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Feline Phantom Limb Pain
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Member
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26 January 2017 - 1:58 pm
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My boy (cat) is almost 8 weeks post op. He has started exhibiting signs of phantom limb pain and I'm wondering if this is something that will eventually subside? And if so, approximately how long does it last? Is it necessary to medicate at this point? I would really appreciate any advice from any of you that have experienced this. I don't like seeing him so weirded out and seemingly in pain! Thanks smiley

Here and Now

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26 January 2017 - 4:45 pm
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Welcome Nadine! FYI: We've moved your topic to our new forum here just for Three legged Cats. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Whether dog or cat, phantom pain is real. How long it lasts can vary greatly but there are many ways to help provide relief.

Here are some tips for managing phantom pain from the Tripawds Downloads blog . Gabapentin has been proven to help, so ask your vet if you're interested in adding/changing medications. Massage can help relieve phantom pain symptoms. And Farabloc is another method many members have found helpful.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here. Start here for help navigating the Tripawds community and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Michigan
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26 January 2017 - 8:17 pm
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Hi and Welcome!

What are seeing in your kitty exactly? Can you describe what your seeing, and how often it is happening and lasts?

As the Admin said & his suggestions listed ,there are a lot of things that can be done for phantom limb pain.

Our Cat Purrkins was on Gabapentin for for 14 days after surgery. Purrkins also went for acupuncture treatments.

There are also homeopathic remedies for nerve pain.

Boiron Homeopathic Medicine Hypericum Perforatum, 30C Pellets .It may be given long term for phantom pain . I used the Hypericum Perforatum on Purrkins after the Gabapentin. These are little tiny pellets, I would crush them into powder and add a tad of water and syringe that to him ,your could put them crushed in his food or a little bit of baby food (we use turkey and gravy) 

Here is a article on the natural remedies for Amputation Recovery in Dogs,Cats.

http://nutritio.....n-recover/

Forum post on phantom pain on cat -

http://tripawds.....st-4-days/

Hugs 

Holly & Purrkins

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30 January 2017 - 1:15 pm
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purrkins said
Hi and Welcome!

What are seeing in your kitty exactly? Can you describe what your seeing, and how often it is happening and lasts?

Boskers is experiencing some uncontrollable scooting backwards accompanied by confused crying. It happens a few times a day and it seems to be very upsetting for him. It only lasts about 40 seconds. He also seems very lethargic and depressed, spending most of his time in his bed. Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I will try the Hypericum Perforatum. The vet did put him on another pain reliever (not gabapentin though) so I'm hoping this helps ease his symptoms and therefore his distress. I hope this isn't a long term condition as it's upsetting to both of us what-ever

Michigan
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30 January 2017 - 1:29 pm
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It sounds like phantom limb pain to me.

The gaba is a very useful drug to help with nerve pain!
If the new drug or Hypercium does not help please, don't hesitate to call your vet back.

Hug to you & chin scratches to Boskers.
Keep us posted please
Holly & Purrkinsheart

  

Here and Now

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30 January 2017 - 2:20 pm
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nadine3519 said
Boskers is experiencing some uncontrollable scooting backwards... 

Other tri-kitty members has reported similar behavior in their cats after amputation...check out these topics for further discussion:

Cat displaying strange behaviour after amputation

Recently Rescued a Tripod Cat (Tips & Advice for a Newbie}

Michigan
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30 January 2017 - 3:27 pm
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Here are some articles I could find on phantom pain in cats...

