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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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My senior cat is undergoing amputation surgery in 2 days. In need of help and answers!
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27 January 2019 - 6:37 pm
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I’m so glad you’ve done your homework and are preparing so well. 

You are truly an animal whisperer, to have all those furbabies living in harmony ❤️

Your vet sounds like a great one, he seems to be doing everything to make sure things are done right. You love in a rural area? Trying to sort my time zone to yours. I am Eastern standard Time in the US. I’m in Lexington, ky if that helps. 

Please let us know when the surgery is planned for when you find out. Sounds like your parents are right on board too, that is so wonderful 🤗

Big hugs,

Jackie and Huckleberry ❤️

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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27 January 2019 - 7:27 pm
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Yes I did as much research as I could and I still am, really want to do everything right.. Yes my vet really likes Pablo also. He actually kinda seemed sad when he told us he may have to amputate(he told us last month but this month we decided it’s best for him since it looks like the mass is spreading). Yes I do I live in Canada NT( It would be the Yellowknife time zone so MST). I know I’m so thankful I have my dad and he can stay home with me right now while Pablo’s gone because I get anxiety sometimes (dad had to have surgery last week to take out his appendix so happy he’s okay).I kinda feel bad for sending him though even though I know it’s so he can have a better quality of life I just hate the fact he has to have surgery:( and I really don’t want him to be in pain.. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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27 January 2019 - 9:51 pm
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Wow all of you have been through so much lately, yikes! I’m glad your dad is OK and healing.

Yeah, the surgery is not anything any of us wants to do, but once our animal has the bad leg gone and is feeling good again after recovery, we see such a difference. You will too! Hang in there this week and keep us posted. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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27 January 2019 - 10:49 pm
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Yes I just keep reminding myself it’s so he’ll be comfortable and hopefully not in pain (after recovery obviously)and thank you I’ll keep everyone posted:)

Michigan


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28 January 2019 - 4:52 am
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Haha yes I actually have 2 hamsters and 1 mouse, Pablo actually likes just laying down with them hanging out in his belly!(I also had a pet rat and lots of small pets when I was younger so pablo has always been nice to them he’s such a gentle giant). When my dad signed the surgery paper for Pablo we marked to get x-rays done (he (the vet)wants to make sure of a good spot to amputate and to make sure if it’s cancer (which we think it is) that it hasn’t spread),as well as bloodwork testing since he’s older. Yes Pablo’s my best friend haha wanted to make sure he was comfy, especially after surgery. Thank you we do have a really strong bond the longest I’ve stayed away from him was maybe 3 nights maximum(school trips/family trips), but the vet said hopefully he can get him in for surgery right away so we can get him on track for recovery(also if he can get his surgery done sooner he won’t have to stay the whole 7 days). Yes after reading forums we thought it was very important to get extra pain medication incase especially since we’re 3hrs away. The vet said possibly 7 days because he has to check his schedule when he gets back to the main office to see when he can do surgery/tests so due to scheduling it may take a day or two to get him in, he also wants to make sure he eats/drinks and pees/poos while he’s there because once again how far we are, so just to avoid having to make an emergency trip. (Our vet only comes to our town every 5 weeks)

Wow, that’s incredible about the mouse and Pablo you will have to share pictures of your pack with us.

Excellent on the x-rays & bloodwork. Of course, we want them to be as comfy as possible, and you are doing a great on all fronts — excellent job researching and taking care of Pablo. Write down the common meds, and I would suggest they send you home with Gabapentin too as it is for nerve pain. Are you & your Dad able to medicate Pablo ok? Just in case you are in school.

We understand the strong bonds here and as hard as it is to believe your bond is going to get stronger! I didn’t think it was pawsible to love Purrkins anymore than I already did but yep you will get closer and love and admire him even more & you will get thru this together. The tables will turn for a bit, and you will be his support now.

Does everyone in the house get alone? No issues since Pablo has had his bad foot? I gave you the link in the prior post on what the rest of us have done to prepare our other kitties everyone does things a little different so take it all in and use what works for you. It depends on the kitties some have issues some do not. We did. I kept our boys separated and only allowed supervised visits if one of them got hissy the visit was over. Things did get back to normal in our house it took a good month. What’s most important is Pablo is not stressed and recovers without having to be on guard.

I’m glad your Dad will be home as well they will both recover together and glad he is ok.

