What is Bone Overgrowth?
The condition occurs when the development of new bone causes an unusual growth of the bones. It is not known as a life-threatening condition, but it still causes discomfort, swelling and severe pain in your cat. The ailments can be reduced by visiting the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Hypertrophic osteopathy is a condition in which the bones are growing abnormally in your pet. The condition is not often found in cats, but your feline is still at risk of suffering from this disease.
Symptoms of Bone Overgrowth in Cats
If your cat is suffering from bone overgrowth, you may notice several or all of the following symptoms:
- Lethargy, or tiredness
- Unwillingness to move
- Painful limbs
- Lack of strength
- Inability to use limbs
- Pain in the long bones
- Evidence of body cavity tumors
Causes of Bone Overgrowth in Cats
Bone overgrowth is usually caused by an underlying cause or disease, ranging from a tumor to heartworm disease. The following conditions are known to cause bone overgrowth in cats:
- Heartworm disease
- Heart disease
- Disease of the chest or abdomen area
- Lobar or mycobacterial pneumonia
- Abscess in the lung
- Primary or metastatic lung tumor
- Tumor of the liver, urinary bladder or prostate gland
Diagnosis of Bone Overgrowth in Cats
The symptoms of bone overgrowth are often confused with other conditions, such as arthritis. A visit to the veterinarian is essential for making an accurate diagnosis.
Expect your veterinarian to give your cat a complete physical exam to check their symptoms and rule out other conditions. Your veterinarian will ask questions about their symptoms, behavior, and medical history. Remember to let your veterinarian know if your cat has suffered from a past condition such as heartworm disease or pneumonia. A past condition is likely to play a part in their current bone overgrowth.
Your cat will need to undergo routine tests such as a complete blood count, urinalysis, and biochemistry profile. The test results may come back as normal, which is why your veterinarian will need to find the underlying cause of bone overgrowth. Ultrasounds and x-rays are done to check for tumors, new bone formations, and bone reactions. Your veterinarian may check for additional tumors and recommend a biopsy to see if the tumors are hazardous or benign.
Your veterinarian will use the symptoms and test results to diagnosis the underlying cause and bone overgrowth. It is important to take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you notice the symptoms of bone overgrowth.
Treatment of Bone Overgrowth in Cats
It is not always possible to treat bone overgrowth unless the underlying cause is identified. If an underlying cause is found, treating it can help relieve pain and discomfort in your cat.
Medication To Relieve Ailments
Medication is a common treatment for bone overgrowth. Your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to bring down the pain and swelling and bring comfort to your furry friend.
Surgical Removal of Tumors
Surgery is only used as a form of treatment if an operable tumor is found in your cat. Your veterinarian will remove the tumor and cut the nerve around the affected area. This is done to reduce the pain and stop the abnormal bone growth. The thought of having a tumor surgically removed may be stressful, but the risk of complication is usually low for cats.
Recovery of Bone Overgrowth in Cats
You are going to need to schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure the treatment is successful. Your veterinarian will make sure your cat is responding to the antibiotics and healing from the surgery. A follow up appointment is also vital if the tumor is hazardous rather than benign. You may need to discuss further treatment for the tumor and bone overgrowth.
Your veterinarian is going to give you special instructions for taking care of your cat after the treatment. This includes administering medication and trying pain therapy at home. You must follow the instructions so you can keep your cat as comfortable as possible. Keep in mind that your cat may continue to show symptoms several weeks after the treatment.
The results of treatment and regular medication will improve life for your four-legged friend. However, bone overgrowth is not completely reversible and could affect your cat for the rest of its life. The bones and limbs may go back to normal within several weeks or months of treatment, but you will more than likely need to administer a dose of medication every day.
There is a chance the bone overgrowth will occur again, and this is why it is important to schedule regular visits with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will monitor the progression of the abnormal growth and let you know if your cat needs another round of treatment.