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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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Super worried, need advice for my 5 year old cat
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Member Since:
9 March 2022
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9 March 2022 - 2:33 am
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My cat, Stitch, has her front left leg amputated. I found her when she was a 6 week old kitten with nerve damage, my only option was to euthanize or amputate so I chose the latter. 

She’s done well ever since, but two years ago I felt a mass growing on her nub. I went to a new vet due to living in a different area and that vet told me her arm was not amputated correctly. Her shoulder joint was not removed, and she has a sharp little bone (the scapula I think) that was rubbing against the skin and causing the mass. The doctor recommended I get her surgery again and it was going to be $1300+… I am in my early 20’s and was being hit hard by the pandemic so being unable to pay that much the doctor opted to give me some pain meds to manage any discomfort instead. The mass cleared and she’s been mobile and normal until now. 

She has spent a lot of time sleeping on my bed the last two days, she’s very active usually and has barely moved other than to eat and use the litter box. I felt her nub and the position of the sharp little bone/her shoulder feels off… like way off. Usually it’s rounded, but at the top of the shoulder I feel a little bone and at the bottom the longer sharper bone is jutting out, underneath the skin still but it’s…poking from the inside. Sometimes when she jumps off things she will land on that shoulder, almost as if to catch her fall? She     moves her numb like an arm so I know she has phantom limb issues. 

Is it possible she dislocated her shoulder or something? I will take her to the vet tomorrow if her condition worsens, but I’m extremely worried about even finding a vet right now because my city has a bad shortage and none of the offices are taking new patients. I am struggling financially still so I’m freaked out about that aspect a bit, however I’ll get into any type of debt to make sure my kitty is okay. I’m also m to curious if anyone can make sense of my confusing explanation on how her nub feels and if anyone else has had the same issue? Thank you!! 

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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9 March 2022 - 6:05 pm
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Hi Stitch & Furmily. Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so please post away.

It does sound like the bone spur (?) may be acting up again. Cats are so good at hiding pain, it might have been bothering her for a long time and she's just now showing it because it's really bad.

Don't wait to take her to the vet OK? It's hard for anyone to say what this could be, and we could make a million guesses. But the reality is that if she is showing pain the way you are describing, she needs to get seen asap. es it's tough to get into a vet clinic right now but if you firmly communicate that your cat is in serious pain, it will be easier to get seen. What's going on with the previous vet who saw her? It would be good to start there. But if you want to message me your location I can try to find you some clinics. There are also some low-cost general care clinics out there and you might want to check out this financial resources for vet care worksheet to see if you qualify for any.

moves her numb like an arm so I know she has phantom limb issues. 

Unless it's accompanied by odd behavior like yelping, walking backwards, and sudden jolts to run away, it's probably not phantom pain (that's how it presents itself). All Tripawds with remaining stumps will wiggle it like that. Our Wyatt did it daily! And it's not painful from what our vet told us, and based on others' experiences so that's one less worry for you! 

Keep us posted OK? 

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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9 March 2022 - 6:57 pm
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Jerry has given you excellent  feedback, especially  about ezplaing your kitty is in bad painas you try to get an appt.  

Just take one step at a time for now.  Try and get an appt, have her assessed, and then go from there, okay?

Thank you for giving Stitch such a loving and caring home for all these years.

Keep us  posted and let us know what the Vet uncovers.


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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