put a stop to his nibbling at them and he left them alone there after. A call to the vet confirmed it was only a few days early and as long as the wound didn't open all would be well. it didn't.

    This morning (day 8) we were woken to the sound of banging and crashing in the hallway which the kids gleefully informed us was the old ritual of Fleas having his morning wrestle with his sister, he went so far as to chase his ball with bell around lunchtime for a bit.

    This afternoon the post op vet checkup confirmed he was healing well and most certainly out of danger.

    We're thrilled. It was $1200 total with both vets and x-rays etc but it seems like money well spent to us.

    He's walking with a limp which the vet tells us is to be expected for up to a year but he even manages a short run now and then and the limp becomes less noticable the faster he is moving.

    I don't like to jinx myself as it's early on but unforseen circumstances not withstanding I believe the future looks bright for Herr Major Flohe.

    Frankly I'm amazed at his constitution but thrilled with the progress.

    Although only a domestic short hair (well medium hair to be honest) he is one of those freaks of nature that is near to the size of a Maine Coon. I'm 6'4" and when he is sitting his head is level with my knee. Still, with a hip joint missing we've decided to slim him down to maybe 14lbs or so just to reduce the strain on the joint. He's less than impressed but has los 1.1lb so is heading in the right direction.

    On closing, I'd like to thankyou once again for your excellent blog without which I may not have taken the course I did of having a FHO performed.

    I'd also like to encourage anyone who is in like position to take the plunge and give it a try at least. If you're looking at the proceedure for your 4 legged loved one then he or she is already in a sad state and a lot of pain. You have little to lose and with some careful nursing much to gain and your pet may gain years that they will most certainly otheriwse not have to spend with you.

    I'll update again at 3 months.

    Regards
    Ari L

    Brisbane Australia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Ari, Herr Major Fleas and Family

      Thank you so very much for your detailed reply on Major Fleas surgery and post op recovery.
      I am so happy to read that you did go ahead and had your little guy all fixed up with his FHO. Before you know it he will be all healed up and all of this will just be just a distant memory.
      I hope and pray that many others will find us here and that people like you and myself can help saving others from euthanasia by posting our positive outcome with this surgery.
      Thank you again and please post a picture of Major Fleas with your next update. Bentley and I would love to see all of our new little furry friends from all over the world!

      <3


      Healing thoughts all the way from California.... to Major Fleas for a speedy and complete recovery.

      Barbara and Bentley

      Delete
    2. Hi Ari, I know it's been a while since you posted, but thought I'd give it a shot. Do you mind me asking what vet in Brisbane did you take major fleas to? I don't think I'm getting very great advice or a reasonable quote, and Major Fleas sounds like he did excellent with his surgeon. I would be hugely appreciative if you could help out :) I want to give my Basil his best shot at returning to his normal active self

      Delete
  18. Hi,

    Just wanted to thank you for your amazing blog! I absolutely adore my 6 month old Norwegian forest Sydney, and was heartbroken to come home from work 3 weeks ago to see him crying in pain dragging his left leg behind him. I called an emergency vet who told me to minister his leg for at least a week as he thought it was a muscle injury.

    The following week he had not improved, so we went back to the vet who still insisted we should monitor him as there was nothing they could do for muscle strains. Another week later and still no improvement so I found another vet and told them I wanted him to be x-rayed. I couldn't believe it when the vet explained that poor Syd would need fho surgery, I searched high and low for information and came across this blog. I'm a natural born worrier but this really put my mind at rest.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Continuing from above, Syd had his surgery yesterday and I collected him this afternoon. I was so worried that he would be down but like the little trooper he is, he seems to be getting on wonderfully. He's walking around the house as if nothing happened, he hasn't so much as sniffed at his stitches and is eating and drinking as normal. I'm so proud of him and his older brother Dexter is by his side helping him through it! With thanks, Danielle, Syd and Dexter. Leeds, UK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Danielle and Syd

      I am so glad that you found this Blog and that it helped you to put your mind at ease to some extend. I just got done reading your story and I am delighted to hear that Syd had the FHO and that he too is on the mend... like all the other little felines in this Blog. In a few month you won't even notice that he ever had this surgery:) Best wishes to you both and healing thoughts and prayers for Syd.
      Please check in every now and then and keep us updated on Syd's recovery. Feel free to post a picture of your furry Babies.


      Regards,
      Barbara and Bentley

      Delete
  20. Barbara,
    Does Bently still walk with a limp?
    Don

    ReplyDelete
  21. Barbara,
    I'm on day five of post fho op. My Maine Coon is eight months old weighing in at 13.5 lbs. Keeping confined in the bathroom saddens him and me. But necessary. What concerns me is that he has several times over extended his repaired leg. Including stretching up. I hope the the leg is ok. Perhaps I'm worrying too much?
    thanks, don

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Don

      I am so sorry to hear about your 8 month old Main Coon and that he too had to have the FHO surgery. I certainly can feel your pain in having to watch your little guy going through the various stages of his long recovery. Hang in there...he will get better. I remember Bentley kept stretching his legs too and still does to this day. He stretches also a lot when he sits but he is not in pain at all any more. In my opinion you can never worry to much. I always say better be safe than sorry! Give the Vet a call if you have any concerns about your little guy's well being!
      To answer your question if Bentley still limps!? No not at all...the only thing that he does now, is that before he jumps he has a slight hesitation which according to his Vet is normal after an FHO and nothing to worry about. I hope this helps to put your mind at ease a little bit.
      Good luck to you both and best wishes for a speedy recovery!!!

      Barbara and Bentley

      Delete
  22. Hi Barbara,

    Thanks so much for all this helpful information. M, new kitten, Maisy. 8 months old, got out of the house and was gone for 5 days. When she got back she had a limp but did not seem to be in any pain. Anyway, finally got an xray and she had broken the ball off the top hip and it was still in joint and the rest was beside.

    I am getting ready to schedule this surgery. This gives me a good idea of what I might expect. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anne

      Good luck to Maisy and her upcoming surgery. Please do check in every now and then to let us know how Maisy is doing.

      xxxx
      Barbara and Bentley

      Delete
  23. Great and informative post- well done !

    ReplyDelete
  24. wonderful post. I have a Maine Coon going thru the same type of issue. No surgery yet but been advised. I would love to talk more to you if possible. My email is clarkandfamily at aol.com if you can email me.---Cami and Rocky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cami and Rocky
      I am sorry to hear that you too have to go through this ordeal with your Maine Coon Rocky :( If you have further questions and concerns, just post here on this Blog. I check the Blog periodically and will answer as soon as I can! By doing so others may see something that could be of help to them.

      Hope to hear back from you
      -----
      Barbara and Bentley

      Delete
  25. P.S., I noticed you mentiond vaccines. Rocky had vaccines, then developed meningitis 12 days later, then was diagnosed with the femoral head fractures 6 months later. I can't help but wonder if there was a connection. Have you heard of any connection to vaccines and femoral head fractures? Rocky's vaccines were given in the hips, which I am told is not appropriate, and I can't help shake the feeling that is a very big coincidence this is now the site of the break. ---Cami & Rocky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is an interesting point you made here but I personally have not heard of that. I would send an E-mail to Dr. Karen Becker to help clarify the possibility of the connection. She is the one in the video clips on Bentley's Blog talking about the danger of over vaccinating your pet's. I provided 2 links for you below with info and contact information on Dr Karen Becker. I would love to know the answer on that and I am sure others would too! Would you please be so kind and post it, if she answers!

      http://www.drkarenbecker.com/contact.html

      http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/dr-karen-becker.aspx

      Good luck to you and Rocky

      Please keep us updated!

