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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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Recently amputated cat has been having episodes where he appears to be in pain
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Member Since:
15 July 2021
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15 July 2021 - 8:03 pm
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Hi everyone,

I hope this is the right place to post this, even on the off chance that someone may have any idea of what could be going on.

Our 14 year old cat had his front leg amputated due to cancer three months ago. Everything appeared to have gone well and he has been recovering nicely, but approximately three weeks ago he had a very odd ‘fit’ where it appeared like he was having trouble breathing. He was panting heavily with his tongue hanging out and drooling, as well a wailing in a way I have never heard him do before. This lasted maybe a minute or two and he was then fine. Two days later it happened again, during the night, and this time we packed him up and took him into emergency. They did an ultrasound which appeared fine, and then sent us to a different emergency clinic as they were too busy to do more tests. This second clinic were of not much use, and basically just gave him a pain shot and told us to take him to our regular vet the next morning, which we did. The vet did a blood test which came back fine. He said there was no need for an x-ray as one had been done recently prior to his amputation.

He’s been fine the last couple of weeks, since the vet visit, but this morning it happened again. We took a video of it and emailed it to the vet, but also just had the idea to post it here in case anyone else might have seen anything like this before. We’ve no idea whether or not this is related to his amputation, but of course potentially could be. Very concerned as obviously he is quite distressed. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Like said above, I do have a video which I would have liked to attach but I can't work out how to do it. 

On The Road


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16 July 2021 - 9:53 am
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Hi Floop and family, welcome! Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

What was his pain management like when he was released from the hospital? Medications, dosages and frequencies? Sometimes we see pets who have inadequate pain control immediately after surgery, have ongoing pain later on. But don't panic, it's something you can get treated once you find the right vet.

Based on what you are describing, this sounds like unaddressed pain, maybe phantom leg pain , and usually when this happens it's related to the amputations somehow. Is he doing any backward walking? Did they give him any pain control after the last vet visit? What was the treatment plan to determine the cause, or was there? Sorry I know I've got a lot of questions!

My next move would be to have your cat evaluated by an animal rehabilitation therapist. These folks are experts at troubleshooting pain when most general practice vets are at a loss. The Tripawds Foundation can even pay for your first rehab visit ! You could also consider taking him to a vet who specializes in pain management, but oftentimes the rehab therapist and vet pain specialist is the same person. If you'd like help finding one let me know! PM me your address and I'll look for an AAHA-accredited practice with this specialty near you.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
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