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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Phantom Limb Pain + Spasm Episodes
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Member Since:
10 April 2024
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1
10 April 2024 - 3:19 pm
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Hi all,

Misa is a rear leg amputee cat- her surgery was about 2 years ago, and we adopted her shortly after. She was a street cat in Cuba who was left in bad shape on the steps of a clinic, she’d most likely been hit by a car. 

Two months ago, she woke up one morning yowling in pain, and every attempt to walk had her raising up her stump (her amputation left about half her leg still attached; our Canadian vet says it’s an awkward place to have amputated it), flailing it around, walking backward and then falling over and having difficulty righting herself. 

Our vet prescribed antibiotics as she suspected her liver may’ve been causing the issue, given her bloodwork showing elevations on that front. Within about a week she was right as rain, but she’s now experiencing the same symptoms and we are doubtful that it’s an infection. 

We have Gabapentin on hand from our other cat who has cancer, so gave her .4ml last night. She’s been sleepy since, and while it does appear to have dulled the pain, her stump is still twitching and seizing often, and she’s not able to walk or balance properly. 

Our vet has suggested we see a neurologist for next steps. Based on what I’ve read on the forums here, this kind of episode is not uncommon for Tripawds, in terms of experience of phantom limb pain and spasms. Wondering if pain management until it passes is the most humane/common course of action, or whether this long after the surgery these symptoms indicate a larger issue that we need to investigate.

Many thanks in advance. 

Mary 

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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10 April 2024 - 7:22 pm
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Geez, sorry your Misa is having this kind of painful reaction.

I don't  have experience with thos type of situation.  Can only say it seems unlikely to be actual phantom  limb pain this far out.  HOWEVER, bec of so mich of the leg left and how pai ful ot os to jer, do wonder if it is some type of nerve pain where the nerve wasn't  properly severed.   Have no clue....just throwing that out there.

If it is some sort of phantom  pain, the Gabapentin should help

Stay tuned and hopefully you will get more insight from our kitty members.

 

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11 April 2024 - 10:59 am
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Hi Mary,

Thanks for adopting this street kitty, she's so lucky to have found her way to you.

You are correct: we see things like this a lot around here. Many general practice vets don't since they just don't see as many amputees as we do here. And while we aren't vets, we get to know their stories and the after-effects of situations like this. Yes, phantom pain can happen many months later, especially if the pain management before and after surgery was lacking.

Generally it's a matter of calming the nerves with good pain control, and a bit of rehab therapy. If she were my cat, I would see a rehab therapist first. Preferably a veterinarian who also does acupuncture, which is one of the best ways to treat phantom pain and "angry" nerves. Our Tripawds Foundation can reimburse for the first rehab visit too! And if you'd like help finding a great therapist just let me know. 

Mary12
4
11 April 2024 - 3:04 pm
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Hi Jerry and Benny,

Many thanks to you both for your speedy replies. The suggestion about rehab and is well taken, I think that's a route we need to investigate going forward.

Misa is currently at the emerg vet with my partner, as she was so unable to stand and move this morning that we felt we had to take action. Turns out her leg had developed an abscess internally that had led to a painful infection. They've drained it and will be sending her home with antibiotics and pain killers.

I guess this speaks to our Canadian vet's suggestion that leaving so much of the leg attached can lead to complications, such as this. She'd not had any signs of scabbing or infection from the outside, but apparently even a small cut from bumping on the floor could have led to this.

Glad we've got her stabilized and have things under control. Thanks again for your insight; very happy to have found this forum as Misa is our first tripawd and understanding her unique needs is important to us.

All the best,

Maryrn 

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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11 April 2024 - 7:23 pm
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Oh poor girl, no wonder she was in such pain! I'm glad they are treating the condition. Ouch!

Yes please do go to the rehab therapist to see what can be done. There may be a chance that with some ongoing rehab and strengthening she can learn better movement patterns so she doesn't bang up the stump like this.  It's worth a try.

P.S. If you register as a member your posts won't need to be approved each time.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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11 April 2024 - 7:35 pm
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YIKES!!  At least you were able to uncover the cause of all her issues!!  Good job of getting her to the ER.  Hopefully the antibiotics  will do their job quickly.

Wondering if any of the Vets have mentioned  the possibility of a full amputation as this could be a recurring  problem?

Let is know how things are going, okay?

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!

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