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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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Front leg amputation on 13 year old cat..need help with adjustments!
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Heather_M
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22 April 2021 - 2:46 pm
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Hello,rnrnI am new here. My sweet 13 year old cat, Whiskey, will be getting his front leg amputated next week. We discovered a mass on his foot recently and after been seen by his vet and having a biopsy we learned that he has a cancerous tumor. The tumor is local and will not spread to other parts of his body, but will likely grow back if just mass removed- hence need for amputation. rnIn preparing for this major life change, I want to make sure we are taking the proper steps to adjust our home to be tripawd friendly. I am looking into the suits so he does not have to wear the cone of shame , and would love to hear your experiences in using these. Also, any tips/feedback are much appreciated!rnI\\\’m sure there are other similar posts like this and apologize for creating another one 🙂 

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 April 2021 - 6:49 pm
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Hi Heather and Whiskey! Sorry you had to join us but you ask tons of great questions and we are glad you are here. Please consider registering as a member so your future posts won’t need to wait for approval.

\\’m sure there are other similar posts like this and apologize for creating another one

Oh my gosh no need to apologize! Every situation is different, and we are happy to give you individual attention to make the journey easier.

I am looking into the suits so he does not have to wear the cone of shame , and would love to hear your experiences in using these.

Ah smart idea! You can make a DIY baby onesie for cats. Or you can have a VetMedWear Amputation Recovery Suit made for you. It really depends on how crafty you are. We get good feedback from feline members on the Recovery Suit. I don’t have a Trikitty so I can’t comment on personal experience.

Also, any tips/feedback are much appreciated!

Sure! Check out our What to Expect articles so you are prepared. Also, be sure to check out Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats , our e-book for cat amputation recovery.

Now I need to ask you something:

What does rnrn stand for? 

Are those typos or am I just old and don’t know texting shortcuts? icon_lol 

Glad to meet you!

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Heather_M
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22 April 2021 - 7:11 pm
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rnrn – must have been a typeo 🙂 

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22 April 2021 - 7:29 pm
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In speaking with the vet this week, it sounds like they will not be keeping Whiskey over night after the amputation. Is this normal? Although I’d love to have him home it does make me a bit nervous. Can anyone weigh in on this?

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 April 2021 - 9:28 pm
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Oh glad it was a typo and not me being out of the loop!

Bringing a new Tripawd home the same day of surgery isn’t the easiest thing in the world but not impossible. Many cats and dogs are dysphoric and completely wonky that first night, it can be scary. But it’s also better than leaving the kitty alone at night.

If you are nervous about caring for him that first night, ask your vet if it would be ok to transfer Whiskey to a 24/hr clinic with overnight staff. 

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




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22 April 2021 - 11:03 pm
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While I’m sorry you find yourself here, as you can already see there is no better place for support and information and understanding. 

Whiskey  (cute name)  is very lucky to have such a caring g hooman.  And good job on doing  research  to make recovery  as smooth as poss for your Whiskey. 

Recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks,  but it doesn’t  last furever!  ,Yeah, if Whiskey  can spend the night at a fully staffed clinic, that would be ideal.  If not, it is doable to take him home the same day as surgery. 

Let is know as questions arise ab recovery.  We are here to help you navigate thru it.  You will be amazed at how well Whiskey handles lofe on three once he adjists.

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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23 April 2021 - 9:34 am
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Hi Heather,

I’m so sorry to hear about Whiskey.  I’d like to follow your post as I find we are in a similar predicament and I have no clue what to expect.

My Abbey is 11 and has a large sarcoma on her right front leg from the shoulder down.  Confirmed by needle aspiration, we are going for staging on Wednesday 4/28 and that will determine if surgery is a viable option providing it has not spread.

Prayers are with you and Whiskey.  This is definitely a scary and ‘feeling helpless’ time.

Carol

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23 April 2021 - 2:19 pm
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thank you everyone for all of the kind words and positive feedback as we prepare for Whiskey becoming a tripawd. I will be sure to keep you posted on how everything goes – his surgery is next Thursday. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 April 2021 - 5:12 pm
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Okey dokey, anytime! Next Thursday probably feels like forever but it’ll be here before you know it. Get ready and don’t forget to take time to cuddle 🙂

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26 April 2021 - 11:25 am
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do you all recommend pet ramps or stairs for pet to get on objects like bed or couch?

The Rainbow Bridge



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26 April 2021 - 4:38 pm
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Absolutely, they’re a huge help for all pets but especially Tripawds. See our ramp and stair training tips for some ideas. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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29 April 2021 - 10:33 am
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Hi. My cat had her rear leg amputated on February 1. It never occurred to me that my cat could stay overnight at the vet’s, and the vet didn’t offer that. I was just telling a friend yesterday how I felt almost like a new parent with a baby; the hospital sends you home and basically tells you good luck, but you feel unprepared.

Has your cat had anesthesia before? One of my cats gets flirtatious and loving after surgery, and mostly just wants to sleep. The other is a pacer. The pacer, Rita, is the one who had the amputation. She’d had surgery two other times years ago to remove mammary tumors, and she paced like crazy after those surgeries. Therefore, I knew she would likely pace after this one.

I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t an absolute mess that first night. Rita paced, fell over on her back and couldn’t get up, couldn’t figure out how to walk with three legs and a cone, etc.  I kept thinking, “I made a mistake.” I felt like the world’s worst cat mommy. I was terrified. I was texting my friends and mom constantly because I was a wreck. For a couple of nights, I kept Rita in a dog cage overnight so she couldn’t hurt herself.  During one of those nights, she fell in the litter box and obviously couldn’t get up with the cone and close quarters. I awoke to find her covered in her own runny poop, including with poop all along her wound (which was stitched but not covered). I had to take her to the vet to get the wound cleaned up. 

So why am I telling you all this? Well hopefully Whiskey is like my other cat and will just be a snoozer and loving cat after surgery. Maybe it will be calm and peaceful at your house. But if he’s like Rita, don’t worry. I didn’t have this forum (I found it at least a week after the surgery), but you do. So, you know you aren’t alone. Also, Rita is fine. She hobbles around and is as sweet and loving as ever. I wasn’t sure we’d last the first night, and almost three months later, it’s like that first week didn’t exist. Just get through the first night and the first weeks until the cone comes off, and it’s all uphill from there. 😉        

I got one of the amputee suits. Unfortunately, one size was too large, and one was too small, so it didn’t work for us. However, that was a back leg. I think it will probably work well for a front leg amputation. Just make sure to measure your cat. I ordered the suit after Rita had her cone and surgery, and I didn’t want to move her. So I took a guess and guessed wrong. 

Best of luck.

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 April 2021 - 5:49 pm
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kmdenver said

Hi. My cat had her rear leg amputated on February 1. It never occurred to me that my cat could stay overnight at the vet’s, and the vet didn’t offer that. I was just telling a friend yesterday how I felt almost like a new parent with a baby; the hospital sends you home and basically tells you good luck, but you feel unprepared.

  

It’s so nice of you to offer your input and experience. Thank you so much.

So Whiskey’s surgery was supposed to be today, I hope everything is alright and look forward to hearing back.

I’m really sorry the recovery suit didn’t work for Rita!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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3 May 2021 - 1:18 pm
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I was bummed the recovery suit didn’t work either. I used to call Rita my Mary Lou Retton because she was stout, small, and athletic. So it could just be that her body was too different from a typical cat, though she is older now and smaller. Oh well. I’m glad I tried. 

Yes, fingers crossed for Whiskey and his human!

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