Jackie, they are 2 hours earlier than us

Holly & Purrkins❤️

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28 January 2019 - 5:44 am
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Yes I definitely will share some pictures:). Okay I’ll note the Gabapentin and definitely ask about getting some thank you:).Yes I’m good at giving pets medicine I catch them off guard a lot haha but Pablo’s good with taking medicine so hopefully it won’t be a problem, I don’t go to high school i prefer doing courses online because it’s easier with pets (so many pets.. haha!) and anxiety. Yes I think it will even though it’s near impossible to get us apart and I definitely now appreciate/cherish my time with him even more. If I have to be his support I promised him I’d do whatever he needs(it might be kind of lame but I had a talk with Pablo about surgery it gave me comfort knowing I told him and hopefully he won’t be too confused because he knows when you talk about him and we’ve been talking about surgery around him). Yes everyone gets along great actually(thank goodness)! But I was planning on keeping him in a 3’x2’ padded cage in my room but I decided I’ll get a puppy pen for in my room also to put put around the cage(incase he wants space but doesn’t want to be confined though he would only get confined if I’m not home which isn’t often haha). I think I’ll let the kittens see him but only if they’re calm and nice to him like you said I’d hate for him to get further injuries. Is there anything I forgot to ask/should know?

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28 January 2019 - 5:50 am
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Oh and I changed my picture to Pablo with summit on his tummy(my mouse)

Michigan


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28 January 2019 - 8:15 am
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OMC meaning OH MY CAT instead of God;) Pablo’s avatar is too cute! I would have NEVER guessed wow that is amazing!😮😁

Even better your both home ok your guys will do great. I don’t have any problems giving meds for a lot of people this is the first time giving meds so you are ahead already. You will definitely cherish every day even more than you did that’s part of this journey for sure. I do not find that lame at all because I did the same thing 😉 You never know they might understand and it helps us too! I explained everything I could to Purrkins & still do. Thankfully our animals do not have all the thoughts and worries as we do! They live in the moment, and Pablo will figure this out and surprise you with how well he does on three legs. Your set up sounds great to me.

We didn’t discuss incision care – They will tell you how to care for the incision or how not to really. We had instructions to do warm compresses at home and the hospital iced the incisions for the first 3 days/72 hours.
We were not to clean the incision and do warm compresses – a wet cloth in a baggie because we were not to apply the cloth directly to the incision. We warmed it the microwave. We tested the warmth first before using of course. Purrkins loved his warm compresses.

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I will attach our discharge papers for you to read yours may be different?

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One thing you may ask is when will the stitches/staples be out because you are so far away and the vet only comes out your way so often. I would also ask if you can call him directly or a number you can call if you have any issues at all once Pablo comes home. It will be peace of mind. Pablo will likely be in a cone to prevent him from getting to the incision. We used a baby onesie instead, but again that was because Purrkins was a front leg amp. It covered his incision, and he could not get to it.

Are they sending the leg off to pathology to determine if it is cancer & type? That would tell if it is cancer & that you got clean margins. It would explain how this particular if cancer operates although cancer has no rules it will give you general guidelines. Not all do this it was included in our price, and we would have done it either way.

When Pablo is ready to come home, they will give you instructions and when the last meds were given and when the next dose is due. Most kitties do not come home with bandages. 

I believe we have covered everything within this forum up to this point anyway.

Hugs,
Holly & Purrkins❤️

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28 January 2019 - 9:13 am
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I just popped in for a minute, and i double Holly’s WOW!!! Definitely something you couldn’t fathom in your head until you see kitty AND mouse together…. That is truly amazing!!!

Holy went over every fine detail with you, i have nothing to add other than this has been one of “those” Mondays and seeing your Avatar just brought a big smile to my face ❤️❤️

Jackie and Huck ❤️

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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28 January 2019 - 11:27 am
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Hello and thank your both! Haha yes pablo is very special such a good/well behaved boy:). Happy he’s still making people smile:).I knew I couldn’t be been the only person to try to explain what’s happening to their pet lol! I think I may have to take out the stitches myself (because when my dog iggy got spayed he told me to take them out myself since it would be a month till he’s back). I don’t mind if I do have to but I’d prefer the vet to do it(if I do it of course my dad will be helping but I have removed stitches before from both people and animals and I did watch how to do it without hurting the pet/person much as stitches are uncomfortable to be taken out), yes I have my vets cell,main office, and the number to make appointments in my town(not sure why there’s a different number?), what should I watch for around the incision other than debris(If there is anything). I’m not 100% but I think my vet said he’d like to send it to see what is/was going on. I saw you had a YouTube linked on here so I watched some of Purrkins videos this morning when I was falling asleep (I couldn’t sleep till about 5 because I missed my boy and I can’t help but feel bad for sending him) and it gave me comfort (maybe it’s the tabby breed but they’re so loveable haha) I hope my boy is back on his feet again like Purrkins was  (I was really amazed how he (Purrkins) was up and about!) Oh and by the way you both have really cute kittys! 

