TRIPAWDS: Home to 24560 Members and 2172 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

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.

JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

Instant post approval.

Private messages to members.

Subscribe to favorite topics.

Live Chat and much more!

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
17 Year Old Cat Rear Limb Amputation/Hemipelvectomy - Possible Injection Site Sarcoma
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Member Since:
8 February 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
8 February 2024 - 7:44 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hello - 

My 17 year old cat, Nancy Drew, is scheduled for amputation surgery tomorrow morning (2/9). I've been reading through posts and blogs for advice and feel as prepared as I can be for surgery and recovery, but am still quite fretful.

She developed a limp in November 2023, and I took her to the vet who suspected arthritis and prescribed pain meds. When those did not work, I took her back hoping for x-rays, but they wanted to try one more medication (she'd not responded well on the first two). I'm feeling awful I didn't do more to advocate for x-rays then. Meds still didn't help and she stopped putting all weight on the leg on January, which is when we finally got x-rays only to discover a tumor. It seemed to grow rapidly after that.

I immediately consulted an internal medicine specialist to confirm the tumor, and he determined that she'd need a hemipelvectomy (but he recommended pain management instead). It took two weeks to get in to see a surgeon for a CT scan and biopsy to see if the hemipelvectomy was even possible, and at the same time I started the referral process for the closest oncologist - 3 hours away. The CT showed the mass was larger than originally thought and because it was so high up on her pelvis margins would be tight. A week later we got in to see the surgical oncologist. They are confident that we're dealing with injection site sarcoma even though the biopsy came back with osteosarcoma. Because of the narrow margins, the tumor would likely return in months. 

Despite all of this, both the surgeon and oncologist said amputation with hemipelvectomy was still a good choice for improving her quality of life. So, here we are, waiting for surgery 3 hours away from home. 

Any reassurance would be appreciated - especially from those who chose amputation to improve quality of life rather than as a cure.

Nancy Drew October 2023Image Enlarger

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
8 February 2024 - 8:36 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

First of all, Nancy Drew (love the name) is adorable.  Those eyes melt my heart.

Welcome to you and Nancy Drew.  Although  I'm sorry uou find yourself here, it's definitely  the right place  to be for support, information  and u understanding. 

So Nancy Drww is already scheduled for surgery and it's happening  in a few hours, right?    The Vets and Surgeon  and Oncologist  all feel like she is a good candidate  for surgery, so that's reassuring.

We say around here that age is just a number,  Souds like Nancy Drew is in good shape and hss no age related issues.   I'm sure they'll do a good work up on her prior to surgery.if they are any red flags they need to address.

We've had many cats here 16, 17, even 19 years of age go through amputation surgery.  

As you might expect..hemipelvectomy  adds an extra layer of recovery time and is a more complicated  surgery.  While I cant recall specific cats who have had that particular  surgery off the top of my head, ,  I know several dogs have gone through that.  We have had many, way to many, cats who have had vaccine  related  tumors.  You may even be able to get some reimbursement from the vaccine company.

Sounds like she will be in a fully staffed 24 /7 clinic and I imagine they will keep her a couple of nights.  That would be a good time for you to get some rest.

FWIW, it is NOT uncommon  at all for cats and dogs to be diagnosed  with arthritis  and treated accordingly first.     My own Happy Hannah was treated for arthritis  and/or a muscles sprain.    Her meds actually seemed to help her limp for awhile.  This went on probably  for about two months before an xray was finally taken.

Obviously everyone here chose amputation  to give our pets a chance at a better quality  of life for more spoiling and loving.  Every surgery, small or big has a risk.  We all took it because  we would regret not being able to give them a chance.

Amputation gets rid of the pain and that's  what Nancy Drew would want....to be pain free!

Recovery is no picnic at first.  If  you are like some of is, you will question  why you did this TO uour cat.  Agter reco though, you will be so glad you did this FOR your cat.

pain management is crucial  during recovery.   So you'll want to make sure you aee given adequate meds and a good supply of them.

You'll want a quite small recovery  area for Nancy Drew.  Block off any areas where she could go and hide, like under a bed, etc.  

