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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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Need support: Our Fiona.
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Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
24 September 2019
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7 October 2019 - 1:24 pm
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Hello, tripawd community, This is my first post.  It’s been a whirlwind six weeks.  In late August, as we were preparing for an overseas trip, I found a hard lump on our 7ish-year old kitty Fiona’s leg.  Having a lumpy black lab for years, this felt different.  I decided to get it checked out since we were going to be gone for nearly 3 weeks.  As soon as I took her in our vet expressed concern about the location–she thought it could be a Fibrosarcoma, triggered by the rabies vaccine (VAS).  We did a biopsy and she sent it to the lab–it was inconclusive, but she pressed for us to remove it so we had it removed less than a week later (our amazing neighbor helped by taking Fiona in while we were traveling for the procedure).  The surgeon removed the tumor (wide, complete margins–2 mm to 5 mm) and the pathology report confirmed cancer. We had a consult with an oncologist who said there was no trace of vaccine nor was it a high grade tumor (intermediate grade) so he couldn’t 100% confirm VAS, but he was suspicious because of the location and because Fiona was a rescue (Hurricane Harvey survivor) we don’t have her history of vaccinations and she could have been over vaccinated shifting shelters. We had her vaccinated just a single time since adopting her 2 years ago.  The oncologist gave us a few options: monitor, chemo/radiation (didn’t make sense in our case), or go ahead and amputate now as the scar from the original surgery was high up on her leg and if it VAS and it came back, surgery might not be possible or more difficult. 

So today, we had her right hind leg amputated.  I know I just need to move forward, but I’m feeling so very sad our poor, lovely Fiona who had a rough start already as a stray had this happen.  I know I’ve done everything I can to give her a shot at a long life, but it still hurts. Please send good wishes our way and any tips you have about helping her adjust to her new normal.  

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 25964
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7 October 2019 - 3:32 pm
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Aww I’m sorry. Of course you are feeling sad, it’s a tough decision. We totally get it. Just know that yes, you are doing the best you can for her and in time, she will get her sparkle back.

When does she get to come home? Be sure to talk to your vet about her pain management , as a good program is the ticket to a good recovery. We see too many animals, cats especially, come home without enough pain medications.

Here are some articles you may find helpful:

The Tripawds What to Expect Series

and our e-book, Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats .

Also be sure to check out our Tripawds Recovery Shopping List to make sure your home is ready for her recovery.

Hang in there, we will be with you ever step of the way!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

new hampshire
Forum Posts: 178
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26 June 2019
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7 October 2019 - 3:54 pm
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Just wanted to say welcome and send some good vibes your way ❤ its a tough decision to have to make.  it may not feel like it at the moment but you are making the right call. You clearly love fiona very much and right now thats what counts.  Recovery has its ups and downs but when u see her sparkle come back it will all be worth it. It sounds like she had a rough start in life but she knows she picked the right human to adopt!

We have some fabulous tripawd kittys here. Im sure one of them will chime in with a few tips for you soon.

Big hugs to you and fiona, Moe and i will be sending lots of love your way.

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

Forum Posts: 51
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7 October 2019 - 4:50 pm
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Well I had a huge response typed out, but the ongoing issues with this server/site apparently resulted in it disappearing and saying “timed out” sooooo I am not going to rehash the encyclopedia I just typed.. grrrrr.. if you get a chance peek through some of my posts over past couple week on this site.. my 10.5 year old cat, Fuzz suddenly developed limp in June fast forward through a emotional rollercoaster and on 9/20 he had a full front right leg/scapula amputation.  He has been simply amzing in his recovery and has literally blown me away with how well he has done and how he has adapted and literally is almost back to normal 2.5 weeks after surgery.  He gets around and has even discovered a way to carry his body lower over his remaining front leg to move quicker with less hop!  His loving personality is back and he appears to not even be stimied in the least.  The medical staff at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital especially Fuzz’s surgeon Dr. Padgett were spot on when they told me that cats do remarkable with amputation.  Fuzz could be the poster child for this good recovery.  His biopsy came back scapular osterosarcoma which according to them was best cancer to have.. however, so rare and little info on cats.. we go back at the end of December for xrays to monitor for microscopic spread, but for now he is living life and has gabapentin if he needs it, which apparently he does not…here are a couple recent pics from last week, the stairs which were zero issue on Saturday and yesterdays reclaiming of the multilevel cat tree… Fuzz sends his love to Fiona and says life on 3 legs is not so bad especially when you get extra love and lots of spoiling!  p.s. this site and the many tripawd parents are amazing!!!

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The Rainbow Bridge



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7 October 2019 - 6:00 pm
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Well I had a huge response typed out, but the ongoing issues with this server/site apparently resulted in it disappearing and saying “timed out”

Sooo sorry! We think we have the problems resolved. Let us know if you encounter any more. Thanks for taking time to share anyways, it’s greatly appreciated. You rock!