      Delete
  26. Hi there Barbara
    thanks for setting up this blog, it is so helpful. My two year old British Shorthair Ted has been booked in for this surgery on 30 July. The Vet said that in the meantime we should adminster pain relief daily as there is a chance that Ted will cope with pain relief (which he can stay on for life) and not need the surgery. My question is how do I know whether he is coping? He is still limping but is getting out and about and eating and drinking, He is laying about a bit more than previously but oether wise in good form. I dont want him to have unnescessary surgery but niether do I want him to be in pain. Any thoughts would
    be welcome! Thank you all. Ann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ann
      Every case is different... I guess. In Bentley s case, surgery was the only option. Bentley also was also on pain meds prior to his surgery but he got so bad that he was hissing and growling and just laid around. He was so much better after he had his surgery. And now you wouldn't even know that he ever had it. I would just go with what your Vet thinks is best for Ted.
      All the best and good luck! Keep us updated if you can:)

      Delete
  27. We have a Maine Coon as well. Same symptoms of finding him unable to walk. We assumed he had fallen or jumped off of something. After taking him to the Vet they found he ha a fracture in his growth plate and performed a FHO. He did well during his recovery period of two weeks. It has now been six weeks and he still won't attempt to jump on the couch or chair. How is your cat doing now?

    Kathy B.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you can e-mail me at branhamkr@yahoo.com

      Delete
    2. Hi Kathy
      I can't believe how many people are actually going through the same dilemma with their cats.
      The recovery is a long one and if you read through this blog: you can see that Bentley had good and bad days.
      It took him weeks before he started to feel more and more confident to try new things and now you wouldn't even know that he ever had this surgery on not one but both sides. He runs, jumps, plays and even climbs trees. Our friends are all surprised how well he has recovered from such a major ordeal.
      Six weeks post op is still very young....give him time! He will be fine...
      Please keep us updated!

      xxx
      Bentley and Barbara

      Delete
  28. We were advised to have surgery on our Maine Coon. We started him on Dasequin, not sure if that is the cause or just time has passed, but he is doing very very well without surgery. --Tipper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful news! I hope that he continues to do well without having to go through surgery.

      All the best wishes for a full recovery to your guy:)

      Bentley and Barbara

      Delete
  29. Hi Barbara - My 2 year old cat Boo had FHO surgery 3 weeks ago. It is so wonderful to read about Bentley's experience, as it mirrored much of our ordeal with Boo. (I wish I read it before the surgery) We had to give him fluids and treat him for an infection - but after just 3 weeks he's nearly back to the Boo we know and love. THANK YOU so much for your blog, it made us feel better knowing others had similar experiences and what to expect long-term. Out vet said there shouldn't be a limp in the future - but from what you've said and other sources, it seems to be normal to have a "mechanical" limp (?) Just goes to show that the vet doesn't prepare or inform you well enough. We had no idea what to expect. The information about the early neuter is quite fascinating - didn't know this, and Boo was neutered at 3 months. We have no idea how he got his fracture, as he's an indoor kitty, so this was very disturbing, just the fear of it happening again.
    again - THANKS SO MUCH!!! our good wishes to Bentley.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there

      Best wishes to your little Boo for a quick and speedy recovery. I am so happy to hear that Bentley's Blog was of help to you and Boo!

      Delete
  30. HI again - after reading more of your recent blogs, I see that Bentley no longer has a limp - how long after surgery did the limp go away?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello again

      When I look back at Bentley's Blog, I see that there is an entry at 4-6 month post op where Bentley still walked with a limp. It was a mechanical limp though not a heavy limp caused by pain. I honestly can't remember when I first noticed that Bentley's limp was gone.Bentley is now over 2 years post op and has no limp at all. He can run super fast, jump and even climb up trees. One would never know by watching our Bentley in action that he had both Femoral heads removed.
      Give Boo some time and he too will run and jump before you know it. 3 weeks post op is still very early for the limp to be gone completely.

      Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Boo!!!
      Best regards
      Barbara and Bentley

      Delete
  31. I mentioned previously we appear to be doing ok delaying surgery on my coonie with Dasequin, and I have wondered if any of the cats recovering from FHO would benefit from Dasequin? Dasequin is a cosequin mixed with some other things. I would be interested if any others have tried it. My furkid also had issues with urinary crystals, and cosequin helps with that issue as well, so it has been a good addition for us. Blessings to everyone reading this, and thank you to Barbara for posting a way for us to communicate. --Tipper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tipper

      Please keep us updated on your Coonie's progress and recovery and hopefully surgery can be avoided!
      Interesting that Cosequin can not only help with joint issues but also with crystals! Another thing that also helps with avoiding these nasty crystals is....don't feed dry! Dry food does not have enough moisture to keep the cats urine diluted. Bentley had a few crystals before and is not allowed to have any dry food at all. We feed Bentley only grain free Wet Food....Wellness, Lotus and Ziwipeak (no fish) and so far so good, Bentley hasn't had any crystals in over 2 years. We tried him on raw bu he doesn't like it:(
      Below is a great article on feeding guidelines to keep your Baby healthy and happy for years to come:

      http://www.catinfo.org/?link=urinarytracthealth

      -- Barbara

      Delete
  32. I would love to hear the age your cats with fractures were neutered. My male maine coon was6 months:

    Canadian Veterinary Journal
    June 2009 : 50 (6) : 669-670. Dr. Greg Harasen

    Feline fractures show some similarities, but also some important differences, when compared with those in dogs. Most fractures occur in the hind limb; as much as 73% in one survey and 87% of the fractures surgically repaired in our practice from 2000–2008. Of the surgically repaired fractures in our practice, 70% involved the femur with just less than half of those involving the proximal or distal physes of immature cats. Proximal femoral physeal fractures were divided evenly between those with a traumatic origin and atraumatic slipped capital physes. Slipped capital physes are caused, in part, by a physeal dysplasia thought to be associated with early neutering, especially in male cats. The physis stays open much longer than expected in individuals neutered early. This, combined with a physeal dysplasia where the normal columnar arrangement of chondrocytes is disrupted, along with a young adult cat that is overweight causes the physis to “slip.” Femoral head and neck ostectomy will return these patients to normal function. Exactly what constitutes “early” neutering is far less clear. The majority of affected individuals had been neutered before 6 months of age, although neutering at 7 months of age has also been shown to prolong physeal closure times in the cat (6).

    --Tipper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for posting this....great article and it looks like that more and more Vet's are leaning towards the possibility of a connection in early neutering and growth plate fractures.
      It would be wonderful if this could be studied even further, most animal shelters spay and neuter at 3 month...in my opinion that is way to early!

      Thank you
      Barbara

      Delete
    2. Please see my recent reply at the end. I work with research and there is more than early neuter and/or spay.

      Delete
    3. There are additional studies now that females bred with an insufficient time between litters and being in a smoking household, plus other factors.

      Delete
  33. Last one as to neutering:

    Spontaneous femoral capital physeal fractures in adult cats: 26 cases (1996-2001).

    AuthorsMcNicholas WT Jr, et al. Show all Journal
    J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002 Dec 15;221(12):1731-6.

    Affiliation
    Abstract
    OBJECTIVE: To determine clinical, radiographic, and histologic abnormalities in adult cats > 1 year old with spontaneous (ie, nontraumatic) femoral capital physeal fractures.

    DESIGN: Retrospective study.

    ANIMALS: 26 cats.

    PROCEDURE: Medical records of cats > 1 year old with femoral capital physeal fractures and no history of trauma were examined.

    RESULTS: Mean +/- SD age of the cats was 22.5 +/- 6.5 months. Twenty-five cats were neutered males. Mean weight of the cats was significantly greater than mean weight of a group of age- and sex-matched control cats. Of 16 cats for which age at the time of neutering was known, 14 had been neutered before 6 months of age. Nine cats had bilateral fractures. Severity of femoral neck osteolysis and sclerosis increased with increased duration of clinical signs. The contralateral femoral capital physis, distal femoral physes, and proximal tibial physes were radiographically open in 13 of 18,19 of 24, and 24 of 24 cats, respectively. Histologically, the epiphysis contained normal articular cartilage and bone, but attached growth plate cartilage lacked the normal columnar arrangement of chondrocytes.

    CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggested that adult cats with spontaneous femoral capital physeal fractures were most likely to be heavier, neutered males with delayed physeal closure.

    PMID 12494971 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    Related CitationsShow all
    Surgical reduction and stabilization for repair of femoral capital physeal fractures in cats: 13 cases (1998-2002).
    Physeal dysplasia with slipped capital femoral epiphysis in 13 cats.
    Multicentric physeal dysplasia in two cats.
    Atraumatic proximal femoral physeal fractures in cats.
    Repair of femoral capital physeal fractures with 7.0 mm cannulated screws in cattle: 20 cases (1988-2002).
    Standard PubMedNIH/NLM NCBI Copyright Help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you again!

      Best regards

      Barbara

      Delete
  34. My about 2 year old siamese mix just had FHO surgery on Wednesday, he did great through the surgery, but isn't recovering as well as I think maybe he should be. He is dragging the effected leg behind him and not using the litter box. I think I am going to try the milk and pumpkin idea. I am so lucky that my husband is so good with being a nurse, because I suck at it.
    I am worried about the fact he is dragging the leg, and doesn't seem to be able to feel it. The vet assured us that there is no reason for him to be dragging his leg, and she even had the head vet come in and check him out and he agreed with her 100%. I am so worried about my Buster, and I wonder if we made the right choice by having this surgery. He is in a world of pain, and it is horrible that we can't help him. Any advice, or experience with the dragging of the leg? Thanks so much

    Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy

      I am sorry that I took so long to respond to you question! :( I can only hope that Buster is much better by now and that he has stopped dragging his leg. Bentley never did that! He walked right away on both post op legs but very lightly. I remember that he let out little squeaks when he needed to use his litter-box and squat down... but he did it. Please let us now how Buster is doing!
      If he is still dragging his leg by now, then I would most defiantly have another talk to the Vet! The pain Buster had prior to his surgery should be much less post op.

      Best wishes and good luck to you and Buster

      Barbara

      Delete
  35. I typed up a longish comment, but I think the internet ate it. Anyway,

    My male manx mix (about 16 months old) is getting FHO surgery Monday (10/25). I have a few questions for you, our vet squeezed us in as an emerg visit and this has kind of been a whirlwind. Came home Tuesday (10/21) night, saw he wasn't putting any weight on it, took him to emerg vet around midnight, they did xrays, thought it was a luxation, but wasn't really sure. They were really poor with communicating. Neville was almost swinging his leg around like dead weight. So decided to take him in, they re-x-ray'd it. It was a growth plate fracture. (He's a shelter cat, he was fixed around 10 weeks old). Anyway, my questions --

    Our vet recommended yesterday's news for litter. Did you use anything special?

    It seems like Bentley got up and got around very quick, Neville has been on crate rest since Wednesday AM. Does it seem like the quick up and around is the normal?

    Think I should just get the laxatone and other stuff now? We keep canned pumpkin in our house, 4 cats (2 are fosters) and a dog. Someone's stomach is bound to be screwed up.

    Going through now and rereading all the comments and other blogs.

    Your'e absolutely right, there isn't a lot on cats getting this surgery.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Elizabeth

    I don't check the Blog every day! I apologize for my late response to your question.

    We did not get special cat litter for Bentley! Anything new stresses him even new litter. We did however cut the front of his cat box out so that he could just walk into it with ease.

    We gave Bentley Miralax to help with his BM's and to keep them on the soft side so that he didn't have to strain. Bentley also ate Pumpkin right of the spoon which he does to this day. He loves it and our Vet said to give it to him since Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and moisture for cats.

    We didn't have to have Bentley in a crate but we had to confine him to a small area mainly to prevent him from jumping. Every Vet has a different outlook on the post op phase, some want them to move right away and others want them confined.

    I am not a Vet but I think that most animals know themselves how far they can push when it comes to exercise.

    I hope that Neville's surgery went well and that he is on the mend by now feeling better and better every day ;)

    Please let us know how he progresses!!!

    Healing hugs to Neville xxx

    Barbara and Bentley

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you for your blog, it is so very helpful when trying to be prepared for a DOUBLE FHO! Yep, our Teddy Bear has broken both hips and I hope I am making the right decision to have both of them done at once. I have been doing research on this subject and another factor comes into play also, besides the neutering at 6 months. It has been studied and showing that females who are bred too close together between litters have shown that the offspring are more prone to this disorder. Of course AKC, CFA, TICA, UKC, and any breeder will fight to the finish this is wrong, but that fact is also coming into play, along with being in a smokers home, plus.
    On another note, would you have done this again? I see that your Bentley did have this happen to him on the other side, so did he have the same pain, etc.? Thank you for this blog, it is invaluable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Hi Mary

      Poor Teddy Bear having both hips fractures at the same time! That's awful!!!

      I can assure you with convidence that if we would have to face this with a different cat, we wouldn't hesitate to have the surgery's done again.
      Bentley was in a lot of pain with each hip and he felt so much better afterwards.
      He just turned 4 in November and you wouldn't know that he had both femoral heads taken out. He even climbs up trees!
      The only advice that I can give you, is to have the surgery done by an Orthopedic Vet. Bentley had his first surgery with our regular Vet/Surgeon which was good but his incision was much larger and therefore his recovery was much longer too. His second FHO was done by an Orthopedic Veterinary Surgeon which made a huge difference. His incision was small almost keyhole and he recovered much faster!
      With Teddy Bear having to undergo a double FHO...I would take going to an Ortho Vet into consideration.

      Thank you for the info on the studies that too close bred females can be the cause of this condition too and exposure to smoke...interesting! If you still have the link on these studies, would you be so kind to povide them here...so that others can read about it too?

      I hope that I could be of help to you and your Teddy Bear and that Teddy will get better soon too.

      Best wishes to you both and - Happy Holidays -

      Barbara

      Delete
  38. Hi,

    I am grateful to find your blog. Our sweet boy Thor is 8 months old (Neutered at 6 mos) and yesterday we came in after doing barn chores (we run an alpaca farm) to find him lying on his side and meowing. He was fine at 9 am when we went out. He is an indoor cat with 3 others. But he does love to jump and has always been a bit clumsy. We took him in immediately and had xrays and it appears he has the same fracture and will require a FHO. The ortho surgeon won't be here (we live in a rural area) until next Thursday and Thor is scheduled in for surgery then, and is with us on metacam pain meds and confinement until then. He isn't over weight but is a big boy. He still moves a little bit and hops up on a low box but is obviously withdrawn. We feel terrible about this, his other leg looked fine but I will look into getting pet insurance for him in case the other leg is injured. He is one of 5 kittens from a young barn cat that we brought in just before she delivered. All of the other kittens are in good homes and Thor was going to be my daughter's companion. I think he will need a few months of care before then by the sound of it. I am trying to learn what I can when I am not in his room comforting him. I hope we will be able to keep him comfortable, thanks so much for the info. I will let you know how our Thor kitty is doing.

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    Replies
    1. Hi

      I am so sorry to read about Thor's injury and hope that he will get better soon! Some cat's don't need the FHO surgery after all. I have read and heard from other Vets that some cats heal by just strict cage rest. I hope that Thor can be one of those cats!
      Pet insurance is great to have and in the long run...can save you lot of money, when it comes to freak accidents like this! We have healthy paws insurance for our Bentley and they are great in sending their reimbursement checks right away! I provided the link to healthy paws for you below, so you can read up on it:

      http://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com

      Please keep us updated on Thor!

      Good luck and all the best wishes

      Barbara

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  39. Before my cat, Mo, had this surgery, I found this blog extremely helpful, which inspired me to create a blog about my experience with Mo and the surgery + recovery. Its been 2 years now this August and you would never know Mo even had the surgery. He doesn't limp at all and is able to jump and play with other cats.