Let us j ow any quenyou have, okay?  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  We are right by your side through recovery and onto celebrating  a pain free life

Hugs 

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

PS we have a wonderful kitty expert who will be chiming  in with more tips.  Her name is Hollymand her cat Purrkins is celebrating  being a tripawd eight or nine years.

.

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 Since:
8 February 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
8 February 2024 - 8:49 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you for the swift response! I am a bit biased, but I find her adorable as well. 

We are indeed scheduled for surgery in just a few hours (but I have to be honest - I've thought a few times about cancelling). She has early stage kidney disease, but in what I'm taking as a good sign her last two renal panels have had better numbers than she's had in over a year. We manage it closely. And as x-rays confirmed, she does have some arthritis but nothing significant. They do believe she is a good candidate for surgery.

Of course I'll be a mess all day tomorrow, or until I get her home really.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
8 February 2024 - 9:47 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

    

    I've thought a few times about cancelling). 

, I can relate! Actually did cancel my first schedule appointment for happy Hannah. Once it was clear her pain was getting so bad that the pain meds were not helping so  rescheduled and proceeded. Of course Nancy Drew is blissfully unaware of any diagnosis or surgery etc.....ahhhh...  the Bliss of being a cat!

It's not surprising at all that a cat as "mature" as she is has some kidney issues. It's great that it's being managed and even showing improvement! Good job!

Update us when surgery is done, okay? We'll all be cheering for Nancy Drew.

Eat some chocolate as it's great for calming the nerves.... or not..but it tastes good!

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!

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
9 February 2024 - 9:41 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Hi, Meg; welcome to you and Nancy Drew💝

Sally has given you great feedback, advice &insight. I also love her name; she is adorable and looks fantastic for a young girl of 17 years. I'm sorry you had to find us and are dealing with ISS/Osteo. Yes, ISS can also cause osteosarcoma. I'm so sad we owners vaccinate to prevent the disease - not to cause it. It is brutal and extremely hard for us owners. We do what the professional advise and see too many kitties suffer. 

It is the same with the medication route and or wait-and-see approach. Please don't blame yourself for any of this. You have done your best for Nancy and will continue to do so.

Here is some information; the drug company information is on the last page link. I hope your vet is doing all the paperwork and has or will report this. Vaccine Associated Sarcoma - Fibrosarcoma, Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma

I always think of Leo, but many members have the same hemipelvectomy surgery. Leo's blog LEO'S NEW LIFE ON 3 LEGS

I also helped someone local, our vet asked us to, who also suffered from ISS and had to have a hemipelvectomy, too. She went through surgery and radiation, and then it returned. She, too, had to have a hemipelvectomy. Annabelle has done exceptionally well!!! They were terrified like we all are, and very thankful they could help Annabelle.

Purrkins is a front-leg amputee from a soft tissue sarcoma on his left front carpus. We who deal with cancer amputate the leg/cancer in hopes of yes a cure and or QOL to stop the pain for extended qol time. You are in the best company for people who understand we do this to help our animals, not TO them. 

Is Nancy staying overnight or coming home today? Is your hospital staffed 24/7?

Please inquire about what pain medication she will be coming home with and the duration. A good recovery is GREAT pain management

Today is one of the worst stressors waiting to hear surgery is over, and Nancy did well and is in recovery. Stay busy I would tell you to prepare a recovery room for her to come home to. But from your post, you are three hours away from home.? Maybe you can do some shopping or something. We used a spare room, gutted it, and put the mattress on the floor; I laid exercise mats down to help with any mishaps as Purrkins was learning his new hop. (we did not have ANY carpet for traction ) Purrkins chose the closet to recover in, and I made it nice and comfy for him

Ask any questions, and we will all do our best to help you and Nancy.

Update us when the surgery is over & Nancy is seeing some lovely pink elephants from all the drugs and recovering.

Hang in there; you are not alone 

((((HUGS)))

Holly, Purrkins & Saxton in the sky 💫

💝💝💝

Member Since:
8 February 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
9 February 2024 - 9:57 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you both, Sally and Holly. 

