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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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Brand new amputee - need advice
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31 July 2020 - 3:02 pm
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LMAO, that’s a thought!

Apparently his exploits continue – he’s so mad about the cones that he’s trying to refuse to eat at the vet’s unless they take them off. She had to syringe feed him a little, then he gave up and ate on his own, the little jerk. All’s still well. He has a little bit of a fever but his incision and new stitches/staples look good. He’s staying until tomorrow just to make sure that his fever goes down as she expects it to. 🙂

The Rainbow Bridge



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31 July 2020 - 3:55 pm
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He’s got fightin’ spirit that’s for sure! Yowza! I need some of what he’s got.

Paws crossed that he can come home tomorrow.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 August 2020 - 7:41 pm
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Heeeey, Ziggy’s home! His incision looks MUCH better even though it’s stapled for most of the length instead of stitched. He still hasn’t really mastered not peeing all over himself, but I think that might be more to do with the cone than anything else and he’s SUPER mad that he can’t wash himself off after. 🙁 Fortunately we got both cats used to letting us mess with them, so he’s actually pretty okay if I gently roll him over and clean him up as best I can with a baby wipe.

Really, really, REALLY looking forward to when those stitches and staples are out! One of our first questions to the vet is going to be whether or not we can give him a bath, as he’s a little, uh… fragrant at the moment.

Bad news for Ziggy – the only way to stop him licking his incision or removing his cone so that he can do exactly that is to keep him in both a donut collar AND a cone. He’s super mad about that, and he still really hates Yesterday’s News. But he’s home, he meows for attention whenever anyone walks by the crate, he purrs and kneads when we sit down to love on him, and he’s eating pretty well on his own!

The only weird thing that made me call the vet in a mild panic this morning is that he’s started grinding his teeth on one side of his mouth! I sent her a video just to be sure it wasn’t some other freakish thing but she’s not concerned. If you give him a little spray cheese or his wet food and he finishes, when he’s licking his chops he crinkles up his cheek and makes this weird crunchy sound on the left side of his mouth, almost like he’s chewing a kibble. We checked his teeth and there doesn’t seem to be anything amiss… maybe just some weird habit he picked up, has anyone else’s pet started doing something odd like that?

And the requisite pictures! Ziggy in his stylish cone/collar combo and Ziggy given a brief dinner reprieve

Virginia




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1 August 2020 - 8:56 pm
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WELCOME HIME SWEET BOY!!!

Oh Ziggy, I apologize but I  do have to chuckle a bit at the pictures of  you and the coneS!  As handsome as uou look in them, you look quite piffed off!!

Sounds like things are finally  on the upswing and you’ll be out of those silly coneS soon!!  Not soon enough  though, huh?

 No idea about the jaw thing.  Wouldn’t  have anything to do with the cone…the tightness of it….the thickness of them??  Does it seem to be coming  from the bottom and upper jaws “clicking”?  Maybe some sort of misalignment going on?? 

Just so glad Ziggy is home and doing well!!  He’s a very special boy who clearly  is loved and adored!!

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!



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2 August 2020 - 11:56 am
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My cat Mona did not like the Yesterday’s News. I don’t think it feels good on their feet. I went back to her old litter. I think the concern is dust from the litter. As you probably know there is now litter that is close to dust-free and is not those hard pellets.

Mona had staples right from the beginning. There were also two little drains that I had to snap to clean and I cleaned off any yuckiness with a warm, damp facecloth. Mona did not need to wear a cone and I allowed her to clean herself but when she even considered the incision area I’d put a damp facecloth over it. I realize Ziggy needs his cones but maybe he can have a break to clean himself while you make sure he doesn’t mess with his incision?

Hope you get some relief from his fragrance!

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

The Rainbow Bridge



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2 August 2020 - 5:41 pm
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Welcome home Ziggy!  That’s terrific news. What a great day for you guys!

That teeth gnashing is interesting. Nope, it’s never been an issue here. Maybe just Ziggy’s way of saying I HATE THIS CONE THING!?  Tell him he’s not the only naughty Tripawd who has to be double coned: our Wyatt Ray is a double-cone dawg himself! In fact he’s wearing his soft cone right now because he’s got some hot spots making him cray cray. 

The pics are adorable, he does look relatively at ease considering what he’s been through. 

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2 August 2020 - 5:53 pm
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It freaked me the heck out the first time he did it, that’s for sure! It sounded like he had a tooth out and was chewing it up or something, so weird that I recorded it and sent it to the vet because I couldn’t even describe it properly. He’s doing it a lot less now so I’m wondering if maybe the cone is making it a little more difficult for him to chew… not that it’s slowing him down on the wet food at all!

Aw hey look, Wyatt and Ziggy have the exact same pattern on the donut collar! Twinsies! icon_lol

And of course it never stops… now the rest of Ziggy’s incision looks fine, but there’s a spot at the very back by his tail that’s looking pretty gnarly. I think it’s because the cones are making it really hard for him to use the box so he ends up sitting in it a lot in protest, so he’s getting some icky stuff in there. *sigh* Going to try to get pics so I can send them to the vet and see what she says in the morning.

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 August 2020 - 11:05 am
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I’m amazed you were able to catch the grinding on camera. You’re quick!

And maybe that IS his ploy to get you to remove the cone and collar? Hahaha! Don’t let him fool ya.

Oh yikes yeah I hope the incision spot is just in need of a rinse and isn’t serious. Ziggy’s sure keeping you busy.

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3 August 2020 - 12:40 pm
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Well it was kinda easy… he did it every time I gave him some spray cheese so I just hit record and then gave him a little more. Took a couple of tries but I got a clear recording! icon_lol

Cones are definitely staying on! We let him have supervised wash time before, but this time he goes straight for the incision and won’t wash anything else if he gets blocked. Did I ever mention that he’s an incredibly stubborn cat?

