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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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Regression After Amputation
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New Jersey
Forum Posts: 39
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31 May 2018
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24 June 2018 - 6:35 pm
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So my big guy had a back leg amputated almost 3 weeks ago and post-op he was mastering the three-legged hop very well. We went for  our follow-up appointment last week and he was given the ‘looks great’ by the vet. In the last few days (ever since his stitches came out and onesie/t-shirt came off) it is like he has completely forgotten how to use the three legs and is angry when he tries to even attempt to walk. When I try and help him along he tries to throw that back missing leg around like crazy, and he flops all over. Has anyone ever experienced this or have any advice?

BEFORE:

NOW:

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19308
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24 June 2018 - 7:20 pm
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Well,the video certainly  depicts  the,challenge very welll.

Did it literally happen with stitch, removal?  Does he appear to be in any pain or just frustrated?

Maybe  others can offer more insight.  Can you pinpoint any possible  sprain, disc issue, etc?  I would have a Vet AND a Rehab Vet check him out.

Just for the heck of it put the onesie back on and see how he reacts.

Keep us updated.  This will get figured out. 

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!

New Jersey
Forum Posts: 39
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31 May 2018
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24 June 2018 - 7:36 pm
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We went to the vet for the follow-up and it started that night. They only took out the remaining two stitches. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort but he seems frustrated and super pissed off… even when I try to even help him out. I can see him trying to throw that back leg around that is longer there and was wondering if maybe when he was walking so well before it was because he was not trying to use that missing leg because it was sore… but now that everything feels so good that he is trying again and well there is nothing there to use- so he is pissed. I was just hoping someone, anyone, has had any experience with this. Calling the vet in the morning for sure. I am also going to put the t-shirt on tomorrow and see if that has any effect. This is so frustrating.

Forum Posts: 67
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24 June 2018 - 11:34 pm
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Hello again,

So sorry to hear that Elvis has had a little hiccup in his smooth recovery.  I am by no means an expert, but I have heard that many rear leg amputee kitties develop an unusual backwards walk type behavior, usually a few weeks to months after surgery.  If you search the forums here, many people have reported it.  I do not recall ever hearing it definitely attributed to any cause.  Though, it is likely a combination of phantom limb pain and muscle memory.  Since the bulk of the surgery pain is in the past by this point and most kitties are getting back to being active they just try to do stuff the way they used to do it, then get frustrated when they can’t do that.  

You might want to check out this thread http://tripawds…..on/page-2/

Near the bottom of the second page there is a video which while more involved and longer looks similar to the actions of Elvis.

Hugs and best wishes

-Dawna, Dazzle, & Tuxedo

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19308
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25 June 2018 - 8:25 am
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Good poimt  Dawna.  You’re  right, we have seen that here  during tecovery.

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



Forum Posts: 27488
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25 June 2018 - 11:10 am
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I’m not a vet so take this for what it’s worth: throwing the back leg around is probably more of a reflex reaction of the brain sending signals to the leg, than a conscious effort on his part to try to use the leg. Make sense? For instance, when our Wyatt tries to scratch behind is right ear, his right rear stump twitches like crazy. Even nine years after his amp his brain still thinks his leg is there.

What we often see here is that once the animal starts to feel better they attempt more activity, and then their muscles start to feel it. It’s not uncommon, and it’s something that usually resolves over time, with help from the human. Doing fun activities that help reduce weight and burn calories is critical for a Tripawd to get around well. I know this is a difficult thing to do when it comes to cats, but I would have a conversation with your vet about how Elvis can get around with more ease. A rehab therapist is also a good idea.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 1421
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27 June 2018 - 9:26 pm
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Although Mona, my front leg amputee, didn’t have much weight to lose I decided we should play food games with her snacks. First, her “snacks” are from her weighed daily allotment of dry kibble so she’s not getting extra calories. I would do things like have her sit up like a meerkcat; put kibbles in shot glasses; toss her kibble on the floor so she had to move around to eat. She learned to scratch at the fridge door to ask for halibut. I didn’t teach her that…. Unfortunately, there isn’t always halibut in there so I have to distract her by doing something else (brushing her, taking her outside).

