We use cookies on our website to track usage and preferences. Learn more


Radiographic Case Study: A young cat with caudal lumbar pain

Clinical History:

2 year old male neutered Ragdoll

He presented with a 2 week history of hissing when touched over his lower lumbar spine. He has not been wanting to play with their other cat and is not eating as well. The owner is not aware of any recent trauma. On clinical examination he was sensitive on palpation over the lumbar region. Tail movement was fine and he was walking normally with no lameness. No neurological deficits were found. Bloods were unremarkable and radiographs were taken under sedation.

Scroll down for Radiographs:

Diagnostic Interpretation:

There are complete, slightly irregular radiolucent lines affecting the proximal metaphysis of the femur bilaterally, causing physeal widening. The neck of the femur is mildly displaced dorsally. There is mild metaphyseal remodelling and moderate epiphyseal and metaphyseal sclerosis. No other bone abnormalities are seen. The hind limbs muscles are symmetric and show normal opacity and normal volume. The abdominal cavity is normal: the detail is maintained and all abdominal organs can be considered within normal limits.

Fig 1: The circles highlight the radiolucent lines at the femoral neck bilaterally. Notice the mild displacement of the metaphyses. The green arrows point to surrounding sclerosis.


Bilateral radiolucent lines at the proximal metaphysis of the femur, with mild remodelling and adjacent sclerosis.

Additional comments:

These radiographic findings are compatible with bilateral slipped capital femoral epiphysis. These are typically seen in young, male neutered cats which are often obese and seen with no single traumatic incident. An excellent reference to this condition was published by Pilar Lafuente in the Journal of feline medicine and surgery in 2011.


This cat underwent bilateral femoral head and neck excision and is making a good recovery with regards to his pain and mobility.