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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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New amputee mum - wanting advice
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Member Since:
8 May 2021
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1
16 May 2021 - 12:22 am
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Hi, 

My 12-year-old cat Mimi has recently had her back leg amputated about 12 days ago. I am concerned about these episodes she has where she walks backwards, cries out and hops on the one leg and just circles around and then falls to lay down. They can vary between lasting only 30 seconds to 5 minutes and she gets very frustrated. She has walked backwards and flipped her entire body over just last night and it sometimes seems painful and other times just confusing for her. 

I have told the vet multiple times and asked if it's phantom limb pain, he informs me that it is very rare but I have been doubting that from all the posts i read about it.

I was also trying to find a place for Mimi to get rehab or somewhere I can get any advice for this in Melbourne, Australia as I feel so overwhelmed and stressed.

Thank you sp_hearticon2

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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16 May 2021 - 8:23 am
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Hi Mimi and family, welcome! 

I will be back shortly, when I'm at my desk, but I will share this article with you first. What you are describing is not too uncommon in our corner of the universe, just in your vet's experiences witb amputee cats and phantom leg pain :

https://tripawd.....backwards/

Back in a bit, your future posts are automatically approved.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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16 May 2021 - 4:31 pm
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Okay, take some deep breaths....you are in the right place for support and information to help your sweet Mimi (and you) navigate  through recovery!

You will see from Jerry's links that the backwards "walking" and falling is not uncommon  as cats learn to adapt to three.  And, from what you describe,  there is definitely  some phan limb pain involved, or certainly  some form of pain.

What meds did she come home with and how ,long was she on them?  Is she eating and drinking, peeing and pooping okay?

How is her gsig when she's not having these " episodes"?  Guess a better question is doesn she have balanced mobility some of the time?  Engaged?  

You can also download https://downloa.....-cat-tips/ which is chock full of tips put together   Tripawd kitty members  who have experienced  every aspect of this journey.

You'll get through this and Mimi will get her sparkle back.  She just needs her Vet to advocate her and get her proper pain management   and, if warranted, a more thorough  check up to eliminate a y hidden issues, etc.

We'll look for your follow up post, okay?  And remember to breathe!!!

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!

Member Since:
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18 May 2021 - 3:38 am
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Thank you so much for replying and sending that article! It does bring me more peace to know it seems to pass and reading other peoples experiences.

I want to speak to my vet over the next couple of days to see if we can give Mimi Gabapentin (I hope that's how its spelt). I am still waiting for the biopsy results on her amputated leg too which is making me quite nervous, I am praying its good news and she will be with us for a while longer. 

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18 May 2021 - 3:53 am
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Hi!

I am still trying to figure out how to navigate this website and i hope I'm replying correctly.

The medication she came home with was meloxicam and i asked the vet for another type of painkiller as well less than a week after her surgery and he gave me some oral medicine called Buprenorphine and we only give it to her when she seemed to be in a lot of pain and the episodes were frequent. I havent had to give her any for a couple days now and she is doing better.

Mimi didn't poop for a couple days after the surgery but she has been going to the toilet all on her own everyday now! She is very smoochy and happy when she doesn't have those episodes, She walks very fast on her 3 legs too which surprised me and my family :') 

She got her stitches out tonight and is hopefully going to do well tomorrow walking around the rest of the house with no more cone on her little head. I will ask my vet about pain management from now on and what the plan will be. I was curious about if she will need any acupuncture to maybe help with her pain or stress in that area in the future as well.

Thank you so much! i feel pretty clueless and overwhelmed but its nice to have found this place where everyone comes together to help

hugs from,

Tanaya and Mimi sp_hearticon2

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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18 May 2021 - 10:10 am
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Hi Tanaya,

Yep you are replying correctly! So it does sound like Mimi got short-changed on pain control. Coming home with Meloxicam is the equivalent of being given an Ibuprophen after your leg gets cut off. Vets who practice better pain management supply the parent with at least 2 types of meds, preferably 3. You did a great job by advocating for more! That helped for sure. 

It sucks but in our experience with members, those animals who don't get enough consistent, round-the-clock pain control after surgery tend to have difficult recoveries, often with phantom leg pain . World-expert Dr. Robin downing has lots to say about vets who practice good pain control for their patients.

Yes, acupuncture can make a HUGE difference! Check out Pixie's post about cats and acupuncture for amputation pain.

I hope things go well when she gets her stitches out. YAY for no more cone!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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19 May 2021 - 12:14 pm
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Ueah, bummer about not having adequate  pain meds.  Good for you for questioning👍

She seems to be starting to thrive again and that's all that matters .  Stitches are out and her pottying routine  seems back to normal.  Her sparkle  will continue  to come back!! Good update....keep 'em coming!

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!

Member Since:
8 May 2021
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20 May 2021 - 6:11 am
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Hi again, 

I had a suspicion that would be the case, makes me sad to know she didnt get enough pain medication at the start of this like she should, Is it too late to ask for extra medication now though? I just dont know where to go from here.

She has her stitches out now and I am trying to find a place close enough that specialises in pain management and acupuncture, I found one 50 minutes away from where i live and they offer a lot of good services so maybe i should try giving them a call soon but such a long drive for mimi. Ill keep looking for some more places as well.

I appreciate all the help and support so much!!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 May 2021 - 7:06 am
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No, not too late at all to add some pain meds. Maybe your regular vet would be willing to prescribe something for her. Many dogs and cats actually stay on a low dose of pain med for quite a while after amputation. It may especially benefit her since she sort of needs a little catch up time 2 be fully healed and properly treated for the pain. You're doing an excellent job. She is quite lucky to have you as her human.

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!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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10
20 May 2021 - 10:07 am
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Don't beat yourself up, most of here (including me) learned about pain management the hard way. It's a process. But now you know and as Sally said, it's never too late to ask. 

If you'd like help finding a rehab clinic let me know. Some mobile therapists exist too so if you have trouble finding someone closer, just send me a PM with your location and I'll poke around for ya.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

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