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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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Oscar will not walk or use his litter box
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Member Since:
12 January 2022
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12 January 2022 - 2:06 pm
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We are about 2 months post op. He will scoot around but no usage of that back limb. I have taken him to holistic treatments for acupuncture and laser but to no avail. I have him on CBD, i see some change with that as far as pain management .

He will also not use the litterbox. That is a huge problem and I have never had that with him. He is 10. I have tried new boxes, new litter, and nothing. I am really at a loss. Have any of you had issue like this? 

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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12 January 2022 - 6:34 pm
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Hi Oscar & momma, welcome. Your future posts won't need approval so post away.

Sorry about his mobility issues. Other cat members have had mobility challenges that are similar, so no you are not alone. But each animal is an individual and the causes can be all across the board. We can help you better if you can tell us:

  1. What led to the amputation? 
  2. Was he ever using the back leg after surgery?
  3. Is he overweight?
  4. If he isn't using the box, where/how is he toileting?
  5. How many rehab treatments has he had, and when?
  6. What pain control did he have after surgery? Is he on any pain medication now and if so, what type and how often?
  7. Does your physio/rehab therapist have a plan for helping him get better?
  8. And for my own curiosity, what cannabis product do you have him on and what is the dosage?

Sorry to have more questions than answers at this point but if you can chime in with some backstory we can help! 

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

Member Since:
12 January 2022
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13 January 2022 - 2:27 pm
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I adopted Oscar about 2 years ago from a shelter, her was 8. He developed a ball looking cyst on his right thigh that kept getting bigger rapidly so I took him in for a biopsy. It came back injection site sarcoma. Vet told me it was aggressive and we needed to either remove the leg or let him be, but she said that he wouldn't be with us long. So we took his leg.

He has used the leg after surgery. I think after speaking with the holistic vet that maybe he jumped or fell and hurt his remaining leg, and it just has been a slow process getting the muscle back and his mojo back.

Oscar is about 11 lbs, he really needs to loose a few lbs... I have him on reduced calorie food and am introducing more wet into his diet. (He his very food motivated lol)

He is using the box for poop. He is peeing on pee pads that I have on the floor in his room. Our spare bedroom we have converted for him I have his box, and food and everything he needs in there while he recoups. I have a feeling he is frustrated and wants out of there. I will leave the door open, but he will just sit there and cry.

We have done about 3 treatments in the last month and a half. He has had acupuncture and laser on his leg and back. 

Oscar had a fentanyl patch after surgery and once that was removed he was on gabapentin. I didn't see a difference and the holistic vet suggested CBD so I started him, on 4 drops 2 times a day and I see some improvement.

The rehab vet I think just wants me to work with him and exercise that leg. They believe he will walk. 

I am just frustrated with with not having a supportive husband at home, with all this. I am sure we will get there. It is just so heartbreaking.

On The Road


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13 January 2022 - 8:39 pm
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Thank you for all the details. So everything you mentioned makes sense as far as why his recovery is taking a bit longer than expected. First, he is getting fantastic care!

What a lucky boy to have a great team on his side. His pain management sounds good from the beginning to today. He can use the litterbox, which is great! That he's also seeing a rehabilitation therapist is so helpful too. Because he is not an ideal weight right now, that has an impact on his mobility but it will change! When the weight comes off he will be able to get around much better. Your rehab therapist is on target and I love that you are working with one.

Yes, Oscar may be bored with the same scenery. As long as he is safe inside your home, see how you can encourage him to join you elsewhere. What happens if you carry him into another room?

I'm sorry your husband is not being supportive. Meh, who needs him lol?! JK. Lean on us, we get it and we will support you.

Oscar will get there. He's just on his own schedule. Keep doing what you are doing, stay in touch with your therapist and let her know your concerns. Before you know it he will have his mojo back. Many people have dealt with similar situations so this isn't unusual, I promise.

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

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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14 January 2022 - 7:51 am
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Hello and welcome,

Sorry to hear Oscar is having mobility problems & litter box troubles.