    If anyone reading this is interested in reading my blog as well, please check out moFHOsurgery.blogspot.ca

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  40. Hi
    I am happy to hear that Mo is doing so well 2 years post op! Bentley is also doing great 4 years post op, no signs or any indication that he had bilateral FHO surgeries!
    I hope that all the other kitties talked about on this Blog are doing just as well too.

    Have a great day
    Barbara and Bentley

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  41. Hi! My cat, Ted, had FHO at 5 months old. The recovery was very difficult and now, 1 year later, he has a limp. He also has a large lump on his hip. Vet says that the lump is the scar tissue build up from the surgery (ted is still pretty skinny so that might be why it's so noticeable). He is still able to run around and jump (though, not nearly as high as my other cat - his mother, Hazel) so the limp isn't really that big a deal. I'm curious though because I've never heard of another cat having a limp as a result of this surgery.

    Thanks!

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  42. Hi Elizabeth

    My cat Bentley had for the longest time a limp but it was more of an mechanical limp...not a painful limp. I don't know what the bump could be. We had Bentley x-rayed a year and half after he had his surgeries and he had quite a bit of new bone growth of where the femoral head ones was. I don't know if that could also be the case with your cat. I would defiantly get an x ray of the hip and bump to see if the scar tissue is causing an impingement which could cause him pain! However, I am not a Vet...I can only tell you what our Vet told us in regards to our Bentley's recovery!

    Barbara

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  43. I have a 9 month old kitten that has a femoral head fracture and needs fho surgery. He was nutered at an extremely young age (12 weeks) because he was adopted from the shelter. Our vet couldn't say for sure that the break was at the growth plate but it would make sense. The surgery isn't scheduled yet but I really enjoyed reading your blog. I feel much more prepared for what to expect post op. Thanks for sharing!

    Alex

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  44. Hello Alex

    I wish the shelters wouldn't neuter so early. I hope all works out well for little furry friend!

    Best regards
    Barbara

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  45. Hello, my cat Rusty, was just operated on today for his right hip fho. He is almost 2 yrs old and a rescue kitty, which I am sure that he was neutered early. I noticed him limping, and you know the rest. I have not seen him since the surgery this afternoon, the hospital is keeping him tonight, and they will call me tomorrow to pick him up.

    So far, I have paid $500 for X-rays and lab. The surgery was $2700.00. I live in Southern California. I will keep you posted on his progress.

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  46. Hi

    I just read your post a hope that Rusty is doing better by now! Please keep us updated about his progress.
    I remember the high cost in regards to the vet bills very much. We had to pay full price for Bentley's first surgery. We got pet insurance right afterwards and by the time Bentley needed his other hip operated on, 80% of it was covered. This was a tremendous help!
    We have him on Healthy Paws pet insurance and I can only recommend it!
    All the best to you and Rusty!

    Barbara

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  47. Just want to thank you for creating this blog and for still responding to comments. My little man, Macaron ("Mac" for short,) broke both of his hips yesterday when he fell off the 2-1/4 inch railing of my "catwalk" upstairs/second floor of my home. It was a 17-foot drop. My regular vet thinks Mac fell straight down directly onto both back legs, hence the fractures to both hips. Mac is having his double FHO surgery tomorrow morning (estimated $3000-3500 here in Atlanta). He is 19 months old, a rescue which I suspect has Norwegian Forest Cat blood (he's a big cat) and he was neutered at 5-1/2 months. Your blog and a few others I found have prepared me immensely as to what to expect tomorrow and during the oncoming year of recovery. Thank you so much. I'll update regarding Mac's progress. Susan and Mac in Atlanta, Georgia

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  48. Dear Susan and Mac

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write your nice response while awaiting Mac's surgery tomorrow! I will think of you and Mac tomorrow and pray that all will go well for your little man and that he will completely recover and quickly. Our Vet kept on reassuring us that cats do very well with this surgery and she was right! Bentley is doing great...you wouldn't even know by watching him run, that he had a bilateral FHO. I am sure that Mac will be fine too in time!

    Good luck to Mac and please do let us know how he does as time goes by!

    Barbara and Bentley

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  49. Hi Barbara,

    Our one year old cat, Max, just got FHO surgery yesterday because he has avascular necrosis in his left hip. He spent the night at the ICU in the vet hospital, and we picked him up the next afternoon (today) . He is pretty drowsy, and after an hour or so, he wrestles off his cone and hobbles under the bed out of reach. He has his pain patch on his back, which seems to cause him no problem. He spent a good 30 minutes constantly licking himself, and he nibbled at his stitches 1-2 times only. He was a very active cat before, and one day he just developed a limp. Post op, he immediately exited his cage after we set him down, and started roaming the room. We tried confining him to one room, but since we have another healthy cat, we had to leave it a tad bit open so she could enter for food, water, etc. That is how he escaped the room and hobbled up the stairs under the bed... Any advice or tips ..? Thanks so much !!

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  50. Hi John and Max

    I would just try to confide Max to one area for the moment. We had Bentley in a tiny area in our hallway, where we kept him for 2 weeks. He had all that he needed in that little space...i.e food, water and his cat box! He didn't mind at all and after 2 weeks he was healed enough where he was allowed by his Vet to roam more.
    If you don't have a small area to fence off, then maybe you could keep him in a bathroom for the time being or a large crate.
    We wish you all the best of luck...hang in there! Max will be like new before you know it!

    Best regards
    Barbara

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  51. Mac is 3 weeks out from his surgery, and he simply amazes me. I won't lie; the first night home was terrible. Mac was a listless, lifeless dishrag of a cat. The incision on one side looked fine, but the other looked terrible (raw, red, and swollen) due to the sharp edge of the plastic cone of shame. Mac wanted to groom but ended up rubbing the sharp edge of the cone on the incision, making it look like fuzzy raw hamburger with staples. Thank goodness for Amazon as I had a variety of soft cones delivered overnight. Kong EZ soft collar ended up being the best of the bunch. Mac was given an anti-inflammatory for 3 days. Mac stayed in his safe room (spare bedroom with only two slipper chairs). The surgeon did not restrict his movement and preferred Mac try to do what he could do. I syringe-fed Mac gruhl (watered down cat food) and syringe-watered him most of the first 3-4 days. I was more worried about dehydration as his gums were pale and tacky for much of the first week. I used one of the 1 ml syringes and gave him anywhere between 15-25 syringes full of water 3 times a day. I carried him to the litter box at least 3 times a day. I started hand feeding (from my hands on day 4, soft and/or hard food). Finally on day 5 I was proud that Mac finally had that blessed BM! I set up a Dropcam (now called Nestcam) in his safe recovery room so I could watch his progress while I was at work. He started taking regular "walkabouts" on day 6 about every hour or so on his own. On day 7 I started regular visits by his siblings while I was in the recovery room. No growling or hissing from anyone. I started to cut back his pain meds (buprenex) on day 7 to help his appetite and to encourage more movement from him. On day 8, I knew Mac was feeling better as he wanted to do a wrestling takedown of his brother Sebastien (a bruiser of a cat). On day 12 his staples came out and I gave him access to all of the downstairs of my house except for access to the stairs. He tried to jump into his favorite window bench, and it was an epic fail as he didn't get off the floor. I "built" him some stairs with smaller rises than regular stairs using boxes. He surprised me on day 14 when he followed me up the stairs, though he took 2 rests on the way up. I had pet-assist stairs for my bed due to having an arthritic cat and dog in the past. Mac was happy to sleep on the bed with everyone. Yesterday (day 18) he stunned me by actually jumping up on the bed. He could jump down two days earlier. All and all I am amazed by the spirit and resiliency of animals. I think Mac knows I did "right" by him. He was somewhat aloof toward me before the surgery. He did not like to be petted unless he instigated the petting session and was a little hand-shy as a former feral. Now, he starts purring when I simply look at him, loves to be petted, and regularly sleeps on the pillow above my head or next to me (he never did that before). I like to think he knows I saved his life (my mom told me to put him down). The surgery was totally worth it. And a footnote about surgery costs, the actually surgery cost $1675 here in Atlanta, but once you add in the meds, exams by the surgeon, X-rays, surgery aftercare, etc, that's when the total costs of the "surgery" tops out around $3500. I would gladly do (and pay) for the surgery again. Mac is happy and thriving, and so am I. I'll update again when we hit the 6-month mark. Susan and Mac in Atlanta

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    1. Susan,
      First of all "Thank you" so much for taking the time to post this extensive update on Mac!!!
      I couldn't be happier for you and for Mac on such a successful surgery! Like you said in your update it is amazing how resilient animals are and how quick they heal, forget and move on! I am sure that Mac is thankful for what you have done for him... and that you didn't put him to sleep for something that could be fixed!
      I hope that this block will help others too, with doubts in their minds on the outcome of this surgery and that this surgery is worth every penny!
      By taking the time and posting this update on Mac, readers of this blog are able to read other success stories in regards to this surgery besides only Bentley's which may help in their decision making! So a big -THANK YOU-to you again!
      Looking forwards to hear from you in 6 month time! I am sure that Mac will be climbing up trees by then. ;) Your help and input here is much appreciated.

