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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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Day 2 post operation Kaju low body temperature, sedation or pain?
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22 September 2020 - 5:17 am
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My 8 year old cat has had a front leg amputation yesterday, he weighs 7.78kg. He already had a shortened stump due to an accident as a kitten which is when I rescued him. For the last 3 months his stump has been getting reinfected and not healing properly. So the decision was taken to amputate the stump and send the tissue for biopsy.

I got him from hospital after 6 hours of monitoring post operation. He’s on meloxicam, gabapentin, antibiotics (amoxicillin clavulanic acid) and anatacid (omeprazole). After returning home yesterday he was v frustrated and growling as he was falling over. After administration of gabapentin and antiobiotic at 8pm he was drowsy and uncoordinated and mostly slept through the night. He was a bit active around 6-7 am and drank some water and ate some kibbles.

But since then has been v quiet.  He was given anatacid in the morning followed by gabapentin and antibiotic. He’s not urinated in about 24 hours. The vet is saying to wait and see. But his temperature is cold to touch unless i put him on heating pad. He’s just lying down without moving for hours. I’ve managed to feed him about 20ml of liquid food via syringe and also administered sub cutaneous lactated ringers saline (150ml). His meloxicam (0.45mg) gabapentin (70 mg) are due in another 2-3 hours. 

Is he lying down so much because he’s sedated from the gabapentin or because he’s in pain? Should the gabapentin dosage be adjusted or will it cause more pain? Last night he was purring continuously (I’m guessing because of pain) but today he’s not. Please help. I’m in Thailand and vets here are not very open to suggestions and I’m freaking out.

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 September 2020 - 10:28 am
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Hi there and welcome. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away.

I apologize for the quick reply but I wanted to get your post approved so others can see it and offer suggestions. I will return shortly, thank you for your patience.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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22 September 2020 - 10:58 am
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Hello and welcome.

I hope you don’t mind but I moved your post her to the Three Legged Cats forum so our cat members will be sure to see it.

It sounds like you brought him home the same day as surgery- so it’s no wonder he is quite out of it yesterday and even today because of the surgery meds.

The not peeing for 24 hours would concern me- it’s odd to me that the vet isn’t concerned about that. 

I know the gabapentin can be sedating, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between the affects of pain meds and pain. 

Here is a Blog Post On Recognizing Pain Signs. which might help you tell the difference.  I would say to discuss with your vet but it sounds like you are kind of on your own.

I’m sure some of our cat parents will be along soon to add their input.

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

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22 September 2020 - 11:19 am
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Hi and welcome, I’m so sorry you are going through this.  He is a good sized kitty. Did something happen for his stump to become infected?

Im not a vet,  but i am concerned about him feeling cold.  Do you know how to take his temperature? That would be very helpful.  You will need thermometer and vaseline or gentle lubricant. It takes about 5 minutes with traditional thermometer.  

I would try to get him warm.  After temp you can fill 1 or 2 litre container with warm water,  place cap on very tight,  roll it in hand towel and lay it up against his back if you can. 

Please post back with more information and let us know how you do 

Jackie and Huckleberry❤

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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22 September 2020 - 11:21 am
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Update: took him to the emergency vet. His creatinine was higher (2.1 from 1.7 before surgery) and bun was significantly higher (70 from 18 before surgery). The vet tried to catheterise him but somehow failed. I brought him home and he finally peed a lot so maybe the attempted catheterisation was good for something other than pain and stress after all!

Also while he was very stressed at the vets he seemed to finally wake up walk around a bit at home and looked like his normal self. He ate on his own a small bit. However I think the antibiotic is not suiting him as he vomitted 40 minutes after he got the antibiotic. I’ve given him gabapentin and put him in his enclosure for the night. I will try to get an appointment with the cat specialist tomorrow. Fingers crossed he starts eating, drinking and peeing on his own. Does anyone have antibiotic recommendations? Anyone here with cats who have used Convenia post amputation or any other safe injectable antibiotic?

Thanks everyone for the quick replies and moving this to the appropriate thread 😻

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22 September 2020 - 11:23 am
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Whew, I am glad he peed!! You can try giving some food 20 minutes before medications and see if that helps. On empty stomach some meds are very irritating. 

I am glad he is up and about, I am sure they took temp at doctors so that is good. 