Have you seen this post?Litter Box Tips fo Tripawds- Member Tips Many members share what works for their trikitty. I realize your situation is a bit different, but most will apply. (our litter box setup is also in there.)

FIRST - Has Oscar seen the traditional vet since he started peeing outside the box? I want to make sure nothing else is going on. A UTI has been ruled out; they took a urine sample and came back clean? If Not, this is your first step; I can't stress that enough! He is pooping in the box and not peeing is saying something. We have to figure out what the why. Amazing he can poop in the box with his one leg injured. Good boy, Oscar!

When did he start peeing on the pads after the injury? Does he constantly pee on the pads? Have you used an enzyme cleaner where he has peed to get it all cleaned up? (He can't smell it and thinks it is ok to continue peeing there?) Are the pee pads he uses in the same spot or all over? If they are in one area, have you tried placing another litter box there with the pee pads are inside a litter box? 

You said you tried many litter boxes. Were any low-sided or no-sided so Oscar could slide in to go? 

Is the box big enough for him to comfortably turn around in?

I have some ideas to try. We want to let our kitties choose what they like and don't. 

Set up two boxes side by side and see which Oscar would prefer or if he likes both. Both boxes he can physically get into as easily as possible—this idea is in my mind for a kitty getting around with front two legs but a bigger version.

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-8.31.31-AM.pngImage Enlarger

A couple of ways to do this - 

1. Cut out a litter box on one side. We did this with a Dremel with a cutting blade. The litter boxes are rigid plastic; you cant use a utility knife and get thru it. 

Or

2. You can get a Rubbermaid tote and cut that with a utility knife. It will be messy as in litter scatter, but if you can get oscar back peeing in the box, huge! 

I would leave the litter box Oscar poops in alone (meaning the same litter, same box, same location), keep it clean, of course, and try adding a second one low side or no sided and see what happens. Then, add a litter attractant Dr. Elsey's Ultra Litter Attractant Or Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract Cat Litter.

I noticed in your post that he is in a spare room for recovery. Are his litter, food, and water spaced far away from each other? Opposite sides of the room? Cats don't want their food and water, and bathroom nearby.

I would also suggest a pheromone diffuser while in the spare room to help with stress and add another litter box to see if you get anywhere. Spend time in the room with him as much as possible. Or bring him out to where you are. 

Let us know if you have ruled out a UTI & try any of these ideas & if anything does or does not help, please.  

I'm sorry you don't have the support that makes this all the more stressful! Hang in there; this takes detective work, experimenting, time, and patience to find what works. Oscar is lucky to have you!

Sending big hugs, scratches to Oscar, please!

Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

Member Since:
12 January 2022
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17 January 2022 - 3:58 pm
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I have already done a lot of these except taken him back to his regular vet for a UTI check. We have a appointment on Wednesday. I am hoping that this is what it is. Fingers crossed. Because I am about to lose my mind.

I will keep you all posted, and again, I really appreciate all the help and most importantly support that I get from this group.

It truly has been a journey. 

~Karen

AKA Oscar's Mama

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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17 January 2022 - 4:34 pm
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You are so welcome. Let us know how the visit goes!

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

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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18 January 2022 - 5:33 am
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I'm glad to see you have an appt on Wed; we always want to rule out any medical issues first.

Cats are telling us something by going outside the box. Why is detective work? You are on your way to finding out if there is any medical cause.

We will watch for your update. Fingers crossed, you get some answers.
Hugs, Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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18 January 2022 - 8:52 am
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'Been cheering from the sidelines for your sweet Oscar.  All I can add is some more pawsitive energy as you have gotten THE most comprehensive  and invaluable  information from our "Cat Whisperer" Holly..  

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:
12 January 2022
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20 January 2022 - 6:59 am
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Doc visit went well. We ruled out UTI, however i had them take some better xrays of his remaining leg and she said his leg has some of the worst arthritis she has seen. 

I wish that they did more xray before the imputation to discover this. Husband is even worse now with the i told you to get a second opinion. But they made it seem like that sarcoma was so aggressive and that tumor grew so fast, I didn't want to delay.

