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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1 October 2017
Here you go
It can take a couple of weeks to get results, so don’t be too alarmed. I would definitely be the squeaky wheel at this point and check every couple of days. Mew is beautiful!!
They make a gel / ointment to help stop licking. It is supposed to taste bad to discourage the grooming. I got some on Amazon and I would say it helped, but did not totally stop him. It is not meant for direct application to an incision or raw area, rather spread it around the area to help discourage licking. It honestly sounds like you are doing a great job! After staple removal, Huck did groom it but after he was done and the scabby areas went away he was ok. You can use damp warm facecloths to help keep it clean and that will help remove the itchy scabs as they dry up. The compresses made a big difference in his comfort level and trying to go after the incision. You are almost there!
Hoppy Mother’s Day
Jackie and Huckleberry
Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry
I did have a scare with Mew on the 10th, her incision area was twitching the same way it was when she was in pain/needed more medication. By the time I prepared her a syringe of Hydromorphone the twitching had stopped and she was moving around and talking to me like normal so I just kept a close eye on her from there.
For the first time last night, at around 3 a.m. she started to have a moment of shock/distress at not being able to move her leg anymore and while I knew this was bound to happen, it’s still tough to see her go through that.
What do you mean shock/distress exactly? Did she try to use her leg that is no longer there? IF so yes, that will happen for a while if that is what you are describing. I want to make sure she is not having phantom limb pain.
We got the pathology report back on the leg on the 6th day. I would also call tomorrow that will be 2 weeks it should be back by now, or they should know when it will be.
I am not a fan of baby gates for cats unless you can stack several of them. Cats can scale them so easy even if missing a limb. I can’t speak for rear leg kitties, but I can see them scaling a baby gate too. If there is a will, there is a way. I know the kitchen is a pain in the arse to block off. If you have had luck before with a baby gate with Mew disregard but we had to do three here, and they still tried to get it over it — something to keep in mind anyway.
Fantastic, the scooting has ceased yay that’s a huge relief for you both! Fingers and paws crossed here.
Our instructions differed we were not supposed to get the incision wet or apply anything to it but leave it alone. They had us do warm compresses by putting a damp washcloth in a baggy and warming it in the microwave to apply that to the incision. The baggy was on the incision, not the washcloth.
I did wipe around the incision with a damp washcloth when Purrkins started to get itchy, but we did not get the incision wet. All instructions seem to differ in some way I just wanted to add what ours were. We didn’t need anything once the stitches came out so do ask your Vet, what they suggest. I don’t think you will need anything Mew will be relieved once the stitches are out and she is allowed to clean the area herself.
Hopefully, you will have your answers tomorrow. I can well imagine your stir crazy waiting.
Awe Mew, you are a sweetheart ditto to Jackie she is beautiful. Those itchy stitches are almost out! Hopefully, you can ditch that cone too;) Here are instructions for adding photos.
Holly & Purrkins
Hello all, just popping in for a quick update/general info for any future readers.
I finally got the call from the surgeon on May 17th, about two weeks and four days post surgery. He did confirm that it was osteosarcoma but he said that with the amputation it would be curative since there was no evidence of spread. Great news! He did say there’s about a 15% chance of it coming back, but no matter what I’m going to spoil her to heaven and back and enjoy every single second I have with her. I was so worried the results would come back as something treatable because I didn’t have the financial means to do a biopsy and the amputation so I elected to do the amputation as the surgeon said there would be a 99% chance we would have to amputate anyway due to the location of the tumor. While I’m not happy she had to go through this, I’m so relieved I made the right choice in the end without having her go through multiple surgeries.
She got her sutures out May 14th but poor thing has had to stay in an e-cone since she had two areas pop back open and start to bleed after removal. She tried to lick the area no matter what I did to soothe it so I did let her be free of the cone to let her groom herself for her sanity but it quickly went back on if she’s very insistent on licking her incision area. My primary vet said I could use A&D ointment but it didn’t do much in terms of itchiness. It started to re-heal remarkably fast but toward the end of the healing process she developed an infection so she’s currently on antibiotics for a week and has been wearing the e-cone for more than a month now. Poor thing. I’ve been cleaning her cone daily/multiple times a day and since she is a rear amp, she has found a way to rest the edge of the cone on her amp site and lick the area that is still healing/got infected. I’m guessing she attempted this when I was sleeping and after she went to the bathroom and that’s how it got infected but not sure.
