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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Thanks. Dropped him off (that’s gotta be one of the worst things in life – leaving my poor shaking, growly baby somewhere that terrifies him). Feeling pretty good. I like this vet, the more I speak with him. He’s going to try to get him in ASAP this morning so he doesn’t have to sit around in his cage getting worked up.
The vet says that the end bone in Harry’s toe is almost completely gone. This could be the result of a very aggressive soft tissue cancer or a very aggressive infection. I’ve said to take the toe. He said that that would take the whole tumour/infection, and then we’ll find out. I can’t believe how fast that’s happened. It’s exactly a month since his last X-ray, which showed almost nothing. I’m starting to feel really guilty. Like I’m torturing him just so I don’t have to let go…if the cancer in his body pops up and spreads that quickly, maybe it’s time to let him have some peace. . . maybe I should have made that call, now.
But I’ve already made the decision for today. Time to get ready for recovery, again. 🙁
A small silver lining is that the vet said he would do home euthenisation for Harry, when the time comes.
Ugh yes! I am very sorry. We will hope for the least evil here! You made the best decision either way!!
That is scary how fast this is happening!! Harry will be free of that sore toe!! Get the results back and hop on either way!! Cancer or no cancer toe!!
We are keeping all paws crossed this is not a tough recovery!?! You guys got thru this with the leg & you will get thru this toe!!
For the record you are not torturing him!! You are helping Harry hop on pain free!! We will be here to help with this recovery!
I would suggest making sure you come home with some pain meds? I can’t imagine they would not but just in case! Cone?
Remember Harry had a fit with the cone? I do!? Hopefully no cone needed?
Holly & Purrkins
Painkillers, yes. Sounds like buprenorphine this time, which Harry had when he had teeth out a couple of years ago and tolerated much better than the tramadol (and the vet told me today that it’s a stronger pain killer). Cone, yes 🙁 Harry didn’t exactly have a fit…he just hates them…which I imagine all animals do. I was really uncomfortable with the cone because the end of it rubbed on his incision, as well…at least we wont have that problem this time, but it’s the only way to keep his toes out of his mouth. The vet said that he will have a tight bandage for a few days (or as long as we can keep it on). I need to ask specifically when licking will be less of a concern…because he WILL lick at it as soon as he can, I’m sure, being his paw. . . I’m also worried about using the litter box and having to stand on his incision in the dust 🙁
I am hoping that I’m not being foolishly optimistic in thinking that this recovery will be quicker/easier. Surely one toe is easier than a whole limb?? But with how much he relies on that foot now…I just don’t know.
I am also now wondering…about his original cancer. If this is a soft tissue sarcoma that has eaten his bone away, who’s to say that the original cancer wasn’t the same? Does it make a difference? It wouldn’t have changed my choice. …
Just heard from the vet and surgery went well. I can pick him up in a few hours.
Great on buprenorphine!! Yes I imagine all animals hate the cone! If it is wrapped maybe he wont need the cone or get to it?
I think Purrkins would try unwrapping a bandage so thinking Harry would do the same? I guess you see. The paw being wrapped, litter shouldn’t be a problem.
I am optimistic this will be easier, Harry already has the tripawd figured out! He will figure out the less toe!
They are sending the toe in for testing right? I guess you try not to worry which kind or what it is right now! Today that doesn’t matter!
Get the results back and then deal with that then. It makes a difference in a way the cancer may behave or not behave in the future . But NO you would of made the same choice ! We can hope for the lesser evil and hope its gone with the toe!
All we can all do is take one day at a time! Today you get to pick Harry up and the painful toe is gone!
Let us know how it is going please!
Hugs to you!
Chin scratches to Harry!
Holly & Purrkins
6 July 2017
I am so glad to hear that Harry will be back home with you soon! That will definitely make him feel better to be with his momma. I am sure it will help put your mind at ease once he purrs and sneaks in a few kitty kisses too!
I have no experience with toe amputations, but on the cat litter question, one thing my vet had me do when bringing Tuxedo home after his amputation was to swap out his litter. Like Harry, he always used the clumping dust sort. He had me use newspaper because of the potential to get it in the incision while healing. Not that expensive brand, you buy in the pet stores that has been formed into pellets, just plain torn up newspaper not too tiny sized. Since I did not take the paper, I called their local office and asked about getting some old issues. After I explained why I wanted them, they gave me a ton, even coarsely shredded them for me. They also said if I ever needed more to just ask. Two months later, I am still using the shredded paper litter. Turns out Tuxedo likes it better. Perhaps ask your vet if this option might work if he thinks if there is any concern of dust getting in the healing wound.
Hugs to you and Harry! Live and love for today always. And a lil ice cream never hurts either.
The vet suggested a sea salt soak/spray of the paw, daily, to keep dust bits out…
We’re home now. It’s not quite as awful as it was after his leg, but he’s in that upsetting dopey/restless/confused state :s I’m at the point of thinking I should have let him go, but trying to believe that will pass and he will be fine. He’s getting around fine – too fine, really, climbing up on things and running for food- while still on heavy painkillers, etc. I’m worried he’s going to bust his stitches or break his leg. So I’ve confined him to his cage. That actually seemed to settle him down.
Eating well. Drinking. Peeing where he’s supposed to. Annoyed by the bandage but still managing. Having my family around is a big improvement, too.
Yaaay Harry is home and getting around fine!!! This is sounding like it is easier already! Eating drinking peeing were he is supposed to :)LOL
This does all sound way better the the original amp yes? I am sorry you are feeling you should of let him go, I think you are just overwhelmed and tired ? I believe that will pass too, we all second guess the original amp. I think the first day!! I did that first hour home was scary, sad etc. Like you said earlier! I am glad your family is around! I’m sure that helps the stress factor!
Thanks for the update!! I am hoping today is a much better day for you and Harry!!
Give Harry a cuddle from us!
Holly & Purrkins
25 April 2007
The vet suggested a sea salt soak/spray of the paw…
These tips should work for cat paws if using a small enough set of PAWz rubber booties…
Thanks everyone. The IV bag/bootie idea sounds great…I’m just not sure how on it I would be. When you have a dog, you know when you’re taking him outside, etc. You have to keep a pretty close eye on a cat to intercept him on the way to the litter box and then boot him up. But it may be worth a try. For the time being, his bandage is doing the trick.
Things are going okay. We had a little hiccup last night when his cone was off and he was unsupervised for a few minutes, and he got his bandage off but we got him rebandaged pretty well. The worst part was seeing his mangled little foot …but he was more irritated by us wrapping him up and trying to stop him going where he wanted than by the foot itself.
I think he’s doing pretty well, recovery-wise. Irritated by the bandage and sulking about the cone, but walking fine – more than he was before surgery (not sure if that’s the pain killers or just feeling better without the rotting toe).
Very enthusuastically eating and drinking. Toileting just fine. We might just be okay.
I sent the vet a picture of what his foot looked like when the bandage came off because one of his toenails was bent at a weird angle and I don’t know whether that’s normal now that he’s missing that one toe…but I wont hear back until Monday.
Sounds like Harry is doing great and being a normal kitty! Irritated by the cone and bandage !! NORMAL
Getting around fine!! He didn’t have to adjust without the toe is fantastic!
It might be both the meds and getting rid of the sore toe!! Either way I am happy to hear its going well! Maybe the toenail is bent because its wrapped up? I’m sure the Vet will tell you either way, let us know what they say.
Your are ok!!!!! No doubt there!
Hugs! Give Harry extra cuddles from us!!
Holly & Purrkins
22 February 2013
Yes indeedy, you are doing an extraordinary job of handling all these most recent….er….challenges!
As usual, Holly has given wonderful insight and support! Usually I just trail behind and say ditto!
And Tuxedo’s Mom had a great idea about the shredded newspaper!
Try and get some rest and update when yiu can.
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!
Little trouble maker has had his bandage off twice more since last night so he’s spending a lot of time confined to his cage. I will say that it looks (to my inexpert eye) better today than it did yesterday.
Now, though…he’s shaking his paw a lot. He’ll just be lying there and then shake his paw like mad, then stop, then do it again. :/ I don’t know if it’s just the bandage, or pain, or what…but it causes worry (what doesn’t)
I’m not at all surprised Harry is getting that bandage off! Your “inexpert” not my words – eye would know if it looks better:)!!!!!!
I can only say in our experience with Purrkins and a vet wrap!! He shook his paw with the wrap/bandage! I suspect its just the dang bandage Harry does not care for! How long does the wrap have to be on? He can get to the paw with the cone on?
If you are allowed? To ease your worries, possibly take the bandage off when your watching like a hawk!!! See if the paw shaking stops!
Just a thought but I do suspect its the bandage/wrap. Your getting Harry’s meds in on time he should not be in pain.
Hang in there!! Your and Harry are getting thru this!!
Hugs Special treats for Harry;)
Holly & Purrkins
Update: We got the histo results back and it was a spindle cell tumour that very likely was the results of metastasis from osteo. Glad I have all the info now. Also glad that they got clean margins on this tumour, and Harry is healing up quick. Last night and today he started flexing his paw and pushing his claws in and out, and he took a playful swipe at my Mum when she gave him a pat. He’s getting up and around just as well as ever – I’m still trying to supervise his down-getting so he doesn’t split the incision, and he has his cone on for another week, which is making him pout…but I give him supervised bath and food breaks from it.
Anyway. He’s ok for now. It might not be much longer before another painful tumor or lung-met shows up, but the vet told me what to be on the lookout for and in the meantime he’s good and getting lots of love.