Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ephemeral, Defemoral

Sit, stand, kneel, repeat.
I can't believe it's December 23 already. This Christmas sure snuck up on me. I only just returned home from nearly a week in Michigan. My aunt and godmother's funeral was a sad occasion, but it was very nice to reconnect with family and friends I haven't seen in years.

I'd forgotten how Catholic my upbringing was until we were back in tiny St. Patrick's church. Listening to the priest berate the assembled mourners who were only there to pay their respects to a woman they loved reminded me why I'm no longer religious.

I returned home last Saturday to find that my poor kitty's limp had gotten worse. I'd taken Rusty to the vet a few weeks ago and while she couldn't find anything specifically wrong with his leg, she suggested I bring him back for x-rays if he doesn't get any better. While I was away my little buddy seemed to go from playful kitten to grumpy old man, so back to the vet we went on Monday.

He's got JB's hips
and my tail.
Four hours and five hundred dollars later we were told Rusty has two fractured hips! Evidently this type of hip problem is common in male cats who get neutered while still very young. Something about the femoral growth plates not getting the hormones they need to develop completely. Cats with this condition typically begin showing signs of hip problems at around 18 months of age.

There wasn't really any question that JB and I would opt for surgical repair. After all, when JB's hip went bad I didn't put him to sleep; we got it fixed. So Monday morning at 8:30am Rusty is going in for double FHO surgery. Femoral Head Ostectomy is a procedure where they remove the femoral head and neck, which is the ball part of the hip joint.

This is your cat on
pain killers.
I learned that because cats are small and light, they can get by without a complete hip joint as the bone heals and their muscles learn to compensate. The prognosis is excellent as, in most cases, these cats regain full use of their hind legs and return to their normal activity levels.

Of course, this will take several months of recovery. It's going to be an interesting new year.


  1. i bet JB is happy to know that you putting him down wasn't really an option..........yet.

  2. You are a wonderful person to care so much for your fur child (and I don't mean Stevie B). Here's hoping you all have a happy and healthy new year. ~~ NB