      Lot's of hugs from LA to your little Mac and best wishes for a great pain free, happy cat life for Mac. ;)

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  53. Hi and thanks for your info. Our 18-month old cat was neutered WAAAAY to early at the shelter where we adopted him and developed bi-lateral femur fractures, much like your story with Bentley but in both legs. The link between the early neutering and this condition is now proven. Looking at a total hip replacement to save my cat's life. Hope Bentley is doing well.

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  54. Hi there

    I am sorry to hear that you too have to go through this surgery with your cat.
    I am surprised that your cat is having hip replacement surgery though! I don't think that anybody here on this Blog had a hip replacement surgery done on there cats! All the felines talked about on Bentley's blog here had the FHO (Femoral Head Ostectomy ) surgery, where the femoral head is completely removed without replacement! After some time a ghost joint forms and the cat can function completely normal. Ask your Vet if a hip replacement is necessary since according to my Vet and also Bentley's second Orthopedic Vet....cats and small dogs do just fine with just the FHO alone.
    Please keep us updated!
    I will have to do some research to find more info in regards to the early neutering and the connection with all these hip fractures....interesting!
    I will post the results here!
    Bentley by the way is doing great! He is turning 6 this year and shows no signs at all that he ever underwent a bilateral FHO!

    Good luck to you and your guy
    Best regards
    Barbara

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  55. Hello Barbara,

    Thank you so very much for your blog. My Boris had FHO one week ago after being run over. I do have a question please. How long did you use the Fentanyl patches post op? We are going to the vet twice a week to have them replaced but as he was up and about (we bought a dog cage!) on day one of surgery i don't know when to stop having the patches replaced.

    Thank you so much your blog is very reassuring.

    Jane, Brighton UK.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jane

      We didn't use the Fentanyl patch for a very long with Bentley… as he kept on having problems getting constipated. The patch was removed by his Vet 4 days post op! Bentley was placed on oral pain meds ( Bupernex every 8-12hrs ) delivered though a syringe directly into his mouth as needed. We would give it to him when we noticed that he would lay down more and limp more heavyly an indication that he was in pain.
      Bentley himself let us know when he didn’t want his pain meds any longer! He started to fight and paw us each time we tried to give it to him. We stopped all meds within the first 10 days post op and he was fine.
      I am so sorry to read that your Boris got run over and thankful that he survived his ordeal. Give him time to heal up. The recovery from the FHO surgery takes a long time but he will be fine in the end.

      Good luck and best wishes

      Barbara and Bentley

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  56. Thank you for your blog Barbara. Our cat Archie is due to have the operation on Monday and I am devastated. He is obviously in pain at the moment and I really wanted there to be another option but this looks like the only way forward for him. Is their anything that you would recommend that I can do to prepare our home for him and us?
    Barbara UK

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    Replies
    1. Dear Barbara

      I would recommend, that you create a little area for Archie for the first week or two after his surgery to keep him comfy and quiet. If you scroll up this page to the very top, you can see the first picture of Bentley and that we had him in a small area...where he could not jump or climb on anything to re-injure himself. I don't know how the Vet's in the UK handle this surgery post op but here in the US the animal is kept in most cases quiet for up to 2 weeks. If you you can’t block of an area, then maybe you could just keep him confined in a bathroom until he can get around better. Most cats know themselves how far they can go. Don’t worry too much….he will be fine.

      We wish Archie all the best tomorrow for a successful surgery and for a speedy recovery. Don’t hesitate to ask me, if you have any other concerns.

      Hugs from across the Pond

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    2. Thank you so much for this Barbara. My friend offered me a very large dog cage which we kept Archie in for about 2 days. However he became very unsettled and so we let him out and he made himself comfortable in out conservatory. I cannot believe how quickly he became mobile and we have now let him have run of the ground floor of the house. He is eating well and weeing and pooing as normal. The vet has him on oral pain relief once a day at night which he takes from a syringe. The worse bit so far was taking him back to the vet on day five as he was so upset in the carrier. Thank you so much for your kind words and support. Your blog is fantastic and really aided our understanding of what to expect.
      Best wishes to you both
      Barbara and a recovering Archie

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  58. Hi Barbara. My cat Toby is 2 years and 4 months old. He got neutered around 8 months. We came home one day to find him limping on his right back leg. We rushed him to vet and the vet told us he had a muscle strain and took x-rays. She claimed nothing was wrong with the x-rays and sent them to a specialist just to be sure. The vet sent us home with pain meds. The following day, the vet called saying that the specialist saw a bone change causing a right femoral fracture requiring this surgery. We are so sadden by the news that our baby boy has to have surgery. He has not had the surgery yet but he is having trouble urinating and pooping. Sometimes he just sleeps in his liter box. The vet said it might be caused by his discomfort and she checked him for constipation which was negative. Do you think Toby will be back to the way he was before? He loves to play and run and we want him to go back to the way he was. Our vet said his recovery would be around 1-3 weeks but I've seen blogs that take way longer for recovery. We're just very worried. Thank you for this great blog.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi Mady



    I am so sorry... to hear about your Toby.

    All I can tell you with possibly helping with your decision, is since our Bentley had the surgeries years ago his life has so much improved! Bentley too, was in a lot of pain...just laying around not wanting to play and trying to avoid his litter box at all cost. It was too painful for him to squad down. :(

    Now however, Bentley is a new cat! He is almost 6 years old and hunting lizards is his all time favorite thing. He just caught one this very morning...with no sign of any discomfort! I watched him get down low to the ground to stalk and then run like the wind to catch his prey. He jumps with no problems and even climbs up trees!

    We would do it again in a heartbeat... if faced with the same decision. Bentley for sure got his life back after he had the surgeries!



    Hope all works out for your Toby too! Please post, to let us know how Toby is doing.

    Good luck



    Barbara

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  60. Hi Barbara,

    I'm so glad to have stumbled across your blog. I adopted a 9 month old kitty back in January. The first weekend of May, I got a call from my roommate that she had heard a loud crashing sound from somewhere in the apartment, and a few seconds later my kitty came limping and crying in her room. Of course I would be out of town when this happened, and I was still 2 days away from coming home. He was in pain both days, and as soon as I got home off to the vet we went!

    After a long visit and some X-rays, the vet came back and told me that my Binx had fractured the growth plate off of his femur head, and the fractures actually extended down into the femur neck a bit. She reccomended that he head into surgery the next day, and came back with a quote of $1300 for the surgery. Unfortunately I'm a college student and didn't have the savings to drop that sort of money at once, so we decided it would be worth keeping him on strict cage rest for 4-6 weeks to see if it would heal on its own.

    Binx wasn't the most thrilled about this, but he settled into the routine of cage life rather easily, though I'm sure the fact that I would let him out for some cuddle time each day helped.

