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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 - Yowling after amputation
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Member Since:
13 June 2022
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27 June 2022 - 12:16 pm
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Our cat has had his front leg amputated 5 days ago.
He has been fine, but has started yowling.

We’re unsure why he does that, or if this is normal.

Can you help?

All the best


Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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27 June 2022 - 1:43 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

Some questions:

What pain meds is he on and on what schedule?

Why did Madsen (is that his name?) need an amputation?

How old is he and how active is he right now?

Have you talked with your vet about what you are seeing?

Sorry for all the questions but we can provide better input with this information.

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

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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27 June 2022 - 2:49 pm
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Hi and welcome! Karen asked everything I was wondering too. Also, when he yowls, does he do anything else physically, like try to go after his missing leg, or walk backwards? And how his his appetite/thirst?

Rest assured this isn’t uncommon, it’s just a matter of figuring out what’s going on and how to help him feel better. 

Member Since:
13 June 2022
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27 June 2022 - 4:51 pm
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Hi to you both and thanks for the replies. Much obliged.

For pain-relief: Gabapentin 50mg twice daily

His name is Rasmus – I’m Madsen 🙂

He needed an amputation because he had a soft tissue sarcoma on his front leg near his dewclaw and after significant deliberation my wife and I decided, that amputation was the best option.

Rasmus is 17 years old. He is pretty active given his age (or shall I say – was – he isn’t right now). He will do his daily wander round the neighborhood, over fences and across gardens and lie and sunbathe on shed-roofs, like most outdoor cats do, I guess. He used to be a figther, but now has taken a step back 😀

We have not yet talked to our vet about it. We intend to do that if he doesn’t change behaviour.

He doesn’t do anything else physically. He just yowls. Well – actually – my wife tried to comfort him a bit and he bit her gently – he doesn’t normally bite – only gently if he feels bothered. He’s a generally friendly cat.

His appetite and thirst are unchanged. He eats normally and drinks normally. He takes dry food and the occational treat, and drinks around 1/4 liter of water per day. His weight is normal for his age. He’s generally fit. Has slight signs of kidney problems and has early signs of arthritis (part of the reason why we deliberated over the action to take)

All the best – and thanks again for your replies.


The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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28 June 2022 - 11:24 am
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Hi Mads and Rasmus. Wow 17 is so remarkable! He shows that age is just a number! 

So, I would definitely talk to your vet instead of waiting. Five days after surgery isn’t a long time, and senior pets tend to take a bit longer to recovery. The fact that he was active and fit before surgery is a huge plus! So call your vet to see see how his pain control can be adjusted. Maybe it’s a matter of breaking out the Gabapentin to give it 3x daily instead. This would provide more consistent pain relief and many people here find that a more frequent dosage (that doesn’t exceed the prescribed amount) is the trick for good pain control. 

If your vet doesn’t have any ideas, ask for a referral to a physio therapist. The Tripawds Foundation even pays for the first consultation if it’s with a credentialed “CCRT” or “CCRP.” My guess is that Rasmus tries to do a very good job hiding pain. And while he might have some arthritis (most pets here do when they lose a leg), I’m thinking that he could have some nerve or muscle pain somewhere.

Oh another thought: have you tried massaging him gently when he yowls? Can you comfort him that way? Does he look back or freeze when you touch a certain spot like around his neck, shoulders or lower back?

Member Since:
13 June 2022
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28 June 2022 - 1:13 pm
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Hi Jerry,

Thanks ever so much for taking time to give me a reply.

This is helpful. We will talk to our vet.

We have now discovered, that he start yowling around 45 mins after he’s been given the pain-relief and then stops again around 20 mins later and falls asleep. We think he might have pain in his stomach, because he get’s extra agitated if we touch him around that area. Does that make any sense at all?

I will let you know what the vet thinks.

All the best,
– Mads – 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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28 June 2022 - 3:01 pm
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You are so welcome! That’s an important observation about his behavior. Good job! I haven’t heard of Gabapentin upsetting any cat’s stomach, but that’s not to say it can’t happen. Please let us know what your vet says.

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