TRIPAWDS: Home to 13087 Members and 1145 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » FACEBOOK » TWITTER » RANDOM BLOG

16 year old cat post-amputation | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Discussion

Learn about life on three legs in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free to take advantage of member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Join the Live Chat and more!

free tripawds account tripawds member log in

K9 Immunity Plus — Hope For Dogs With Cancer

Get help with Dr. Dressler's Dog Cancer Kit

Dog Cancer Survival Kit

dog cancer survival kit

Dr. Dressler’s Dog Cancer Kit includes everything to help your dog fight cancer!



A A A

Please consider registering
Guest

Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
16 year old cat post-amputation
sp_NewPost Add Reply sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
24 November 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
3 December 2015 - 8:23 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

I've been reading through the kitty blogs and various threads in the forum, but just wanted to have a place to "park" my own particular thoughts, so I'm starting this thread.

Our 16 year old cat, Progo, is coming home this afternoon, following a right foreleg amputation (which happened yesterday). Historically, he has been very stressed out by/aggressive at veterinarian visits, though he's mellowed just a bit in his old age. (He is perfectly affectionate with my husband and me, and tolerates our 4.5 year old). 😉

The update just now was that he did pretty well overnight but is grumpy and reluctant to move. They got him to sit up a bit to eat, as he was hungry. They think it's probably OK for him to go home today, soon, because he might be happier and do better at home, and we should keep an eye on his mobility. My husband is going to go get him around 12:30 or 1. We shall see. No biopsy results yet.

Any tips or tricks for cats (esp. elderly) in these early days? I'll keep doing my research, but appreciate all the support I've gotten here so far. In case you didn't see my other thread, this is not considered curative. There were cancer cells the amputation could not remove (in his armpit) but his chest and abdomen xrays/scans looked clear. So he may not have much time left, but we are hoping the amputation will give him some pain relief -- and I really hope he regains some mobility.

Member
Forum Posts: 825
Member Since:
27 July 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
3 December 2015 - 1:32 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Eating is good. As for tricks and tips:

1. Pain control. Keep ahead of it. You should have a heavy duty pain killer and also a NSAID for inflammation and pain. The directions I was given for the Buprenex was twice a day but I think 3 times would have been better because Mona was in pain by the time she was due for the next dosage. I've also read somewhere that the two meds should not be given at the same time.

2. Do not clean the incision area with anything but you can clean up the leakage with a damp washcloth. Mona really enjoyed it because it cooled the site down.

3. Some people ice the site with an ice pack and towel for 5-10 minutes a few times a day.

4. As it heals there may be some phantom limb pain. Some people recommend massage and others use the medication Gabapentin.

5. Litter box - well, I read to cut it down for an entry and only use something like "Yesterday's News" pellets which have less dust. This did not work for me.

6. Initially keep your kitty in a quiet area to sleep, eat, etc. Rooms with hiding places like under beds are bad because it's hard to reach them under a bed. I set up a matt under a shelf in a closet where Mona was nice and cosy. I left the door open and could just pull out the matt when accessing her. Some people put a blanket over a coffee table so the cat can hang out there.

7. I slept in the same room as Mona on a high foamy. She slept in the closet the first night and then with me every night after that.

I'm sure you'll get lots of tips from others. Spoil Progo as much as you can. Spoil yourself during this time as it's quite stressful. I must say it's also an honour to spend this special time with out pets.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona 

Here and Now

Forum Posts: 10668
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
3 December 2015 - 4:41 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

neuromancer said
Our 16 year old cat, Progo, is coming home this afternoon, following a right foreleg amputation...

Welcome home Progo! Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Please keep us posted.

kazann said
As for tricks and tips...

Pawesome, thanks! We've added a link to this topic on the Tri-kitty Blogs list.

Any other cat members have feedback?

"Dogs are born with three legs and a spare."
— Jerry G. Dawg (10/98-10/08)
Please Support Your Tripawds Community!
Have you started a Tripawds Blog yet?
Looking for quick answers? Download Tripawds eBooks for the best tips!
Member
Forum Posts: 57
Member Since:
22 November 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
3 December 2015 - 5:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

I was very happy to see Progo had a successful surgery! Yay!

