Typical Health Problems in Yorkshire Terriers

Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip joints fail to grow normally, gradually deteriorate, and eventually lose their ability to operate.

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A maladaptation or incongruity between the articular portions of the hip (acetabulum) and the femur (head) characterizes hip dysplasia. As a result, there is joint laxity, where the femoral head can shift or migrate. This causes cartilage attrition, microfractures, and subluxation, which gradually inflame and weaken the joint area. All of this causes the hip joint to be unstable, which causes a number of degenerative changes to occur, including osteoarthritis that causes pain, lameness, or discomfort, degenerative osteoarthritis, and atrophy of the muscles in the hind limbs.

This traumatic condition develops as a result of the interplay of hereditary and environmental variables. The kitten has inherited the genes for dysplasia even if its parents have not shown symptoms of it. Patella luxation may occasionally be present in addition to it.

Breeds of cats that are more likely to have hip dysplasia

The races that are predisposed to developing hip dysplasia are as follows:


A Maine cow

Shorthairs in Britain




Dexter rex

Additionally, it appears to affect women more frequently than men.

Cats with hip dysplasia may experience joint weakness between 4 and 12 months, causing apathy, difficulty in movement, resistance to exercise, decreased mobility, muscle wasting, larger forelimb muscles, and difficulty rising. Symptoms may include increased apathy, difficulty in jumping, and a cracking hip.

Treatment for feline hip dysplasia is crucial to prevent its progression and reduce the cat’s quality of life. Symptoms-only medicine, including medications, can improve the cat’s quality of life, delay degenerative illnesses, and reduce inflammation and pain.

In situations of severe inflammation of the joint capsule, corticosteroids—such as dexamethasone in a single dosage at first, continuing with prednisolone for its anti-inflammatory effect—are the preferred treatment. They should not be used for an extended period of time since this may decrease the production of collagen and proteoglycans, harming the cartilage.

The manufacture of prostaglandins, which are a mediator of pain and inflammation, is inhibited by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) that work against cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 (COX-1 and COX-2).

Glucosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are a component of articular cartilage, are employed as precursors to substances including glucuronic acid, glucosamine, and glutamine. They function as articular cartilage regenerators and alleviate symptoms because of their analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities.


Cats with severe hip dysplasia or those that don’t improve after receiving conservative care should be given surgical intervention, which includes:

Excision of the femoral head creates a pain-reducing fibrous pseudo-joint.

To liberate the acetabulum and realign it to promote congruence between it and the head of the femur, a triple hip osteotomy (OTC) of the pubis, ilium, and ischium is performed. By doing so, the subluxation can be fixed and the joint’s stability improved.

When osteoarthritis or the illness is very advanced, artificial prostheses are used; the acetabulum, the femoral head, and the neck are removed and replaced with implants. Its high price is one of its biggest drawbacks.

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Physical therapy can help cats with hip dysplasia, but it’s crucial to recognize clinical symptoms and bring them to a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. AnimalWised is not responsible for prescribing or diagnosing veterinary treatments.