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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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Member Since:
16 June 2021
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27 June 2021 - 6:57 am
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I think my cat is depressed and i don’t know what to do. He had his front leg amputated 12 days ago and he hasn’t made an effort to try and walk around or do anything but sleep. I have to bring him his food and bring him to his litter box. He CAN walk because I’ve seen him do it, but he just doesn’t want to. He can even jump in the bed. He used to just purr when I only looked at him and now barely purrs at all. It’s like his whole personality is gone. The vet made it sound like he would adjust quickly and it’s not a big deal, but he isn’t adjusting. I’m wondering if I made the right choice. 

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Member Since:
24 September 2009
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27 June 2021 - 10:56 am
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Hey there, I'm so glad you posted. It's not always a smooth ride during recovery and there can be lots of ups and downs. This is all very normal, even your feelings about regret. But it's not long until the new Tripawd adjusts and gets their sparkle back.

So you mentioned he can do those things, which is GREAT! Don't forget to celebrate those "little things' because they are huge right now! After he does those things, how is he? Does he seem tired? Jumping takes a lot of effort and energy, and even walking at this point. What kind of pain management did he get after surgery? And how long was he on the meds? Often what we interpret as depression is simply that the new Tripawd is exhausted and in some sort of pain. They are so good at hiding it, especially cats!

Have you talked to your vet about his behavior and your concerns? What did they say?

Also, have you tried practicing a little tough love by not bringing him food and water? If so, how long did you wait and what happened? Did he eventually go to his bowls? It's soooo hard to not want to baby them, but sometimes a new Tripawd needs that extra nudge to get their normal life back. 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 June 2021 - 4:49 pm
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Sorry to add more questions, but Dexter was having  peeing issues before and the  Vet said he had some bacterial  infection

Has he been peeing regularly  now and no fever, right?

I know at one point he had started purring again. Can you pinpoint  a thing that may have changed since then?  Was his pain medication  dosage different  ?  

Just kind of throwing  stuff out there.  It may be that a new set of eyes from a second  opinion Vet may help rule out any underlying  issues and give you the reassurance  you need.

And yes, dogs and cats do very well...AFTER RECOVERY!  And the length  of recovery  varies and can look different each time.  One big variance is the length of time needed for pain meds.  It can be as early as ten days (usually  more like 14 days)  and can continue  on at some level three and four weeks out.

Okay, update when you can


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