And Holly I think she did have a case of trying to use the leg that was no longer there. It hasn’t happened again thankfully, she seems to be adjusting well. Really hope she doesn’t run into phantom limb pain down the road
~ Vanessa + Mew ~
As for keeping her out of unwanted areas, I kind of had to think outside the box since money was tight after her surgery. So! I opted for making my own “gates” out of cardboard that I bought at walmart for $1.50 each. Just cut them up and taped them to the wall to prevent her from using the stairs without supervision, and made sure to leave the slotted part in the middle so that it would open/close with little effort. I installed them while she was in the hospital since I just had to keep myself busy or I would have gone crazy, and they ended up working well enough that I still have them up to prevent her from going downstairs to the basement even if they’re not aesthetically pleasing. I used wall hooks and a piece of tied yarn to hook the cardboard to the wall and they have resisted against her curiosity.
The kitchen needed something sturdier so I did buy her a wooden room divider that feels hefty enough to stop a troublemaker.
Mew enjoying her new furniture/stair/couch placement. I’m looking forward to buying her more aids in the future
~ Vanessa + Mew ~
22 February 2013
Brilliant DIY baby gate ! And glad got to see pics of the Pretty Princess.😎
Bummer about the infection and licking debacle. Recovery often is like a roller coaster ride, lots of ups and downs, some expected some, like this, a little unexpected (but it does happen).
Good job of staying in top of things!
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!
25 April 2007
You are so inventive, I love it. Great job on taking steps to Tripawd proof your home. Thank you for sharing your great ideas!
That is such a bummer that it couldn’t help with the licking of the incision. Poor Mew. It’s really hard with rear-leg amputees, covering that incision is almost impossible and the cone is usually the only way to avoid problems. She must be as creative as you however if she was able to get around it! I hope the meds work and she can get out of it soon.
Well sorry about the osteosarcoma diagnosis. I’m going to share your post in our “Osteosarcoma in Cats” Forum topic so feel free to jump over there anytime to share more of Mew’s story.
Here’s to a long, healthy life ahead! Great job!
Hi Vanessa, I am glad you posted I wondered what happened on the pathology report & how you guys were doing.
Great news on curative! YAAAY! From what I understand, bone biopsies are extremely painful, and most people don’t do the bone biopsy because the leg needs to go anyway, just like in Mew’s case. Never doubt yourself see it all worked out. Fantastic you KNOW you made the right choice. YOU MADE the RIGHT CHOICE!! Yes, we all hate that we have to take the leg, but we all choose our furmilies life over the limb that is what they would all choose if they could! They prove it by hopping on, enjoying every day and never looking back.
85 % chance that it is never coming back is how I read that. Any C we have to watch those are great numbers!
Trying to use that leg will happen Purrkins still tries using his no leg. His left leg was his dominant leg we figure that is why he still tries using it. Phantom limb pain they are distressed and aggressively going after the leg, chewing, licking, crying out. It happens really fast. Thankfully it doesn’t last long you will know if this happens trust me. It’ distressing to see! Purrkins looks like something zaps him and attacks that area. They are ways to help them if it does. Gabapentin, acupuncture and we have the farabloc blanket. We manage it well and it doesn’t happen often but it still does. We haven’t used the Gabapentin since surgery. Fingers crossed you never see it.
Spoil a tripawd? Hehe yep, and they deserve it! Our heroes on three legs.
Oh no, Mew that is a long time for the cone from he– poor Mew. You will have to let us know when she is cone free; we will celebrate with you. Sorry to hear Mew was able to get to the incision and it got infected. Dangit!
I’m thrilled to read she is adjusting so well.
We HAVE to think outside the box, especially with cats! YAAY to you!
WAY TO GO ON THE Gate WHOO HOO!
The cardboard Mew cannot get hung up in and it is so high she won’t try to jump it, and she can’t see to want to get thru it either I think it is brilliant!!
The room divider is also excellent that is what we use in the kitchen we attached ours with hinges and put a slider lock on it because the boys are both trouble here;)
Awe Mew😘 Mom has you all set up now love her new furniture! Now leave that incision alone please and we will celebrate cone free days soon, K?🙏
GREAT JOB you figured out how to post the photos!👏🏻!!
Extra scratches and smooch to Mew, please.
Thanks for the update, Vanessa!
Holly & Purrkins