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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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Help! I've been told that my cat needs to have her rear leg amputated
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Forum Posts: 5
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20 October 2020 - 5:16 pm
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Hello,

I just found out today that my girl, Spree, was diagnosed with Sarcoma after having a tumor removed from her rear leg.   The original tumor, which was removed over several months ago, came back.  That diagnosis was as a cyst.   The doctor is telling me that the tumor is still under the skin in a very old injury that she had as a kitten (well before I adopted her) and did not even know existed.   This is why the leg needs to be taken.   So that the cancer does not spread.   However, we are going to see if there are any other tumors on Saturday via X-ray.    

Obviously, this scares me.   Spree is currently recovering from her previous operation to have the tumor removed.   She is 11 years old and a spitfire normally.   She only weighs in at 8 lbs and some ounces.   Can anyone give any advice on whether I should have this done?   I’m worried that if I have the leg amputed that it would hurt her more.

She is currently unable to really lay on that side of her as it is painful and has been even before the tumor was removed.   And while she walks around, she limps very badly.   Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Tina

The Rainbow Bridge



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20 October 2020 - 6:45 pm
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Hi Tina, welcome. Your future posts won’t need to wait for approval so post away.

I’m sorry you are facing this situation, I know it’s tough, we all do! While we cannot say you should or should not proceed with amputation, what we can tell you is the vast majority of cats do really, really well on three legs. We rarely if ever see one who struggles. Recovery isn’t always a picnic but it’s definitely temporary.

Have you seen our e-book, Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats ? Or our What to Expect articles, or Jerry’s Required Reading List ? They all have answers to many common questions about life on three legs

Meanwhile, how does your vet feel about Spree’s ability to live life on three legs? It sounds like they are OK with it? 

Since Spree is showing pain signals by limping, it’s super important that you decide as soon as possible. Cancer sucks but life on three legs can help a pet live a really great life once the bad leg is gone.

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




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20 October 2020 - 8:26 pm
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Sorry you find yourself here, but you are in the best place for support and information AND  understanding!

From what you’ve described, Spree is in pain and her quality is veing compromised.   The thing about amputation. It’s one surgery, one recovery and then Spree gets to live a pain free quaility life!! 

 Reading Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats will help you immensely!  It was written and put together  by our Tripawd kitty members headed up by kitty Purrkins.  You will find a ton of information on everything  thing you need to know about tripawd kitties.

Take some deep breaths, get your questions  together for your appointment.   I think you’ll feel more reassured  once you move forward with a plan.  We are here to support you with whatever path you take.

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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21 October 2020 - 2:21 pm
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Thank you both.   I have picked up the Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats and it has a lot of good information.   I have also been reading through the site and various blogs.  Both have helped me tremendously.  I’m still nervous about all this, but not as panicky as I was last night / yesterday.  So, some information:

I have an appointment for Spree this Saturday in the am where she will have her current stitches removed (at least what is left of them after she figured out how to escape the cone of shame ).   At that time, the vet will take x-ray’s to see if the tumor has spread anywhere else.    If it has, then I am not sure what I am going to do.   If it has not, then, after talking it over with the hubby and both of us going and reading through stuff here, we are a lot more confident about pressing the go button on the surgery.  We know that it is not going to be easy, but Spree is worth it.   I was thinking of asking the vet if she can be hospitalized for a total of 4 nights so that everything is stable for the most part before I bring her home.   I don’t want my anxiety to affect her recovery, and unfortunately, this is not my first time dealing with a cancerous baby (cat).   I would much rather have a medical profession watch over her to ensure everything goes smoothly.   I will of course come and spend time with her as they will let me, but after this past week watching her up/downs has really made me “gun shy”.

On another note, Spree is doing better after having her 2 tumor removed (the current one that is).   She is back to eating/drinking/pooping.   She even attempted to run today, free from the cone of shame , well, it was more of a gallop but it was nice to see.   The swelling has gone way down.  She only has a quarter size swelling at the incision site and that even looks better.   She had been sneezing as I believe she caught a little cold, but even that is better now.

So now its a waiting game till Saturday.  

Love and hugs, Tina, Sandy, Spree, Buttons, Baby, Hunter



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21 October 2020 - 4:46 pm
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Hi Tina and family,

My cat Mona had her front leg amputated due to a fibrosarcoma. It was six years ago when she was 8 years old and she recovered well from the amputation.

It’s really important that the amputation gives very wide margins so that the tumour is gone. You might want to ask the vet about the possibility of metastasis. Even though there is no cancer spread shown in xrays you might want to know if the cancer can spread – this might depend on the type of cancer, location and margin size. 

I hope you have a good appointment on Saturday.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 October 2020 - 2:10 pm
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Oh my gosh no wonder you are nervous about dealing with surgery and cancer! I would be too. The idea to leave Spree at the clinic for extra TLC boarding is a good one. Others have done the same and it really gives them time to prepare mentally, and of course at home as well. 

