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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1 October 2017
Perfectly stated Sally, you hit the nail on the head. No matter what happens here, Pittens will always know how much you love her. Your relationship is truly a special one, and I know how very hard this is.
To try and help answer the question, and I have not seen her paw, the growth is not just fluid. It is literally her cells growing in a way that is not normal. Even upon aspiration there will still be an area with abnormal tissue that swells and her body is fighting this too. It is kind of like having a wound, but it cannot heal. It will just grow. That is not a great definition, the doctor can probably give you a much better, more professional answer.
I wish there was a magic answer to just fix all of this and make it go away. I understand your struggle. There are so many factors involved and yet you have a kitty that is still full of life and love. And your love for her is tremendous. We would love to see a picture if you are able to post one. Here is a link for Adding images
I hope after speaking with the doctor that you are able to have your questions answered so that your path will be clearer. You may want to write down your questions (serious). Make a list so that you do not get side tracked as that is really easy to do when speaking with a doctor. Too many times I have had questions but then got off track with one of them and the other one forgotten about until the conversation was over.
Jackie and Huck
Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry
HI paws- thank you for this- This has helped me greatly. I am waiting to hear from Dr. Kennedy today.
Jen…. I am so sorry about your little guy. His name even is so high spirited and strong. This morning PIttens climbed the roof to the neighbors and I had to balance to gt her- Her paw has ballooned and yet she is ding these crazy things- the crazy things that show curiosity- and will and love for life.
My fear is amputation will halt this- and maybe afterwards there won’t be this enjoyment. Or I may be very suprised and Ive given her a year or some time to jump across every roof top in Brooklyn hanging over wires and making me panic- which would make me smile.
the problem is no-one knows. and no-one ever will- it is a risk of faith. And I don’t trust myself enough I guess. I am so caught. What are you thinking with your little one? Are you going through this back and forth too?
You are not alone.
I too, am struggling deeply with our own 18 year old boy-cat, Strummer,
Hi Jen, welcome. Thank you for chiming in and sharing Strummer’s story, I’m sure it’s so helpful for Sumi to know that another person here is facing a similar agonizing decision. How awful for you! I’m sooo sorry that happened to Strummer. What a terrible ordeal. Bone cancer is so rare in cats, but unfortunately we do see it here in our little corner of the universe. The good thing is that it generally doesn’t metastasize in cats so they fare much better than dogs with that disease.
It’s so hard trying to decide about amputation for a senior cat. I’m not sure what I would do. But when you get a chance, please consider starting an all new topic so we can help you better OK? We are here for you.
This entire deliberation feels like banging my head hard against the wall. Especially after today and the roof journey she went on – with her swollen paw. I just want her to have more of this and less of sick. Which way is that- no-one knows or can…. I wish lightning would strike and tell me.
I reread what you wrote- I don’t know… Sometimes it feels what is more important and how do you assess quality right-
Strummer has been through a lot. His strength is evident. His will is surely clear to anyone who reads the story. But you want him to have peace and calm. Its so conflicting because if they maintain a youth in their outward ways this whole thing becomes a haunting decision. Im here anytime you want to talk.
11 August 2020
Sumi – Yes we are definitely going back and forth with what to do as well. Strummer is pretty medicated right now, and his entire back right leg is just a painful boat anchor. Sounds like Pittens is in much better shape at the moment – leaping on the rooftop, wow! I can really see how much harder that would make this decision!
In our case, I don’t see prolonging Strummer’s life too much longer if we don’t go down the amputation route. He’s not having fun with his leg at all. 😟
I hope you get some news from Dr. Kennedy that will help you today!
Jerry – thanks so much for the welcome, and the suggestion to post a new topic. Good idea – I may do that! 😀
Jen- I have read so many positive stories about elderly cats going through amputation- Just yesterday if you scroll up on this blog someone posted about a 20 year old cat who lost 2 legs- and videos of her. It was a source of strength and belief that maybe this would be ok. You are in such a hard place my friend. Im so sorry. When will you get results that will help you determine what your next step is?
I just spoke with Dr. Kennedy. She seems confidant about surgery going well. She stated that the cats she has seen struggle post op with have been those with neurological issues or other medical issues- which Pittens does not have- do you agree?
She stated that if I do not go through with amputation she fears that it will be a painful road for Pittens in terms of the tumor bursting and her getting extremely sick which in turn will end her life- she stated that with surgery she can be pain free- for even a few months. The impression she gave me felt that she sees resilience in cats even at this age and I should not worry.
She also stated that 6 months to a year is a minimum prognosis after amputation. That her life may be longer. What do you think?
She stated in terms of post op care I will be minimal- in that it will just be antibiotics and the major things will be taken care of right after surgery in terms of monitoring Pittens.
Please give me your thoughts. This does not give me a ray of sunshine or an a-ha moment – as I have read so much about the other side of this all.
I’m so glad you got to talk to her. I agree with her conclusions 100%.
First, try to breathe and center yourself. Put on your oxygen mask first, then you can help Pittens by making a decision.
There is no way to predict the future, but with education you can be prepared to deal with the best or worst case scenario. You’ve done your homework and left no stone unturned. Pittens is so loved!
I’m not sure if this will help but it’s worth a try. Check out our interview with Dr. Courtney:
6 July 2017
Hi Sumi and Pittens
Honestly there is not much more I can add to what others have already said (far more decision eloquently than I ever could too). Any choice you make is the right one. It must be one you and Pittens can both “live” with, health wise, emotion wise, and financially too. Only you are in your unique situation. But we all are here to help support you as you move forward on the path of your choice.
I smiled when I read about Pittens on the roof because Tuxedo, my baby also made a rooftop party excursion, not that long ago. He did it as a tripawd (front declawed too!). https://tripawd…..lebration/ So while nothing is guaranteed, please realize tripawds can do many amazing things if you decide that path. Just because an animal might be ill or lose a limb, it does NOT mean they will lose the ability to do the things which bring them joy (and sometimes scare you to death)!
Hugs and warmest of wishes!
-Dawna, Tuxedo, Lilly and Angel Dazzle