Joint Dislocation in Cats

Joint Luxations in Cats

Bones provide a rigid framework to body, helping maintain its normal shape, as well as protecting vital organs of the body. A joint is a structure where two or more bones meet (articulate) together. A capsule is present in articulating joints, which has a thick fibrous layer that helps in stabilizing the joint. In most joints, ligaments are also present, which ensure movements of joints within normal ranges. Therefore, if joints become damaged, disrupted, or undergo abnormal development, they become unstable.

The term luxation is used for the dislocation and complete disruption of a joint. In this condition, the supporting structures, like ligaments present around the joint, are damaged or completely missing. A milder form of this disease, called subluxation, represents partial dislocation of a joint.

Symptoms and Types

  • Pain
  • Swelling at site
  • Inability to use affected limb
  • Partial weight bearing
  • Lameness


There are two basic forms of joint luxation: trauma-induced luxation or congenital, which is present at birth. The latter form is aggravated by stress at later stages.


Your veterinarian will take a detailed history of your cat, asking you about the nature and frequency of the symptoms. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination on the cat, especially the areas around the joints.

Your veterinarian will also order multiple X-rays of the affected joints, which will help in confirming the diagnosis. This is because the results of routine laboratory tests, such as complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis, are usually normal in affected animals if there is no other concurrent disease present.


An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness


The displacement of the bone from its joint


The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance


The dislocation of a bone from the joint

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