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The first feline hip replacement in the New York area was performed in March 2007. Although the surgery is common for humans, veterinary medicine has just begun to practice this on cats. It is usually performed, as in humans, to replace a painful or damaged hip joint, where no better alternative exists. Because animals under about 40 lb (20 kg) carry their own weight with little strain on each leg, hip modification surgeries are often sufficient to restore hip function in many cases

An animal suffering from hip problems may well have been in some degree of chronic pain all its life from a very young age. Such animals often show no overt sign of pain, they do not cry out or howl. Rather, they have adapted to it over an extended period, and learned to live with it. As a result in many animals, successful hip replacement is reported to return them to a level of playfulness and happiness not previously seen.

Due to the USD $3500 cost, the procedure is unlikely to supplant the alternative solution:Total feline replacement.

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