Meet Chocolate

Chocolate is an elderly 15 year old Birman who presented at Ourvets in September 2016, non-weight bearing on his right hind leg. With no obvious fractures, the team decided to investigate further with the help of a digital radiograph. This radiograph showed the dislocation of the right hip joint. Dislocations can be very painful and often difficult to relocate as the muscles and ligaments around the joint can stretch and lose the ability to hold the two bones in place.

To correct this, Dr. Geoff Mehrtens attempted a non-surgical technique to correct the dislocation which was unsuccessful and so he opted for a technique called a ‘toggle procedure’. This surgery involves making a hole through the head of the femur and in the hip socket, then threading the toggle and suture through these two holes. Stabilization of the joint is maintained by pulling the joint into place (using the suture) and fastening using the toggle on the internal side of the joint.

The surgery went very well for Chocolate and he was quick to recover. This was nothing short of amazing for a cat of his age. Following a period of cage rest to allow the joint to heal, he was back to wandering around the house. However, Chocolates’ owner noticed he was showing less agility and some hesitation when jumping up onto objects. The decision was made to start hydrotherapy for Chocolate. This is a therapeutic method that involves the use of water for pain relief and treatment of injuries.

As you can see – Chocolate is cool, calm and collected during his session on the water-treadmill. The team at Animal Physio NZ noted following his first session that he was a ‘gorgeous cat, very tolerant’ and ‘he did very well with the exercises’. He is currently having monthly sessions and shows on-going improvement with the owners also continuing to do exercises at home.

The team at Ourvets are so glad to see such a great recovery following an injury like this – made possible by the love and dedication of Chocolates’ owners. We wish Chocolate and his fur-parents all the best!