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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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3rd day post-right foreleg amputation, sleeping more than previous days
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Member Since:
14 May 2022
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14 May 2022 - 8:45 pm
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Hello, My 8.5 lb kitten (9 months old) suffered a pit viper envenomation last Saturday night, and after a few days in critical care trying to get him stable which involved two blood transfusions and 6 vials of antivenom it was decided to amputate the leg that suffered the bite. It has been a horrible week for us. His amputation was on Wednesday and I picked him up the following afternoon. This would be his 3rd day after.

My question: Is this normal behavior or should I be more worried? When he sleeps he often presses his head against the bed so that his eyes and nose are covered, and he slept ALL day today and only got up twice. He hasn't drunk water yet (but I've fed him wet food only) and he slept more today than he did the previous days and THAT is what worries me.

Some good things = he finally pooped this morning (yay!) and has peed once every day. Today, I started adding water to the wet food as he eats it.

MEDS: I am giving him 50 mg Gabapentin (pill form) every 8 hours, and 0.8 ml antibiotic, Clavamox every 12 hours. His breathing seems a little shallow to me as he sleeps but I'm not sure if that's normal.

Thank you guys so much, it is amazing to find a tripawd community here. I am heartbroken but he is so strong and I know we'll get through this!

Katy and Stevie 😸

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
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15 May 2022 - 8:18 am
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

Wow, what a story! Is his name Stevie?  He is lucky to be alive!

We were experimenting with Gaba in my old Pug boy for his arthritis.  He weighs between 15 and 16 pounds and a 50 mg dose of Gaba completely wiped him out, he was either asleep or acted like a staggering drunk.  No wonder your boy is sleeping! Of course meds can have different effects with different pets, and I don't know if gaba has different effects in cats and dogs.

That being said, he has been through a lot and he needs lots and lots of rest to recover.  Gaba does cause sedation though- you can talk to your vet about adjusting the dose if you are really worried.  It's not uncommon for some medication tweaks to happen early in recovery to get to that sweet spot where the animal is not in pain but also not loopy.  Sometimes early in recovery we have to live with a little loopy- but again, keep talking with your vet.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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15 May 2022 - 4:44 pm
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Geez...ageee with Karen, this little kitten  is lucky yo be alive AND to have you as his hoomans!!!

And also agree that 59 mg Gaba sounds like a very, very large amount.  Thinking that's  definitely  what's causing  the sleeping and hiding his head, etc.  Like animals in the wild, he's probably  trying to "hide in a den" while he recovers

Onenofniur kitty members  who just joined hasner cat on ..05 liquid Gaba. How that translates  to the 50 mg pill form dont  know.  Anyway, let your Vet know what's  going on and see if a reduction is in order....or see if maybe spacing  dose out to every 12 hours.  Jist throwing all this out in the FWIW column

So glad he's peeing and starting to take in more fluids AND pooped too......good news!.

Update as you can.

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


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16 May 2022 - 6:53 am
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Hello and Welcome, so sorry you had to join us!
I'm relieved you are here, and he survived. Yes, it is never good mews when we have to take a limb, but considering the alternative, this is good news!

You have an excellent attitude that goes FAR in recovery!

Gabapentin dosage does vary for cats, usually 50 -100 mg. Can be more or less that's typical 50 mg is a smaller dose & yes, Gaba is sedating at first; they get used to it if they are on for a while. I would question, is this enough pain meds? I don't know what they gave him during the amp any long-lasting meds given that you know of? I also agree we have to deal with some loopy to cover the pain it is temporary and necessary!

benny55 said

Onenofniur kitty members  who just joined hasner cat on ..05 liquid Gaba. How that translates  to the 50 mg pill form dont  know. 

I don't this answer either Sally we have always given the pill form depending on the reason for dosages but Purrkins was on 100 mg for pain during his amp plus Buprenorphine. Saxton our other kitty 50 mg - 100mg. 