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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22 September 2020 - 11:29 am
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Oh Hi I had missed this. i used a electric heated pad on him and now his temperature seems normal. I haven’t taken his temperature because poor thing was so stressed at the vets and the botched catherisation. He’s not very good with any interventions really but if his temperature falls again after gabapentin i will surely take his temperature again.

Initially the wound seemed a minor abrasion wound. But despite 2 courses of antibiotics weeks apart plus aggressive dressing of wound, it never fully healed and the position of the stump meant it would often, despite best dressing efforts, have pressure on it. The vets felt the tissue post scabbing is hyper granulation tissue and I will get the biopsy back in 10 days.

Maybe I was being too stubborn about the amputation and should have agreed to it earlier. It really feels awful to think he suffered for 3 months for nothing and now had to undergo amputation anyway. 

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22 September 2020 - 11:29 am
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I am not sure why he was not peeing, but please make sure he stays hydrated. Has he ever had problems urinating in the past?

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog



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22 September 2020 - 2:05 pm
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I’m sorry you are going through this but you are doing a great job! The heat is a great idea. Cats need more heat than humans and I find my front-leg amputee Mona always seeks out hot spots. Perhaps you can leave the heating pad out and your cat will use it if interested.

I don’t know how often you are giving the medication during the day but when I was told to give the medication 3-4 times a day that 4 times worked better than 3 times.

My vet sent Mona home with canned kitten food for her recovery. She loved it! The advantage to wet food is that the cat gets a lot of moisture from the food. 

You might find a cold pack on the incision is comforting. I used a cold, damp washcloth on Mona for about 5 minutes and she loved it. The coolness also helps with the inflammation.

I don’t know anything about antibiotics but I believe they are based on the type of infection. They can take a sample of the infection to determine the best antibiotic.

I hope things continue to improve.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Virginia




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22 September 2020 - 2:14 pm
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Catching  up just in time to know that things seem a little better.  Glad  one of our kitty experts chimed in!  And she has lots of kitty experience too!!

And just to ditto Karen, to bring kitty home the day of surgery  is quite stressful for the human!  They are shaking off the anesthesia and pretty much whacked out and disoriented. 

Yes, drinking and peeing ate important.  And, hopefully eat will improve with Jackie’s suggestion.   For not, give him any goodie he’ll eat.  Also, you might try tuna flavored  water.  

AND YAY FOR PEE!!!  Good news!  Now go some more sweet kitty!

Right now rest, rest and more rest.  

And for goodness sakes, you are an EXTRAORDINARY  kitty Mom (-or Dad)You rescued this sweet boy and have already done more for him than many pet owners would have!  And it’s perfectly  normal to try and avoid an0ther sur and try and clear things up with antibiotics, etc.  Most everyone here would have done the same!!

But now that you know the infection  would not clear up, you are taking the next step in the process.  And, again, I’m  afraid many would not ever pursue, much less not even have adopted  him!!

Thank you for loving this sweet boy!  And what’s his name??

Update when you can.

Hugs

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

PS..Somehwere in my feeble brain I recall another member from Thailand with a sweet doggy that had an amputation.   I recall and as uou said,  that the Vet care wasn’t  exactly  the best.

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!

Virginia




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22 September 2020 - 2:16 pm
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And just saw more excellent advice from another kitty expert, Kerren, Mona’s Mom♥️

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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22 September 2020 - 2:20 pm
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Hello and welcome,

Sorry, you have to join us & having a rough go in recovery already,
What is your kitties name? You are doing fantastic already syringe feeding and providing fluids! You have far more experience than most of us.

Purrkins was kept in the hospital for three nights. I can only imagine what you are going thru, bringing him home 6 hours later. Doable but terrifying.

Relieved to read, you were able to get to the emergency vet. I was also concerned with him being cold. I’m thrilled to see he has peed; however, it came out. I am so sorry for all the extra stressors for you both. I would want to see one pee a day. You might need to assist him in the litter box.

Has there been any attempts to go to the box? Is the litter box altered to make it easy access? I helped Purrkins the first few days in and out of the box until we figured out the litter box needed to be altered for him to walk in independently without doing a face plant.

Purrkins was on gaba and buprenorphine when he came home. They had him on fentanyl in the hospital. The gaba was sedating for Purrkins also. Purrkins was up to eat, go potty, and back to sleep. That’s what you want less activity and resting is best as long as he is eating and going potty and seems comfortable.

