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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Penny has done so well today. She’s been up on the sofa, used the dining chair and table to look out the window like she used to. She can’t get on the dining chair very easily. She jumps at and then uses her front claw and legs to pull herself up. I’m just looking around to see if there’s anything I can do to make it easier for her.
But she’s been all round the flat except kids room. She’s only allowed in the supervised anyway as my son has a high sleeper bed and I don’t want her on the ladder
So glad to hear things are getting better! Go Penny Whistle!
What about making Penny steps? Who built the fantastic ramp?
Someone has skills there! Might steps take up less space? I guess it would depend on how they were made.
I added steps to Purrkins favorite spots. You can tier your furniture, so it goes gradually down. I moved furniture closer together too.
The dining room chair yep I have steps at the kitchen table!
Not everyone’s cup of tea but it is safe for Purrkins, and if I didn’t have them there, he would be jumping up and down anyway. It works, and I gave up caring what things looked like when the amp happened. Kinda watch and see where she has issues or where you would like her not to be and make whatever changes you can.
Do you have hard floors are they carpeted? That is something else we added were rugs and rug runners for Purrkins to hop on better it made a big difference for him!
She will continue to amaze you this is her first day out. Whoo hoo, Penny!
How is her appetite today? Better too? Hope so!
Holly & Purrkins
My husband made the ramp, in the same way her used to make a skateboard ramp as a kid so he kinda knew what he was doing. I mentioned some steps to him and he seemed reluctant to add loads of different things for her, purely because we don’t have biggest space for us 4 humans and the 2 cats. So I’m thinking maybe just a little box would work, like a single step? She can get onto the highest part of her ramp from the floor so if we were to create a little box she could use that to then get on the chair/sofa and would take up less floor space too.
We only have carpet so she’s managing pretty well. I’m quite shocked at how quickly she’s come around compared to what she was like just a few days ago. I would say shes very nearly just her usual self. Appetite might be a little down still but not much. X
A box would work just fine as long as it was not bottom heavy and would slide or tip when she kicks off of it. I have even used pillows in places that he just needed a little boost. If you make sure it is solid and wont fall or slide it will work
Any box would do litterbox would work great as a step if it is flush with the floor?
Sure! Any box would work. I would make sure it doesn’t slide and stays in place. Maybe some of that shelf liner that is rubbery under it? Or use a box filled to add weight to it. Crates wooden or plastic could also work, those plastic totes with a lid. You have your thinking cap on already you are going to figure it out.
Great on the carpet! Purrkins acts like he has 4 legs and there isn’t anything he can’t or won’t do! Don’t underestimate a 3 legged cat! A missing limb will not stop her just wait and see!
Appetite hopefully will be back up tomorrow the drugs are getting out of her hopefully that fixes the lack of!
How are the kids and other kitty doing with Penny?
22 February 2013
It is soooo uplofting to hear how well Penny is doing! 🙂 She’s really “ahead of the curve” this early in recovery.
Thanks for the good update! 🙂
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!
27 July 2014
My tripawd Mona uses banker boxes which are cardboard. For the longest time she knew they were for her and wouldn’t allow my other cat Eli on them. She now allows him to use them to sleep on and just taps his head for him to move when she needs the box. Cats sure know how to adapt to the situation.
You must be pleased that Penny is doing so well.
Kerren, Eli and Tripawd Kitty Mona
Life’s been a little hectic lately but thought i would give u a little update.
Penny now has a little set of steps for the sofa which has definitely made her life a little easier and my sofa can last a little longer.
We managed to get her off the pain killers completely within a couple of weeks of the amp as everything was going so well. Unfortunately she has luxating patella in the remaining back leg, and there have been a couple of times when this has caused her some problems. So we are back on the meds.
She has been put on a renal diet as her urea levels are high and her usg levels are borderline. Because the metacam puts a lot of pressure on her kidneys we changed over to gabapentin. I only gave her one dose and phoned the vets later that day, and told them I’m not giving her them anymore. She was so off balance. She couldn’t walk straight, she couldn’t sit up with out falling over. She even fell off the ramp. So we are back on the metacam at the moment. I know it’s not the best for her kidneys but I can’t leave her in pain.
Since she was falling over so much she seems to be walking around more gingerly. In hoping that she hurt herself a little rather than her legs has got worse that quickly. I will keep an eye on her and see how we get on
The Gaba can make them dopey on the first couple doses, that is what I noticed when Purrkins was on it seemed like Purrkins adjusted to it.
Maybe she just needed a lower dose? What pain was she showing you? I am wondering if she was having phantom limb pain or the luxating patella pain?