She should be heading into surgery now. We are at a teaching veterinary hospital 3 hours away from home. They are staffed 24/7 and I'm confident she's in good hands (but that doesn't stop me from worrying). She'll stay at least overnight and potentially tomorrow night too depending on how she's feeling. 

I did ask about pain medication, and know she'll go home on gabapentin and likely zorbium, but they are hesitant about prescribing anything else. I'll continue to push this issue - she's been on zorbium before and I don't love it (I think it made her uneasy, but maybe in combo with gabapentin it will be more effective). I also have some bruprenorphine which I've been giving as needed, but want to make sure I have anything we need before heading home.

I have a couple of large crate/pen options ready for recovery, and plan to close off the bedroom w/ mattress on the floor if she needs more space/as she progresses. I also, at the suggestion of a post I saw here, purchased a large roll of yoga mat material to provide traction throughout the house (we also have hardwood floors). I have a couple of low profile/flat litter box options plus plenty of puppy pads as well. 

I'm currently on a mini online shopping spree to make sure I'm stocked with all of her favorite treats and a new supportive, easy-to-enter bed. I'm a little anxious about her comfort on our trip home and am stuck on how she'll do with the cone/collar. 

They did suggest radiation might be called for, but I'm not sure how feasible that will be (we'd have to make the same 3-hour trip). But will keep my options open there.

Thank you again, I'll be sure to update when I hear more.

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
9 February 2024 - 11:45 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Hi Meg, I am in the Tripawds Chat right now if you're online and want to talk. You're definitely getting great input here from Sally and Holly, our resident feline Tripawd expert! And YOU are a pawesome advocate for her! WAY TO GO! 

What vet hospital is she at? She's in a GREAT place for care, as VTHs follow the latest protocols and have the freshest, brightest minds caring for the patients. Nancy Drew is in good hands so try not to worry too much (I know it's hard).

The Zorbium with Gabapentin should be a nice combo. Gaba has sedative effects so that will help keep her mellow. Generally more pain control is added if it seems that pain isn't being managed well enough for a patient's physiology. Their approach makes sense, she's got the meds covered at the early stage.

Thanks for joining us but sorry you had to. Be sure to check out our Trikitties blog posts for some inspawration, and our Three Legged Cats handbook if you haven't seen that yet. 

Keep us posted!

Member Since:
8 February 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
9 February 2024 - 3:58 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Thank you for the welcome and offer to chat, Jerry. She is at Ohio State (or THE Ohio State as I've learned 😉). 

Nancy did well in the surgery with only a slight dip in blood pressure as a complication (which they managed - this is notable because of her kidneys). They had initially planned to use a surgical mesh to rebuild her abdominal wall, but they didn't need to do that so that's a plus as well. She's resting now and if doing well could be discharged as early as tomorrow morning.

They're committed to the Zorbium (given when she's discharged) and gabapentin (given at home) plan. I'm a little uneasy about the Zorbium based on her previous reaction and how long it lasts, but they feel it's the best way forward. I know pain meds are tricky on cats with kidney disease, but also want to make sure she's comfy and not freaked out these first few days.

If she's not discharged tomorrow I'll be able to visit, so I'll know more then. 

Thanks again for the encouragement!

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
9 February 2024 - 4:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Yay, surgery is over, and Nancy is recovering!!🙌🏻 That's one colossal stressor down. You can breathe easier right now, and please try to get some rest tonight while you can!

I don't know what to say about the Zorbium and their insistence on it vs. Buprenorphine. We have had another member report the same on the Zorbium; they did better on Buprenorphine. I sadly believe this has to do with human abuse, and they can control the Zorbium as it's applied right there, and then it lasts four days.

Zorbium was not out when we had surgery. Purrkins was on Buprenorphine and Gabapentin after surgery.

 Try to get 14 days' worth of the gaba. If they are iffy, go through your family vet when you get home. We were sent home with three days worth of Buprenorphine and 14 days of gabapentin, and Purrkins ended up having break thru pain, so we called and spoke to the surgeon, and he did prescribe more Buprenorphine. 

