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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Helping a fifteen year old cat recover (cancer, right foreleg)
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The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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28 May 2022 - 12:48 pm
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Oh my gosh I am in love with her! She does NOT look like a 15 year old cat, not at all. Those big beautiful eyes of her are so full of sparkle, even when she's loopy! 

Really happy to know that she is home with you, and you are seeing the big picture. Of course you melted down when you saw the incision, it IS scary and weird and icky. But as you said, all for the greater good to help her get on with life. When her fur grows back you'll forget it was even there.

Smart of you to buy two recovery suits. That's something I can't recall suggesting before, I'll have to remember that. 

What pain meds did she come home with? She looks fantastic.

Hope you are having a snuggly weekend with your sweet girl. Welcome home Luanne!

P.S. Thanks for the kind words about the community. Our amazing members are the magic that keep the sp_hearticon2flowing!

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31 May 2022 - 12:58 am
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So we survived the weekend and Luanne is doing great! She's been drinking water, taking her meds (Buprenorphine and an antibiotic), and eating like a champ.

She had been very sedate before the surgery but she's been getting feisty as she's been healing up. I'm wondering if a lot of the sleepy behavior i had chalked up to her getting older was actually due to this cancer, guess we'll see when she gets her footing. 

But the progress has been kind of shocking. Surgery on Thursday, Friday she was able to snake her way a bit with her back legs, Saturday was wobbly but she could take a few steps. Today she did a lap around a few rooms, stopping for breaks, but curious and motivated. 

Also today she actually started trying to figure out the zipper to her "recovery spa" - she was a houdini back in her youth - the zipper is secured from the outside, but I'm wondering if the next week and a half will be more a process of keeping her occupied in confinement so she doesn't tunnel her way out as she gets stronger. 

Also she's been going to the bathroom then popping down for a comfy snooze in the litterbox so the onesies are in the wash and she's in the Ecollar for now. 

I did get some absolute primo snuggle time today, though. She curled up and just fell happily asleep in my arms for a bit. She's never been a fan of being held but is so cuddly right now. Maybe it's the painkillers, but I'll take it!

I have a lot of pictures, so I'll put a post together soon with some progress, but so far so good! Been working my way through the cat ebook too and it's been an incredible help!

Senior trikitty Luanne had a right forepaw removed in May of 2022 and is still going strong! Here's our story.

The Rainbow Bridge


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31 May 2022 - 12:27 pm
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Go Luanne! Bravo on the fantastic recovery and primo painkiller snuggles. Yeah, take 'em how you can get 'em!

It sure sounds like you're right about keeping her busy as her spunk comes back. You are likely going to need to keep her entertained with interactive games, food puzzles, etc. If she's food motivated at all it shouldn't be too hard. Even hiding food under a blanket is engaging.

Can't wait to see the photos 🙂 And super glad the e-book is helping! Thanks for letting us know.

Virginia




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31 May 2022 - 8:28 pm
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Had quite few giggles reading about Luanne and all her feistiness.  Sounds like she still has some Houdini  in her😎

Eating, pottying, getting snuggled....all such good signs.

Others have noted that the pain for their furbabies must have been really bad prior to surgery, because they actually seemed to act better after the surgery.

Thanks for the update.  It's good one!!!

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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6 June 2022 - 7:57 am
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Hi everyone, update on my girl, Luanne.

She was making steady progress last week until about Thursday night when she started losing steam, getting more lethargic and by Saturday was only having a few bites of food then going back to sleep. We kept in touch with our vet throughout, and changed up things that might be making her uncomfortable, but when none of it was working we took her into the hospital.

They said they were glad we brought her in when we did, because she may not have survived another day at home. Her red blood count was way down, and they remarked on how odd that was given how she got through the surgery and was healing otherwise. she had a full CT scan before surgery too, and they didn't find anything amiss then. 

The theory yesterday when we brought her in was that her cancer had metastaticised before the amputation could help her, She spent sunday in the icu getting a transfusion, which she responded well to, and stayed stable overnight.

The theory now is that she had some sort of intestinal bleed, since she's had gastric issues before. That's a lot more treatable than metastatic cancer, so they're running more tests and keeping her for another day at least. She's apparently alert and eating, and continuing to hold stable.

