Case description: A 9-year-old 37-kg sexually intact male snow leopard (Panthera uncia) with no history of lameness but radiographic evidence of right femoral subluxation and flattening of both femoral heads, 2 juvenile (< 1 year old) 25-kg sexually intact male cheetahs (Acinoynx jubatus) with unilateral hind limb lameness resulting from trauma, and an 11-year-old 110-kg sexually intact female Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) with a 2-year history of left hip joint osteoarthritis were examined.
Clinical findings: No clinically relevant clinical findings other than hip joint problems were identified. All 4 felids underwent staged bilateral (snow leopard) or unilateral (cheetahs and tiger [Panthera tigris]) total hip arthroplasty (THA).
Treatment and outcome: In the snow leopard, both femoral THA components were found to be luxated 1 year after surgery. Treatment consisted of autogenous corticocancellous rib graft augmentation of the dorsal acetabular rims and synthetic suture capsulorrhaphies. The snow leopard lived for an additional 4 years with no additional THA-related complications. In the other 3 animals, catastrophic complications (luxation in the cheetahs and femoral fracture in the tiger) occurred shortly after THA. The THA implants were removed, and excision arthroplasty was performed. Long-term outcomes were good in all 3.
Clinical relevance: Findings underscore the challenges associated with THA in large nondomestic felids. Given the high risk for early catastrophic failure as a result of luxation or fracture, plans must be made and resources must be available in case revision surgery or implant removal with excision arthroplasty becomes necessary.