So we are trying a teenie but of Meloxdyl every other day, and continuing the CBD

I got the Assissi loop and we are starting that, and will sprinkle the acupuncture and laser as needed and as my wallet can afford.

What a journey. I don't think I will have too many years with him, but I intend to spoil and love on him every second he is here.

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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20 January 2022 - 7:38 am
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I'm glad you got some answers. I'm sorry about arthritis yes, that would explain difficulty going potty it hurts!

Have you tried the slide-in-the-box idea very low? And add a second box both? If not, you have nothing to lose and hopefully get Oscar back in the box to pee. 

You were right to amputate asap, and I'm sorry your support team is not there. Does the husband not realize this behavior is not helping anyone ?!!? GRR and can lead to further stress in the house? I know Oscar can sense the anxiety. Ok🤐, we can only work on what we can work on.🫂 🫂🫂

You are doing everything pawsible to help Oscar, and I think the Assisi loop will give relief & the NSAID. We have used the Assisi loop on Purrkins brother Saxton, and it did indeed help him. If only it were more affordable or the very least lasted longer than it does. 

The FDA just approved a Monoclonal Antibody Drug for cats for osteoarthritis! I was excited until I heard it was a vaccine!  So this is the information if you are interested. 

SolensiaTM frunevetmab injection Injectable Solution Cats 

SolensiaTM is indicated for the control of pain associated with osteoarthritis in cats.

I'm very hesitant for any cat and with ISS, but I figure it is worth putting here for info. Because it's new, we won't see much data on reactions other than what is stated. Once again, I'm not endorsing this; I'm just giving info. Would I use it?!? I would need A LOT of data.

We are here to continue troubleshooting and help in any way. Ok? Most importantly, we need to make the box as easy to get into as pawsible! I think you can get him back peeing in the box if it is less painful to get into and all the urine has been cleaned up. Do you use a black light after cleaning and detect NO urine?

We are here even if you need to vent or need support!!

BIG HUGS

Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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20 January 2022 - 7:55 am
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I had an afterthought. Is Oscar on any joint support? Vetri science Pro line now has a Vetriflex in a feline formula. It is improved for cats taste, and we can attest the boys devoured it. Our holistic Vet ordered if for us yours might be able to do the same? Worth a mention anwyay.

Hugs!

Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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20 January 2022 - 8:39 am
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Agree that the amp needed to be done asap.!!!    Holly and Jerry can fill in the blanks, but don't  recall bad arthritis  being a reason NOT to amputate  in cases like this.  Even when bad arthritis  is found  ahead of time, amputation with this crap disease is still always the path forward advised.  

Now you know what you are dealing with mobility wise and you are putting solutions  in place to help with that.  Good job!!!

Guess I'm just a little perplexed as to why the arthritis seems to be the only "cause".  I say that because he was using that leg after amputation  and he was mobile.  Was the lack of ise of the leg gradual or sudden and how long after amputation??? 

  A Holistic Vet is not the same as a Rehabilitation  Vet.  And range of motion  exercises, etc for the leg have to be done in a very precise and specific way that Rehab Specialist  have expertise in.  A yway, of you have access to a Rehab Bet the Tripawds Foundation   will, pay for the first visit.  So the combo of Holistic Bet and Rehab Vet may be really beneficial. 

And Holly.....💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

((((((((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:
12 January 2022
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20 January 2022 - 9:26 am
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The plan is this weekend is to make his room over and rearrange so he has more free space in the middle of the room. I bought a couple of under bed utility boxes from Target that i need to pick up tonight and will cut and sand them down for litter pans. Going to try out new locations and see if it helps any. 

I will snap some pics and attach them when I am done.  

Thank you guys!

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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20 January 2022 - 11:07 am
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Excellent!

Hopefully, you can cut those with a utility knife. If not we used a Dremel tool with a cutting wheel on it & then filed ours.

We will look forward to pics!

Scratches to Oscar, please!
Hugs,
Holly & Purrkins 💝💝💝

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