I wish I had tips to add to Kerren's great list. Honestly, with the exception of my Jerry needing to be rushed back to the vet the next day due to a nearly fatal reaction to an NSAID, my 15 year old cat had ZERO issues with recovery. He was walking around by the first night home. And jumping up on stuff shortly after. All cats are different though...mine didn't hide at all. He actually became suddenly affectionate. It was/is the weirdest thing. Never particularly liked being held, or carried, or cuddled. Now he actively comes to get lovin' and doesn't get pissy if I initiate either. He even spoons me all night long many times per week. The only issue I am having 5 months after surgery is that pesky itching and scratching around his incision site. He has started taking Gabapentin. I removed his t-shirt at Kerren's advice and he doesn't know it yet, but I'm about to snap some of those kitty claw caps on to see if that helps because he is still ripping his skin up. (They only had pink at the store. He's going to be so maaaaad).

I would agree just try your best to keep incision clean and dry. Try to treat Progo the same - I know I was so upset at the sight of my cat all shaved and stapled up that it definitely didn't help - probably made him more nervous. I remember my vet urging us to keep his movements limited during the first two weeks. We have a large dog and a small dog in addition to Jerry so we ended up ordering a cat condo crate thing to keep him safe inside. When I did let him out briefly he would run and jump - pets are so resilient and he adapted quickly. 

My cat is CLEARLY happier now. He isn't in pain and he truly has a spring in his step. I don't know how long he was in pain before his tumor was visible on his shoulder and we brought him in, but the amputation was what needed to happen in his case. I so hope your Progo recovers quickly and without issues. 

I am happy he is home with you! 

Hattie & Jerry

Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
24 November 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
3 December 2015 - 5:48 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Thanks for the replies. I think aftercare instructions must vary so much from vet to vet. Progo came home with a bandage over his incision and we aren't supposed to do anything to it. He has a clear plastic collar he doesn't like (poor guy) and his remaining front leg seems pretty limp. He had not been able to stand. Maybe he's still sleeping off the surgery meds. He's been sort of dragging himself around on his belly. He does have an appetite. 

The only pain meds he has now is a patch on his belly. Nothing additional to give him. And antibiotic pills (they were out of the liquid) to give twice a day. No instructions about ice or heat or anything like that. 

Will see what tomorrow brings. 

Virginia
Member


Forum Posts: 12407
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
6
3 December 2015 - 6:55 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Alrighty, Progo is home and surgery is over!!

You have EXCELLENT advice and inut from both Kitty Mona and Kitty Jerry. As you can see, EVERY recovery is different and every kitty is different.

Jist as with dogs, some are able to walk right away and some take several days to be able to be mobile, even if it's just a few steps at a time.

Guessing he has a morphine patch maybe (Fentynl)? That, plus the hospital meds can definitely make him loopy and wobbly. As far as icing, etc. some vets suggest it if there is a lot of swelling or bruising (which there will lrobably be some regardless), some vets don't. Some vets use bandages, some don't. You are exactly right, it varies vet to vet.

The one thing I woukd wantn to make sure of though is that his pain is properly managed. Buprenex seems to be the most common one to jse to manage his pain. O ce the hospital meds wear off and the patch comes off her will need this. I'm no vet, so discuss this with yiur vet.

The fact that Progo is eating is amazing! You'll want to try and get him to drink and to pee. Pooping may take a few days longer sometimes.

This IS major surgery. In top of that they are using muscles they haven't had to use before to compensate for the loss of the leg. Walking on three legs is hard and exhausting at first, ESPECIALLY for a more "mature" kitty. My Happy Hannah's recovery was a rough one. For the first couple of weeks I couldn't believe I had done this TO my dog! But once her sparkle started comkng back bigger and brighter than ever, I knew I had done it FOR my dog!

Try and get some rest. Getting to this point is emotionally draining, not to me tion terrifying. Stay connected to js. You are not alone, okay? We understand like no others can.

Sending lots of love..

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 21239
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
3 December 2015 - 9:21 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Glad to hear he's home. Yes, post-op care is different, some vets are better than others about informing their patients about what to expect.

Being woozy the first day or two is definitely part of the surgical pain med reaction. Most cats do come home with at least one pain killer so be sure to ask your vet about it. There's no doubt that animals will feel some amount of pain after surgery even with pain meds, so it's good to be prepared.

Hang in there, in a week you will wonder why you were so worried. Keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
24 November 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
4 December 2015 - 11:26 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Spent last night on the kitchen floor with Progo. He won't stay in his comfy, soft cat bed we bought him, but he would crawl over next to me and shove his cone in my face. He likes getting his chin rubbed, and he even licked my nose for a bit.