Purrkins meds & duration ended up being

  • 14 days Gabapentin 100 mg capsule – one capsule by mouth every 8 hours
  • 12 days Buprenorphine 0.3 mg 0.25 ml every 8-12 hours

Spaced the Gabapentin and Buprenorphine 1 hour apart per our instructions.

Thanks for the update. We are glad that Nancy is seeing some pink elephants and all is well.

(((Hugs)))

Member Since:
8 February 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
10 February 2024 - 1:55 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

We've successfully made it home! She did great in the car and is getting settled in her recovery pen. She ate right away, which I was pleased to see. 

She is understandably struggling to stand on her own (though trying!). I am helping her as advised but anxious about getting near the incision/pulling anything.

I'm trying to find the right balance of cozy and traction in her pen so happy to hear any advice about how recovery areas were set up. Right now we have a no entry litter tray, several pee pads and bedding all on top of yoga mats for traction /cushion.

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
10 February 2024 - 2:40 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Welcome home, Nancy. smiley_clap

I'm glad the trip home was uneventful and comfortable for her. Three hours is a haul for our cats. Yay for eating right away.👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Yes, some kitties struggle, and some do not. Purrkins did. I assisted when he needed me, and we/he figured it all out in a few days. I, too, was afraid of the incision, but I had no issues with it and had instructions for warm compresses. Purrkins had a baby onesie on him, so his incision was covered and protected a little. I checked and changed that every day, sometimes twice a day.

Purrkins had the whole spare room for recovery. I had interlocking exercise mats on the entire floor for mishaps. I gutted the room but put the mattress on the floor. He chose to recover in the closet, so I had his little bed set up in there and the litter box right outside of the closet. I was right there with Purrkins through recovery. I brought his food the first few days. I helped him in and out of the box the first few days.

Your setup sounds great to me as long as she has some footing and it's not too cushy. One section has her bed and etc, and then the yoga mats.  As long as you are able to reach Nancy easily for med time. Your using a dog crate - you might want to cover part of it with a blanket to make her feel enclosed and in her own nook. I see you on so if you have any questions I'll hang around for a bit.

Rest when Nancy does and set the alarm for medication times. 
Give her a chin scratch from us, please good girl Nancy😽
Hugs

💝💝💝

Member Since:
8 February 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12
10 February 2024 - 3:09 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I plan to keep her in her pen for a couple of days and when she's more confident sitting up/moving on her own give her access to the rest of the room, bedroom on the floor. Right now she's not interested in the bed at all and wants to lay on the yoga mats. My only concern is her scooching around and pulling on the incision. 

She's fairly restless right now so I'm hoping she sleeps more soon. We did go with the zorbium/gabapentin combo and may need to increase the gabapentin if she remains agitated/anxious.

Our next milestone will be using the litter box - can't wait!

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
10 February 2024 - 3:16 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Sounds like an excellent plan. Thats is exactly what Purrkins did on his own:)

Yes let her decide what she wants to do & be right there. Nancy will settle since she is HOME it might take hour or so she will.
What is her GABA dosage and instructions every 8-12? I would be doing it every 8 hours without fail. Im hoping the two make all the differnce for you.

Member Since:
8 February 2024
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
10 February 2024 - 3:19 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

They started her on a .6 ml of 50gm/ml dose (liquid) every 8 hours. She's on a slightly lower dose for her weight because apparently it is excreted by the kidneys so should stay longer in her system (at least that's what I think they said). But, they said if she really is too agitated by the zorbium we have some wiggle room to increase it. I will certainly give it on schedule!

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15
10 February 2024 - 3:22 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Ok yes I would use the wiggle room if needed. I am sure since she has CKD but we need to cover her pain. 

You want to see some pee 24-36 hours. Poop will take a bit on the meds, you can add 1/4 to 1/8 tsp of otc miralax if you see she is not pooping on schedule.Not sure if you had instructions to change the litter type or not. Some do some to not. Some cats don't mind. Some cats do, so have your regular type ready if we are not going potty.

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 101
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1278
Members: 18150
Moderators: 6
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 24
Topics: 18745
Posts: 257956
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG