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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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Cat having rear right leg amputed today
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Forum Posts: 11
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16 October 2020
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16 October 2020 - 1:56 pm
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Hello!

I have 3 cats at home, one mine, one my mom’s and one was my dad’s.  Dad passed away almost 2 years ago and he had this little cat, LT.  My mom and I care for him with our own cats.  LT has spent most of his 6 years outside, coming in as he wished.  Almost 2 weeks ago I found LT outside near the house limping.  He let me pick him up and I saw an open wound on the side of his rear right leg and it was sitting at an unnatural angle. I let my mom know and we found a cat carrier so I took him to the emergency vet. They took x-rays and found that he had detached 3 of the metatarsals in the rear right leg.  They gave 3 options, a very expensive surgery to try and reattach the metatarsals, amputation or euthanasia. They gave me antibiotics, pain meds and a cone and told me to get in touch with his regular vet on Monday.

In the time he’s been home he has been running around, seemingly happy but not putting any weight on the bad leg. He yowls a lot because he wants to go outside and we have to fight to keep him in when we go out.

I ended up finding a new vet as the old one said they couldn’t help, and I had a second opinion Monday, they agreed that amputation was the best option in this situation and we got the earliest appoinment they had. I dropped him off this morning for his amputation and I’m at work not able to concentrate, due to worrying about him.  They said they will call when he’s out of surgery and will be ready to come home in a couple of days.

I don’t know what I’m looking for here, but any words of wisdom or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28041
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16 October 2020 - 6:07 pm
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Hi Shay and LT & family, welcome. Your future posts won’t need to be approved so post away.

We are so sorry you had to join our club! I’m guessing LT is a very special connection to your dad, he’s a lucky kitty to have you and mom looking out for him. Amputation is scary but it sounds like this was the best course of action for LT. I’m so glad you found that new vet! Once recovery is over you will be so amazed at how he gets on with life and doesn’t let one missing leg slow him down. 

Have you had a chance to check out our e-book, Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats ? Our What to Expect articles are also helpful. You will see so much encouragement here in our TriKitty stories too! 

My best advice is to make sure that LT comes home with really good pain management . The right pain meds will make recovery sooo much easier. Stay connected with your vet and don’t hesitate to advocate for LT if you feel he isn’t getting good pain control. 

A last tip: have you seen these cool Tripawd Catio plans? Outdoor enclosures are such a great way to let cats like LT enjoy the outdoors safely. Now that you’ve spent money at the vet to help him live a great life on 3, a catio can ensure it’s a long one too.

Let us know whatever questions you have OK? We are here to help.

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




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16 October 2020 - 8:56 pm
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Glad you found us so we can assure you that you ARE doing the right thing for LT!  We’ve  seen numerous times where efforts were made to “safe” a leg and, after many surgeries, many co fined recoveries,  and much money, amputation  ended up being the best solution.   It’s one surgery and has about two or three weeks of recovery from the surgery.   Not saying recoveymis easy, after all, itmis major surger.  But with proper care and pain meds LT will get through recovery  and get to be his feisty self again…just on three!

Jerry gave you great links chock full of tips and insight on how to navigate thr6 recovery, etc.  Take some times to review everything and let is know as any questions arise.  okay?  And remember, LT has a wonderful Guardian Angel watching  over him…and all of you ❤  Yoir Dad is so pleased at the care and love you are giving LT.

Curious, how did LT get his name?  It’s so cute.

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!



Forum Posts: 1494
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16 October 2020 - 10:10 pm
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Hi Shay, LT and Mom,

LT is so lucky to have a loving family. Reading your story I immediately thought of Huckleberry who was a feral cat. He moved in with Jackie and has him leg amputated 2 years ago. You’ll want to keep LT inside for his recovery so you might learn how Huck became an indoor cat by reading his blog: https://paws120…..pawds.com/

Take care,

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Forum Posts: 11
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17 October 2020 - 9:12 pm
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Thank you for the good wishes!

The vet called after surgery and said it was a routine procedure, no surprises or complications.  They said he was sitting up even!  They did  stitches under the skin so we won’t have to go back to have them removed.  He should be ready to come home Monday.  She said he will come home with buprenorphine, Onsior and an antibiotic. 

Virginia




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17 October 2020 - 9:19 pm
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YAAAAY!!!  So glad surgery is done!  Sou ds like LT is in good hands and has good pain meds to help when he comes home.

Try and get some rest.  LT is probably  seeing a few pink elephants and high as a kite right about now!

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



Forum Posts: 28041
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18 October 2020 - 3:15 pm
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Wooohooo! That’s terrific news! By getting to spend a few extra days at the vet you’ll likely be spared the hardest days of recovery. 

How is your home set up? Is it Tripawd-proofed? You’ll want to keep LT’s activity limited as much as possible. 

Here’s an article about feline pain medications after amputation surgery that you may find helpful:

https://tripawd…..-for-cats/

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 11
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18 October 2020 - 4:04 pm
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Today’s update said he has a slight fever and isn’t eating as much as they would like so it may not be until Tuesday for pickup. 

We have a spare bedroom that is his hangout.  There is no furniture or anything in there, we have put down several blankets and a jacket that was dad’s.  We also have a low sided litter box as well as his food and water.  I did pick up come canned wet food as a treat when he comes home. Once he seems to be comfortable getting around we will let him explore the rest of the upstairs and eventually remove the baby gate and try the stairs.

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19692
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18 October 2020 - 4:11 pm
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Excellent  job of setting up LT’s recovery quarters!

Not having much of an appetite  is pretty normal.  Guessing  they have LT on an antibiotic and will give him fluids if he needs them to help perk him up a bit. 

Hoping yoi can get yim home soon.  I’m sure he’ll be happier and will prob eat a little better too.

Thanks for the update!  We’re all cheering for this special kitty!

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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18 October 2020 - 9:30 pm
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It sounds like LT is getting great care.

While cats heal they like to have a quiet little den. My cat Mona slept under a shelf in the closet. Some other ideas:

  • a large cardboard box on its side with a blanket inside (or dad’s jacket) 
  • a coffee table with a blanket over it and the cat sleeps under the table with the blanket hanging over
  • a dog crate with a blanket over top

Anything will work if it feels cozy.

I hope LT comes home soon!

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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19 October 2020 - 10:21 am
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The vet just called, she’s a little concerned about him  not eating much, but thinks that coming home should help.  So he’s coming home after I get off work today.  I’m very excited to get him.  I did find a big box and have a blanket in it for him, so he has a place to hide. I’ll try to get some pictures after we get settled in. The other cats have been acting strange since he left, especially my cat Sam.  He’s been wandering around looking for his friend.

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 October 2020 - 11:12 am
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Woohoo Hoppy Day! That’s fantastic he’s coming home, and I’m betting that’s gonna be a great appetite booster for him.

If you have time, be sure to run out and grab the most tempting foods and treats you can to light that little hunger fire. Plus, being around the other kitties should really help too.

We can’t wait to see photos. Here’s our tips for adding images to the Forums, let us know if you’d like help.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 11
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19 October 2020 - 12:14 pm
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Here are Sam and LT pre-injury, Sam is the big tuxedo on the left, LT is on the right.  Sam and LTImage Enlarger

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 28041
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19 October 2020 - 3:26 pm
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Awww best buddies! I’m so glad you figured out how to post images!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19692
Member Since:
22 February 2013
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19 October 2020 - 4:40 pm
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Oh good!  Home sweet home is always healing!!!

Agree, get a y yummy food you can find.  Kitty MONA holds out for canned kitten food when she’s not up for eating “regular” food.

So temperature  must be normal? Has she been drinking and peeing at the Vet?

Can’t  wait for an update  when you get a chance.

Looooove the pictures of uour VERY handsome kitties!

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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