Michigan


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28 January 2019 - 2:26 pm
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I’m sorry you couldn’t sleep, and yes you are in good company we understand 100 %!

Remember your mantra? You are doing this FOR Pablo NOT to him. Your alternative was? I know what it was! You are taking away a horrible painful leg! YOUR HELPING PABLO!
Repeat with me I am helping PABLO! 😘

Glad you found Purrkins youtube channel & found comfort he does fantastic he is in no way disabled he is a cat on three that thrives nothing the boy won’t do and that’s not always a good thing for us:) He doesn’t know any limits. Pablo will do get on his feet I can assure he will. Purrkins is now 8.5 We have had a lot of members older than Pablo and they too hop on. They all have to go thru a learning process and figure out the new body front or rear leg. They do figure it out.

I, of course, agree on the male orange tabbies I have had 2. Purrkins is the second one. Had we not been blessed with the first I would have never known. Love at first sight when we saw each other & he is a bigger love bug than the first I wouldn’t have guessed that was possible. His brother is a tuxedo kitty and although litter mates they are alike in many ways and different in most ways and I love them both equally for who they are.

I wish I could comfort you more it won’t be a comfort until you see Pablo home. I watched all the videos and read blogs, and that HELPED and like you I hoped for close to what I saw and read. The first day, first few hours home were the worst for me. Purrkins had made no attempt in the hospital on three. When I got him home, he was drugged and confused and flopped all over missing the front leg and trying to operate the new body led to flopping like a fish out of water! I was beside myself. None of which I read about mind you;) That is when I second guessed our decision but that only lasted an hour and Purrkins settled down, and we figured the rest out each hour and day afterward. You will do the same! I have never looked back. Will never regret our decision.

Oh Wow on the stitches👀 yeek ok at least you have experience and will hope you don’t have to. 🤞🏻🙏

You will want to watch Pablo does not get to the incision they can make short work of it fast. That’s the last thing you need. Cone on all the time if you cannot watch 24-7.  Watch for discharge, dripping, redness, temperature, unusual bruising, wide gaps in the incision or any tissue protruding. 

We were fortunate and had no issues with Purrkins incision, not even a bruise so I can only tell you what to watch for.

Is your name Natalia by the way?
I am confident you will handle all of this!
I’m not saying there will be no hiccups I pray not, but we are all here to help you & Pablo thru in any way we can.

Any word on surgery date yet?

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28 January 2019 - 3:34 pm
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Hello yes my name is Natalia:). I know I’m trying to help him and I shouldn’t feel bad it’s just hard surgery seems rough (as in traumatic to the body/tissue/nerves/muscle) and it’s not like it’s an everyday surgery like a spay or neuter.. I know he’s gonna look different when I see him but I don’t care as long as he’s healthy after and we didn’t do this for nothing..

Michigan


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28 January 2019 - 5:11 pm
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Hi Natalia:)
It is a huge surgery no doubt about. Your right on all counts! It’s terrifying! This is the biggest surgery most of us go thru. You will manage the pain and keep Pablo comfortable.

We all take the limb for the quality of life purposes regardless of the cause. We have to choose our furmily member or a limb. We all chose our furmily! We need be grateful we have the choice of life or limb not everyone gets that choice. I bet if you ask Pablo he agrees he would rather hop on three & spend more quality time with his favorite human YOU!

Try to catch up on some rest while Pablo is away you will need a reserve when he comes home!

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28 January 2019 - 5:22 pm
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Thank you holly:). I showed my dad Purrkins video on YouTube (the recovery one) and he agreed with me when I said they (Pablo and Purrkins)look VERY similar.(the video actually brought tears to his eyes). Your kitty seems like such a sweetheart and oh my those bright green eyes I love them!

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28 January 2019 - 6:23 pm
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From right to left top to bottom: Scruffy (13 y/o black shih-tzu mix), Mowgli(3y/o black Bernese/Belgian Turveren), Everest(6 m/o robo dwarf hamster), Pablo(12 y/o tabby), Summit (1-2 y/o black and white mouse on Pablo’s belly in the picture), Onyx (1 y/o maine coon male), Storm (2 y/o maine coon female),Pablo (yes again haha), Iggy (4 y/o boxer/terrier), Sah Zha (means little bear in slavey 2 y/o bengal/tabby). I also have a black Syrian hamster names Burrow and 7 fish tanks.

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