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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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Possible amputation for 16 year old cat
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The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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31
24 January 2023 - 10:32 pm
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Jelli you are just so darn adorable! I love the look on your face in that pic. Yes, you have a look of determination in your eyes, that's for sure.

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?

Well, I like the idea of just using less of her current litter. Too much change right now might cause more stress and an unwillingness to tackle the litter box.

She's getting stronger every day, and soon she'll master that box just like Luanne did!

I hope she's a big spunky brat tomorrow smiley_clap

Member Since:
17 January 2023
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26 January 2023 - 9:34 am
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Good morning! We are now one week post surgery and I feel like things are going great!

Jelli has been a little more sleepy these past two days but I feel like that is expected for where we are in recovery. But! She is moving around with so much more confidence! She hasn't ventured outside her little area yet but when she gets up to drink or use the litterbox there is a lot of confidence in her movement despite the wobbliness. She is also doing better about keeping the onesies on but I can't say if its because she's tolerating them better or if because she's realized taking them off is a losing battle when we just put them back on.

The litterbox still seems like our biggest challenge. She walks with confidence to it and has even started to try to bury her waste again which I think is a good sign but we haven't quite figured out how to stay upright. Without the front leg she still falls forward while going but I'm thinking this will go away as she builds more strength.

She's still a week away from getting her staples rechecked but when should I start looking at expanding her roaming area? I'm thinking it's still too soon because it's only been a week despite the progress she's made but I want her to keep building confidence.

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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26 January 2023 - 11:25 am
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GO JELLI! That's super duper cool news!

I think that it's still early to expand her roaming area. Usually once stitches are out, that's a good time to slowly open their world up again. For now give her time to get strong so that she can tackle the litterbox again.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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26 January 2023 - 12:37 pm
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You are such a good Mom for Jelli.  Even though recov is ruv on hoomans emotionally,  you are doing an excellent  job of recognizing  every "little" improvement  and celebrating  them!  Ypu are assessing  where she is at this poi t very well.

No help on the litterbox stuff, but do know it will eventually  resolve itself based on other tri kitty results.  I think it's basically a ti e thing.  May help when she gets her stitches  out too

Keep these good updates coming.👍

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:
23 January 2023
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26 January 2023 - 3:20 pm
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This is so wonderful to hear!! I am so proud of ms. jelli and how great she has been through all of this. I cannot wait to hear about more of her progress. It is also nice to see because Scott and her have similar timelines so I am looking at her for a light at the end of the tunnel.

Member Since:
17 January 2023
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26 January 2023 - 8:50 pm
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So sooner update than what I was expecting 😳

When I left for work today, I gave Jelli her dose of pain medicine in an attempt to keep her relaxed for a few hours until my roommate came home. Roommate came home, checked on her and saw she was sleeping so she got rid of the barriers keeping her in her little area to make it easier for us humans to get to Jelli. I come home thirty minutes later and well, she was on the bed. I honestly thought my roommate put her there but nope! She was shocked to see Jelli on the bed too. Doubled with the fact that she was laying, wide awake, on top of her onesie that she took off. A simple "weh" when she saw that I didn't have dinner for her when I came in the room.

I feel like she did this out of spite. I am flabbergasted.

The staples and sutures were fine.

I'm going to have to rethink my strategies to keep her contained.

Member Since:
19 May 2022
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27 January 2023 - 1:09 am
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Jelli sounds like she's exhibiting some pretty typical cat behavior, which hopefully means she's feeling better! Her confidence sounds great, so it's even more important to keep her contained  in "cat jail".  Cats generally think they can do more than they actually can physically, and at this point she may not even really understand there isn't a spare leg to work with, so keeping her at ground level in an area that can be monitored will help her get used to balancing for the simple stuff so she can get up to her normal mischief later on. 

I found a fully enclosed tent to be helpful to keep my cat contained while she was in early recovery, if you search for pet outdoor playpen you can see some options at different price points that might work.

Also, I finally posted my tutorial for making a cat shirt out of a onesie that's harder to wiggle out of, so that may help her from getting nekkid when she goes rogue. I'm so glad to hear she's recovering well! 

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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27 January 2023 - 10:20 am
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Yep agreed, Jelli is doing her own thing like cats will do. I agree that it's still early so keeping her in jail is a good idea until stitches are out. Can you put the mattress on the floor so she doesn't have to jump out of it?

Thank you @leaux for the onesie tutorial! Going to check it out.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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27 January 2023 - 8:40 pm
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Laux, your feedback is always so useful  and informative!  You and  Lu are  such a good teacher for all us !

Jelli is one strong willed determined  kitty and we love hear avout her antics!  Yes, she can be a little "naughty" defying  all the recovery " rules", but it's so wonderful  to know how well she is doing👍

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:
17 January 2023
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40
28 January 2023 - 8:37 pm
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Hey everyone! Just a little Jelli update!

Since Friday, it's like a switch has been flipped for her. Where she was unsteady, she is now stable. She used to lay down while drinking from her water fountain, she's now able to stand up the whole time. Litterbox is still a bit of an issue: she's able to squat and go without falling forward but she does end up laying down after going. I don't think she has the strength to hold the squat for long and gets tired but progress!

Friday she ended her last dose of buprenorphine. I called the vet to ask if I would need more and they said they didn't think so because she's past the high pain stage. But that I can request more if needed so right now she's just on the gaba.

She's also starting to get back to her more vocal self that she was before all this happened so that's nice to see from her. Also, now that she's remembered that my bed exists that's where she demands to spend most of her time sleeping. Which makes sense because that was also her primary spot before. She's at least gotten good about meowing and waiting for me to pick her up/put her down.

Here is the little lady on her favorite spot: the old heating pad kept on the warm setting.

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Member Since:
19 May 2022
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28 January 2023 - 9:25 pm
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YAY! it's so great to hear Jelli is getting her groove back. What a sweet face, she looks so alert and ready to party.

Also glad it's easier for her to keep on her feet! Each of those little wins are so important to celebrate because they add up to so much progress! Jelli is so lucky she has you cheering her on.

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

Member Since:
23 October 2022
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29 January 2023 - 10:27 am
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I’m a little late to be adding to this forum, but I just wanted to chime in, as I have a 16 year old cat who had a rear amputation a little more than 3 months ago.

It sounds like Jelli is doing great, and I want to reassure you, she will keep getting better! At least that’s been the case with my Nini. Things got sooo much better after her stitches came out. That was huge milestone in her recovery. I also had a big problem keeping my cat contained while she still had stitches. We had to deal with the cone of shame , not a onesie. Oh, I was so happy to retire that cone and I hope I never see it again! I just tied to be adaptable, which it sounds like you’re doing a great job of!

The first few weeks were the hardest, and we did have a couple times where she seemed to be backsliding. We went though a couple weeks where all she did was sleep after having been more active. But it has been steady progress, and she is more and more back to herself every week. It does take time. I was really anxious to have my Nini back after her surgery, but it just took time for that to happen. I can all but promise that the same will happen with Jelli. She is so lucky to have you, and it sounds like she has a strong spirit, and with you taking such good care of her she’s sure to get through this with flying colors!

If you’re interested, I do have a blog about our experience, although I need to post an update! Sending love ❤️ to sweet little Jelli!
https://ninilov.....ipawds.com

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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29 January 2023 - 1:23 pm
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Lookin' good little old lady! We are all so hoppy you turned that corner. That look in your eyes says it all. "I can DO THIS MOM!"

When all those little habits we took for granted, it's a whole new day. I'm so happy for you and Jelli! And your vet .... can I just say one thing? They are PAWESOME! So many vets don't even leave the door open to the possibility of additional pain control, so the fact that they did speaks volumes about the level of care that Jelli is getting. BRAVO to her vet team!

And @ninilove, thanks for chiming in! You have such a lot of wisdom to offer, your input is much appreciated.

Member Since:
17 January 2023
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1 February 2023 - 10:24 pm
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Hello everyone! Been a few days since my last update and while it seemed like Jelli was taking steps forward, we took a small step back.

Sunday she was a little rascal and just hard determined to walk around and explore. I got quite the yelling from her when I wouldn't let her. Monday to today she has been much more subdued. She's still eating and drinking but her attempts at activity have gone down. I wouldn't say she's been lethargic because she's alert when she's awake but she's gone back to spending her whole days sleeping. I'm hoping this is because she's still in recovery. It has been raining since Monday so I wonder if that's adding to her pain. She's also been sneezy lately.

While we were doing good with the litterbox, this morning she seemed like she gave up a little and just went on the puppy pads around the makeshift litterbox.

We go tomorrow morning to get her staples checked out and maybe removed. I also want to ask the vet about any infections: she's prone to UTIs thanks to her steroid and I wonder she has one popping up that's causing litterbox issues.

I just have to remind myself that for YOUNG cats, recovery is expected to be around 2-3 weeks and since she's older it's likely to be longer. Just hard when she had such a strong first week lol

Member Since:
19 May 2022
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1 February 2023 - 10:47 pm
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Jelli sounds like she's well on her way, so good on both of you!

Recovery really is a process, so don't feel too down about her being up and about one day and needing to snooze the next. The litter box is also a bit unpredictable during recovery, but as long as she's going just know it's part of learning how to cat again. Also I know for my senior kitties they slow down considerably when it's damp out, even the one with four legs! Jelli sounds like she's well on her way, so good on both of you

The main thing is how she does at the vet - glad she's going in tomorrow so you can make sure she's healing up. Make a list of your questions about recovery and what's to be expected so your vet can give you personalized recommendations about how to make sure Jelli is living her best life.

You're doing great, and it sounds like you're really attuned to her needs and her history. Fingers and paws crossed for a boring, pawsitive vet visit tomorrow!

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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