We were giving the Gaba every 8 hours one hour apart from the buprenorphine. I would have liked to seen an opioid sent home too.

I’m sure going to the vet made his adrenaline get passed the meds. How is his personality now? Are you still seeing pain signals ?

Have you tried giving the omeprazole before the antibiotics, and as Jackie suggested, with food? That should coat the belly and hopefully keep him from throwing up the antibiotics.

Did they advise on the increase in the bun/creatine? Here is a great site to explain the numbers if you want to know more before tomorrow’s/today’s kitty specialist appt. https://felinec…..mistry.htm

Any chance he also eats wet food? We always suggest wet food in recovery. It is so important to keep them hydrated, one less worry getting the moisture needed from the wet food.

Purrkins was given Convenia 2 times before his amputation, W/O our consent (long story), Convenia is on my do not give to our cat’s list.
Purrkins is our front leg amputee who had cancer, so my keep that in mind when i tell you we are not fans of injectable meds. That being said, many have used Convenia and had no issues with it. If my memory serves me well, Jackie, they gave Huck Convenia, didn’t they?

As far as other injectable antibiotics, I am of no help as we always give oral when they are needed.

Try your best not to look back it doesn’t help either of you now; we do the best with each situation we are given, and of course, we all want to keep a limb if possible. Recovery is not easy, and coming home the same day is tough, but it will get better! Hang in there & know you are not alone we are miles apart, but easy access!

We hope tonight is uneventful. We will watch for an update.
Hugs and scratches to kitty, please.
Holly and Purrkins💝

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22 September 2020 - 7:14 pm
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Hi All,

Thank you so so much for all your help comments and encouragement.

His name is Kaju (which is bengali for cashew: he travelled with me to Thailand from India when I moved for a job) So last night he kept spitting out the gabapentin even when I tried putting it in a gel capsule I didn’t want to risk an overdose so i think he got about 40mg instead of his usual 70mg (it’s liquid). He was a lot less sedated and moving about in his enclosure. I was wondering of it was pain but this morning he really wanted to get out: his behaviour seems normal and he’s walking about as usual too. He peed again!  And was desperate to go to the balcony. So I’ve put him in a cage there. I’ve given him his gabapentin (full dosage) so I’ll see how that affects him. The vet specifically said that his skin stitches in one place had a lot of tension and might rupture with activity so I’m hoping the gabapentin will make him sleep and not so eager to do the usual amount of activity. He’s able to walk so when i let him out of his enclosure he is going to the litter box himself. He’s also covering up after himself. I’d put a smaller (low sides) litter box inside his enclosure but then he tried sleeping in it instead of on his bed! But if i let him out of the enclosure, when he needs to pee he goes to his regular litterbox. Is it normal for a cat to have this level of normal activity just 2 days post operation? From looking at his eyes ears and whiskers it also doesn’t seem he’s in pain.

He did go to pee once more but nothing came out. Can that happen because of the botched catherisation last night? He’s had urinary issues (utis) in the past but since going on a different prescription diet (royal canin renal select) he’s not had it (touchwood) in 2.5 years

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22 September 2020 - 7:46 pm
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That’s really wonderful news! He’s really early post op and what you are describing is normal except for the urinating.  

Fluids are vital to cats with blockages and uti problems.  Please try to keep him on soft prescription foods and as many fluids as you can get in to him.  Adding low sodium broths like bone broth and chicken broth can help.  Im not a vet but I’m wondering if they maneuvered a plug that was stopping him from urinating. That’s pretty common. 

Unfortunately,  if he has urinary problems,  stress of any nature can bring it on. Do you know how to express his bladder if needed? If not,  see if your vet can help show you just in case.  

Other than that he sounds like he’s doing wonderful! Please keep a close eye on urination,  ok? I have had three cats with this problem and it can just make things a little more tricky. 

Thank you for posting,  i know several of us are concerned for you.  Please keep in touch, ok?

Love that name,  Kaju ❤🤗🤗

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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22 September 2020 - 7:52 pm
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Im sorry,  the rest of what you said sounds wonderful.  If thre gabapentin is in capsule formula you can try sliding it in a bit of butter before you pill him.  It will help with taste and to slide down his throat. 

You are doing a fantastic job!!! Hang in there,  ok? ❤

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

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