Suffice to say it was not a fantastic weekend. Yesterday I was pretty sure I was going to lose her, and though that still might happen, she's in good hands and getting top notch care.

Ever since I took her home from the shelter fifteen years ago, almost to the day, I've known that I'm in it for the long haul with her and willing to do whatever it takes to keep her comfortable and with the highest possible quality of life. I didn't expect her to make it through the surgery, so every moment I've gotten with her in the past week and a half has been an gift.

If all goes to plan we'll have her back by midweek and hopping around shortly thereafter.

Until then, thank dog for pet health insurance. I've gotten a full return on fifteen years of premiums in the past month, and there have been a lot of decisions we were able to make medically and not financially, which has made an already stressful and emotional situation much easier to navigate.

Hug your fur babies close for me, and send some good vibes her way if you have any to spare. Thanks again for all the support so, far. 

Senior trikitty Luanne had a right forepaw removed in May of 2022 and is still going strong! Here's our story.

Virginia




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22 February 2013
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6 June 2022 - 8:15 am
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I cannot believe what has happened and what you and Luanne have had to go through this weekend! Thank goodness they have her stable and, hopefully, things are on the upswing. Yes, Luanne when the kitty Lottery when you took her into your heart and your home 15 years ago. We are all going to be sending positive energy your way and that is a lot of powerful tripod energy. Thank you so much for the update and keep us posted once you can catch your breath. Hopefully you can get a little rest while Luanne is in such good hands at the vet and being taking care of very well.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge


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6 June 2022 - 10:53 am
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Woah! Oh my gosh how is she doing? I am so sorry she's back in the clinic. Yes, she is getting the care she needs to make a full recovery. Please keep us posted OK? 

Can I ask what pet insurance you use? Might want to revive this topic if you have time to share your experience.

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19 May 2022
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10 June 2022 - 12:22 am
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It has been an absolute whirlwind the last few weeks, but I am happy to say that Luanne is out of the icu and back home, recovering nicely. She's been taking meds to help her gastro issues heal, and is having a bit more food every day.

Today she's been alert and chirping, she hopped out of her recovery tent and curled up next to me in a happy crescent roll and let me pet her while she purred away. I think it was the first time I've relaxed since the surgery. 

I got her a larger litterbox, which has made it easier for her to do her business without flopping around as she tries to turn, and have switched from the fancy recovery suits to cheap onesies I've been altering to cat specifications. I can't sew so I've been learning a lot about fabric adhesives, and it's been a nice calming project to put my brain on.

Tomorrow we go to the vet for her follow up and hopefully to get a clean (enough) bill of health and her stitches out. 

I have Trupanion insurance, and I've found them to be extremely easy to work with. A lot of time I get claims processed and refunded in less than 24 hours and the per diagnosis deductible then 90% lifetime coverage is kind of wild - she has better health insurance than me to be honest. They have a rider now for pt and non western medicine like acupuncture too, which I got too late for luanne to be able to use it for the amputation but will be good if anything else comes up. They're pretty strict on pre existing conditions which is why getting coverage early when you don't need it is important. I had coverage and was paying premiums for over a decade without needing it, but in the last two weeks it's paid for itself and then some. Happy to share the experience in more detail!

More to come, hoping to get her hopping around here shortly. Thanks again for everything y'all. 

Senior trikitty Luanne had a right forepaw removed in May of 2022 and is still going strong! Here's our story.

The Rainbow Bridge


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10 June 2022 - 11:17 am
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WHEW! smiley_clap Wow what a wonderful turn of events, I'm sooooo happy for you and Luanne! What a relief!

Oh my gosh we'd love to see her onesie wardrobe! It's nice to know what to do with a needle and thread isn't it? 

Thanks for the scoop on Trupanion. We found they were pretty good to work with when we had Wyatt Ray . They covered a ton of stuff but yeah, pre-existing anything was a no-go. Very cool it's working out. Yes, doshare details when life resumes normalcy, would be so helpful for others who are searching.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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10 June 2022 - 8:22 pm
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Soooo glad to hear Luanne  is doing so well !  Such good news!!  

Paws crossed to get those stitches  oit and get off that crazy  roller coaster you were on last week!!!

