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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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Post amputation wobbling and falling down
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Member Since:
19 February 2018
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19 February 2018 - 7:17 am
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Hello, 

First thank you all so much for this community, I can't imagine a better resource for people and pets going through such a tough time.

So getting into it, my wife and I recently found a cat in our carport and noticed him limping. Luckily my wife is a vet tech and we took him in to get checked out. Turns out he had a BADLY broken right rear femur and needed amputation. Through community fundraising we were able to get the surgery done and he's been recovering wonderfully until today, 6 days post-surgery.

He has been walking around fine on his back leg until today, but all of the sudden it's almost like his good leg in the back is going out on him and he will fall down. The last time we noticed it he did a sort of wobble before losing balance and falling down. When he falls he rolls around a bit and cries out in either frustration or pain, then after a moment gets up and is able to walk again. Sometimes it happens a couple of times in a row before he 'straightens out'. He is at the vet now with my wife to get checked out, but I wanted to post here and ask what everyone else thougth it might be. Also, when this occurs should we help him up or should we let him work it out on his own? I know that sounds a little harsh, but we are trying to encourage independance as soon as we can so he is better off in the long run, but too soon? Thanks in advance for all your help! 

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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19 February 2018 - 11:06 am
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Hi Trey and family, welcome. You're pawesome for rescuing that kitty and giving him a chance at a good life and home! What's his name?

It seems that in most cases, Tripawds do have a post-op "crash" about a week to ten days after surgery. Dog or cat, it seems as if their bodies finally catch up with their brains ("I'm all better, see?") and they finally poop out after all that hard work of getting around using all new muscles. When an animal's reason for losing a leg is because of an accident, they are often dealing with other conditions that can slow down recovery and lead to mobility challenges like this.

It's great that he actually gets back up and keeps on going, that's a strong kitty! And no you aren't being harsh by not babying him. We encourage that here (after rehab vets told us it was OK to not baby a new Tripawd), and we've learned it's the best way for animals to get the sense that things are "normal" again and that they can do things on their own. 

Oh one question: what's his weight like? Is he at all overweight? If so, that can lead to mobility issues too (among other things).

I'll be curious what your vet says. Oh keep in mind that an evaluation with a rehab therapist can be extremely beneficial for this guy. The best part is that the Tripawds Foundation will even pay for your first rehab visit !

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

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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19 February 2018 - 12:35 pm
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Hi Trey & Welcome,

Thanks for helping your new kitty find his furever home or obliging;) Not to mention helping him hop on! BIG KUDOS to you both!!

Is he still on pain meds? That would be my first question? What are his pain meds or where they.

I don’t like the fact he is crying out on top of the wobbling and falling over, sounds like it hurts ! 6 days is early in recovery!

I am sure he is hurting and frustrated both, I will also be interested to hear what you Vet says and likely this is a pain or lack of pain management issue and adding meds will help.

Keep us posted please!
Holly & Purrkins

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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19 February 2018 - 2:20 pm
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Bless your hearts for giving this sweet kitty a loving homeheart   Clearly he jnew exzctly what he was doing when he picked your carport as a  safe harbor.

Yes, I ditto .aking sure he's on proper pain meds.  It is MAJOR surgery and it is very, very early in recovery.  He needs to be doing a @ot of rest and very little walking around, no jumping, no sgairs, etc.

It cerw may have tweaked something...maybe a back muscles, disc, leg muscle, etc.  Until you find out what's going on I would try and help him as much as yiu can so he doesn't matters worse.

We'll br watching for an update.  Wjaty his name?  I vuess "Lucky" /to jave found you) is just to obvious!winker

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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19 February 2018 - 4:49 pm
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Thank you all for your kind replies 🙂

His name is Frank, and he just finished his first round of pain meds. This may be why he's all the sudden like "oh no....". My wife is getting him some more today at work and we will continue that for the recommended time. I'm not entirely sure the medication, but I believe it's Torbtinic or something like that. The vet thinks he may have just overdone himself, and in combination with being off pain meds, had a little hiccup in recovery. She is also getting us a little Gabapentin for the possibility of phantom pain , which we will probably try short term to begin with as I know there can be complications with extended use. 

As far as his weight goes, he's actually very very healthy in that department. I believe he was right at 9 pounds before surgery and just a little over a year old. We have been meaning to weigh him after surgery so we can monitor his weight and adjust food intake as necessary, so thanks for reminding us! I really appreciate all of the replies again, and I will try and keep everyone updated on his recovery. If I can figure it out you might get a picture or two as well 😉

Cheers to all the Tripawds! 

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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19 February 2018 - 5:32 pm
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Here are detailed instructions for adding photos to forum posts. 
If you don't already share photos online somewhere, you can start a free Tripawds blog upload them there.

You do not have to blog if you don’t want to, you can just use it as photo storage to use the photos in the forums. 

