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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Hello, long story short. Adopted 2 sweet kitties 3 weeks ago. They stay inside. Have been in one room while they are acclimating to our home. Four days ago “B” somehow broke her leg – very badly. Vet sent her home in a cast and my sweet cat turned demonic. After all this, we decided to amputate. This cat could not handle a surgery followed buy weeks of cast, splint, therapy… Anyway, the surgery went great on Friday. B came home Saturday afternoon. Sat evening, she became super demon cat again, throwing herself around the kennel – crazy cat. Took her to ER Vet last night and they prescribed Gabapentin along with the Metacam from original vet. Finally got the cone on her too to stop licking. She had a good night – I slept by her in the recliner. Last night vet said her bladder didn’t seem too full. She has not peed since yesterday afternoon. Instead, she’s laying in the shredded newspaper box even though she’s got a heated blanket in there. I’m going to put some paper towels through the shredder to try but what else can I do? Vet said no litter for a while. She’s eating and drinking. How long can she go without urinating? I’ll see if I can get back in touch with the vet this morning too.
Hi and welcome.. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away, and do let us know if your little firecracker kitty has urinated yet! I sure hope so.
Honeslty I’m not the best person to offer suggestions so I’m hoping that our wonderful TriKitty parents will chime in with ideas on how to get a cat to urinate. We did blog once about a medical-grade cat litter that may help if you think she would tolerate a litter switch. See:
Let us know what your vet says OK? I’m totally curious about it.
Update: After a long night, B did pee and poop Sunday morning! Here’s what I did for anyone interested. I ran up to pet store and bought “Yesterdays News” cat litter. I also bought some wet food (Hills uriinary over-the-counter) that had some gravy in it. B already had some dry food and water in her kennel. Got home, fed her wet food, that she gobbled up. I had taken a cardboard Amazon box and cut the sides way down, lower than a typical little litter box. She’s only got 3 legs now and a cone of shame on so I’m trying to make it easier during recovery. I threw out all the shredded newspaper that I made – which was a freaking mess anyway. Lined the box with a puppy pad and put that new litter in there. She got in it and peed right away! Then about 30 min later she pooped. There was a touch of blood. Spoke with my vet today and that’s normal after a surgery. And apparently it can be normal for them to hold it that long too at the beginning. After she did her business I got the litter box and emptied it. She’s in the habit of just laying in the litter box so I didn’t want dirty litter getting in her incision/staples. FYI this litter has no dust and it doesn’t clump, so you def want to be keeping an eye out and not leave pee or poop in it. Bought her a new bed to intice her to not lay on the litter box but to actually use it again, but we will see. Vet advised to still keep an eye on her but so far she’s being normal after surgery. Crossing my fingers for another “movement” soon. Wow, the things I didn’t think I would have to be doing today lol 🙂
We are TOTALLY interested in what you did to help her poop! Yeah we’re funny about that kind of thing around here. Now you’re one of us weirdos. So thank you. And great job!
I see that there are different types of Yesterday’s News cat litter. Which one did you get? I linked to all the ones shown on Amazon (our favorite resource for shoppers that helps keep Tripawds online!).
Let us know how she likes the new bed. We went out and bought one for Jerry as soon as he lost his leg but he wasn’t so keen on the sudden change, he liked the stink of his old one better.
22 February 2013
YAAAAAAAAAY FOR !! HAPPY. DANCE FOR B!!
Good job of figuring out the litter box challenges. Thank yiu for taking the time to detail what you did to help B get ocer the potty challenges!
Thank you for taking such good care of B and the other kitties!! You are so kind to bring them into your home and show the what LOVE and happiness feel like! 🙂
Glad to hear how well things are going. Good job!
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!
Hi there and welcome!
So sorry to hear about your kitties accident. I and many others just ended up going back to unscented cat litter. Whatever you use. Huckleberry looked at me like I was nuts when I gave him the box with the newspaper in it. If you are not comfortable with that, you can try “Yesterday’s News” brand cat litter. It is pelletized paper made into cat litter. Just keep an eye on her incision and make sure she doesn’t get it dirty. I think most people end up opting for regular litter. Huckleberry had no problems, matter of fact when I put the box back in with the regular litter I got that IT’S ABOUT TIME! look from him, heheh.
Good luck to you!