Day two after the surgery: He still seems mostly sleepy and woozy. He has a little more control over his remaining foreleg, but not a lot. It doesn't seem like he can get it under him to sit up or stand. He drags himself around on his belly, and I've been putting down yoga mats on our wooden floors to give him some purchase, but he's not as mobile as he was with the limp, which of course makes me sad. He also can't seem to make it to his litterbox, so though he's peeing (good), it's on the floor (not great).

I am finding it hard to get food and water into him because of his cone. And I don't want to force/overfeed him.  Trying to be patient and follow his cues. I know it's early days and he's old, and your encouraging words about patience are not falling on deaf ears, but I have to admit I was wishing I'd have a "my cat was up and hopping within 24 hours) story, even as I tried to prepare for a longer haul. Not feeling too down. Just sorry we're in this situation.

Virginia
Member


Forum Posts: 12407
Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
9
4 December 2015 - 12:17 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

For every cat or dog story who are hoppi g arou d immediately, there are almost as many that take days and days! Its just soooo hard ro be patient when it's your cat or dog who falls under the category of taki g a lo ger time to become mobile. And make no mistake about it, pain meds are necew but they do cause loopiness and wooziness. Heck, in Progo's mind he probably thinks he's walking just fine! And yeah, peeing in himself all goes with the territory for now.

As far as the cone, if you are there watching him or feeding him, you can certainly take if off. I think that will help on many levels.

And if you're not feeling "down", you're one of a very few who don't during the first part of recovery!!

Rest is what he needs right now. I love that you got some special kisses last night...awww! The kitchen floor may feel cool to him on his surgery site and he likes that.

I think it was Donna who made of little list of every single improvement she saw to remind herself there were, I deed, improvements! Small, teeny weeny improvements during recovery are HUGE milestones!!

Try and get some rest yourself AND eat lots of CHOCOLATE! It hells!

Keep us posted. We are right here with you!

Hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Member
Forum Posts: 57
Member Since:
22 November 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
4 December 2015 - 3:57 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

I'm sorry - I hope I didn't add to your stress by relaying Jerry's experiences after surgery! I feel bad 🙁

Fingers still crossed for Progo's recovery. I don't think I realized that his entire leg wouldn't be removed in the surgery? It sure seems from your description, that vets really do approach things differently, especially when it comes to scheduling meds. Please keep us updated when ever you get a free moment.

Hattie & Jerry

Here and Now

Forum Posts: 10668
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
4 December 2015 - 5:42 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Consider removing the cone temporarily during feeding, or while you can watch Progo. Please keep us posted!

"Dogs are born with three legs and a spare."
— Jerry G. Dawg (10/98-10/08)
Please Support Your Tripawds Community!
Have you started a Tripawds Blog yet?
Looking for quick answers? Download Tripawds eBooks for the best tips!
Member
Forum Posts: 825
Member Since:
27 July 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
4 December 2015 - 6:31 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Sleepy is good, it's healing time. Mona would go from sleeping a lot to writhing around like a worm to leaping and running and then collapsing. She also had a front leg amputation so her back legs were strong but she did a lot of face plants. Good thing she has short legs so she didn't have far to fall.

I like Sally/Donna's idea to list every single improvement. That way you'll see the successes. It's great that Hattie's kitty had no real issues with recovery. I would have said that about Mona except for the crazy things she did and places she peed and pooped. It could be called a success that she peed, where she peed might not have been successful (she found some creative places to go).

Although Mona was not coned (vet said she didn't need it) I agree with the others that the cone could be removed for eating and drinking if supervised. By the way Mona was given canned kitten food, which she loved, and has the advantage that she didn't need to drink as much water.

The first few days are exhausting, emotionally and physically. The best part so far is that Progo crawls over to you for chin rubs. What a love!

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Member
Forum Posts: 42
Member Since:
15 March 2014
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
5 December 2015 - 8:46 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

OK, I'm having trouble posting this.  Hopefully it doesn't get posted like 5 times!

Hi!  It looks like you have already gotten some really great advice, but I'll add in what I know. 