I can only imagine that scare falling off her ramp. There are times we have to weight these things out and pick the lesser evil. I agree with you cant leave her in pain. I think as long as you have regular bloodwork done, keep monitoring her for any progression in the disease. I would use what works for Penny, and you can always ask about alternative drugs. I wonder if Buprenorphine would be an option? Or smaller dosage of the Gaba.
Great, she has steps to the sofa, any stress that can be alleviated is best on that remaining limb.
Thanks for the update and do hope to hear Penny is improving and has not injured her other leg. Let us know you guys get on, please
Hugs & chin scratches to Miss Peny Whistle
Holly & Purrkins❤️
So good to hear from you! If it helps at all Huck was really out of it the first couple of doses of gaba too, but after that it didn’t make him sleepy. The first dose actually put him right to sleep for a while. I think they get used to it quickly though.
Hopefully she’s just a little tender and will be ok very soon. Keeping fingers and paws crossed for you.
Jackie and Huckleberry ❤️
Her back leg had buckled a couple of times causing her to stumble, so when I mentioned it they said to put her back on the metacam.
Once I had managed to get the urine sample in and they had the results they suggested we try the gabapentin. She was prescribed half a capsule 2x a day. I think that was 50mg but I don’t have them here anymore to check.
It definitely sedated her as she spent the whole morning asleep. It was the sedation I had a problem with but i broke down watching her try and wash, or get to her litter tray. She couldn’t even come over to me properly as she was so unsteady.
If I’m completely honest, I will be surprised if she’s here in a year I just want to make sure she’s got the best quality of life while she is. So although the metacam isn’t great for the kidneys, if it means she can get around and be herself then at the moment that’s what I would rather give her. The effects of the gabapentin didn’t wear off for over 12 hours and she would have been due another dose before that
How bad is her good leg? You mentioned she has the same problem with that one, a luxating patella? She is so very young, are her kidney levels just “off” or is she in renal failure?
Feline kidney health This is a pretty good article on using food to help keep the kidneys healthy. I think we talked a bit about this before. I don’t know if there is something even therapy wise to help her remaining leg, you might think about going to see a certified rehab therapist and have her evaluated. They may be able to give you some things to do with her to strengthen her core, which may in turn help keep the extra strain from harming her remaining leg? A visit for evaluation may be a great idea, even just the one visit.
The kidney article you may find very interesting. There is more information out there, tons of it but it is quite informative. When I made changes to Andy’s diet, he went from having the nastiest bacteria, crystals, etc ( he blocked twice) to a totally clean, no crystals or bad bacteria in his latest urine. The doctor was pleasantly surprised. He was fully hydrated, his urine was less concentrated than she had ever seen it.
I hope some of this helps you. Holly will no doubt pop back in here, she is a great source of knowledge for these things also. Please stay in touch and let us know how you do. Maybe making a few changes can give her the quality of life that you seek for her and help her kidneys to stay healthy if they are not too far gone.
Jackie and Huckleberry
Yeah she has luxating patella in the remaining back leg too, although It wasn’t causing her any real issues when they decided to do the amputation. It’s hard for me to tell how it’s doing now as I obviously can’t compare how she’s walking as well. Before I could tell by how bad she was limping. The fact that its given out a couple of times within 5 weeks of the amputation isn’t a great sign.
Her urea levels have been tested multiple times. At first they were at 20, which you would expect to see in a cat of around 14 years. They tested again after iv fluids and they’d gone down to 11 which is still pretty high. These tests were done when she spent a few days as an in patient for the amputation. They were tested again approx 4 days after she came home and they had already gone back up to 15.
There was protein and white blood cells present in the urine sample 2 weeks ago, and The level of concentration was borderline low but still much lower than would be expected in a healthy cat.
That is really tough for a cat so young. I wish things were easier for you right now. There is information out there about diet and kidney health. I don’t know how much better it would make things for her but it certainly couldn’t hurt to try. I have added the freeze dried raw to their diet mixed with canned prescription. So mine are getting a small serving of dry in the morning and just wet at night. They clean their bowls and seem to be doing pretty good with it. I’m adding water to it too to give them better hydration and I change out their water twice a day. My situation is a bit different than yours, but keeping his urine dilute allows for him to flush his kidneys and bladder which had made a big difference got him.
I hope you’re able to find something that can slow this rotten process. Keeping fingers, toes, and paws crossed for you.
Jackie and Huck ❤️
I will look into it and see what I can find
She seems to be eating the renal food well at the moment. The vet had warned that they don’t tend to like it due to the low protein. Tiger also seems to like it too which is a real nuisance.
She’s on the dry version as she’s so fussy with food that she won’t eat more than a mouthful of any wet food which is a shame as I know that wet is better for kidneys. I just have to work with her though so if that’s what she’ll eat at the moment then so be it