    When he initially injured himself, he held the leg as close to his body and off the ground as possible, but over time he began to take steps and limp around. I thought we might be in the clear and Binx healed himself, but about the second week of July he was walking in my room and suddenly collapsed towards his left side and yowled. When he got up and started moving again, it looked exactly like where we started. I ended up calling my vet office back to talk to my vet, and was told that she no longer worked there. Unfortunately I am not a fan of the other vets at the practice, so I began to ask friends who go to other vets for recommendations, and finally found the perfect vet!

    Binx went in for his consultation with this new vet, and I immediately knew that I was comfortable with going through with the FHO at this new practice. The consultation was with the surgeon, and he spent an hour reviewing the X-rays from the other practice and manipulating Binx to see if the FHO was really the necessary way to go, and we left that appointment with the surgery scheduled for the next Tuesday.

    As of today, Binx is 13 days post surgery! He's come an amazing way in this short time. I brought him home the same day, and when I picked him up he was alert and ready to go back home. He walked out of his carrier into the cage, as this vet wants him to be confined when I'm not around to watch him until the staples come out, which will be tomorrow!

    We were prescribed Onsior for the first 3 days as painkiller, and Clindamycin for 10 days as antibiotic. He had no problems eating and drinking, and he actually walked right into the litter box as soon as he was set up in the cage and urinated. It took him a day to have a BM, but it was normal sized and he hasn't had any problems with that!

    He's 13 days post op now, and he's walking like he did before the surgery (a pronounced limp on the left side), but it looks much more fluid than before, as once the surgeon was in his joint it was discovered that the femur head had actually disconnected from the neck and the hip joint, and the only thing that was keeping it in place was a ligament. The head was grinding on both the hip joint and the femur neck which is why he was in so much pain and it wouldn't heal on its own.

    I'm thrilled with this new vet practice and will be keeping him there, they've been so supportive through the whole recovery process! My one regret with it is that I didn't get him the surgery sooner!

    Hopefully once he gets the staples out tomorrow he'll be able to run around freely again. He's not hating confinement, but he definitely is ready to jump on my bed and cuddle all night again!

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    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      Thank you so much for your extensive post! I am happy to hear that Binx had his surgery with the new Vet and that he is now pain free and on his way to a full recovery, like so many other kitty's talked about here on this Blog.

      All the best to you and Binx

      Barbara and Bentley

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  61. 6 month update on my Macaron (Mac for short). Mac is totally back! His long floofy fur has grown in fully. While he isn’t quite back to jumping 5-6 feet off the floor like he used to, he still stuns me when he jumps 3-4 feet chasing “da bird”. No limping…absolutely no signs of his double hip fracture and double FHO surgeries. Animals are resilient, and Mac is proof. I am beyond happy with his recovery as he is a completely normal 2 year old cat, chasing, rough-housing and wrestling his siblings. There’s nothing he can’t do that a normal cat can do. The surgery was worth every penny and the short period of discomfort for him (and me) in the few days after the surgery. Thank you for your blog as the information and stories here made it easier for me to go ahead with his surgery. I wanted to be sure to pay it forward by sharing Mac’s story. Susan and Mac in Atlanta, GA

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    1. Hi Susan and Mac

      Thank you so very much for posting this update on Mac's recovery. I am so exited to read that Mac is doing so well and he will get even better with time.

      All the best to you and Mac

      Barbara and Bentley from Los Angeles, CA

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  62. Hi Barbara - As everyone else has said, thank you for your blog. I'm so impressed that you keep in touch with those who have commented and still respond years after your experience.

    Our 4 month old kitten, Tarzan (living up to his name), broke the head of his right femur last night - no idea how and he was in our room! He goes in for surgery tomorrow and I'm a worried mess. We won't get to bring him home until the following day. After reading your story and your updates that your Bentley is doing great today, I feel better about it all. This may seem silly, but when do you think we'll be able to hold him again? Did you keep Bentley in a large crate or in a small room? Just trying to plan where the best recovery area will be for him.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Robin

      I can feel for you and your worries at the moment. Try to relax and don't worry to much....Tarzan will be fine in no time!
      He will have some post op discomfort but compared to the pain he had before this will be much easier for him to deal with.
      I can't believe, how many cats are actually have to go through this.
      To answer you question, we kept Bentley in a little hallway area for the first week. A large crate would be good too. However, some Vets promote early movement with no restrictions at all. See what your Vet says.
      When it comes to holding him, see what he tolerates. I would wait at least a week before I would pick him up. I remember laying on the floor with Bentley to give him cuddles that way. In a week Tarzan will be already much better...!

      The best of luck and best wishes to Tarzan for a speedy recovery!

      Barbara and Bentley

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  63. hi barbera. I'm robin
    one of my cats jinx(4th gen savannah) has also been diagnosed to have the fho, after some research and looking at the xrays the vet didn't actually say but I found by mistake a word DYSPLASIA, which to me is exactly what he has and don't think any one has mentioned this, I'm glad I came across this blog as I was going to have him put down but think you've actually changed my mind to have the surgery, I don't have insurance and the vet has quoted me 700 pounds. I have his brother here too and they are so so close which also sways my decision as I don't want sylvesta to pine for his bro, looks like its going to be a heart breaking process especially to put one in a cage for a few weeks and the other trying to get him to play from outside the cage, I have watched videos on youtube this morning of some cats doing very well and others not so good :(, all I want is my jinx to be back to normal playing with his brother and from reading your blog looks like after a couple of months this might be possible.
    keep up the good work.
    I'm ringing the vets tomorrow to book him in
    Robin & jinx & sylvesta

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    1. Hi Robin, Jinx & Sylvester

      I am so glad to read that you are deciding to go ahead with the FHO surgery for Jinx. Here in the States is quite common to use the FHO procedure not only for fractures but also in Dysplasia cases to alleviate pain. I am so happy to read that you found this blog and that it helped to make your decision.
      Our Bentley is 22 pounds and couldn't be better or happier now. He has absolutely no problems when it comes to his hips. He is completely cured of the horrible pain that had accompanied him before he had his surgeries.
      I am sure that your Jinx will be running like the wind, jumping and playing with his brother again too... in no time.
      His brother will be good for Jinx too... when it comes to his recovery. Jinx will have his own little physical therapist. I don't know what your post op instruction will be for Jinx in UK but maybe after the first week or two you can take Jinx on little leash walks, without jumping just to get him out and about moving a bit. Most animals know anyway how far they can push, they are all pretty resilient and amazing!

      All the best wishes to you and please post an update on Jinx.

      Hugs from the US

      Barbara and Bentley

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    2. thanks for your reply babs, ive actually booked him in with an orthopaedic surgeon on the 20th sept, jinx is still quite a shy timid cat and they are both indoor cats, however they do have an outdoor compound where they go through the kitchen window and into their run, so a leash walk is out of the question, however sylvesta is the cheekiest nosiest cat ive ever seen and I'm sure he will get his brother active haha, ill post back after the op
      Robin

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    3. Hi Robin

      I will be thinking of you and Jinx on September 20 and sending good vibes and healing thoughts your way! I am looking forward to hear how Jinx is doing with his post op recovery.
      Barbara

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    4. Hi barbera
      well its been a month after Jinx op and hes walking ok considering :- the day I picked him up from the vets they informed me that when the xray'd him pre op they noticed both hips were now broken, they only operated on the one saying they cant do two at the same time (yes they lied), they have said to wait 6 weeks before they do the other hip and of course its now double the cost, vets are swines aren't they.
      So as ive said he walks fine but is still uncomfortable because the other one is broken too :(, he is playing with his brother and trying to run about but cant jump up on the sofa so I have to lift him up for hugs and kisses .

      Delete
    5. Hi Robin

      Just discovered your post and I am very saddened to read this. That's not very honest it seems like...that the Vet didn't discover the fracture earlier.
      Poor Jinx having to wait 6 weeks on a broken hip...that's terrible!!! I would get a second opinion. Bentleys second surgery was done by an Orthopedic Vet Surgeon! I can honestly say that his incision done by the specialist was much smaller and his recovery was also much faster. The cost was almost the same.
      I hope that you can get something worked out for Jinx.

