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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Possible amputation for 16 year old cat
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The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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20 January 2023 - 10:54 am
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Paw shucks you are so very welcome! I was so happy to see that last night went relatively well. It really did! Same day home from surgery doesn't get any better than this. What a gift to you!

Some thoughts ...

 She refuses to keep the darn onesie on! 

Hmm that's a challenge. Is it too loose? Can you modify it quickly with needle and thread? It is less traumatizing than the cone for sure. If you can find a way to keep it on her that's ideal. We see lots of people give up on a cone or onesie and then wham, they turn around and the cat or dog has pulled out the stitches. So be strong!

She is determined to only use the litterbox despite it being hard for her!

That is WONDERFUL! I'm thinking if you can make some kind of temporary ramp for that step, it might be easier. Got any cardboard laying around the house? Time to get creative!

She finished her 3 oz can of food in the middle of the night and ate some breakfast this morning.

AMAZING! Seriously for the first night that is incredible and a very good sign.

They sent her home with more buprenorphine and liquid gabapentin, both given twice a day. 

Excellent! Stay ahead of the pain and everything is easier.

So happy to hear things are going well. It'll get easier as time goes on. Keep us posted.

Where ever my car goes


Member Since:
6 July 2017
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20 January 2023 - 1:00 pm
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Hi there!

A bit late of a response perhaps, but as things are going wonderfully for me and Tuxedo I do not visit often.

Five and a half years ago Tuxedo had to have his rear leg amputated due to a dog attack.  He is now 15 and a half.  While he is slowing down due to age, he still can keep up with his four year old "sister" Lilly.  So yes, age other than perhaps recovery time period, is only a number.  Older cats can do great on three.

During Tuxedo's recovery, I used pizza boxes as temporary litter boxes.  My vet also advised using torn/large shreds of newspaper to minimize the chances of getting anything in the wound. The boxes had low sides and no need to clean anything. When it got messy, I just closed the lid and threw it away.

If there is anything I can help you with, please direct message as I am not on here often these days.

-Dawna, Tuxedo, Lilly, & Angel Dazzle

Member Since:
17 January 2023
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21 January 2023 - 12:38 pm
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Good morning! Another update for Jelli because we (mostly me) had a stressful morning over human error. She had a bout of diarrhea in the early morning, which is concerning because she has IBD. I cleaned her up then picked her up onto my bed with me for some cuddle time (a mistake) as I waited for the vet office to open. Called when they did then gave her the pain medicine and readjusted the onesie when I noticed the whole underneath her and the blankets were damp and Jelli was shivering. I smelt her and the blankets and nope, no urine smell. I still have a hard time looking super closely at the staples/sutras but nothing seemed off. Still, I panicked called the vet and said I was on my way. Felt a little bad about forcing them to squeeze me in between appointments but I figure if something tore that would have been a bigger emergency.

Jelli was able to see her primary vet who was concerned about her anemia. Apparently it was lower than what the vet who oversaw her for the surgery let on and her primary didn't feel comfortable about waiting two weeks to retest. 

Her staples and sutras were all perfectly fine and her anemia is stable with lots of baby red blood cells forming. So they sent us home with a pro-biotic and anti-diarrheal medicine with the theory that she must have wet herself and perhaps it was too dilute to give off an odor. I feel like this is the case because now that I'm home an hour later, the blankets are starting to smell like urine.

But on to the good news! While it was diarrhea, she did manage to get into the litterbox herself to go in the back corner by herself! She couldn't quite manage to get out herself but I was awake and had to clean her anyways. She's also managing to stand/sit up a lot longer when she goes to drink water before she resorts to laying down while drinking. Day two and her movement is pretty solid!

mommatux said
During Tuxedo's recovery, I used pizza boxes as temporary litter boxes.  My vet also advised using torn/large shreds of newspaper to minimize the chances of getting anything in the wound. The boxes had low sides and no need to clean anything. When it got messy, I just closed the lid and threw it away.

That is a very good idea! Right now I have the cardboard bottom to a Costco-sized case of soda that I think will work well but I'm definitely thinking about ordering a pizza in the next few days!

The Rainbow Bridge



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21 January 2023 - 3:35 pm
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I love the pizza box doing double duty for you and then Jelli!

This is more progress! It's so much better to be safe and check in with your vet so don't feel bad. That's a major surgery and it's why they fit you in. Sooo glad that it all went well and she's home again!

You are both doing so awesome, hang in there!

Virginia







Member Since:
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21 January 2023 - 7:31 pm
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Well, except for this "issue", Jelli really is doing well!  Eating and drinking,  insisting on using mthe littlerbox, standing and sitting up on her own......such a Tirpawd Warrior!

Really glad you had your Vet check her out.  Hopefully the probiotic and anti-diarrheal medicine will straighten things out.  Glad your Vet is keeping an eye on her anemia to stay ahead of any problem. 

Thanks for the update

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS. Dawna1, great tip on the pizza box👍

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!

Tanja
21
21 January 2023 - 9:51 pm
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hello! Wow am I so glad to have stumbled across this post.

My boy Scott is home after his leg front leg was amputated yesterday due to cancer :(. 

he is absolutely dead set on refusing the cone and a onesie. He keeps flailing his body around like he is being murdered. But when they are off he is calm. I am currently taking shifts with my husband to watch him all night so we make sure he is not messing with the stitches. Please keep your updates coming, they are giving me hope. 

we are in this together 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼

Livermore, CA




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22 January 2023 - 1:20 pm
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Hi Tanja,

I'm glad you have found some help here!  Please consider registering as a member that way your posts won't have to wait for approval (after the first one).

