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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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Izzy's tale continues (aka Izzy's tale of seven toes)
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Forum Posts: 23
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18 March 2020 - 8:17 am
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Izzy has now graduated to the “Three Legged Kitty” cat-egory.

Izzy is an 11 year old Maine Coon mix, heavy on the Maine Coon. He has that Maine Coon personality. A big, furry, lovey boy. He’s an indoor kitty who has been in good health until now.

Izzy was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on March 4. The cancer was in his left shoulder and had spread to the surrounding tissue. He had a ‘bump’ on his chest, roughly the size of a golf ball. We aren’t sure when the bump first appeared since Izzy’s ruff hid it until it had grown too large.

He had his surgery yesterday (March 17). We were lucky to get him in when we did, the vet’s office is going to reduced hours due to the COVID19 outbreak. We have an amazing vet, I know they will ensure that any animals in need will get help during this crisis.

Izzy’s pre-op blood tests were good. His red count is a bit low, the vet figures that’s due to the cancer. Otherwise, he’s a healthy kitty.

His surgery took place at 2pm. He was given four pain meds and an anti-inflammatory during the procedure. His entire left leg and scapula, along with the surrrounding tissue was removed. Surgery lasted 45 minutes. We picked him up at 6pm.

Our vet said his surgery went well. The leg and surrounding tissue have been sent for biopsy. 

His first night wasn’t too bad. He was quite groggy and wobbly and our stubborn boy wouldn’t lay down to sleep. He kept sitting up. I think it was because he was feeling nauseous, he was drooling a bit for a few hours. Finally he settled down and the night was uneventful. I don’t think he’s happy being crated up but it’s the only way to restrict his activity. I feel bad keeping him locked up but told myself that if he was recovering at the vet’s he would be in a cage (so quit worrying, Mom).

This morning he had his pain med (Gabapentin) and is now resting comfortably as I write this. When I opened the door of the kennel he hobbled right out, I’m taking this as a good sign. I’m thinking maybe later tonight we’ll let him out so he can try a short walk. His incision looks good, no sign of blood or obvious swelling. 

Currenty, he’s wrapped with surgical gauze, we hope to replace that with a baby t-shirt if we can find some today. With things the way the are a lot of stores are closed so I’m thinking of what to use as “Plan B” if we can’t find anything. 

Although he has water and a wee bit of food in the kennel, he hasn’t touched them. We’re supposed to give him his anti-inflammatory (Metacam) at noon and with food. Not sure how to approach that (any ideas would be greatly appreciated).

Thanks for listening

P.S. I’ve tried to upload a picture here, guess I’m too ‘old school’ to figure it out. 

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18 March 2020 - 10:24 am
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Noon and time for Izzy’s anit-inflammatory. As soon as the kennel door was open, he shot out of it, faster than anyone could imagine. Across the floor he hobbled and slid. Poor wee man.

At the moment I am looking at a miffed cat. Mom isn’t too happy either. He is very, very uncooperative about taking his meds. I managed to get about a third of his dose into him and up came the front leg then he smacked the syringe out of my hand with that seven toed paw of his.

I am frustrated. He still won’t eat and judging by looks I’m getting, I’m not his favorite person right now. Venting here is helping me but I’m not sure how to help him right now…

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 March 2020 - 11:12 am
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Hey I’m so glad you started a new topic here, thank you! Izzy sounds like he’s got a bit too much spunk right now, I’m sorry for the frustration. Remember, this won’t last forever and he will be back to normal. Cats can be such tough patients! Here are some tips for an easier time: 

Members Share Tips to Give Pills to Cats After Amputation

Easy Fish and Meatballs Recipes for Cats and Dogs

How to Hide Pet Medication (and Get Your Tripawd Eating)

I don’t know if you have our e-book, Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats , but we also share a lot of handy ideas in there. About that recovery shirt….yeah baby onesies are so helpful but if you can’t get any right now, what about taking the sleeve off of one of your old cotton t-shirts and cutting leg holes into it? Just a thought. I hope other members have some ideas too.

As for photos, send me some and I’ll get them up there for you. We would love to see him!

Hang in there!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 23
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18 March 2020 - 3:45 pm
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Hi Jerry

Izzy has been given liquid meds – I did find a video showing the best way to administer them however the cat in the video was a lot more cooperative than our little boy. We’ll get it down to a science though.

Thanks for the ‘medicine in food’ tips – not sure if he’d be tempted though, meat isn’t one of his favorites. Just our luck, we have a vegetarian cat! LOL  He does like his crunchies though.

The t-shirt idea is a good one. I may just try that, thanks.

I haven’t been able to get any of the books yet, between Balou’s trip to the Rainbow Bridge , Izzy’s X-Rays and Izzy’s surgery we’ve gone through all we had put away and then some.  We’ve had a rough couple years ourselves with medical issues and ya da ya da ya da. I won’t go into it all and we’re OK now. However, as soon as I can I plan to get the Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats book.

OMG, I was sitting here playing a MMO, looked up at Izzy and had a complete meltdown. Emotions sure run high when you’re going through this. I almost wish the vet’s could have kept him a couple of days so he would be past this stage before we saw him. He looks so folorn right now. My heart aches for him. 

Words cannot express how helpful your site is. And how much it helps me to just write all this down. Thank you!

The Rainbow Bridge



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18 March 2020 - 4:24 pm
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Oh my gosh ((((hugs))))). These first few days can be so hard but you will get through this and be even more in love with Izzy when it’s over.

Glad he got his meds in. That’s a total WIN! YAY! Whatever works. You WILL get this down.

I’m sorry you’ve had a rough time lately, but hope you are healthy now and stay that way. And don’t worry, our e-books are based on the information here, so whatever questions you have I am more than happy to share ideas from the book OK?

Stay strong. Izzy needs your pawsitivity.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 March 2020 - 5:21 pm
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Day 2

(Early morning) Izzy still not eating – when I offered food and water this morning, Izzy took a sniff then turned around and hid his head in the corner of the kennel.  I put both food and water on the floor outside the kennel and left the door open. 

OK, time to call the vet. I told them he hadn’t eaten or had any water and that he was listlessly laying in the kennel looking sad. They assured me they’d get back to me asap.

A bit later, I sat on the floor and started talking to Izzy. He sat up and started to chirp back at me (he has the softest meow) so I figured I’d try the food and water routine again. He drank a bit of water and had maybe six crunchies. It’s a start. 

During the day, I’ve offered the food and water about every hour. Thankfully, he has had more of both. Can you say relief! Whew! He hasn’t, however ventured out of the kennel on his own. I figure we’ll cross one hurdle at a time though – today’s was to get him eating and drinking. 

The vet called back, they want to lower the dose of Izzy’s Gabapentin a bit since it could the med making him too groggy to want to do anything. We’re to touch base tomorrow to let them know how things are going, if they don’t feel he’s eaten enough they will want to see him.

As a side note here, we share our home with one other cat. Roo, she’s a 16 year old mini-meeze. She maybe weighs five pounds. She’s a sweet cat, loves both her humans but she’s Izzy’s cat. She is always by his side and follows him everywhere he goes. This has been difficult for her too. She went into hiding after we brought Izzy home from surgery (I imagine the sight of the crate was part of the reason). I was worried that she wasn’t eating (oh boy! two of them on hunger strike!) then I noticed the food bowls were less full so she’s sneaking out at night to eat. She’s been more visible today and received lots of hugs and pettings from both humans.

Here’s hoping day 3 brings more positive news. Thanks for listening

The Rainbow Bridge



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19 March 2020 - 6:03 pm
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OH wow that is HUUUUUUGE that he ate a bit and drank too. WOW! You did it! Be proud. Keep doing what you’re doing and things will continue getting better. I’m so glad you called the vet, and that they are giving you some good pain medication guidance. Hopefully he’s on the path to a normal food/water intake and won’t have to go back to the clinic. 

It never ceases to amaze me how sensitive cats are when it comes to change. Dogs can be pretty oblivious but cats can be really tricky to care for after a huge shift in the household. Hang in there.

Izzy, you can do this, you are getting better by the hour. Keep it up! Roo needs you back at 100 pawcent!

And now, for some Izzy and Roo photos everypawdy. Get ready for cuteness overload. Aren’t they adorable? I’ll let Izzy’s mama fill in the captions in another post.

Izzy4.JPGImage Enlarger

Izzy3.jpgImage Enlarger

Izzy2.JPGImage Enlarger

Izzy1.JPGImage Enlarger

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 March 2020 - 6:25 pm
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Beautiful kitties!!

My tripawd Mona was sent home after her amputation with canned kitten food. Mona loved that food and even smacked her lips while eating it. I squirted the Metacam into a bit of the kitten food. Next to kitten food Mona loves halibut.

Some cats love canned tuna juice. You just have to eat lots of tuna sandwiches!

Hugs to you and the cats,

Kerren, Eli and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Virginia




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19 March 2020 - 8:35 pm
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Those pictures are melting my heart over here!!!   Such a good looking duo😊

I love that Roo  is “Izzy’s cat”😉   And Roo looks great for a senior!!!

YAY!!!   Eating a little and drinking  a little…HUGE VICTORY!!!  As you said, one hurdle at a time.  Good for you for being patient.  That’s a hard thing to do during recovery.  And it is still so very, very early in recovery from major surgery!  Mobility will come when Izzy is ready.  

And thanks for the great photos.  Very adorable!

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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20 March 2020 - 5:55 pm
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Thanks for the kitty compliments everyone!

Day 3 after surgery. Got my after dinner coffee here and Izzy napping on the couch beside me.

I cannot believe that this is the same cat we brought home from surgery just two days ago!!

Vet’s instructions said to limit activity for 10-14 days which hasn’t been a problem with Izzy reluctant to leave the kennel. At night, I put the kennel on top of my dresser next to where I sleep so I can listen for him.

This morning when I woke up I heard the soft ‘me-ow’ of our boy. He’s not an overly vocal cat but when he does have something to say he either chirps or says me-ow. Got up, took the kennel out to the livingroom and opened the door. Holy cats! Out he shot and right into the kitchen to the food bowls. I was stunned at how fast he moved.  He seems to have re-found his legs. And his appetite. Whew!

We also managed a trip to the litter box for a tinkle. Since Izzy is a good sized cat, we ditched the normal size ltiter box ages ago. Instead we picked up a couple of plastic craft storage boxes. They are maybe five inches in height and large enough for Izzy to turn around in (or for about four Roos to fit in) We were wondering about him being able to access the litter box but that doesn’t seem to be a problem. (yay!)

He’s come so far in just two days!! I am truly amazed. And boy, is he ever affectionate now (he was before but now he’s turning into a real cling-on) Not that that is a bad thing.

Another step in the right direction but there are still concerns. 

Izzy likes to jump up on furniture and some of his favorite perches are quite high (say, four feet and higher) Jumping up isn’t an issue with his strong hind legs, it’s the jumping down that worries us and we certainly don’t want him jumping at all until his incision is healed. Just keeping watch on him today has worn both of us out – it’s like living with a toddler, he needs constant supervision (unless he’s napping)

Then there’s the biopsy results…the waiting really is the hardest part. But we’ll deal with that when we get there, no sense borrowing trouble.

Thanks again for all your comments and kind words. They give me strength. Thanks for listening

Virginia




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20 March 2020 - 7:24 pm
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IIIIIZZZZYYYYYY!!!!   YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR RECOVERY TRIPAWD!!!😁  

It was absolutely  delightful  to hear how Izzy showed you he is still IZZY and on the road to recovery….at super speed too!!   Great way to inspire any kitty facing this journey and show them how it’s done!😎

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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21 March 2020 - 12:23 pm
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I love love love it when a new Tripawd turns the corner! This made my day! smiley_clap

About his perches . . . I know it’s tough to ask a cat to use landing steps while going up and down to perches, but is there any way you can block off the perches for now, which will give you some time to build some landing steps leading up to them (if that’s even a possibility)? Even if you did it with just heavy cardboard boxes or milk crates for now, it’s a good way to see if he will gravitate toward the easier routes going up and down.  I’m guessing that when he sees easier ways to climb up and descend, he might just use them. There’s always that chance right? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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22 March 2020 - 7:06 pm
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Hello everyone

Here we are, Day 4 after surgery. So far we’ve been able to deter him from getting on to any high places. Getting him to take his meds is another story. He is not a very cooperative patient! But we are persistent.

Izzy prefers running water so he’s used to drinking from the sink in the loo. I think we have it down to a science now. We keep the door closed & when Izzy wants his drink he will sit in front if it and chirp at us. So one of us picks him up, places him on the bathroom counter and stays with him as he refereshes himself. We did notice that while he balances himself by putting his front leg in the sink, his back paws kept sliding so we’ve trimmed his toe tufts to give him more traction (now they dont’ cover his paw pads)

We’re still thinking on easier access to his perches. We have some plastic storage bins that look to be about the right height and they should work for now. 

I hope everyone is keeping well with all that’s going on. Thanks for listening!

Here and Now


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Virginia




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22 March 2020 - 8:42 pm
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OMC!!! I love how Izzy drinks !😎   And the way he tells you he’s thirsty  and to take him to his “fountain “…..adoravle!!!

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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