Oh and one tip when you’ve heard us talk about connectivity issues, just in case: before hitting that Submit Reply button, always Select All text and Copy beforehand. That way it will be on your clipboard, just in case.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

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Forum Posts: 376
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7 October 2019 - 6:08 pm
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Just wanted to add that I think Jerry and admin guy are doing a great job keeping this site available especially as a non-profit!

Please check out Jackie’ s new blog/video of Hucklebery who was also a stray. Just celebrated 2 year ampurversity. You mentioned Harvey. Are you in Houston?

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18047
Member Since:
22 February 2013
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7 October 2019 - 6:14 pm
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Thank goodness Fiona found you and you found Fiona! She IS A LUCKY KITTY!  Even though she has this “hurdle of recovery” to,overcome,  while  adjusting to three legs  (and she’ll handle it like a champ), because she has you, she has a chance!  A chance at a quality  pain free life!  A chance that, had she had another “owner”, they may not have been as devoted and committed (and finances  certainly  could be a problem, as well as physical ability)) to Fiona as you.  You made the right decision…..a loving decision mis always rhe eifht decision. Good for you for addressing  things quickly!

As you can see from Fuzz’s post, we have a lot of knowledgable members to help answer kitty specific  questions.  Now, I have to give you a heads up, every kitty is different,  every recovery  is different.  Fuzz has been a bit ahead of the curve in many aspects of recovery.   Some take longer to get mobility  figured out, kitty potty figured out, pain meds properly balanced, etc.

STAY CONNECTED!  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!  You have a whole community to help you navigate  through recovery and on to Fiona living life to the fullest!!!

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!

Forum Posts: 2681
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7 October 2019 - 6:20 pm
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Yep,  Jerry just typed what i was going to.  This site rocks! Once in a very great while (now) technical difficulties happen.  If you just copy your response and even paste it into a blank email,  or word,  or notepad… just in case it hiccups,  it will save you a lot of stress. 

On to the important stuff.  Your furbaby is young. And this should not hinder a pawsome life.  Check out my blog if you like,  it’s in my signature. 

The first couple of weeks in recovery can be a rollercoaster ride.  But you’re in the bestest place for support❤

Huckleberry is a right rear amp due to traumatic injury.  He was feral and something/ somebody broke his femur in 2. 

Preparation and pain management are two of the most important things you need.  

Breathe… you are here now and we will do everything we can to help you through this. 

I am wishing you the best of luck as i copy and paste before i press save😘

Hugs, 

Jackie and Hucksp_hearticon2

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog



Forum Posts: 1285
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27 July 2014
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7 October 2019 - 6:22 pm
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My cat Mona lost her leg due to a vaccine. You did the best thing possible to rid cancer from Fiona’s body by having her leg amputated. VAS tends to send out microscopic tendrils and an amputation gives very wide margins with the intention to capture all the cancer cells. 

Cats are very resilient and adapt well to amputation. Please read the suggested blogs and links. Let us know if you have any questions during Fiona’s recovery.

Hugs to you and Fiona,

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Forum Posts: 5
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24 September 2019
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7 October 2019 - 7:07 pm
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Thanks everyone!  It’s so kind to have this amazing support from people who have been through this.  We bring Fiona home tomorrow afternoon and I will send an update, but know these positive vibes are helping.  Here’s a few pictures of our Fiona: https://photos……LYQRMcBN76

Forum Posts: 2681
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1 October 2017
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7 October 2019 - 8:27 pm
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Let’s see how this works.  She’s too gorgeous for a link 😘

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

Forum Posts: 2681
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1 October 2017
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7 October 2019 - 8:28 pm
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Fingers,  toes,  tails and paws crossed for your beautiful furbaby💖

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

Virginia




Forum Posts: 18047
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22 February 2013
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7 October 2019 - 8:55 pm
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Jackie, thanks for showing those BEAUTIFUL  pictures of Fiona!  She really is gorge!  Those eyes…WOW!!!

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



Forum Posts: 25964
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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14
8 October 2019 - 10:53 am
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I’m in love! sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Forum Posts: 51
Member Since:
3 August 2019
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15
8 October 2019 - 5:29 pm
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Was wondering how Fiona is doing and if she is settled in at home recovering yet?  Fuzz and myself send good positive energy and healing vibes and a little bit of the Fuzz mojo as he is a super cat and made his amputation into nothing- 2.5 weeks after his surgery he was literally running around the living room tonight! I have given up trying to keep him slowed down and quiet and see that he is going to do this his way and his way is just fine!  Hopefully the love you have for Fiona will make her pull right through this… Fuzz had a couple down days immediately following his surgery and coming home ( think it was the crash after all the major meds and adrenaline from actual surgery) however, he was eating and using his litter box while he was in the hospital less than 24 hours after surgery.  I made sure I bought and had every kind, texture, flavor,etc of moist food and treats and he was a food trooper to take his meds that way the liquid gabapentin went well with smelly moist food.   Hopefully your vet has Fiona on a good pain regiment and that will help her get through the first couple days.  I am eager to hear how she is doing hope to see her amazing you in a short time like Fuzz has for me!

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