Since you are feeding all wet food I'm not concerned with the lack of drinking. Cats are not big drinkers unless on dry food alone. Excellent to add water to his food as long as he continues to eat well for you with the added water. You can also add tuna water ( juice from a can). Sleeping is healing, so that is not a concern. As everyone has mentioned, he has been thru a lot. Eating and going potty are excellent signs! Amp alone is massive surgery, and he is recovering from the snake bite on top of the amp!

As we always say, if YOUR concerned, please call your vet and let them know, OK? Always, Always trust your instincts they will not steer you wrong!

Update when you can! 

HUGS & scratches to (Stevie?)
Holly & Purrkins 💝💝💝

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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16 May 2022 - 1:11 pm
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Welcome! Wow I'm so glad he survived the snake bite! That's a first here in our community, we've had dogs join us because of snake bites but not cats. He's a real miracle kitty.

You've gotten great input from everyone, I don't have much to add for it except to echo that yeah, the Gaba could be sedating him a little too much and the pooping and peeing are GREAT signs that he will bounce back in no time at all. As always keep your vet in the loop so you can figure out a medication dosage that works for him. And keep us posted, we are all cheering for your sweet boy and hoping for a speedy recovery! 

Member Since:
14 May 2022
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17 May 2022 - 8:31 pm
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krun15 said
Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

Wow, what a story! Is his name Stevie?  He is lucky to be alive!

We were experimenting with Gaba in my old Pug boy for his arthritis.  He weighs between 15 and 16 pounds and a 50 mg dose of Gaba completely wiped him out, he was either asleep or acted like a staggering drunk.  No wonder your boy is sleeping! Of course meds can have different effects with different pets, and I don't know if gaba has different effects in cats and dogs.

That being said, he has been through a lot and he needs lots and lots of rest to recover.  Gaba does cause sedation though- you can talk to your vet about adjusting the dose if you are really worried.  It's not uncommon for some medication tweaks to happen early in recovery to get to that sweet spot where the animal is not in pain but also not loopy.  Sometimes early in recovery we have to live with a little loopy- but again, keep talking with your vet.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

  

Thank you for approving Karen and the girls! The tripawds website and forum has been such a godsend for me and I feel like I will be here a lot; I feel like I still have not fully processed what has happened to us.

Yes, his name is Stevie. We are so blessed he is alive; he is the sweetest cat I've ever met and I can't wrap my head around how this happened so I'm focusing on the day-to-day; he is taking it way better than I am and is much better today than he was on the 14th when I posted. He thinks he's 100% already and keeps trying to open my bedroom door to go see his brothers and play. It's not even been a week yet!

I ended up spacing out his gabapentin to every 12 hours. Now he's more "sleepy" and less "lethargic," except for shortly after the dose. Now looking back to that day, like you all said, it must have been a lot of him just needing to rest after going through so much.

benny55 said
Geez...ageee with Karen, this little kitten  is lucky yo be alive AND to have you as his hoomans!!!

And also agree that 59 mg Gaba sounds like a very, very large amount.  Thinking that's  definitely  what's causing  the sleeping and hiding his head, etc.  Like animals in the wild, he's probably  trying to "hide in a den" while he recovers

Onenofniur kitty members  who just joined hasner cat on ..05 liquid Gaba. How that translates  to the 50 mg pill form dont  know.  Anyway, let your Vet know what's  going on and see if a reduction is in order....or see if maybe spacing  dose out to every 12 hours.  Jist throwing all this out in the FWIW column

So glad he's peeing and starting to take in more fluids AND pooped too......good news!.

Update as you can.

Hugs

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

  

Hello Sally! We ended up spacing the gabapentin to every 12 hours and it seems to be working well for him now. Thank you! I've never had an accident like this with a pet before (thankfully!) and it was hard to know even what questions to ask the vet at times. They were so kind to me. I was really panicking that night so I was so glad to find tripawds and look through previous questions as well while I waited for a talk with them.

The den hiding behavior makes sense! I hadn't thought of that. It really does look that way. He is doing less of it now, too.

Purrkins said
Hello and Welcome, so sorry you had to join us!

I'm relieved you are here, and he survived. Yes, it is never good mews when we have to take a limb, but considering the alternative, this is good news!

You have an excellent attitude that goes FAR in recovery!

Gabapentin dosage does vary for cats, usually 50 -100 mg. Can be more or less that's typical 50 mg is a smaller dose & yes, Gaba is sedating at first; they get used to it if they are on for a while. I would question, is this enough pain meds? I don't know what they gave him during the amp any long-lasting meds given that you know of? I also agree we have to deal with some loopy to cover the pain it is temporary and necessary!

benny55 said

Onenofniur kitty members  who just joined hasner cat on ..05 liquid Gaba. How that translates  to the 50 mg pill form dont  know. 

I don't this answer either Sally we have always given the pill form depending on the reason for dosages but Purrkins was on 100 mg for pain during his amp plus Buprenorphine. Saxton our other kitty 50 mg - 100mg. 

Since you are feeding all wet food I'm not concerned with the lack of drinking. Cats are not big drinkers unless on dry food alone. Excellent to add water to his food as long as he continues to eat well for you with the added water. You can also add tuna water ( juice from a can). Sleeping is healing, so that is not a concern. As everyone has mentioned, he has been thru a lot. Eating and going potty are excellent signs! Amp alone is massive surgery, and he is recovering from the snake bite on top of the amp!

As we always say, if YOUR concerned, please call your vet and let them know, OK? Always, Always trust your instincts they will not steer you wrong!

Update when you can! 

HUGS & scratches to (Stevie?)

Holly & Purrkins 💝💝💝

  

Hi Holly (and Purrkins)! Yes, he's Stevie, (and occasionally Steven when he gets a little mischievous.) Thank you about the attitude comment; I've trying to focus on the day-to-day and not on what could have been because that is a little devastating to dwell on. He is definitely in the present, so I want to be there too. As of yesterday afternoon, he has perked back to his old self in such an impressive way that I have to be careful he doesn't overexercise himself now! He tried to open my bedroom door a few times today so he could play with his brothers.

Thank you for the comment on the wet food; I did not know this and the vet assured me also. It's good to feel assured!

As far as the pain medication, I didn't know there were other options so I will ask them tomorrow morning. Stevie seems fine except for a separate area on his back leg; he has two scabs there that look thickened and grey/black and sometimes (but not always) painful to the touch it seems. The vet's advice was to put him on a cone to prevent licking, but he is an expert at removing it (he is wearing a surgery onesie that covers the amputation sutures). I'm not sure what to do to keep him from licking that leg though. So far he hasn't been too aggressive but I'm worried he might get interested in the coming days.

jerry said
Welcome! Wow I'm so glad he survived the snake bite! That's a first here in our community, we've had dogs join us because of snake bites but not cats. He's a real miracle kitty.

You've gotten great input from everyone, I don't have much to add for it except to echo that yeah, the Gaba could be sedating him a little too much and the pooping and peeing are GREAT signs that he will bounce back in no time at all. As always keep your vet in the loop so you can figure out a medication dosage that works for him. And keep us posted, we are all cheering for your sweet boy and hoping for a speedy recovery! 

  

Hi jerry! I have such mixed feelings about being the first. So sorry to be here, and also happy to be! We spaced out the Gabapentin to every 12 hours and it's working well! My heart is so warm knowing you are all cheering for him. I know he's receiving that; he is stronger every day! Today, he tried to open my door several times (he's tired of being confined lol) and he doesn't fall over when he walks now!

Katy and Stevie 😸

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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18 May 2022 - 11:41 am
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WOW, Stevie is making a pretty fast and strong recovery! I'm so glad that the new Gabapentin timing is working well. 

Yeah this is one of those situations when being the first isn't something any of us aspire to being! I'm so glad you found some peace of mind here. Thankfully he survived, and I'm confident he will go on to charm you and leave you amazed at his resilience. 

The vet's advice was to put him on a cone to prevent licking, but he is an expert at removing it (he is wearing a surgery onesie that covers the amputation sutures). I'm not sure what to do to keep him from licking that leg though.

Yeah, the cone is a tough situation for all animals but especially cats who are escape artists. For his back leg wound, check out these options:

The Houdini Cat Cone of Shame

Top Three Pet Recovery Cone Alternatives for Tripawds

Keep us posted on how he's doing. We are cheering for Stevie! smiley_clap

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
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18 May 2022 - 2:00 pm
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We often see here that the youngsters tend to bounce back really quickly after amputation surgery.  It's great to hear how well he is doing- wanting to be too active is a good problem to have!

And now we will need to see more pictures!  Here is how you add photos to a forum post, they have to be hosted somewhere on line.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Member Since:
14 May 2022
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20 May 2022 - 9:15 am
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Thanks for the tutorial link Karen:

I have some pictures and videos! I made a TikTok to keep track of his recovery 🙂

Early days

Stevie sleepingImage Enlarger

Image Enlarger

Image Enlarger

Stevie's first night video 

Stevie's first wobbles video

This week

Stevie Little Rockstar video

Katy and Stevie 😸

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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10
20 May 2022 - 10:15 am
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CUTENESS ALERT!!  STEVIE IS AN ADORABLE TRIPAWD ROCKSTAR!!!

Love how his was testing his boundries by standing up on his hind legs.  Such a naughty little good boy!!

He looks adorable in his modified onesie.  Hooe that does thetrick.

Thanks for giving  us smiles today.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
11
20 May 2022 - 12:18 pm
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Ohhhh adorable! Wow you did such a good job with these, thanks for sharing. It's nice to be part of his rock star recovery! smiley10

P.S. Thanks for nudging me over to TikTok, I've been meaning to set an account up for us and get active over there. 

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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20 May 2022 - 12:23 pm
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Awe, ditto cuteness alert, adorable 🥰🥰🥰 & thanks for the smiles.

Did the new suite help? FYI - I cut the bottoms off of Purrkins onesies so it would not interfere with him going potty;)

Smooches to Rockstar Stevie, please.
Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

Member Since:
14 May 2022
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22 May 2022 - 12:49 pm
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jerry said
Ohhhh adorable! Wow you did such a good job with these, thanks for sharing. It's nice to be part of his rock star recovery! smiley10

P.S. Thanks for nudging me over to TikTok, I've been meaning to set an account up for us and get active over there. 

  

Thanks! Ohh, please friend us on TikTok! We could have a tripawd tiktok outreach community or something one day 🙂 I never posted on there before with my personal account, but it's turned out to be a great way to help with keeping track in a fun way, and staying pawsitive!

Purrkins said
Awe, ditto cuteness alert, adorable 🥰🥰🥰 & thanks for the smiles.

Did the new suite help? FYI - I cut the bottoms off of Purrkins onesies so it would not interfere with him going potty;)

Smooches to Rockstar Stevie, please.

Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

  

Thanks!! The new suite did help. It did interfere with potty the first day, but I didn't think to cut it b/c I've never been crafty with fabric; all I did was just leave it scrunched up and not hook his back legs through the leg-holes lol. I'll ask my mother to modify it so he looks more decent; she is a crafty person.

benny55 said
CUTENESS ALERT!!  STEVIE IS AN ADORABLE TRIPAWD ROCKSTAR!!!

Love how his was testing his boundries by standing up on his hind legs.  Such a naughty little good boy!!

He looks adorable in his modified onesie.  Hooe that does thetrick.

Thanks for giving  us smiles today.

Hugs

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

  

Thanks! I'm having a lot of fun editing these videos of him. I need to post more now, it has been a couple days!

Katy and Stevie 😸

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