The vet did indeed want me to bring him back, but once they got him down and got some cleaning solution and gauze to work, it turned out to be just gummy scabbing, no infection! It was just really hard for me to tell what was incision/stitches and what was just gunk that could be removed. Since he’s so well-behaved there and eats for them, she said they were going to keep him a couple of days just to be sure the incision stays clean and isn’t about to start showing an infection. I think he’s just enjoying stirring up a lot of trouble!

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 August 2020 - 3:42 pm
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Oh gosh I’m so glad that wasn’t an infection. Gummy scabbing…yep, that pretty much describes incision ick.

Heh I think Ziggy’s probably enjoying all the attention from his new corral of fans! Enjoy the R&R break from caregiving and hopefully when he comes back the next time he will be all healed up and moving on to his new normal.

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6 August 2020 - 9:39 am
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Belated update – Ziggy is home again! While at the vet’s he managed to get his cone off at night and ripped out a couple of his staples. It was actually okay as the tissue underneath had started to knit together nicely, so the vet was able to place a few more to secure things while she just had the area numbed, since she didn’t want to sedate him fully again.

Apparently one of the other vets, the medical director of the office and a few of the techs were all consulting on how to keep him in the cone and away from the incision. The medical director’s been practicing for something like 35 or 40 years now, and she said she’s never seen a cat as sneaky and clever at getting cones off as Ziggy is.icon_rolleyesThey put him in a kind of sleeve that I think must have been for leg wounds on large dogs and they suggested either a pet surgery suit or baby onesies with the leg tied up. Of course we bought onesies and then realized they were too small, oops.

In the end, out of desperation we tried one last thing we found on another forum – we had to make our own harness of sorts, in our case out of two shoelaces tied together. I started by putting the middle at the front of his neck and took each end around through the loops of his cone until I was back at the front. We took them down towards his armpits, criss-crossing the ends across his chest, under his arms, around his back with a cross again, and then finally through the back two loops of the cone before tying it off with a bow.

This is a diagram that shows kind of what we did.

He’s had several really serious tantrums that involved rolling around in the crate and trying to get it off, but he hasn’t managed yet including for 10 hours while we were sleeping. So it looks like we FINALLY outsmarted him! He’s only got one dose of bupro left and then he’s just on gabapentin and veraflox, and it looks like we’re looking at Friday of next week for the sutures and staples to come out, since he had to have the additional wounds stitched up. 

Other than his tantrums he’s doing well! The litter box is a challenge I think because of the cone and he’s still grinding his teeth a little, but the vet thinks that’s a reaction to the veraflox. He can hop pretty fast now too, as we learned when we had him out for a good baby wipe and lap snuggle session, which he used as an escape opportunity. Our other cat seems to slowly be calming down, I think he just gets frustrated when he gets the zoomies and Ziggy can’t participate like he usually does.

Virginia




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6 August 2020 - 10:12 am
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Holy cats!!  This is crazy!!  Cannot believe  Ziggy has continued  to show those cones whose boss!  Up until now a yway.

Your sketch is priceless  and your ingenuity is brilliant!!

So you think it’s the cone itself that’s  driving him over the edge, or the physical reaction (pulling, sticking, pinching, itching) caused by the staples and the incision  itself.  Or both??   Guess it doesn’t  really matter as the cone is necessity regardless.

Ziggy, leave the stitches alone!!!   And your hoomans get a gazillion  gold stars for tryi to outsmart you!  That’s  quite a challenge!

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!

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6 August 2020 - 11:00 am
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Definitely not my sketch, I don’t want to take credit for it, but if anyone else stumbled across this I figured the visual would help.

I’m not actually sure what’s setting him off. We tried basically everything – the hard cone alone, a smaller and then a larger soft cone, then the vet tried a donut collar with the hard cone on top. The last time when he ripped out staples, he had the donut still on but the hard cone off, and I’d imagine he didn’t bother with the donut because he can reach the incision perfectly well with it on. His trick thus far has basically been to get his front claws (usually his thumb claws, dewclaws, whatever you want to call them) either in the fabric of the cone if it’s a soft one, or whatever’s holding the hard cone on. Then he pushes with his front paws while leaning the weight of his body backwards, and eventually his big dumb head pops out. He’s a REALLY strong cat and he’s also incredibly stubborn, clearly!

I think the goal is the incision, of course, since it must itch and I think he really desperately wants to wash too as he’s a pretty fussy cat about hygiene and the missing leg plus cone means he’s had a lot of trouble not peeing or pooping on himself. And then sometimes I think he’s just having what we call a Big Boy Tantrum because we’ve been keeping him in a large dog crate in our living room where it’s easy to check on him, but he wants to be out roaming the apartment like usual. So he starts trying to find a way out of the crate, gets increasingly frustrated, and then he starts rolling all over the place trying to yank the cone off. Maybe he thinks the cone is stopping him from fitting through the bars? LOL

We let him have a supervised hop around the living room earlier and man he’s fast already! We’re still in the process of rearranging our kitchen/pantry so it’s a mess, but he enjoyed exploring what I’d let him investigate.

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 August 2020 - 12:40 pm
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I LOVE that design! There’s a market for that kitty cone, you need to start manufacturing it! Can you snap a few photos of Ziggy wearing it? I would love to share it in the Tripawds Gear blog . Of course I’ll credit the source if you can share that.

Honestly I agree with your vets, nobody here has reported that their cat was that determined to get rid of the cone. Ziggy is a magician!

It’s nice to know he’s got that spirit, he’s going to make a terrific Tripawd.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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