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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19 May 2022
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4 July 2022 - 6:48 am
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Here's a long overdue update on Luanne - 

So she doing fantastic! After she got her stitches out I had to give her a series of medicines to help her intestinal issues clear up, it was twice a day over the course of about two hours each time, so it was a production, but she was a trooper and we both made it through.

Once the course of medications ended, she started to perk up a lot more, and has been getting more adventurous every day. We still keep her in an enclosure to sleep at night (still haven't gotten her down a flight of stairs without carrying her) but during the day she's been doing a lot more moving around, jumping up and down from furniture, and has even started figuring out how to cover her business in the litter box.

Last week we went to the vet hospital and her red blood cells are up to normal levels. The next time we take her in for a check up we can take her to our normal vet, not the hospital.

We're not there yet, and it's been a journey of diagnoses and doctors and a whole lot of worry, but every day she's doing more. The other day my husband let her out of her enclosure before I woke up, and when I opened my eyes there she was, hopped up on the bed and staring at me, purring.

Also, results came back on the tumor and it was benign! It was wrapped around her elbow joint, so was still painful and needed to be removed, but I'm so glad we don't have to worry about cancer.

Over the last few weeks we have gotten a lot of scary diagnoses from the vets, and I realized they always lead with the worst case scenario, even if it may be unlikely, I think so you're mentally prepared no matter what happens next.

When it comes down to it, even though every time we went to the vet we were told it could be metastatic cancer or heart failure or leukemia or any of the other things they warned us she might have, she had a benign tumor, has recovered from the surgery itself very well, and had an unrelated ulcer that caused an intestinal bleed but we caught in time for it to be very treatable. 

So, looking back to how worried and heartbroken I was when I learned we'd have to amputate, it absolutely was all worth it. I know she's an older cat, and despite the amputation I don't know how much longer I have with her, but from here on every moment I get with her is such a precious gift.

Now that we're out of the woods, I'd love to put some info together with a longer version of all of this (and how things progress after) for the tripawd cat community, where would be a good place to do that? A blog? Let me know!

Thanks again everyone. This has been a difficult process made easier by the pure and kind support here.

 

Senior trikitty Luanne had a right forepaw removed in May of 2022 and is still going strong! Here's our story.

The Rainbow Bridge


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4 July 2022 - 11:25 am
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YEAH!!!

giphy.gifImage Enlarger

This made my day, thank you so much for letting us know she is doing a lot better. Wow what an ordeal! The love you show her in all that you've done to get her healthy is beyond comparison, you are amazing cat parents!

So many people have serious ups and downs in this journey, and they begin to regret the decision. Stories like Luanne's are essential for us to show them that things DO get better! We would absolutely LOVE for you to send us a guest blog post for Tripawds News, and we will publish it. If you are able to do it in the next week, we are about to publish and updated version of Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats and I would loooooove to get it in there!  Feel free to PM me with any questions or just send the story directly to me.

Give Luanne extra scritches and love from us! This is a great way to kick off our week!

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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4 July 2022 - 11:26 am
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Oh and I forgot to say CONGRATS ON THE B9 RESULTS!!!! smiley_clap WHEW! Now you can all get on with life and enjoy!!!!!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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29
4 July 2022 - 4:59 pm
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Luanne has THE cutest kitty face evvvver!!!  I love how her markings add so much character....and those white whiskers melt my heart!

You have gotten yourself  in auch a good place with your emo and outlook.  Luanne IS doing well and has overcome  all sorts of hurdles!  Ypu have given her extended  quality  time for more purring, freeing herself out of her enclosure  to spend time withnuou un the bed....spectacular!!!!

Thanks for the update and glad to hear good bloodwork too!  

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!

just stopping by
30
19 September 2022 - 2:47 am
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this article gave me the bravery to move forward with our surgery. tomorrow im bringing my baby to the vet to remove her tumor assuming the cancer hasn't spread. its the back leg & ive been overwhelmed. I'm nervous because I don't have insurance I can't afford unexpected issues but at this point I have to have faith. I know everyone will have different results but I really appreciate this thread & this site. my cat is 13 so this was really helpful. I pray you have peace & enjoy everyday you have left. to any future readers do your research & good luck to you all.

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