      Keep us posted and good luck
      Pick him up and give him cuddles from us too

      xxx

      Barbara and Bentley

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  64. Hi! My cat, Spanky, just had the surgery today on both hips. He was neutered before 2 months old, so we think that is why his hips broke. He is staying the night at the vet and may stay over the weekend depending on his progress. I am so worried for our little guy. He is only 1 years old. I am kind of hoping they keep him all weekend so he gets the best care possible. Our vet is staffed 24/7 so someone is always there to care for him. I am planning on keeping him in a large cage when he comes home. I think that is why the vet is considering letting him come home tomorrow, but I would much rather he stay with the vet. We shall see what they say tomorrow. Thanks for this blog. It has really helped me to feel better.

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  65. My 2-year-old male cat Kenobe just had the surgery on both hips 6 weeks ago. He's done awesome, but he still can't jump up on the bed or sofa. Can cats jump up after the surgery? I bought him steps to help him up on the sofa, and he can walk up the steps, but he seems hesitant to jump up like a typical cat. Outside of that, you would never know he even had surgery, except his fur is still growing back.

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    1. Hi there

      I would assume, because Kenobe had both Hips done at the same time is the cause of him being reluctant to jump yet. He probably can't push off the ground very well yet without some discomfort, it has only been 6 weeks. However, I am not a Vet! I would call the Vet to see what his thoughts are. I can report that it took Bentley some time too before he jumped again. We gave our Bentley steps to use too which he used for quite some time post op! To answer your question, if Cats can jump after the surgery? Yes!!! Bentley jumps from the floor up on to a table with no problem at all these days!
      Kenobe will get there in time...I am sure!

      Healing thoughts and wishes to your little guy Kenobe. What a little trooper he is...undergoing an FHO surgery on both hips at he same time!

      Best wishes

      Barbara

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    2. Thank you, Barbara. Kenobe is doing so well about two months after surgery, it truly is a miracle. He still doesn't jump, but he uses his stairs, and since he's an indoor cat, it doesn't really matter. The vet wasn't concerned. Follow up x-rays showed no arthritis, and that means NO PAIN. No limp or anything. You would never know what he went through. He is his old self again, playing with his playmate, talking, and chasing ice cubes when I drop them on the floor getting them out of the frig. So cute:)

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    3. Hi Lorilyn and Kenobe

      I am so happy to hear about the great progress in Kenonbe's recovery. I think within time he will jump again. 2 month post op is really a short time for him to jump taking into consideration that he had both hips operated on at the same time. Give him at least another 2-3 month...I'll bet by then he will be jumping again.

      All the best to the both of you

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    4. Barbara, Kenobe just jumped up on the bed for the first time. He looked so proud of himself. Yeah! But you know what? I think he prefers for me to put him on the bed. I guess I have spoiled him:)

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    5. Hi Lorilyn and Kenobi

      Yeeeeaaaah, that is wonderful news. I knew it!!! Every day from now on will be a better one for Kenobi and before you know it he will be like nothing ever happened!

      All the best and thank you for the update!

      Barbara

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  66. We are picking Spanky up tomorrow, which is 2 days after surgery. He had a bit of a fever today that has gone away and the vet wanted to make sure he was using his litter box etc. From what our vet told us, Spanky should be 100% once he heals. Can't wait to see him. He should look interesting with his hair shaved.

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    1. Hi there

      I am sorry... that I didn't respond earlier... reason being that I don't check this blog daily.
      I am glad to read that you went ahead with Spanky's surgery and now Spanky being 4 days post op he is hopefully getting around much better already. The spot where the hair was shaved took a long time to grow back in on our Bentley. Bentley was already walking around very well while the spot where the hair had been shaved was our constant reminder of his surgery.
      Spanky will be fine in time...hang in there!

      All the best for a speedy recovery for your "Spanky"!

      Best regards
      Barbara

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  67. Robin Thomas -- comment for you. First, since your vet missed that both hips were broken, they should not charge you for the second surgery. Are they just trying to get more money out of you?

    My vet also missed it, but he wasn't sure about both hips being broken, so he forwarded the x-rays to an cat orthopedic specialist, and they diagnosed both hips were broken. When I decided to have both hips fixed at the same time, my vet recommended I go to the specialist to have it done. He didn't want to do both hips together, PLUS Kenobe has heart disease. Because of a murmur, they recommended before surgery that I have that checked, and that's when we discovered it. So we have to give him a tiny pill twice a day for that. He's only 2 so it's a genetic issue. Anyway, because we went to the specialist, he had a anesthetist to monitor Kenobe during the surgery -- the point is, if I hadn't had a good vet that took it upon himself to get a second opinion from a specialist as well as recommend his murmur be checked out at the University of Florida vet school, he wouldn't be alive today. If I were you, I think I might see if there is a specialist in the area to do the second surgery -- I' so sorry your vet failed you. But I learned from this, the longer you wait, the more the arthritis sets in, and it makes the surgery take longer because of the inflammation caused. I hope you do the second surgery. Believe me, it's so worth it. Kenobe and I now have an even closer bond because he knows how much I love him.

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  68. Barbara - I want to sincerely thank you for this blog. We are about to go through this surgery with our Maine Coon and it is absolutely heart breaking! I have noted all of your tips during recovery. Thank you SO very much for the story and advice!

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    1. Hi there,

      I am so glad that you found this blog and that it helped you to some extent. We will keep you and your Main Coon in our prayers and wish you all the best for a quick and full recovery.

      Best regards Barbara

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  69. I want to thank you for sharing your story with me. My fur-baby Chewbacca(Chewy) is going in for surgery tomorrow morning and I'm scared to death for him however your story has calmed my anxieties about his recovery! I feel hopeful☺

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    1. Hi there

      I just checked my blog and saw your entry! By now Chewbacca should have made it through his surgery. I was very upset and scared too when our Bentley had to undergo his ordeal but please be reassured, cats are very resilient and recover much faster than humans. I am convinced that Chewbacca will be fine just like all the other furry kids on this blog. Give him time, the recovery takes a while but it's all worth it in the end.
      Please keep us updated if you can find the time...so others facing the same dilemma can find helpful information here.

      Best wishes and hugs to Chewy

      Barbara

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  70. Keep us posted. Praying for excellent results.

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  71. Thank you so much for this blog post! I just dropped my little
    Ric off at the vet foe the surgery. They'll be keeping him overnight. Praying for good results ��

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  72. Hello there

    So glad you found my Blog and all the best wishes for for your little Ric. I am sure that he too will be fine again in time.
    Prayers going out to your little Ric.

    Best regards
    Barbara

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    1. Hi Barbara! Thank you for your response!

      My little Ric is doing great. It's been 1 week and he's anxious to play again! He came home with a fentanyl patch last week and was never in visible pain. He ate much better once I took the patch off.
      He will need another operation in the other hip in the future.

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  73. Thank you for the update on Ric! I am so happy to hear that he is feeling better and doing so well already 1 week post op.
    He will be his old self in no time.
    All the best wishes to your little guy for a speedy recovery and the best of luck for the other hip.

    Best regards,
    Barbara

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  74. Hi Barbara,
    I have yesterday picked up my Bonnie, also a MC girl, 2 years old, and like your Bentley broke her femur right along the growth plate. I have read your story, it makes me hopeful. My Bonnie refuses to stop, unless I sit with her. At the moment I find it hard to believe she will again hurdle through the garden one day. Difficult times!!
    Kind regards,
    Judith Thompson

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    1. Hi Judith,
      I am glad to see that you went ahead and had the surgery done on Bonnie. Just give her a few weeks and she will be playing, running and jumping to your amazment in the garden again....I am sure of it! The first couple of weeks are rough but from then on after it's a little bit better every day!

      Lot's of cuddles to Bonnie and best wishes to your little girl for a very speedy recovery!

