Friday, April 14, 2017

Connor has surgery

It has been a tough week for Connor. He broke his hip and had to have surgery. He’s home now and is doing well, but he still has to go through the healing process.

Connor enjoying late afternoon sunshine at home on Thursday.
You can't see the incision in this picture, but it's about 2 inches long.

Tuesday evening at around 6:15, Connor came into the bedroom where I was. It looked like he was dragging his back end, but quickly lay down on the floor. Larry called him so that he got up again, and we could see he was holding up his back left leg. When we tried to pick him up or when we touched his leg, he cried out.

We left for the emergency hospital. It only took us about 40 minutes to get there, but it seemed forever because he was obviously in pain and upset, and there was little I could do to comfort him.

At the hospital, the vet gave him two pain medications right away so he could be examined. Even then, Connor cried out in pain when the vet moved his leg. So they gave him more pain medication.

Once x-rays could be done, the vet told us he had broken his hip. We were horrified, and we couldn’t understand how we could have missed the major traumatic event that must have caused it.

Turns out it was the kind of break that needs no trauma to happen. It was a femoral neck/capital physis fracture. It can happen in cats and dogs. With cats, it mostly occurs in large neutered males.

The surgeon told us the theory is that when neutering occurs in young cats, the drop in testosterone can delay the closure of growth plates, and in some cats, this can result in this type of fracture. If it happens on one side, there is a 25 percent chance of it happening on the other side. (Note: Please don’t take this as a caution against having your cats neutered.)

Connor had a femoral head ostectomy (FHO), where the head and neck of the femur are removed. The bone is held in place by scar tissue and other tissues and muscle. It sounds impossible, but most cats and small dogs can run and jump afterwards, though they may have a limp and may be limited in jumping ability as compared to before the surgery.

Connor came home yesterday and is doing well. We have to try to keep him as quiet as possible for at least two weeks for the incision to heal. But the vet said it’s important that he build up the muscles in that hip. So he is allowed short walks already. 

He doesn’t like being in a crate most of the time, but we are looking for ways to make it more manageable for him. He threw out all of the litter in the small litter box we put in the crate, and sat in the box. So we let him out periodically, and he uses the regular litter boxes. 

Since Connor was diagnosed with a broken hip, it seems like people have come out of the woodwork on Facebook to tell me that they have had pets who had the FHO surgery and did fine. Abbey’s vet, the internal specialist, works in the same clinic as the surgeon and talked with us about it. One of her cats had to have the surgery on both hips. And our regular vet says that it’s a common procedure. 

We are glad that Connor did well with the surgery and is at home. The next couple of weeks especially will be challenging for him, but he is a brave and spunky boy. We believe he will be just fine.


  1. Connor! Oh baby, just do as your peeps tell you, and you'll heal up well! Have never heard of this surgery, so know I know. You are a brave and spunky boy, Connor!

  2. Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Connor it hurts us just to read this. WE had no idea about this type of break. Hugs and healing kitty kisses Mom and Madi...and Extra hugs to your peeps cause we know they are hurting as much as you are
    Madi mom

  3. Oh, poor baby. I can only imagine how much pain it caused him. And worry for you! Hugs and healing wishes ♥

  4. Oh, sweet Connor, we're sending you the softest of our soft comforting purrs.

  5. Oh man, this is awful. We're so sorry to hear this happened to you. Many purrs for a quick recovery.

  6. Oh, poor Connor!!!! We will say prayers for a speedy, uneventful recovery!!! Gentle head bonks!!!

  7. Oh poor Connor!!!!!!!! Poor you! You had to be terrified! Thank goodness he is home and on the mend, hoping his recovery is a swift one! xoxo catchatwithcarenandcody

  8. Poor Connor, that sounds awful. I hope he heals quickly.

  9. Wow, I've never heard of this before so I'm surprised that your vet says it's common. Poor Connor! We send him a ton of purrs and good thoughts that he heals quickly. ~Island Cat Mom

  10. We are sending lots and lots and lots of purrs and prayers to sweet Connor! He sure is a lucky boy, though, because he has a wonderful mom and dad who will take the best care of him!

    Somehow, though it surprised our vet, my pup Astrid appears to have been born without a femoral head and neck of her right femur. It's like she was born having already had an FHO surgery. For what it's worth, I can tell you that, while her back right leg is slightly shorter than her left, she gets around more than fine. She jumps, runs, and all that jazz.

    Your Connor sure is a tough boy, and we're sending all of our good thoughts!

  11. Connor is the bravest dearest boy ever! I had never heard of that anomoly before now, or the reasons that it may happen. I am so grateful that he is in the healing cage now and again, so very sorry he and you, his parents had to go through this. But thank heaven he is alright now and healing. Love and smoochies to Connor.

  12. Poor guy. Lizzie and I are sending special get well wishes to Connor. I'm so grateful that he had the good parents who would get him to the vet as soon as possible. I know you were frantic with worry but I'm glad to hear the prognosis is good and he's on the mend.

  13. dood...we R troo lee sorree, we haz been off line N dinna noe ya had ta go two de eeeeeeevill
    place, we hope ewe R knot in pain N we send best fishez fora speedee N full ree coveree, we all sew
    send de manee blessings oh st francis two ewe that yur back ta yur ole self in noe time...chillax N
    take it eazee buddy.....♥️❤️♥️

  14. Poor Connor! I am sending purrs for a good healing.

  15. Oh Tina, I am so sorry.. you must have been beside yourself. Purrs to Connor to heal quickly and to you as well.

  16. Poor Connor! We're sending big purrs, prayers and healing thoughts his eay -- and yours!

  17. How scary for you and Connor!! I'm so glad that he is recovering now, and I hope it is as pain-free as possible for him. I imagine he doesn't like being confined. Try to tell him why he is confined. I think our babies understand more than we know. Sending purrs and hugs and prayers!

  18. Oh no, how scary for you and horrible for Connor. I'm glad you were able to take him to an ER vet. Sending hugs and purrs for a speedy recovery.