Coxofemoral luxation as a complication of localised tetanus in a cat

JFMS Open Rep. 2022 Apr 19;8(1):20551169221090889. doi: 10.1177/20551169221090889. eCollection 2022 Jan-Jun.


Case summary: A 9-month-old male neutered domestic shorthair cat presented 2 weeks after castration with a 48 h history of acute-onset lateral recumbency and severe hindlimb rigidity. Physical examination findings included hyperthermia, tachypnoea, hindlimb rigidity and a healed orchidectomy site. Neurological examination of the head and forelimbs was normal; however, there was a spastic, non-ambulatory paraparesis of the hindlimbs, which was more severe on the left. Abnormal findings included mildly elevated serum creatine kinase levels and on electromyography there was bilateral pathological spontaneous activity of the biceps femoris muscles. A tentative diagnosis of tetanus was made based on clinical presentation. Treatment was initiated with tetanus antitoxin, diazepam, metronidazole, buprenorphine and physiotherapy of the hindlimbs. There was an improvement over the following 20 days. Twenty-five days later the cat presented with acute, painful, non-weightbearing lameness of the left hindlimb. Physical examination was suggestive of craniodorsal coxofemoral joint luxation, which was confirmed radiographically. This was treated with analgesia and rest. A marked clinical improvement was observed at the 3-month follow-up.

Relevance and novel information: To our knowledge, there have been no previously published reports of spontaneous coxofemoral joint luxation as a complication of hindlimb localised tetanus infection in cats. This report suggests that coxofemoral luxation should be considered as a possible complication in young cats with hindlimb localised tetanus.

Keywords: Tetanus infection; castration; hip joint luxation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports