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Advice Needed - rear amputation surgery set for monday
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6 July 2018 - 11:29 pm
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Our beautiful fur baby Bella broke her leg in two places back in April. She had a fixture out on and all went well with that. Well this week she broke the same leg in a different spot. And the vet recommended a plate or amputation. After speaking with two other vets and them going over her records they recommended amputation. We are still trying to wrap our minds around it but want what’s best for her long term. She is 5.5 years old and we love her so much. I have a couple of questions.

1. Our vet is not keeping her over night. We will be picking her up that evening. I had read a lot of posts that most stay over. Has other taken them home that day?

2. We are modifying the cat box tomorrow. Is there anything else we should or could do to prepare her cage? She will be in a like 4’ x 3’ cage. We are also changing her bed type to make it easier on her.

3. I have seen a lot of people modify onesies. Has anyone done that for rear amputees?

4. What else can we do to help with pain management after surgery? Obviously pain meds from the doctor, but is there other th8ngs we can do to help keep her comfortable? She usually loves sleeping on my heating pad. Of course set low.

And any over advice is hugely appreciated. Thank you so much. I am so glad out vet recommended this site.

The Rainbow Bridge

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7 July 2018 - 10:18 am
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Hi Bella and family! I apologize for the brief response but I’m on my phone and don’t type too well on it! I wanted to get your post approved so others can chime in. Stay tuned and I will return with some additional tips. Thanks for joining!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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7 July 2018 - 3:11 pm
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My cat Mona lost her front leg due to cancer. She is doing great and has developed her own way of being. She rules the house. I didn’t know her to be like that before her amputation. There was less than a day’s notice for her amputation and I didn’t get too much of a chance to read up on suggestions. Frankly the things I did based on online suggestions were rejected by Mona. She decided how things should be.

However, I’ll let you know what work for us:

  • consider a litter box that is easy for Bella to get into 
  • the vet sent Mona home with canned kitten food and she loved it. The advantage of canned food is that is has a high moisture content and kitten food is high in protein and fat.
  • Mona loved a cool damp cloth on her surgical site. The heating pad sounds good for comfort but I don’t think it would be good on the site. I would clean any crusties off Mona’s skin and she went naked – no cone or clothes. Most people are successful with onesies.
  • I thought Mona was coming home with me the first night but she went home with the vet. When I got her the next morning she was relaxed and sweet, had used the litter box for the vet. She was a little hellion when she got home. She would race around her room and then crash. I think it was the pain meds.
  • I’d suggest a blanket over the cage so it feels like a little den for Bella. Mona slept on a bath mat under a shelf in the closet. My other cat Eli was very sweet and would watch her sleep.
  • I learned after the fact that it’s a good idea to set up a medication schedule and alternate the different medication. For example  I gave Mona her pain meds and anti-inflammatory meds at the same time and it might have been better to give one and then the other a couple of hours later. Mona’s pain meds said 3 or 4 times a day. I opted for 3 times but 4 times would have been better.
  • If Mona seemed restless in the room I would take her outside to sit on my lap and enjoy the fresh air and sun. Other times she was happy to just look out the patio door – supervised of course.

You’ll get a lot of suggestions on this site. I hope her surgery goes well.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Michigan
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8 July 2018 - 7:26 am
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Hello, and Welcome to you and Bella, sorry you have to join us!

Our beautiful fur baby Bella broke her leg in two places back in April She had a fixture out on and all went well with that. Well this week she broke the same leg in a different spot.

How did Bella break her leg both times if you don’t mind me asking? I am asking because it is the same leg now in a different area.

1. Our vet is not keeping her overnight. We will be picking her up that evening. I had read a lot of posts that most stay over. Has other taken them home that day?

If there is no overnight care 24-7 care, we recommend that you do bring Bella home and be the 24-hour care. We have had a lot of people bring kitty home the first night. Make sure you have a 24 hours emergency number you can call if you need one.

3. I have seen a lot of people modify onesies. Has anyone done that for rear amputees?

Purrkins is a front leg amputee, and we did use a onesie. Would it work for a rear leg kitty and cover the area? The onesie is to protect the kitties from getting to the incision area as the cone does. I can only speak for a front leg amp. Ask you, surgeon. We did get approval from ours, and it worked Purrfectly for Purrkins. What did Bella use for her first surgery?
Here is a post on recovery suits Easy DIY Pet Surgery Recovery Suit Ideas for Cats and Dogs

4. What else can we do to help with pain management after surgery? Obviously pain meds from the doctor, but is there other th8ngs we can do to help keep her comfortable? She usually loves sleeping on my heating pad. Of course set low.

Make sure they are sending you home with more than three days pain worth of pain meds or long-lasting pain meds. Purrkins was sent home with both Buprenorphine & Gabapentin. He was on Buprenorphine a total of 12 days and Gabapentin 14 days. That was after the hospital meds!

Purrkins did stay in the hospital for three nights four days they iced his incision for three days, and we had instructions for warm compresses at home.

I would not give Bella her heating pad for the first three days. To be safe.

I second Kerrens suggestion on covering Bella’s cage with a blanket to make her feel secure.

Here are some great articles to look over. The Tripawds Recovery Shopping List 

What to Expect on Amputation Surgery Day for Your Dog or Cat

We know how scary this is, we are all on the other side of this. Recovery is no fun pain management will make all the difference for you both. Cat do amazingly well on three legs! I believe after recovery you will be amazed! Purrkins amazes me every day he does all kitty things on three legs he is the same happy kitty. He will be two years post op end of this month. We documented Purrkins recovery in his blog if you want to take a look at Purrkins blog

Will be thinking of you on Monday!

Hugs
Holly & Purrkins❤️

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8 July 2018 - 9:12 am
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Poor baby Bella, so sorry that this has all happened. What happened to cause her to break her leg? Huckleberry’s a rear right amputee. He came home just several hours after surgery. He was also feral. I had to be incredibly careful handling him as until he met us my guess is that he was born feral and never had any real human contact. 

I used to be a veterinary technician so recovering animals is pretty second nature to me. You should definitely have a backup plan with an emergency vet number in hand before all of this takes place just in case. It seems these days some vets will also keep in touch via text so if your vet offers their number it would be a good idea to take it in case Bella presents any unusual signs that you are not comfortable with and you have questions.

I had a large dog crate for Huckleberry, and I always kept a large light blanket on the top of it. I covered most of his cage during rest times or times that he seemed agitated, which was plenty for him. I left just enough uncovered so that he had a place to peek out of so that he could see for himself that all was well, but covering the crate helped calm him a great deal. I also created a playlist of soothing music which I played often for him. 

If you will be keeping Bella in a bedroom for her recovery, I would strongly recommend taking the bed off the frame and laying it directly on the floor. At some point in her recovery you will likely let her wander out to stretch for short periods and I made the mistake of thinking 500 blankets, pillows, and comforters could block him from hiding under the bed.. I was wrong, lol. He was like a mouse in a maze and I ended up having to fix the bed while he was there in the crate which was a royal pain. If you can, get the room set up before you take her home and make sure it is secure so that when she is finally ready to come out and stretch there is nothing for her to harm herself with. It is natural instinct, feral or not, for them to want to hide with an injury. Huck was much happier up on the bed after we took it off the frame. I had a “step” to help him up so that he was not trying to jump up there from the floor. 

I could not get an E-collar or a onesie on Huck without risking my limbs, lol.. so I cannot help you there. Good luck tomorrow, will be thinking of you.

Jackie and Huckleberry heartheart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

Virginia
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8 July 2018 - 1:55 pm
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As you can see, you have come to THE best place on the Planet for suppprt, understanding  and INVALUABLE advice! 😊

Kerren, Holly and Jackie have learned through trial and error what works and what doesn’t.   They have a vast amount of kitty knowledge  among them and pretty much have answers  for any recovery  issue that may arise.😎

You’re soing a great job of preparation.  Recovery  is rough for a couple  of weeks.  It is, afterall, major surgery!  The food news is Bella will be rid of that bum leg once  and for all! One surgery, one recovery, and Bella can get in with living  life to the fullest 😁

Stay connected!

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

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8 July 2018 - 2:36 pm
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Thanks to everyone who has chimed in for Bella’s people! 

To add to Purrkins’ tip about not using the heating pad, here’s an article that explains how you want to care for an amputation wound with ice and heat therapy:

Heat and Ice Therapy Tips for Tripawd Cats and Dogs

And this one should help you come up with good questions for your vet:

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Amputation Surgery for Dogs and Cats (Part 1)

I hope this helps. Please throw out any questions you have to us, we will do our best to answer them so you feel good about what’s coming up. Remember, your attitude can make or break recovery, so stay strong and Bella will follow your lead.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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8 July 2018 - 5:26 pm
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Sounds like this vet is probably not a specialist…  ie no 24 hour care… is this vet’s amp skill up to the task? hard to know. I imagine..  perhaps revisit Jerry’s top questions to ask and consider another vet if you don’t like the answers you receive.. I have  cancelled appts saying I didn’t feel well etc..  , even when it was the same day of the appt.. 

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8 July 2018 - 6:38 pm
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The availability of vet surgeons depends on the size of the community. I’m in a small community and my cat’s vet consulted with the big city surgeons who advised him to remove the scapula along with the leg. He doesn’t offer 24 hour care but took Mona to his house overnight where she stayed in a bathroom with infloor radient heat and the family has 2 vets and two teenagers who spent hours holding her. Mona would have been in her glory. Four years later – Mona likes car rides and is comfortable and confident at the vet clinic.

Jerry has some great questions but sometimes we have to manage with the resources we have in our community. I really like Jackie’s suggestion to get the vet’s home phone number or an emergency number.

Your vet sounds good – he/she recommended this site!!

Hugs for you and Bella

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8 July 2018 - 7:00 pm
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I totally agree. Just because they choose not to provide 24 hr care means nothing more than they are a smaller hospital that chooses not to invest in the skills of 24 hour care. So many places provide great service and offer info to whatever 24 hr emergency clinic close by in case of emergency. Lots of those places don’t have the need and would go out of business waiting on a patient that required 24 hr care. 

It’s all good, breathe… get rest, it’s going to be a busy time ahead.

❤️❤️

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

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8 July 2018 - 7:08 pm
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Oh… and this is just after our 9 month ampuversary, taken this afternoon ❤️❤️😘🤗❤️❤️

IMG_20180708_162820_446.jpgImage Enlarger

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

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9 July 2018 - 3:46 am
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Good luck today, my first day back to work but I will try and pop in to see how things are going.

heartheart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

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12 July 2018 - 2:12 pm
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You will be so blessed by this site and the great advice!  My cat, Rocky (14yo), is just over 3 months since his front leg amputation and this support network has been so helpful.

Rocky spent the first 24 hours at the hospital and then came home with with Buprenorphine and Gabapentin (14 days on both).  I did continue Gabapentin on and off for another 2 weeks if I noticed phantom limb twitches.  

The first night Rocky was in a puppy pen, but the next night he wouldn’t be still unless he was in bed next to me.  He wore a onesie but it kept twisting and exposing his incision, so that needed straightening often (at night he also wore an inflatable post surgery donut type collar).

Block off any access to get under beds/furniture where you can’t reach her!

I modified his litterbox with one cutaway entrance.  But right away changed to a larger rubbermaid tub with 2 “doorways” cut in it.  Rocky likes having the extra room and an in and out door.

The Meer Cat exercise has been great to build Rocky’s core muscle strength, we still do it every day.

Fix-up ramps or steps to all the couches/chairs/beds. I used pinterest for home made ramp ideas and a single step stool (from walmart) by favorite chairs and couch.  

Please post updates about Bella!

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12 July 2018 - 3:27 pm
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Hi again,

I hope Bella is doing ok. Just wanted to check in and see if you popped in to post. Big FYI, they are doing a major upgrade tonight and the forums and blogs may be down for up to 3 days, hopefully less. 

helpline-tripug.pngImage Enlarger

The help line will be available, and the chat room will be open in case you pop in during the upgrade. You will not be able to post in the forums or use the blogs until the upgrade is complete.

I hope all is well with you and Bella.

Hugs,

Jackie and Huckleberry heartheart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

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