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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 senior cat amputee
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Member Since:
28 September 2022
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1
28 September 2022 - 9:45 pm
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Hello, 

my 17+ yr old boy had his rear leg amputated today due to a Sarcoma. Tumour seemed to appear suddenly, he has been himself so hopefully this has been done early enough. Before deciding on surgery, X-rays showed no other cancer, tumour had not metastasized or attached to bone. He’s also a large cat which there was some concern about, but after my vet consulted with an orthopaedic surgeon and oncologist felt confident in going ahead with amputation. My last update today – he walked a bit, was eating well and got into litter box by himself. He comes home tomorrow or the next day, so have been busy getting his recovery space ready.  

Was so relieved surgery went well, but realize we’re not out of the woods yet and I’m quite nervous about giving him proper care. This site was helpful when I did my own research to help me make the decision, will be looking to the downloaded guide and forums for advice and support as he recovers. 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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29 September 2022 - 11:21 am
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Hi @slyp, welcome! Your future posts won’t need to wait for approval so post away!

Sounds like your kitty (Slyp?) is a great candidate for surgery, and that should make recovery go smoothly. Good pain management is key so be sure to have a good convo with the vet team about his meds and what to do if the prescribed dosages don’t cut it. Many times a fine tuning needs to be made before you get the right combo. 

We hope he comes home today but an extra day at the clinic might be helpful too so don’t panic if that’s what they recommend. Keep us posted ok?

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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29 September 2022 - 11:38 am
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YAY!!  SIRGERY IS DONE!!!  And it’s wonderful that he is already using litter box and eating and already a vit movile!  Ahead of the curve already!  A “mature” kitty often takes a lot longer to even ,Easter the first few hops a d litter box.  Good job!

Now, once he gets home and the hospital meds are out of his system there may be a vit of a crash.  Drinking and peeing are especially  important.  Twewling of the pain meds he comes home may happen to get the right balance.   Of. Course, under Vet supervision 

As you go over the e-books for Cats you’ll find lots of tips to assist  through  recovery.  I’ll come back for the link to the release on Amazon .

Try and get some resr mow.  Your kitty is in good hands and betting lots of good rest. 

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!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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29 September 2022 - 11:43 am
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Here’s the link to help

      https://tripawd…..-cat-book/

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


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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29 September 2022 - 12:17 pm
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Aww thanks for sharing the link Sally!

Member Since:
19 May 2022
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29 September 2022 - 1:44 pm
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Welcome Slyp! Sounds like you did everything you could to make sure his surgery would be as safe (and nessecary!) as possible. Your guy is lucky to have someone like you in his corner looking out for him.

You’re in great hands with Jerry and Benny, but just wanted dip in and say hi – I have a large senior cat that had her right forepaw amputated about four months ago, so I’m  happy to help. 

My main advice right now is to just know this will be a bit of a roller coaster and keep an open mind. Things are going to be different, and the next few weeks are going to be all about adjusting to that difference. Not better or worse, just changed. 

Also as he’s recovering keep a log – what goes in, comes out, how he’s doing, how you’re doing, wins as they come and worries you might want to bring up with your Dr. That way, when you take him in to the vet you can give them context on how he’s recovering and don’t have to recall it all on the fly.

Wishing both of you the best. 

Senior trikitty Luanne had a right forepaw removed in May of 2022 and is still going strong! Here's our story.

Member Since:
28 September 2022
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30 September 2022 - 7:56 am
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Thank you everyone for your responses!  As Jackson was responsive and allowing them to do what they need, vet did keep him another night to observe – also making me more confident. I think his recovery space (a bedroom) is ready, he comes home today. A little unsure how soon I can try to teach him to use his steps? Should I take the bed apart if it’s too soon?[Image Can Not Be Found](have pictures but haven’t figured out how to attach them here, using an iPad

The Rainbow Bridge


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25 April 2007
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30 September 2022 - 11:35 am
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Oh that’s good he gets more spoiling in the clinic. I was just recommending that to someone else here. An extra night means more rest for the two of you and an easier time when your new Tripawd comes home. I hope today’s reunion goes great!

I would wait on the steps until his stitches come out. And do you mean take your bed apart? We recommend putting your mattress on the floor so Jackson can’t get stuck in the box springs, just in case he’s nervous and wants to hide out during recovery.

Here’s how adding images works! 

  • Upload pics to a photo sharing site like imgur.com or your own Tripawds blog (https://tripawd…../supporter). Pictures and video have to be hosted (live) somewhere other than in the forums.
  • Once the photo is uploaded somewhere, right click and copy the Image URL or just copy the image if you’re on a phone
  • Return to your Tripawds Forum post and paste the image URL (or the image itself) in your post. It should automatically appear. 

If you’d like help figuring out the process let me know. I’m in the Tripawds Chat this morning/afternoon.

