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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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Sugar, front leg amputee, one year later
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Member Since:
14 October 2021
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23 November 2022 - 3:24 pm
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Hello, First I want to say that I wish I could properly thank you for all the support and help you provided last year. This site was a blessing.

Sugar celebrated one year on three on Oct 21. All things considered she has been doing well.

I do have a question and want to see if anybody has some advice. As of today, something is going on. I knew something wasn’t right because she was asleep in one spot all day – didn’t even get up for morning kibbles. FYI, she loves food so that was very off. When I pulled out canned food this evening, she did get up then. However, that’s when I really realized something was wrong. She meowed loudly as she hobbled and she is barely standing up. I can’t tell where exactly the pain is at but it’s somewhere in the one front leg or paw (she’s a front amputee). After eating she made it to the litterbox, but then she laid on the floor near the litterbox. After a few minutes, she got up, but again she meowed loudly as she hobbled to and on the couch.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving/we’re in holiday season. My other cat (Spice) has been a very sick girl and it was stressful getting her last Friday to see some vet any vet and then it cost me exorbitantly. I only say that to say, as of last week my regular vet was double booked ’til Dec and half a dozen vets in this area are booked some into mid December. Is there anything I can do for Sugar because I know it’s going to be a wait to get an appointment and at the moment I’m not willing to see an emergency vet – I know that sounds cruel, but I really can’t right now. 

I think the pain is in the shoulder area (top of leg/not sure if that’s shoulder or what). She can’t seem to put pressure on it. Does anyone know anything I can do for her ’til she can see a vet?

A million thanks!

Hope

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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23 November 2022 - 10:54 pm
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Aww you ARE thanking us, don’t think twice about that. It’s a joy to know that Sugar is one year out and has been doing so well! CONGRATS on that victory! Wow that year went by fast. 

First, you are not being cruel by not wanting to go to the ER vet. We get that. It’s so expensive! And with the vet situation right now, trying to get in anywhere for a regular visit is impossible. It’s tough times for animals who need care. I’m sorry your other cat is sick too! Ugh! Is she better? I hope so.

I’m sorry that Sugar is showing some pain signals . Usually by the time a cat is vocalizing and showing discomfort it’s pretty severe pain. The problem could be as simple as a pulled muscle or pinched nerve. Maybe even something stuck in her paw. Have you examined it closely?

Have you tried reaching out to your vet to let them know what is going on, if only to see if you can get a temporary prescription to a pain reliever like Gabapentin? Calling them on Friday with a list of symptoms and even offering to send video might help expedite care. You can also try to see if she’s willing to have you ice her neck and shoulder area for a few minutes, a few times a day, to see if that helps. 

Stay strong and keep us posted OK? 

Member Since:
14 October 2021
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24 November 2022 - 9:30 am
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After I posted, last night while watching TV I tried to examine it more closely while she was sitting by me. I didn’t see anything stuck in the paw, but there seems to be minor swelling in the paw. There are two things that make her cry out in pain – rubbing/squeezing the middle of the leg – which I did because she was hanging it so limply. The other thing that hurts is moving the leg at the top which I did because of how she was holding it. She only lets on to the pain  when she steps on it. My regular vet frustrated me with the other cat so bad last week that I didn’t call them for Sugar. Nobody’s open today. The only local emergency vet will open later today so I’ll give them a call tonight or tomorrow because this isn’t right. She can barely move. My regular vet won’t be open again ’til Monday. I can try to ice it as suggested ’til I can get her in. I feel bad for her. She’s sleeping peacefully at the moment. I’ll be gone in a little while for the rest of the day – if she sleeps the day away which is what cats do anyway I guess she’ll be alright.

The Rainbow Bridge


Member Since:
25 April 2007
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24 November 2022 - 11:34 pm
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Aww poor Sugar. You are right, that swelling and crying out is concerning. Yes follow your gut instinct and get in touch with someone tomorrow. Even an online vet consultation with an Ask a Vet service may help with suggestions to help with the pain until a more thorough visit can be done. 

How is her appetite? Is she staying hydrated?stay on top of hydration to make sure she doesn’t become weakened by whatever is going on.

Please keep us posted, we are thinking of you.

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