Do cats experience phantom pains like humans?
Yes, it is possible for your cat to experience phantom pains. This is due to the nerve endings at the site of the amputation sending signals to the brain.

http://www.cat-.....-cats.html

Bottom of this article under -

Over the next few weeks
Occasionally pets do suffer phantom pains in removed limbs so if you suspect your cat is in discomfort, chat to your vet as they may need some further treatment.

https://www.purina.co.uk/cats/health-and-nutrition/cats-with-special-needs/amputation-in-cats

Michigan
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6 February 2017 - 8:53 am
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http://munchlov.....limb-pain/

1.13.17 Day 5 Post Op: Phantom Limb Pain
The following post operative complications were the main inspiration for us to share our story. We hope this information will help others navigate through difficulties in the post op period:

At 1:30 a.m. Munch was sleeping between our pillows like she usually does, and out of nowhere she darted out of bed and looked angry. I gave her pain medication 30 minutes early thinking she was restless from pain.  I brought her back to bed and caressed her head her until she fell back to sleep. She repeated the same stunt out of bed around 6:30 a.m., but no medications were due. Then at 10:15 a.m. she went to use her litter box, and while she was in there she went crazy as if she was in a cat fight with herself. I tried to console her as I took her out of the cat box; she was covered in litter at this point with litter in her eyes and mouth. I was completely horrified since this was the first time she had ever acted out like this. I called the hospital and by the time I was told to bring her in, Munch managed to rip off five claws from her back paws. I brought her into the ER and she needed x-rays of her bloody paws to determine whether she had damaged the bone and needed amputations of any digits. I couldn’t help but think, “how much more of her do we have to remove?” Thankfully, removal of the claws and wound care was what she needed. We were sent home with Trazodone (a sedative) to keep her calm, and arrived home around 9:00 p.m.
Once the sedation wore off from the ER visit, Munch was back to growling, screaming, and fighting herself. Around 2:00 a.m., we made yet another trip to the ER. Since she was a harm to herself, tranquilizer was needed. The doctors couldn’t figure out whether she was having a bad reaction to the pain medications or experiencing phantom limb pain. They put her on Gabapentin which helps with nerve pain, and applied a Fentanyl patch near her incision site for sustained pain relief. By morning she seemed to have calmed down but was still anxious, so we had to be present in order for her to eat and relax. Four days later, she was discharged; she adjusted to her new medication regimen and has been doing well ever since.

Takeaways from this experience:
Munch’s surgeon informed us that phantom limb pain post amputation is apparently uncommon in cats. She expressed that this was the first cat with phantom limb pain she had encountered during her lengthy career.
For anyone reading, here is a list of the signs & symptoms Munch exhibited:
• Anxiety attacks, acting out while no stimulus was present
• Screaming as if she was in a catfight, completely unprovoked
• Growling and hissing
• Inconsolable
• Erratic movements
• Ripping off claws during an anxiety attack
• Scratching abdomen with back paws (photo below)
• Rapid heart beat (felt when picking her up)
• Drooling (I was concerned she was having a neurological issue, but actual pain was the cause)

The Rainbow Bridge

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6 February 2017 - 12:16 pm
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THANK YOU for sharing this and making it easier for folks to find other TriKitty's experiences. You rock!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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9 February 2017 - 1:22 am
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Nicholas did have some phantom limb pain after his surgery. His episodes were not as severe as Munch's above. We're three years out now, so I don't remember exactly how long it was an issue for... few months, maybe? He responded very well to gabapentin. I kept him on it long term because of another condition, but discontinued it several months ago and have not seen anything resembling a phantom pain episode since.

I know that in humans, pre-surgical pain is a known risk factor for the development of phantom limb pain. I don't know if that fits for Boskers, but it was the case with Nicholas. His tumor was inside the bone, so there was no obvious mass, and he didn't show any signs of lameness. We found it (and amputated) when it finally weakened the bone enough that it fractured during normal activity.

Best of luck with Boskers! I'm not on as often as some (things are a bit crazy at the moment), but am always happy to answer questions about our experience. (Right forelimb amp, 2/01/14, osteosarcoma.)

The Rainbow Bridge

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9 February 2017 - 10:01 am
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Nicholas and family I know that in humans, pre-surgical pain is a known risk factor for the development of phantom limb pain.

I know that in humans, pre-surgical pain is a known risk factor for the development of phantom limb pain.

Very true. I believe it's why vets who practice the latest pain management protocols will start the patient on Gabapentin a few days before surgery. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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