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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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Be More DogWhat does it mean to Be More Dog?

Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.

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Soon to be tripawd cat mom
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Member Since:
7 May 2021
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13 May 2021 - 12:43 pm
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Hi! I recently noticed a lump on my cat's back leg, and it was diagnosed as soft tissue sarcoma.icon_cry I was in shock as I have never had a cat with cancer before! Her name is Chloe, and I estimate her to be around 8 years old. We went to an animal oncologist who recommended amputation as the only true way to rid her of the cancer. I never thought that would be the path we would take, but she is scheduled for surgery on Thursday, May 27th. They have told me she would come home after 1 or 2 nights, so I purposely put it before a holiday weekend.

I would love to know how long other cats had to stay after surgery, and if you kept a cone on them or used another method. I hate the thought of a cone, so I am wondering if a onesie or one of those neck pillows would work. Also, I have 6 other cats in the house, and I am worried about their reaction to her when she returns home. They already pick on her, so I am afraid it may be worse. Has anyone else had a bad reaction from their other cat(s)?

I am very nervous and dreading surgery day. I am grateful to have found this forum, so I know Chloe and I are not alone!sp_hearticon2

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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13 May 2021 - 1:56 pm
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Hi Chloe and family! We are glad you found us too. I'm sorry that you are dealing with cancer and amputation. Fear not though, cats do so well on three, you will truly be amazed. They do even better than dogs! 

It sounds like she is getting some great care. Yes, most cats stay at least one night. A few need more time at the clinic, but usually just the older kitties.

Here are some links to check out:

Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats

our What to Expect articles

and the Tripawds Amputation Recovery Shopping List

Meanwhile, yes, the cone of shame or a recovery suit are essential for the incision to heal. Some cats tolerate the cone really well, some don't. Most will wear the suit (you can also make one out of a baby onesie!).

When it comes to the other cats, that could be tricky if Chloe is already the one who gets picked on. Be sure to have a recovery room set up for her so she can get strong before re-introducing her. I'm hoping that our kitty members will chime in. Here are some search results about cats and siblings that may help give some pointers.

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

Member Since:
16 April 2021
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13 May 2021 - 8:12 pm
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So sorry you and Chloe are going through this.  I am also a new tripawd mom as of May 5, not even two weeks ago.  My 11 year old Abbey also has cancer and had her right front leg amputated.  

Since Abbey's amputation is in front and the doctor wrapped her chest, she was fortunate enough to not need the cone.  Since Chloe is having a hind leg amputated it will be important for you to protect the incision. A onesie or a soft/plush collar/cone may work nicely for her .

I have a multi-cat household also and the first thing I set up was a recovery room. Abbey is also the victim kitty in our home so it is important for her to feel safe during this vulnerable state. I sleep in her recovery room each night as I don't want her to feel alone and isolated. I can tell she appreciates my company. 

Abbey stayed one night at the hospital and came home the next day.  This group has helped me navigate through this trying time immensely and I am so grateful.  You are in the right place and you and Chloe will do great.  Like you, I was so scared and nervous before surgery and now I am so impressed with how resilient and determined our little tripawds are.

Keep us posted. Keeping you and Chloe in prayers.

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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13 May 2021 - 8:41 pm
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As you can see from the response of Jerry and Abby's mom, you are definitely not alone! You're surrounded by people who understand all of the emotions involving this journey and are here to support you with their knowledge and encouragement.

With their insight and links, you should be fee,l a lot more confident and reassured  now.  Sure, it is MAJOR surgery and recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks.  Good pain mana, lots of rest and Chloe will soon have her sparkle back and amaze you at how well she adjusts to living life to the fullest on three!

Deep breaths....eat lots of chocolate...stay connected! 

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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14 May 2021 - 9:24 am
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Thank you all so much for your information! I was also wondering about how things were when you first got home after surgery. Was your cat wanting to just sleep or did they try to move around a lot? Was it horrible watching them try to walk? Did the stiches look horrible and did they try to bite at it? I am interested in the emotional roller coaster I am about to embark on. I know this will be worse on me than her!smiley3

On The Road


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14 May 2021 - 10:06 am
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Well, I can share from my own experience with a dog, which is similar in so many ways because honestly, it's all about our attitude. If we focus on the negatives, our pets pick up on those emotions. So, your job as nurse in charge is to do your best to focus on the pawsitives, celebrate the little victories like eating, drinking water, and even pooping! And remember, that recovery is only temporary, a small price to pay for having your kitty back with you in better health. The more pawsitive you are, the more that Chloe will reflect it right back to you. It makes for a much easier recovery!

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

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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14 May 2021 - 1:28 pm
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As Jerry said, a strong co fident attitude focus9ng on the victories  is sooo important!

No need to draw atte tion to the incision,  your kitty won ve looki g at them.

When you do glance at them, think of them as a BEAUTIFUL  solution to get rid of your kitty's bum leg!!!  The incision  is a good thing as it represents  quality  moving forward.

As far as so e of uour specific  quesrions....every recovery is different t.  So yes, so e cats are lethargic and yes, some cats are not.👌  And yes, some cats try to thrash around and move, and yes, some cats do not!👌  Some cats try and scratch  and bite the stitches, and some do not, 👌 The important  thing  regarding that is the Bet will send you home with a cone to prevent t kitty from trying to get at the stop itches.  More on that later as far as alternatives, etc.

You've got this!  We are vy your side the whole way!!!

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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