Member Since:
28 September 2022
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1 October 2022 - 6:40 am
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Good morning. Jackson’s first night home went as well as hoped for.  He did have a few hours of inactivity after falling over while getting a drink. He has always pawed the floor by his water bowl, guess he forgot about missing back leg and lost his balance when he lifted his front paw. He really didn’t want to move for a while after that. Any advice on how to help him recover from mishaps like that? 

Eventually he did get back up, hobbling around the room. I did remove the steps and yes put mattress on the floor, he hobbled over several times to sit with me there. 

Thanks for the photo tips – I was trying to add them from my photo library on my device so that explains that – don’t really use photo sharing sites but maybe I will check it out. 

Member Since:
19 May 2022
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1 October 2022 - 9:36 am
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Glad to hear he’s home! First day is always hard, and it’ll take some practice for him to get used to his new body and distribute his weight so it’s easier to get around.

In the first couple of days I noticed a lot of “calibration” kind of movement as my cat adjusted. Like she’d get up and kind of take a step and then sit down again, would push off at the wrong angles and fall and think about it and be confused. It’s hard to watch but it’s part of the process as they adjust. 

Also he’s likely zonked on pain meds right now which can also make him wobbly and prone to impromptu naps. If he doesn’t seem to be in distress it may just be that. But always check with your vet if you’re unsure or think something might be amiss. Now’s the time to be the squeaky wheel and be sure. 

A few things I look for to see if my cat is in distress – is she still responsive to pets or my voice? breathing normally? will she still eat if it’s dinnertime? I used Churus as a fast gauge of if she was OK too. If she refused a churu and hadn’t just eaten, then I call the vet. Because those little cat gogurts were her absolute favorite after the surgery.

Good on you for adjusting your bed so he can come hang out with you. He’s probably feeling vulnerable so knowing you’re there to watch out for him while he heals is a big comfort. You’re doing great. 

For photo uploading, I use Dropbox personally, it’s still private but you can make a public link and then embed it using the picture embed here and replacing the ?dl=0 text at the end with ?raw=1

Senior trikitty Luanne had a right forepaw removed in May of 2022 and is still going strong! Here's our story.

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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1 October 2022 - 1:06 pm
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Welcome home Jackson! Glad you’re getting your sea legs.

It can take time to find the right balance of helping our new Tripawd, and over-babying them. Sounds like you are doing just fine with that. As long as he’s not in danger, and just a little bewildered about a fall like that, it usually hurts us more than it hurts them. He will figure things out as he goes. Smart kitty!

Looking forward to seeing your photos. Enjoy the snuggles this weekend. Rest easy, he’s on the mend!

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28 September 2022
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2 October 2022 - 7:50 am
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Hello. Jackson is doing better already. I brought him to the main floor with me yesterday – he immediately asked to go out and “ dashed” for the door when  I went near it. It does wear him out – short burst of activity then he lays down for long stretches – guessing that’s normal?  He goes to vet this week to have incision checked.  He is eating, but not quite as well as before. 

Would like to try rehabilitation, even a few sessions to understand how I can best help him recover.  Any guidelines/ experience with how soon that can happen?  Maybe once incision is healed enough for staples to come out?

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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2 October 2022 - 1:22 pm
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Crazy kitty! Yes, initially it takes a lot of work to move around on 3. The more you can keep him calm the better his body can mend and rest, and build strength.

I’m so happy you want to try rehab with him! And don’t forget Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit . If your vet doesn’t have a center to refer you to, let me know and I’ll find one for you. Generally therapists like to see Tripawds pretty soon after surgery, some say within 48 hours and some say 10 days. I think if you call a center now you’ll probably get an appointment within that 10 day timeframe. Paws crossed!

Here are some stories about cats who had rehab therapy through our reimbursement program:

https://tripawd…..ab-athena/
https://tripawd…..or-fergie/
https://tripawd…..hab-lucky/
https://tripawd…..ab-sashya/
https://tripawd…..ehab-feta/

As you can see, not too many people think cats should have rehab therapy but we are trying to change that. It’s just as beneficial for felines as it is for canines. And when it comes down to it, the rehab therapy experience is so educational for us humans! We learn so much about what our new Tripawd’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas we can help them improve upon. I can’t wait to hear about your experience with Jackson!

Member Since:
28 September 2022
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4 October 2022 - 6:19 am
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Thank you Jerry! I read the related articles, and it is a good reminder to watch carefully as he becomes more active.  Jackson is DONE with the confinement and being babied! The first few days of letting him around the house he was willing to have me carry or lift him to say sit on the couch with me, and would not even go near the edge. As of yesterday he has decided he can do everything he used to, so am not taking eyes off him now. He’s getting a bit grumpy from the restrictions as he is feeling better so will make a rehab appt asap. There’s a few places in Winnipeg where we live, but I will ask my vet for a recommendation. 

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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4 October 2022 - 12:54 pm
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Aww you are so welcome. Yeah I’ll tell ya, cats are really really challenging in this situation. I’m so glad he’s getting his feisty catitude back! Let us know what you find out about rehab, there should be some good ones where you live.

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