I’m so glad you found the information here helpful. Our Trikitty members are extra special, they are so supportive and always sharing information that we (Tripawds founders) aren’t always aware of because we don’t have a Tripawd kitty. You’ve found the right place to help you get through this!

Sounds like Spree is really getting her sparkle back, that’s such a good sign that she can handle anything that comes next. Let us know how Saturday goes. We’ll be thinking of you and hoping for good news.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 October 2020 - 9:07 pm
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So, an update.   Spree started having some issues with her leg today.  It seemed that she was running a fever, she would not eat much and she shivered alot.   When I looked at her leg, the incision was healing nicely, but there was a “swelling” area that looked angry.   So, being the panicky mom that I am, off to the vets we went.   Turns out that she had a nasty infection that started up in the last day or so.   Since we were set to go in tomorrow morning to do the x-rays and tests, I went ahead and had her stay overnight and get the stuff done tonight.   I just got a call about 30 min ago with the results.   No other signs of tumors.   We are going to move up our timing for the surgery.   So, it will happen tomorrow when her main doc gives the ok.   I am still going to press forward with keeping her there until friday though, as this will give her time to heal up and me to prep.   I will be able to constantly visit her though so, after work I will be spending some time with her other than tomorrow as the doc does not recommend it.   So with any luck everything will go well.   I am so nervous though…

Virginia




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23 October 2020 - 9:21 pm
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Alrighty, Spree is in good hands!  Good job of recognizing  she was having “issues’ and getting her in to the Vet.

We’ll all be waiting  fornyour update tomorrow.  In the meantime try and get some rest yourself.  Getting to this point is exhausting  mentally and phusically. 

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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24 October 2020 - 11:58 am
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You did the best thing by taking her to the vet immediately. Good for you. 

Since Spree doesn’t like a cone it’s great idea where they can monitor her after he amputation and she will accept their rules in their home. I’m sure she’ll feel the love no matter where she is. 

Take good care of yourself.

Hugs,

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

The Rainbow Bridge



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24 October 2020 - 12:27 pm
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Oh whew! You acted quickly and got her the care she needs, that’s so pawesome. Good job!

I do think that having her at the vet’s for a few days is a good idea for your circumstances. She will get such attention, and who knows she may be stronger and more than ready to come home after just a few days. We will keep our paws crossed! Keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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25 October 2020 - 10:58 am
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I apologize for not posting soon.   It was a busy day for me yesterday.  So Spree made it through the surgery very well.   They finished around 3pm and was coming out of the anesthesia slowly.   I was told it went well, and will know more tomorrow or the next day when the pathology results are in.   I did get to see her this morning and wow, what a difference.   She was clear eyed and more attentive than I have seen her in a week or so.   Also, she wanted to get up and move around instead of just resting.   It was nice to see though it did worry me a bit that she did not understand that she needs to rest…lol…Oh well, I think I mentioned she was a little spitfire.   The tech mentioned that she has been trying to get the cone off but they have a different cone this time and it is staying put.   All in all, I got to spend about an hour with her before she started to get a bit more anxious and I felt it better to let her go back and rest.   Thank you all for the support you have given, it has made a difference in me for sure.   

Tina

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 October 2020 - 1:59 pm
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YAY! Surgery’s behind you, time to hop along to recovery! That’s so good to hear. I hope pathology comes back with good news. Keep us posted!

P.S. Glad the techs are keeping an eye on her. I hope that she doesn’t pull a Ziggy Houdini stunt with the cone smiley3

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




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25 October 2020 - 6:03 pm
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Great update!!!!   So glad you can already see Spree seems to feel better with  that painful leg gone!!!   That just shows you how painful it was and that you made te right decision!!

Now get some good rest yourself!  You deserve it!

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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27 October 2020 - 1:36 pm
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Another update.   I visit with Spree every morning around 6 am.   She is doing great.   She is much more aware and more than ready to escape the hospital.  She hops around a lot (not to steady yet) but her eyes are bright and clear.   The doc is moving her off the injectables to oral pain meds so hopefully everything continues to go well.   The vet told me today that she was recovering very well and eating, drinking, and going poo with no issues.   She is still very skinny (she lost a good pound) but with any luck and over time, she will regain that.   I still plan to bring her home on friday afternoon and have already gotten the bedroom ready for her.   I also picked up a “senior” litter box which has very low sides so she wont have to lift her leg up to high.   Quick question though.   What litter do you recommend?   I currently use clump and seal but I worry about the dust particles getting into the wound.

Tina

Virginia




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27 October 2020 - 7:45 pm
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So happy to hear how well Spree is doing.  And to already  be eating and drinking  and pottying too is spectacular news!  Spree will prob gain some weight back once he’s back home.

Cant wait for the homecoming!

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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