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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.


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13 year old hind leg amputation
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Member Since:
17 April 2024
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17 April 2024 - 1:54 pm
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My 13 year old kitty Teeny had surgery Monday to remove her hind leg due to what the biopsy suggested was plasmacytoma.  The mass grew very quickly, I only noticed it about a month ago. Her bloodwork and X-rays were fine.  However when they did the surgery they found a cord of abnormal tissue extending up the femoral artery into her abdomen.  We’re sending that tissue for a biopsy along with the original tumor tissue which will have a second biopsy plus IHC.  Hopefully we will have a definitive diagnosis, and most hopefully a positive one (ie, that the abnormal tissue is NOT  a tumor, and that the leg tumor is definitively a plasmacytoma).

Teeny is doing as well as can be expected, she is on gabapentin and buprenorfin (sp) and had Nocita at time of surgery which they said numbs the site for 72 hours.  She is eating, drinking, has peed a few times in her litter box, and is more affectionate than she’s been in her entire life with me (I had her since she was tiny and sick from the shelter).

I’m not sure what to think about the abnormal tissue.  We agreed to amputation because they said it would likely be curative with no additional treatment needed.  In any case I’m focusing on helping her heal.  Would love to hear from any similar experiences!

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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17 April 2024 - 7:11 pm
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Hi Emily, welcome. Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

It really sounds like Teeny is getting great vet care. Her pain control is excellent! She may start showing pain signals after the Nocita wears off so just be prepared for that. If you stay ahead of the pain by staying on schedule with the Gabapentin she should be OK. 

The affection sounds lovely! Snuggle away with your new senior Tripawd, she will impress you like never before!

It's hard when you get a report that is a bit cloudy and uncertain. The important thing to focus on is that you got rid of the pain from that nasty tumor. Focus on recovery and take things one day at a time, you'll get to a place where you feel better about everything.

Be sure to check out our Tripawds Recovery Shopping List and our How to Help your Three Legged Cat book for more insight, and stay tuned for feedback from others!

Member Since:
17 April 2024
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18 April 2024 - 7:31 pm
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Thank you for the welcome! Teeny is still doing well as far as I can tell.  She even pooped in the box at some point overnight, even with her cone on!  She’s still on gabapentin and buprenorphine every 8 hours.  I work from home and have her in the room where I work, blocked off in one section of it for her safety.  I was shocked at how mobile she was when she first came home.  Immediately had to build a little fort around her!  

She is already interested in licking her incision so I have to put her cone on when I leave the room, which I was hoping to avoid for awhile but oh well.  I’m waiting for a fabric cone to arrive hopefully soon so she can hopefully eat with it on (which she can’t with the plastic cone).

I’ve been doing all the care for her since she’s afraid of my husband and it’s been a lot.  Nothing like what she is going through, but I’m still tired.  We set up an iPad so I can watch her on zoom when I’m not in the room, and that’s been really helpful for my peace of mind.  

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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18 April 2024 - 8:30 pm
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Aww she is so lucky to have you looking out for her with that recovery fort! We would love to see a photo if you have a sec, always good to see other folks' setups (here's how adding images works).

Yes, watch her carefully around the incision. Some cats will even rip the cone off too, so be very observant. The iPad will help!

Member Since:
17 April 2024
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23 April 2024 - 2:59 pm
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My cat Duke is 15 and had his rt rear leb amputated 10 days ago. He is diabetic so not only on Neurontin but also insulin. He was mostly in his crate the first week. Have let him out to get to his regular litter box in the bathroom. We have corn litter which the surgeon advised as it has no dust and and doesn’t get into his wound. Also he is eating and drinking well. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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23 April 2024 - 7:02 pm
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Hi Karen and Duke, welcome! We are sorry you had to join our club but glad you found us. That's terrific he is doing so well! And I'm certain that Duke's recovery story is going to help Emily and Teeny feel a lot better so thank you for chiming in!

Consider starting a new topic all your own so that we can support you two as you move through the transition to life on three legs. We are here for you! 

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