Also you can start your own thread so we can better help you and your boy.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls and Boy

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 January 2023 - 1:44 pm
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Hi Tanja and Scott,
Please consider registering as a member so we can support you both. I'm sorry he's having onesie and cone challenges!

Member Since:
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22 January 2023 - 3:24 pm
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Hi Tanja! I'm glad that my updates with Jelli are able to help you! I hope Scott's recovery goes well for you, it certainly is very stressful on us humans. And to repeat what the others have said, I really do recommend making an account and your own thread- it's certainly what helped me keep my mind! smiley4

On to updates for Jelli! This morning I woke up to her complaining because I DARED sleep in when I should have been giving her breakfast. Truly, hers is the most miserable life. After feeding her, I went to lay down again and she once again tried to climb up onto my bed with me for some cuddle time (with no pee this time). It was the loudest I've heard her purr in a long time. Eventually, I got up and turned my back to her for a moment to grab a new onesie to change her into (I bought some dinosaur ones!) and what do I see but her try to jump off the bed (don't worry I stopped her)! After seeing that, I wonder if she realizes she's down a leg icon_lol

She's still doing great with the eating and drinking. And she's still determined to use the litterbox and I believe she's figuring out how to get out by herself. Still takes some time but I can't complain with how well she's doing!

Anyways, here's a pic of her in one of her new onesies 😁

Dino onesie for Jelli

Virginia







Member Since:
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22 January 2023 - 5:10 pm
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I just love seeing pictures of Jelli.   The dinosaur onsie adds an extra layer of CUTENESS to her cute self.

Jelli  is cert not letting major surgery and an amputation  override her spunky  personality.  She really is soing amazingly well.  Good job everyone!

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



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25 April 2007
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23 January 2023 - 11:19 am
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Oh my gosh what a cutie patootie! She looks super comfy in the onesie, is she tolerating them now?

I think it takes new Tripawds a while to realize they lost a leg. The go-getters just keep going! She sounds like such a strong girl, and we just love knowing she has made such remarkable progress over the last few days. Here's to another week of that! Keep us posted.

Member Since:
23 January 2023
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23 January 2023 - 8:25 pm
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I created one! Thank you!

Member Since:
17 January 2023
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23 January 2023 - 8:43 pm
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jerry said
Oh my gosh what a cutie patootie! She looks super comfy in the onesie, is she tolerating them now?

Absolutely not 😁 She's willing to stay in them when she's resting but after a few hours she wiggles her way out them. So far she hasn't tried messing with the staples/sutras so I believe it's currently just an uncomfortable issue.

But for the good news! We had a bowel movement this morning and it was solid! I'm thinking the diarrhea was because I gave her a can of Friskies for her after the surgery to encourage her to eat because it's more like junk food for her. But she bounced back quick in that regard.

Yesterday was a little more... rough? Lethargic is a little too harsh but she was definitely more tired yesterday. This morning though? Back to being a brat. Wanted up with me in the morning, then wanted to jump down by herself, managed to wiggle herself UNDER my bed while I was grabbing coffee then wiggled her way back out when she noticed I had breakfast for her.

I do have a concern if anyone can share some advice: so the modified litterbox is working great because she doesn't have to step into it but she loses traction on the litter. Should I try switching to pellets (which she's never used) to see if that helps or keep the litter so she can get more practice with it?

Ending on another picture of Jelli, this one from cuddle time this morning.

Image Enlarger

 

Member Since:
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24 January 2023 - 5:58 am
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Jelli is such an adorable cat! I'm so glad she's made it through surgery and is on the mend, she really is a trooper and she's so lucky to have you in her corner making making sure she's ok.

My 15 year old was also having litter box issues after her surgery and switching to a really low and wide litterbox was a huge help. Even now after a full recovery she doesn't leave the litter box the way she gets into it, always over the back or side. I use the kitty go here old lady box, but anything with a low (like seriously low) entry and wide (wider than seems practical) sides will help her get in and used to doing her business.

She fell down a lot at the beginning when she was getting used to balancing on three legs while doing her business, a lot of time right on the incision because she'd be expecting a leg to support her and would go down. I used a sand type litter, arm and hammer slide, which was easier to walk on, and a very thin layer, like an inch or so, so she could get her feet on the bottom of the box. It was more scooping for me but eventually she got rebalanced and now uses the box like a champ.

Also, when she wiggles out of the onesie, which way does she go? A lot of tripawds have one of their shoulder blades removed with the leg, and that means they can shimmy forward out of things a lot easier, and baby onesies (with the two flaps at the neck) are designed to be removable from both the head and snaps ends. Making the head end more snug might help, I have a modification to those I've been meaning to post that worked out really well for me and lu.

So glad you found us here. You're doing great.

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

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24 January 2023 - 10:39 am
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Woo Tanja! Looking forward to hearing more about Scott in the future!

Leaux! Thank you so much for sharing! That's actually the box I have for Jelli when she starting showing signs of arthritis. And she's falling down in the exact same say since she's not able to balance and squat yet. I'm thinking about using the cut out cardboard boxes for a little while longer while she learns to get steady then moving back to her kitty go here box. At least until she's on a lower dose of pain meds.

She's wiggling out of her onesies head first since yes, her shoulder blade was removed with the leg. I would love to see your modification if you ever share it!

Thanks for sharing. I looked at the blog posts you have of Luanne and I feel more confident now that Jelli will recover strong!

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