Glad to hear Frank is ok I agree "oh no" this freakin hurts! I really think with then pain meds and keeping Frank in spare room to limit his activity and resting he will be back on 3. Gaba is great for nerve pain don’t worry about long term use you are not there. Use it will help Frank.

Purrkins was on Gaba for 14 days every 8 hours he did great on it - combined with his Buprenorphine 12 days spaced those a hour apart per our directions.

I think you mean Torbutrol you had me for a bit on that one:)

Look forward to seeing the pictures.
Frank rest is best! You will feel better tonight when Mom comes home!!
Holly & Purrkinsheart

Member Since:
19 February 2018
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19 February 2018 - 6:44 pm
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http://frank.tr...../02/20/42/

Let's see if this picture thing works 🙂 

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22 November 2015
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19 February 2018 - 6:49 pm
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Trey,

I was so happy to read that you and your wife took it upon yourselves to save this cat! How truly wonderful! It is also great that your wife is a vet tech and really will know what to look for. Hopefully Frank is just experiencing a pause in his recovery progress. My cat was only given three days of pain meds and I didn't know enough to ask for more. After his initial recovery, he was able to do all the same things he could before. Would love to see some photos and an update when you can!

Hattie

Hugs,

Hattie and Jerry Cat (right front leg and scapula amputation due to chondrosarcoma at age 14, lived 2 1/2 years post amputation, succumbed suddenly to suspected lymphoma at age 16)

10/2001 - 10/9/2017 R.I.P ~ Love you always

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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19 February 2018 - 7:24 pm
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trey said
Let's see if this picture thing works...

Just great! Thanks for starting a blog. Now if you want to embed the photo in your forum post, simply follow the instructions for adding photos to forum posts. Hint: copy the image URL and paste it in the field when using the Insert Media button in you forum post editor.

Hope this helps.

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

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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19 February 2018 - 8:02 pm
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Awe Frank you are too cute! You are a tiny little guy which is great he will do great as a tripawd kitty.

Great job on setting up a blogclapWe can see Frank is a cutie! Follow the Admin instructions and you will be posting pictures directly in the forum next time we look forward to hearing Frank is feeling better and more pictures.

Holly & Purrkins❤️

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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19 February 2018 - 8:36 pm
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FRANK THE TANK.  YOU ARE MELTING MY HEART OVER HERE CUTIE PIE!! 🙂   OMC!   SOOOOO CUTE!! 🙂

Yeah, tweaking the pain meds and keeping him as wuiet as possible should do the trick.

Keep us updated!  Good job!

Hirgs

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 September 2017
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22 February 2018 - 10:38 am
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Frank is such a cutie!  I had kept Rusty in the crate for the first part of his recovery but there was some flopping and very awkward movements as he was getting used to his new body.

Good luck!

Gina

Rusty "The Bunnyman" adopted us in 2014.  Aug/Sept 2017, back left leg amputated (HSA cancer).  He remained cancer free over 900 days. Cancer returned as of emergency visit on day 931. 15 days later, he gained his wings 04/18/2020 due to congestive heart failure.  He will always watch over his fellow tripawds and their hoomins with Head Scritches and Sand Paper Kisses.



Member Since:
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22 February 2018 - 10:48 am
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OMC! Frank the Tank!! I LOVE it, and he is just adorable! You guys did a wonderful thing taking him in. Huckleberry was a wild man.. Literally lol so he recuperated in a really large dog crate in his own bedroom. Limiting his movement really seemed to help his healing process, and as he got stronger I started letting him out a little while at a time to socialize and stretch a bit. Hope all is going well for you!

Jackie and Huckleberry

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Phoebe, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

Member Since:
19 February 2018
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23 February 2018 - 12:49 pm
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Just wanted to stop in and once again thank everyone for the kind words and advice. Frank is doing MUCH better now that we are 10 days out, and has become quite the playful lil' guy. He is adjusting well, and we haven't had any more issues with his good leg going out. He just needed time 🙂 He's found a new favorite spot on top of my wife ...

King of the mountain!!!Image Enlarger

And has even made a new friend!!!

Whoooo are yooooo?Image Enlarger

Oh, and by the way ... WHY did you wake me up? ... Nooooo, I don't want to take a picture!!!

annoyed_frank-e1519415265636.jpgImage Enlarger

Hahaha. He is such a sweet kitty, and is getting along with all our other's pretty well ... obviously in low doses right now. My wife wants to keep him, which I'm totally ok with, but we rent so I told her we had to buy a house and she agreed! Here's to Frank the Tank ... the $100,000 cat.

Take Care everyone!

Michigan


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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23 February 2018 - 5:22 pm
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Glad to hear Frank is doing so well! Hopefully soon 4 days or so he will be cone free? Soon, Frank hang tight and you can really show them what you can do on 3!

Keep healing Frank don’t overdo ok!
$100,000 tri-kitty ha love it! big-grinHe will pay you back with love!😻
Happy house shopping 😉
Holly & Purrkins❤️

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