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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place 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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19yo Kitty; Rear Leg Amp.; Two Days Post-Op; Incontinence Questions
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13 November 2019 - 11:31 am
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Hello everyone. I have a 19-year-old kitty named Ernie who just had his rear leg amputated two days ago. For a little background information, Ernie had three spiral fractures in his rear leg (don’t know how it happened), and we tried going the splint route for a couple of weeks, but he seemed miserable and kept escaping the splint. So we all decided that amputation was his best option. Ernie also has heart disease and kidney disease, so we didn’t make this decision lightly. 

Anyway, we got to bring Ernie home yesterday from the hospital. The doctor said the surgery went well, and while he was in their care he ate and peed a couple of times. Last night he seemed really out of it (from the pain meds, no doubt), so we did our best to make him comfortable. Throughout the night, however, we noticed that he peed on himself probably 6 or so times. They weren’t large pees, but enough to get him wet. We had him in our bed on top of towels, and we kept changing the towels every time he peed. I brought him to his litter box any time he seemed to want to leave the bed – and he actually pooped twice! So that’s good! He just never seemed to want to pee in it.

Have any of you had experience with incontinence post-surgery? Ernie is eating just fine, he’s pooped twice, and he’s been over to his water bowl a couple of times also. We are just having issues with peeing, and I feel really bad for the guy since he’s getting pee all over him. I ordered pee pads yesterday, so those should arrive soon. I just hope there isn’t some underlying issue that’s causing the incontinence (kidney disease, infection, etc.) and that this, too, shall pass once he’s feeling better.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!

The Rainbow Bridge

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13 November 2019 - 12:42 pm
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Hi Courtney and Ernie, welcome! Sorry you had to join our club but you found the right place for help. Kudos to your vet for not ruling him out as an amputation candidate. That’s pawesome.

My first suggestion is to call your vet if you haven’t already. The pain medications could be causing the loss of bladder control and hopefully a fine tuning of medications may be all that’s necessary. Ernie sounds like he’s doing pretty well considering! Eating and pooping is GREAT! 

Stay tuned for feedback from our members (many of whom are parents to Trikitties, unlike myself, so I know they will have some ideas for you). And please consider joining as a member so your future posts won’t need approval. 

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13 November 2019 - 1:48 pm
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Ernie sounds like quite a tough fella’!  Clearly he’s a well loved fella’ too!❤

Eating, drinking, pooping and peeing all good signs!  Okay, maybe the excess peeing needs to be checked out with a phone call to the Vet just for reassurance.  It’s not too uncommon  for pain meds, as well as fluids given during  surgery to cause  changes in pee habits for the short term.  But since he has “kidney issues”, just double check  with your Vet.

Stay connected  and update  when you can.  Recovery  is no picnic  at first….. oreos for the hoomans than the kitty!


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!

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14 November 2019 - 11:22 am
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I can’t give much help around the peeing. My cat Mona was perfect with the vet with her peeing but chose to pee everywhere except for the litter box when she got home. She was not peeing in her bed though.

Some other kitties did this after there surgery but eventually used the litter box. Perhaps Ernie isn’t feeling the urge yet and it just flows out. Mona developed kidney disease and this spring would pee beside the litter box. It was a sign that something was wrong and it turns out she had a bladder and kidney infection. Once she was on antibiotics there was no longer a problem. I agree with the others that the vet is the best person to help you around this particularly because Ernie has kidney disease.

It’s clear Ernie is well-loved. Please keep in touch.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

15 November 2019 - 1:05 pm
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Thanks, all! I contacted the vet and they told me that it might be due to the sedation. So I bought some pee pads on Amazon, but before they arrived he started peeing in the litter box. Yay! And now on to the next issue… we’ve been pretty good about administering his gabapentin. He is still pretty lethargic and out of it. It seems as though he’s not all there right now… which makes me sad. Is this something that I should expect? I’m so nervous with his kidney disease that I’m going to miss a sign that something is wrong because I’m attributing it to him being in pain or on gabapentin. Should I be worried that he hasn’t really perked up just yet? Today is day 4 post surgery. It just kills me to see him like this. I just want him to get better. 

Here and Now

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15 November 2019 - 1:24 pm
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Courtney said
I just want him to get better…

Everypawdy here does…best wishes!

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15 November 2019 - 2:13 pm
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I understand your concern because of Ernie’s kidney disease. The vet probably considered the kidney disease when choosing the best pain meds for Ernie. My cat Mona was only on pain meds for about 5 days and then continued with an anti-inflammatory for another week or so. At no time was she lethargic. She was a bit too energetic at times but I think her pain meds made her a bit crazy. I suggest talking to the vet about your concerns. Perhaps the dosage could be adjusted or there may be a better medication for him. Ask the vet for the signs of pain or kidney problems you need to look for.

You can do some research here on more tips: https://tripawd…..gged-cats/

Here’s more information on pain management : https://downloa…..-and-cats/

I’m not a vet and only have experience with one cat amputee but I would encourage you to have lots of interaction with Ernie to get things back to “normal”, such as brushing him, lap cuddles, sitting together in the sun. Mona especially liked to laze in the sun on a cold tile and sit in my lap outside.

Hugs to you and Ernie,

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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20 November 2019 - 4:18 am
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Hi Courtney and Ernie,

How is Ernie doing? If my calculations are correct, he had his surgery about 9 days ago? The gabapentin did make Huck sleepy but that is not always a bad thing as rest is so important in the recovery process. I hope all is going well, please let us know how you are doing.

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2


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