Bone Overgrowth in Cats

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Hypertrophic Osteopathy in Cats

Though rare in cats, hypertrophic osteopathy can create extreme discomfort and pain in your pet. It refers to an abnormal increase in size of bone due to new bone formation, which may cause swellings at all four limbs and is often confused with arthritis. Hypertrophic osteopathy may also cause lameness due to swelling and pain at joints and bones.

Symptoms and Types

  • Lethargy
  • Reluctance to move
  • Swellings at distal portions of limbs, especially forelimbs
  • Painful limbs
  • Edema on limbs
  • Decreased movement in joints due to swelling
  • Lameness


The exact cause of new bone formation is still unknown, but this condition has been seen in association with various diseases, including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Heartworm disease
  • Heart disease
  • Tumor of urinary bladder
  • Tumor of liver and prostate gland
  • Lung tumors metastasizing to the affected areas


Your veterinarian will take a detailed history, asking you about the duration and frequency of symptoms. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination. Routine laboratory tests including complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis will be conducted. The results are usually normal but may vary depending on the underlying disease, if present. X-rays of the bone may reveal new bone formation and help your veterinarian in localizing the disease. He or she may also decide to take bone sample for further evaluation, including investigating for the presence of tumors.

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prostate gland

The gland around the urethra that secretes the fluid to allow sperm to move about


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


The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance


The study of the various causes of disease


The furthest distance from the middle or the top of a body


A medical condition in which the joints become inflamed and causes a great deal of pain.


Any type of pain or tenderness or lack of soundness in the feet or legs of animals

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