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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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Seeking advice to help my 13 yr old cat 2.5 wk post op recovery
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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
3 August 2019
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10 August 2019 - 8:54 pm
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Hi I’d like to start by saying this seems like a really great community and I’m excited and proud to be a new member here.  I’d really appreciate any advice and support as this has been such a heartbreaking time for me and my family. 

My cat Kali was attacked by a pit bull about 2.5 weeks ago.  Her front left elbow was shattered.  She had her surgery Tuesday 7/30 and came home Friday 8/2 and her stitches removed just yesterday.   She is 13 years old and although I know all cats recover at their own pace I’m still concerned shes not recovering as quickly as she could be and would love some advice on anything I can do to help her readjust, heal and get back on her feet and most importantly regualarly digesting and using the litterbox.  

As I mentioned Kali is 13 years old and I’m so proud of how well shes handling her recovery so far.  Her spirits seem to be up and she is a kitty that’s happy to be alive.  She is eating and drinking like a champ!  What concerns me is she has had little to no interest in getting up.  Shes been living on our bed with pee pads & towels to lay on.   Shes been peeing once or twice a day so I think shes doing well there.  But my major concern is she still isnt pooping!  We were told the vet held her until her was able to Male a bowel movement and she pooed just a little bit once more in her cat carrier when we took her to the vet (ironically concerned about her not pooing) 5 days after her operation.  Her felt her belly and said he didnt think there was an obstruction and because she did poo a little they weren’t concerned.  But that was 5 days ago now and she hasnt pooed again.  We thought it might be a privacy thing so weve tried putting her back in the carrier and laying her in the litterbox but sue fights to get out right away.  We also concidered the pain meds would back her up but that should’ve worn off by now.  And shes been eating so much I cant imagine shes not in pain with buildup.  Does anyone have any suggestion on the best mild kitty laxative or stool softener that may help her get going?  To those of you that have been through this do you think it might be because shes not standing yet therefore not using her hind muscles?  If so what can I do to help her with that?   

Also at what point do should I try and motivate her to start getting up and building the muscles she has on the 3 legs shes has left?  And how would I go about doing that?  Is there anything I can do to help her along with physical therapy techniques or massage?

I really appreciate any help/advice.  I’m so grateful to have this community that’s been where in this situation to ask.  

Forum Posts: 1280
Member Since:
27 July 2014
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11 August 2019 - 7:32 pm
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I’m sorry to hear Kali was attacked and injured. How traumatizing! Perhaps your cat has some other aches and pains from the attack combined with the needed amputation.

My cat Mona had her amputation at 8 years old and she is now 13 years and considered a senior. Because her poop seems dry the vet has suggested she should go on a higher fibre kibble to relieve possible constipation.

You could support Kali in getting her to walk (hop). I found it really helpful to take Mona for chiropractic treatments and learn some tips on getting her stretching and working on balance. I know we have some tips here and will look for them. In the meantime, check for pet rehab in your community and check in with your vet for advice regarding potential constipation. 

I hope things improve for you and Kali!


Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Forum Posts: 1280
Member Since:
27 July 2014
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11 August 2019 - 7:37 pm
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Here’s the link for Kitty Rehab:


Hope it helps!


Green Bay, WI

Forum Posts: 971
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18 May 2014
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12 August 2019 - 8:36 pm
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Hi, I was in chat the other night with you…wondering if you have an update on Kali? Did you talk to your vet? Any poopiconyet? Hope things are looking up.

Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

"Be good, mama loves you" free my beautiful Warrior

Forum Posts: 2
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3 August 2019
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5 September 2019 - 9:45 pm
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Hi all!  

Thank you so much Kerren and Paula.  Thank you both so much for your help and concern.   I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to update.   Kali is doing great!  She took a long time recovering but she is finally getting back to being herself and I’m a super proud tripawd mom!

We did take her to the vet and for the second time he told us that our cat is “not full of sh*t” that she must be sneaking off somewhere when we weren’t looking.  Which we dont believe to this day as she was still peeing on a pad we laid her on in the bed for her recovery and theres no poo to be found anywhere.  But she did finally poo that night!  Never been so happy to have to clean up poo off my couch lol. 

I was starting to worry that she was never going to leave the bed and her quality of life would never be the same but we live in Florida and when we evacuated for Hurricane Dorian (thank God it changed course and missed us) she was forced out of her comfort zone and shes made some BIG improvements this week.  She was scared of the floor she would only climb from the bed to dresser to couch but as of this weekend shes no longer afraid of the floor!  Shes been all over the place all on her own shes even gotten cocky enough to sit at the door and ask of she can go back outside.   Granted shes mever allowed outside ever again after what happened I’m so proud of her for being strong and brave enough to want to.  My family and I are exploring ways to make her a “catio” if we can do so affordably.  

I plan on setting her up a blog to document her progress.  Concidering the stories here saved her life I wamt to share her story so others in our situation know that they don’t have to put their baby down and there is still so much life and love left in them.

Also Kali is the most loving being I have ever known and I know shed want her story out there touching the hearts of people everywhere so she can spread as much love as possible.  

Thanks again!  I hope you and your tripawd families are doing well also smiley4


Forum Posts: 17997
Member Since:
22 February 2013
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5 September 2019 - 10:10 pm
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Just catching up!  And it sounds like Cali is finally starting to be Cali again…..and it took a Hurricane  to motivate her!

Yes, you have a lot of invaluable  input to share.    Starting a blog would be a great way to help others, as well as keep us updated on your precious Cali❤

Glad Kerren and Paula  were ther yo hrlp support you when you first posted.😎


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!

Forum Posts: 1280
Member Since:
27 July 2014
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5 September 2019 - 10:21 pm
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Well, Kali has certainly touched my heart. sp_hearticon2 She knows she is well-loved and is obviously determined to enjoy life and get back to “normal”. Haha, hoping to go outside!! Soon Kali, but you’ll have to wait for your catio. What a great idea!

I know each cat’s recovery is different but Kali’s trauma was a further blow to her confidence. Mona is now fine in the car, seems to enjoy going to the vet clinic and I even take her to comfort my other cat who is a big baby. However, at home she now ignores guests.

I look forward to reading Kali’s blog. Every cat’s story is unique and Kali is a great example of a mature cat learning new tricks.

Hugs to both of you,

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

p.s. I’m happy Dorian missed you. My thoughts are with those affected.

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 25897
Member Since:
25 April 2007
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5 September 2019 - 11:06 pm
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3-cheers for Kali! WHEW! SO glad to hear things are good and you didn’t get hit by the hurricane. smiley_clap Thanks for sharing her update with us, it’s always great to know that things got better for members. And yes! Do start a blog, they are so so helpful for people. And of course we would love a cuteness overload with photos of her so blog away and holler with any questions.

And about those catios..have you seen the DIY catio plans in our Tripawds Gear blog

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