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Rescued Cat Princess Leia Heads to Surgery

Princess Leia was rescued at around one week old with her brother Skywalker. She is now 9 ½ years old and has been struggling with MHE in both of her front paws. MHE (Medial Humeral Epicondylitis) is a joint condition that can be severely debilitating and very tricky to diagnose. She had the condition over a year and a half before it was diagnosed.

Here’s a great article by Karen Perry, BVM&S, MRCVS, DECVS about the condition: https://cvm.msu.edu/vetschool-tails/surgery-and-rehabilitation-for-11-year-old-cat-with-lesser-known-bone-condition

Princess Leia started limping on her front right paw back in September of 2015. We had x-rays and ultrasounds done but nothing was found. We tried anti-inflammatories as well but it didn’t help her and we didn’t want to keep her on anti-inflammatories very long. She limped for about three months and then it got better. It was intermittent limping on her front right paw for a good year. We did x-rays again but nothing was found and then we tried laser therapy but it didn’t do anything. In January of 2017 she started limping on her front left paw. We went through x-rays and ultrasounds again and in spring of 2017 she was finally diagnosed with MHE by a Veterinary Orthopedic Surgeon from CSU. It was a relief to finally have a diagnosis. Shortly after she was diagnosed she stopped limping. We decided to wait and see what would happen. Unfortunately she started limping again on her front left paw and the condition has now progressed to the point where she can barely walk on her front left paw.

Princess Leia MHE

We knew it was time to do something to improve her quality of life. She is scheduled to have surgery on Monday, November 6th by the Veterinary Orthopedic Surgeon who diagnosed her. After surgery she will start a rehabilitation program to help with her healing. In the majority of these cases, cats treated surgically have shown significant improvement. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a successful surgery and healing process for her. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on Princess Leia’s progress.


Mindy Falzarano

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