      Best regards,
      Barbara

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  75. Hi Barbara,

    Thank you so much for your blog. My boy is going through FHO surgery right now and I'm at home doing all this terrifying research! I'm really worried about the recovery time. I work full-time and can probably take sometime off, but I don't know if I'll be able to sit with him like you were able to with Bentley. I had no idea this surgery was going to be this hard of a recovery of the first few weeks.

    My boy broke both his hips. We're not really sure how he did this, but likely feel from something. It went undiagnosed for over a week until an orthopedic surgeon looked at him and identified the problem immediately. We're having both hips done at once, per his recommendation. I'm really worried about him and worried I won't be able to get him to eat or go to the bathroom.

    Here's hoping everything goes ok. I'll keep you updated.

    Erica

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    1. Hi Erica

      I am sorry to hear about your little man's misfortune by having both of his hips done at the same time.
      Look through the post’s here when you get a chance, as far as I remember there was one other person that had a cat with both hips done at the same time and the cat did fine.
      Don't worry too much Cats are very resilient and know exactly what they can and cannot do.

      If you are working all day, then I would keep him confined to a small area i.e. a soft kennel with a cat box inside, close to him.
      To make the litterbox business easier for Bentley we cut away one of the boxes walls, that way he didn’t have to climb into his box…he could just walk in. It helped him a lot for the first post op days!


      Relax and don’t stress to much…he will be fine. The first days are a little rough but like I said before…. he will pick up before you know it and be himself again.

      All the best wishes to the both of you

      Barbara and Bentley

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    2. Erica Street,
      I had a foster kitty that broke both hips, and had a double FHO and I was working full time at the time. For recovery, a I put a large 48 inch dog crate on top of my dining room table by a window. I put a LOW littler box, food and water, a bed and covered the top with a sheet, so he did not feel exposed. This was to ensure he stayed quiet and not try to jump too soon when I was not home. When I went to get him from the Ortho Vet, I was given instructions of what to do in the form of Physcial Therapy. So in the morning before work, I got up an hour earlier, just to be able to slowly give him PT, while I drank my coffee. Gave any medications, and then my morning duties. In the evening I got supper ready (or had it ready in a crock pot), I would go in and give meds, clean the box, refresh water and food and again give any med and do PT slowly methodically as shown. I had to ensure I did not drift in my thoughts and kept cool and calm. This was our time. Upon his first follow up, they told me to go ahead and start getting him out to walk. So I got a string toy and I put him down, let him do his thing and sniff around and then walk with the pull toy for him to try and get and he would walk. I even put the toy in my pants pocket and as I walked and cleaned he followed me! I will write more if you have questions, but he is doing fine, can jump slightly up on couches, etc, climbs like a monkey, however, I do not allow kitties out side. I have a catio with different levels and inside cat trees. Hopes this helps.

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    3. Hi Barbara (and Bentley) and Mary,

      Thanks so much for your replies. The Ortho vet ended up keeping him for almost a week! We are one week since the surgery today and he has been home since Monday evening. Even though it was hard to have him gone, I'm glad the vet kept him for so long because they got him through the hardest part and gave him PT over the weekend. He can walk, but is very reluctant to. Yesterday was my first full day with him so we didn't do much. He eats tiny, tiny amounts of his dry food (never was interested in wet food). I have him in my smallest bedroom and have moved every thing out he could possible jump on.

      So now the struggle is to get him to move. I wasn't given specific instructions on PT, just try to get him to walk around. He does not want to. I also got some liquid pain medication and was told to use "as needed." I gave him some last night (that was a struggle) and he seemed to have a much more comfortable night. I don't have enough to see him through his next appointment (in about two weeks), so I'll have to try to gage his level of pain.

      He was never a particularly active cat in general, so some of this is his personality, but it's sad to see him in pain. Actually, one of the hardest parts has been reintroducing him to my other cat, who hissed at him...ugh!

      Thanks for your help.

      Erica

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    4. Hi Erica,

      I am so glad that the Vet kept him for a week. The first week can be pretty rough especially after having both femoral heads removed at the same time.
      Don’t worry too much about him not wanting to move very much at this time. I think it took Bentley a good 2-3 weeks before he started to move a bit more!
      I didn’t have to do any PT with our Bentley. He had 2 different Vet’s and both did not encourage PT. Vet’s all differ in their opinions… some encourage early manipulation and others don’t.
      The only thing Bentley was not allowed to do for some time was jump, which he didn’t want to do anyways.

      The only advise that I give now is to make sure that your kitty does not get constipated from the inactivity, pain meds and just dry food. We gave Bentley pumpkin and Mira-lax to help keep his stool soft so he didn’t have to strain to hard in his litterbox.

      When it comes to the pain meds…Bentley actually let us know when he no longer wanted them. He kept fighting us and pawing the syringe away from him. We tried without and he was fine!

      Please keep us posted on his recovery when you get a chance. Anything posted here helps others that are going through the same ordeal.
      I appreciate everybody’s input and help here on this Blog very much.

      A heartfelt thank you to Mary for her input and advise.


      Best wishes to your little man ! Bentley and I are sending him healing thoughts.

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  76. I got a prescription written for pain meds for my Teddy Bear. I also experimented with different wet foods. I agree with Barbara and ask the vet directly about PT. One thing I did was got a string toy Teddy liked and I would play and walk with it, to encourage Teddy to walk. At least 5 minutes in the morning, 5 minutes 2 times in the evening. I also stuck the string toy on my jeans as I cleaned and walked around doing chores. This encouraged him to come on along! As long as you all are home, leave him out of the single room and let him be with you all. It does help. Take care and thank you for the updates.

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  77. Hi! Thank you for sharing this! My 2 year old Jack had both femoral heads removed. He is about 3 weeks post op. Everything is going very well, he uses stairs to get up and down furniture, but he walks around a lot. The only thing I notice is a lot of tremors in his legs when resting. He cannot have anymore clonicin I think is the name, so we're looking into acupuncture to help with the pain. He's so happy otherwise very loving and friendly since the surgery! Any advice for pain management in regards to the tremors?

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    1. Hi there,

      Unfortunately, I can’t give advice on pain management…I am not a Vet! 

      I can however speak and advise from our experience with our cat Bentley.
      Maybe Jack does it because of the Nerves in his legs fusing back together while they are healing causing the tremors?! I would defiantly ask the Vet about it!
      Does he give you any other indication that he is still in pain…i.e. hissing, no appetite, hiding?

      Bentley also had and still has tremors but not just in his operated legs! His also started after he had the surgeries. It’s almost like he has something sticky stuck on his paws and he is trying to shake it off. I have no idea why he does that! However, we know for sure that he is not in pain! He just flicks his legs and also his ears a lot. It also happens in his sleep when his legs all of a sudden have a life of their own and jerk around. I call it his attacks. His ears start to twitch like crazy, he starts shaking his legs and licks himself superfast.
      We even went so far to have him seen by his Orthopedic Surgeon for x-rays to see if something was impinging on his legs causing the twitches but all was fine…no impingements that could have been causing him pain.
      We then took it a step further and took him to a Pet Dermatologist to see if he had any allergies. All his blood work came back normal. Nothing that would indicate this strange behavior. We had him on a 3-month food trial (only Kangaroo) to see if he was allergic to the protein in his diet but to no avail, he still twitched. Our Vet thinks that Bentley suffers from yeast build up in his ears and skin which causes his twitching, superfast licking and itchiness. 

      Some Vets think that it is a form of Hyperesthesia/, a Hypersensitivity brought on by something i.e. trauma, allergies or eve boredom. 

      We changed Bentleys food to a limited ingredient food and his symptoms went somewhat less.
      Our Vet gave us the option to place Bentley on an anti-seizure drug to control the tremors but we do not want to take that step at this point, as the tremors are not at all times. He has days where he is perfectly fine!

      If you do decide to ask your Vet what he thinks this could be, please share with us here. Anything helps!

      All the best to Jack and his recovery.

      Barbara

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