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It has not been a good year :: Kitty bone chips?

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  • It has not been a good year :: Kitty bone chips?

    Ug. Not been a good 6 months in my cat family OR my mother's kitty family!

    My mother has a 9 year old neutered male cat- large frame, Maine-coone esque- that she adopted from a rescue when he was about a year old. Story on him was he had been thrown into a dumpster and fished out by some kind workmen who heard him mewling.

    A few weeks ago he came up three-legged lame and she rushed him to the vet. X-rays showed extreme arthritis and spurs in his shoulder (vet things due to some trauma as a kitten), and some of the spurs had snapped off and were now chips in the joint (this is the story I have, I wasn't there) Vet says to take him home, keep him comfortable and when he's in too much pain bring him back for amputation. Says chip removal isn't possible (he didn't say 'kitty isn't a canidate' or anything, just that amputation is the only option)

    I'm in town for a few weeks and offered to find and take kitty to an ortho specialist (any recommendations in northwest CT?) for a second opinion. I can't believe the only option for bone chips in a cat is removal of the limb. Wisdom? Experiences? I'm willing to drive him anywhere within 2 hours of Danbury, CT, which puts MA, CT and most of lower NY into range. The financial side and willingness is not an issue. Mom just did not know that bone chips CAN be fixable and since I'm here, I'll play chauffeur to kitty.
    "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings

  • #2
    Sorry about your Mom's poor cat (and about her vet!). That sounds ridiculous - when the cat gets too painful just amputate the leg! Ugh... Surgical removal of spurs is definitely done - why in the world would he say it isn't?

    Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine has an excellent small animal hospital. It's located in Grafton, MA which according to Google is about 2 hours from Danbury.

    Here's the website for orthopedics :


    Give them a call about a consult. I don't think you'll find a better place to go in your area.

    Jingles on their way for kitty. Let us know how this turns out.


    • #3
      I am guessing that the joint space may be too small for arthroscopy. A consult with an orthopedist may provide more options.


      • #4
        We have done arthroscopies on cats before...not common, but it can be done if the hospital has the right equipment. Im wondering though if amputation was recommended due to the severe arthritis.

        But yes, I would absolutely get a second opinion with a board certified orthopod. In an idel situation they would recommend a CT (or very good quality radiographs) and arthroscopy. Not always possible, but its gold standard and least invasive. They will be able to give you the best advice on the plethora of options available


        • #5
          Hey Squish...just curious and it sort of relates to this thread (loosely, sorry, OP ) Do small animal orthopods do IA injections for arthritis or joint pain like we do with the ponies? I could see how small dogs and the meows might have such tiny joint spaces it might not be doable, but what about big dogs?

          OP, I wish you the best of luck with your mom's cat. Would a joint supplement be useful? Kitty cosequin is CHEAP and well tolerated and might help a little?


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the help. The arthritis is pretty severe from what I've been told, but going straight to "remove the limb" just seemed such a big jump. I've found a few ortho guys and will take kitty to one this week or next.

            Kitty already gets cosequin. And lots of pampering.
            "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings


            • #7
              Hmmmm. How about Voltaren Gel/Surpass? I have NO EARTHLY IDEA if it is safe or advised for kitties, but damned if I don't like it a lot for myself and my horses, as it's so incredibly excellent at targeting a potent NSAID right at the area vs treating the whole critter.

              If I had a meow with serious arthritis, I would certainly ask my vet about it, and for a kitty Surpass at $50 ish a tube would probably last you a good long time, but the $17ish Voltaren Gel (which is the same thing) from feelbest.com would be even less.


              • #8
                Joints are generally lavaged with polyglycan during the arthroscopy, so its basically like a really good IA injection IA injections outside of surgery are not common because of the small joint space. If a dog is large lame enough to require IA injections, they usually have something that needs to be surgically addressed. Followups are done with IM polyglycan (or adequan/ carthrophen). I also seem to remember hearing dogs with severe OA seem to respond better to NSAID's than IA injections.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                  If a dog is large lame enough to require IA injections, they usually have something that needs to be surgically addressed.
                  I guess I do see a hell of a lot of LAME dogs out there walking with their owners, who are totally oblivious. I suppose it's not like most dog people are really evaluating their dogs for subtle stuff that could be addressed with IA injections, like we do with horses.

                  I can totally see how dogs might be super, super arthritic or problematic before they are noticed and addressed, which could certainly contribute to the success or usefulness (or lack there of) of IA or even IM joint juice.

                  Horses are, indeed, a whole different critter!


                  • #10
                    We have a cat with bone chips in her stifles and we were told we could probably get a surgical consult, but our vet wasn't hopeful that they would actually advise doing the surgery. Sounds like it would be very invasive without a good chance for improved quality of life. We didn't pursue the consult. Ms Cat gets around ok with cosequin and many kitty stepstools so she can still get on and off the bed, the table, the cat tree...