Regarding eating/drinking...I agree removing the cone (very carefully, very temporarily, and stay right next to him) will probably help.  Sebastian had the same problem but he had a soft cone that I was able to fold back out of his way.  Sebastian also just didn't want to eat period, and we found out from the vet that it was perfectly normal due to his antibiotics.  So if the problem persists, I would call your vet and ask them if poor appetite is expected.  To get Progo to drink more water, you can try mixing water in with some of his absolute favorite food.  Some people here actually recommended baby food - plain chicken with nothing else added to it.  That worked pretty well.

Two days after surgery is REALLY early to get much movement out of him so I wouldn't be worried about him not walking strong yet. Progo is probably still feeling the hospital meds, his at home pain meds are probably making him woozy, he's tired from his body trying to heal, etc.  Sebastian wasn't allowed out of a dog crate for like two weeks (our vet was far more strict about recovery than most, but it worked well).  So he would walk a few steps but that's it.  The captivity forced him to sleep which was really important.  Then once he was allowed to walk around he would take a few steps, sit, take a few steps, sit.  It took time for his other front leg to get stronger to support his weight.  He got better at moving every single day and now he's just as fast as his brothers.

Did your vet mention giving him any joint supplements?  It's certainly worth asking about since he's older and putting more weight on one leg. 

Best wishes and keep us posted!!

Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
24 November 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
5 December 2015 - 9:18 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Thanks for all the (continuing) encouragement. Still army crawling over here. One "hopeful" sign is that he seems to try to make it into the bathroom to use the litter box when he has to pee, even though I've put a temporary litter "box" (aluminum tray) much closer to where he sleeps. He hasn't been able to get into a box yet, though, and we haven't been able to time it right to help him into the box at the right time, but the bathroom floor is relatively easy to clean, and we've been able to catch it fast enough that he doesn't just lie in a puddle.

I'm not sure how the vet hospital got him to sit up for a meal. He doesn't sit to eat here. Maybe I should be holding him up to make digestion easier. He will eat and drink lying down if I remove the cone and hold food right under his nose. The drinking hasn't been too much of a struggle. In the past, when he's been stressed out (like after our cross-country move when he was a few years old), he's been willing to drink out of my palm. Now, I let him lick water off my fingers and gradually get his tongue into the bowl, and then he keeps drinking as I move my fingers away.

Thanks so much for the encouragement to remove the cone if I watch him carefully. I've been a HAWK about it, but he hasn't even made a move toward his bandage or pain patch. May still be too sleepy to care much. Still lots of sleeping. It's good for me to remember that sleep is healing (I know it is for me, as a human, too!). 

We have a very small apartment, so haven't restricted his movement much, but yesterday I took my eyes off him (his cone was back on and I needed a break) and I think he tried to jump up onto our bed. Couldn't make it and landed with a thump. I'll watch him more carefully. He's also been doing a weird jump like a startle, where he twists around. I cannot tell if it's related to pain, if he catches a glare in his collar and gets startled, or if he's using it to change direction, but it's alarming. Happened several times yesterday, but not so far today.

My husband and I both have events on Monday night and we have a babysitter coming for our son. I can't decide if I need to cancel my rehearsal and the babysitter, to stay home, but I'm trying not to get ahead of myself. We will see what Monday brings.

Member
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
24 November 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
5 December 2015 - 9:24 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

boxerhattie said
I'm sorry - I hope I didn't add to your stress by relaying Jerry's experiences after surgery! I feel bad 🙁

Fingers still crossed for Progo's recovery. I don't think I realized that his entire leg wouldn't be removed in the surgery? It sure seems from your description, that vets really do approach things differently, especially when it comes to scheduling meds. Please keep us updated when ever you get a free moment.

Hattie & Jerry

Yes, it was the entire right front leg. The tumor was quite high on the leg, so it was the best chance of getting as much of it as possible (though they expect not all of it).

But, also, don't feel bad! I appreciate ALL the stories shared, and the ones with older cats are quite rare, so I appreciate them most of all. I know experiences differ. You can't stress me out anymore than I can stress myself out!  🙂 

Forum Timezone: America/Denver

Most Users Ever Online: 597

Currently Online: benny55, MarleyWorm, sasa, sandiford
84 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Devices Used: Desktop (70), Phone (14), Tablet (4)

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 936

Members: 9482

Moderators: 2

Admins: 3

Forum Stats:

Groups: 4

Forums: 23

Topics: 13355

Posts: 183444

Administrators: jerry, admin, jim

Moderators: tazziedog, krun15

Tripawds Blogs is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » FACEBOOK » TWITTER » RANDOM BLOG