Over the 4 years since her amputation Mona has found new toys she likes to play with (feathers and laser light) and to have a cuddle under the blankets in the morning. She makes it clear what she likes and what she doesn’t like. She has lost a little bit of weight and seems very happy and confident.  I’ve learned how to massage her but I think she prefers to go for chiropractic appointments where she relaxes and falls asleep. It’s a pretty expensive nap!

A rehab therapist can help Elvis and even help build your relationship with him by doing the exercises and games at home.

Have fun!

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Forum Posts: 2972
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28 June 2018 - 4:14 am
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Just checking in, how is E doing? How are you both doing? I hope he is starting to get around better. 

Hugs,

Jackie and Huck heartheart

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

Forum Posts: 45
Member Since:
10 June 2017
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2 July 2018 - 7:05 am
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hi

How is doing now? Any better? Hopefully, it is just him adjusting to the change. It is hard when we see our tripawds advance and then something sets them back. 

Hoping to read good news.

much love Joanna

New Jersey
Forum Posts: 39
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31 May 2018
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15 July 2018 - 4:24 pm
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Ok, I have not been very good about posting lately… summer has been quite busy as I do not feel like I have to stay home with him 24 hours a day! Thank goodness, I was starting to go crazy and felt like my whole life revolved around this missing limb!

While E has not gone back to the beautiful and confident hop that he started with I guess he has found what works for him. He kind of has a slow side hop (when he wants to) that gets him where he wants to be. He was never very active before so I dont know why I expected that to change all of a sudden. Truthfully he hops between his beds (he has two in the room), his litter box (which I will come back to in a second), and whoever it is he wants to pick him up. He was spoiled before and if anything, thats only gotten worse!

You can tell that he still forgets that the leg is missing because as he starts to try and hop I can see him trying to throw that missing leg around and he flops over… then he realizes its gone and he gets himself up and side hops to where he wants to go. He only moves around if he is really motivated to get somewhere, but I keep saying as long as he can get from point A to point B thats all he needs. We just keep saying… at least he is alive and we gave him a chance

As for the litter box, sometimes he gets in and sometimes he just puts his front paws in, digs around, and then goes (with his butt outside the litter box)! Silly guy! We are making it work and know that everyday is another day further out from the surgery. He isnt in any pain that we can tell and for right now we see no signs of cancer. So all we can do is be thankful for each day that we have him!

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19308
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15 July 2018 - 9:07 pm
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Yoi are such a good partner for Elvis!  Your pawsitive attitude is is spot on!  You are doing an excellent  job of  BEING MORE DOG…..okay, make that,  BEING MORE CAT😁

Thanks for the update on Elvis.  Yep, getting  from point A to point B is all je needs to be able to do.  He knows his hooman will take care of everything  else!😎

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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15 July 2018 - 10:45 pm
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Bravo, you have a terrific attitude! I’m so happy to hear he’s finding his new normal and you are appreciating the blessings in having him with you, healthy and hoppy. Good job! Got any photos you’d like to share?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

New Jersey
Forum Posts: 39
Member Since:
31 May 2018
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17 July 2018 - 1:08 pm
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Here is the spoiled rotten big guy : ) He just got out of the bathtub… I wish I had taken pictures of that. Shockingly, he doesn’t mind it at all but if he would just stop getting pee all over his one back leg we wouldn’t have to resort to that!!!

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Forum Posts: 2972
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1 October 2017
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18 July 2018 - 5:34 am
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He looks pawsitively wonderful!!! I know this may sound silly but does he have enough room in his box to move, and/or does he need a short entrance but a tall enough box to have something to lean on? His size may be what’s doing this but i just thought I’d throw that out there. 

So glad he’s doing well, you’ve done an awesome job with him!!!

❤️❤️❤️

Hugs,

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

Huckleberry's Blog

Virginia




Forum Posts: 19308
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18 July 2018 - 12:37 pm
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Coming over to snuggle right now!!!  These photos are just begging for everyone  to snuggle and cuddle  with this handsome boy!!😎😎

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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