Jackie and Huckleberry
Oh geez, I am so sorry. I missed the post you had, you already found the yesterday’s news! Sorry again, my computer or something has been quirky lately. WTG on the !
Hello everyone, thanks for all the replies. B has been doing great. She had her staples removed 2 days ago and her incision has healed perfectly. I think the key(s) to our success was the following:
1) Kept the cone of shame on her for 2 weeks. You have to make that sucker tight and you’ll feel guilty leaving it on. I used gauze to tie it and as long as you can get one finger under it, it’s good. I would take a baby wipe and clean her face everyday after she ate her wet food. She loved this and would purr very loudly. Takes some of your guilt away. I did have to move-up one size to a longer collar after a week because she could start reaching the incision to lick.
2) Kept her in a large kennel until staples were out – We actually used a tall open one that was for my Houdini maltipoo (Richell Convertible High Pet Playpen). I set it up as a rectangle and duct-taped a large cardboard box on top. I layered 2 yoga mats underneath the kennel so she would have something that was non-slip with a good grip. The made it easier to learn to walk on. I put a heating pad in there too with a pillowcase on top. She really liked to relax on that during recovery and eventually put a new fluffy bed in there she liked too. You can use whatever you have, even a small bathroom – just keep them resting during the recovery time.
3) Made a low profile littler box, cutting down the sides with an amazon box. I used this litter – (Purina Yesterday’s News Unscented Cat Litter) It did keep her incision clean. I watched her closely, even setup a webcam, so I’d know when she’d poop (I could hear her start scratching around the litter box and run in there). With 3 legs now, she was unsteady pooping and I would throw a paper towel on the poop as soon as she started to move so she wouldn’t get poop on the cone of shame or incision (from lack of balance). Be prepared for grossness because when she first started pooping she lost her balance several time and would smear poop around the kennel side near the litter box. I had a box of disposable gloves from CVS, Clorox wipes, and baby wipes nearby at all times.
4) Left hard food in the kennel but gave portion of soft food each day to make it easier to poop. I put her water bowl upside down and duct-taped her food bowl to the top so that her food bowl setup higher. I had to prop up it up higher due to the cone of shame . I zip-tied a small Glad water bowl to the kennel because she kept falling and knocking the water over.
5) Per doctor’s instructions – Gave her Metacam via oral syringe for 5 days, 1 time a day in the morning, following surgery. She also took Gabapentin via oral syringe, every 8-10 hours following surgery until the staples were removed. She was still freaking out a lot, throwing her body around in frustration, after surgery. I would carefully pick her up, put her in a soft carrier where I could zip it around her body and her head could stick out with the cone still on. I would then shoot the medicine in the back of her tongue, this is the best way I found where she wouldn’t spit any out. The Gabapentin helped a lot with freak outs. Also, the Gabapentin has to be refrigerated. I would make up the syringe about an hour before dose time and let it sit out to room temperature. She seemed to take it much better this way.
6) I took her out to hold her about 3 times a day. Now, we only adopted her about a month ago so we didn’t have a lot of bonding time before she broke her leg and had it amputated. I would hold her and she would just purr and fall asleep in my lap.
I’m not going to lie, this has been an exhausting past 2 weeks. But, I was damn-well determined that her incision would heal up well so she wouldn’t have the trauma of another surgery. Since her staples came out a few days ago, she has been cleared by the vet to return to freedom. She’s been re-acclimating well with her sister cat and walking just fine. A few times, she’s gotten frustrated and flopped around a little, but I’m sure that will diminish over time as she adapts to life without her back leg. We did remove the cat climbing tower from the room for now so she won’t get adventurous too quickly.
Sorry for the information overload – just my tips for others that are going through this.
NO INFO OVERLOAD!! That is wonderful that you wrote it all out step by step! I am so glad she is finally doing well, B is a lucky kitty to have somebody so devoted to her care
I think that deserves pictures! We NEED pictures of B, after such an update we gotta see the girl now
Great job, yes it is a lot of exhausting work, isn’t it? You are over the hump now… congrats
Jackie and Huck
14 January 2018
16 January 2018
Thanks so much for sharing what worked for your little one! I’ve got amputation surgery scheduled tomorrow for my little guy, right front limb… and this was all super helpful to read! Very clever tactic to give the Gaba!
I’m wondering how soon you put on a t-shirt/onesie or something to protect the incision area?