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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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Surgery tonight...
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Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
6 October 2020
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24 October 2020 - 5:12 pm
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Our little five month old tuxedo cat, Orpheus, came to us at three months old short a paw (the rescue says it was gone when he was brought to them with a sister and mother having been found stray/semi-feral)- right rear leg. I had the vet do an xray when he got neutered two weeks ago to see what was going on, especially because he’d spent a couple of hours the day before with it chicken-winged up like it hurt, and she said it was clearly a traumatic injury (perhaps the mother chewed it off, maybe something else), with just rough tibia and fibula ends. It was clear that we would eventually, and sooner better than later, need to do a mid-femur amputation.

This week it hurt a lot on Thursday, was better Friday, and then this morning he could barely find a comfortable position before yowling again. Vet now says there is a large abscess/infection at the stump, and the orthopedic surgeon felt it would be best to do the amputation now rather than trying to kill the infection first, so now he’s having surgery, tonight.

This is clearly the right thing to do, and I know it will be better than the rough stump he had, and I knew it was coming, and and and.

Anyway, so, I’m doing ok, and I’m kind of a mess, don’t really have questions, except for all of the questions (how long will recovery be? How quiet is it possible to keep a 5 month old kitten? What questions don’t I know I have?). 

The Rainbow Bridge



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24 October 2020 - 6:29 pm
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Hi Orpheus and family, welcome! Your future posts won’t need to wait for approval so post away.

You have such a great attitude! I know it’s not what you expected when you brought a new kitty into your life, but Orpheus has a ton of really cool life lessons in store for you, he will be your guide to show you how to be resilient and strong!

Have you seen our e-book, Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats ? We have tons of answers to common questions there, and our What to Expect articles do too. Keeping a young kitten calm during recovery isn’t easy but it IS pawsible! Do you have an area of your home ready for recovery? Keeping him in the smallest area of your home is wise, taking beds off box springs is a popular way to do to avoid the risk of getting squished. 

When will Orpheus come home? 

I apologize I have to run but we are having a World Series watch party and I need to join it! I’ll be back tomorrow but stay tuned for feedback from others OK? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia




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24 October 2020 - 9:08 pm
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Well Orpheus certainly  hit the kitty Lottery when he picked you!!

Yes, you definitely  doing  the right thing for Orpheus!   The surgery will get rid of the awful pain he’s been exp and you will be amazed at how well he thrives on three!-!  Not say that recovery is a picnic for a couple of weeks, but once thru with recovery  Orpheus will get to be Orpheus!!

Orpheus will come home with pain meds and I’m  sure a good antibiotic.  When you get a chance to read Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats you will feel quite knowledgeable on every you need to know avout a tripawd kotty.  Plus, you have us here in the forums to help as any questions  come up.

Try and get some rest. Orpheus will be out of it tonight  with some good hospital meds.  Hopefully he’ll be able to come home tomorrow, or the next day.  Update when you can.

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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25 October 2020 - 9:10 pm
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Thank you for the welcome!

He got through surgery great, I’m told, and I’m expecting to be able to bring him home tomorrow afternoon. We’ve set up a large wire dog crate with a memory-foam pad, in my bedroom, to help with a confined place where he has nowhere to jump.

It will be interesting to see how he transitions- he was already used to three-legging it, but he did use his long stump for balance and slow-speed walking/limping. He’s a really awesome little dude.

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 October 2020 - 9:33 pm
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Ooooh give your pawesome little dude some extra lovin’ from us! So glad he made it through surgery. Good luck tomorrow, let us know how it goes OK? You sound pretty set!

P.S. If he’s never been crated before, then I would just leave the door open to see if he uses it. Don’t force him if he is uncomfortable. But he may just surprise you and want to sleep in there. Paws crossed!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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25 October 2020 - 10:01 pm
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jerry said
Ooooh give your pawesome little dude some extra lovin’ from us! So glad he made it through surgery. Good luck tomorrow, let us know how it goes OK? You sound pretty set!

P.S. If he’s never been crated before, then I would just leave the door open to see if he uses it. Don’t force him if he is uncomfortable. But he may just surprise you and want to sleep in there. Paws crossed!

  

The crate’s so big, my teenaged kids can sit in there with him (one at a time). 🙂

The Rainbow Bridge



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25 October 2020 - 10:14 pm
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Now THAT is adorable! Gotta see some pics of that!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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26 October 2020 - 7:01 pm
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I’m so glad that your little kitty did so well with surgery!!  We are in the same kind of boat.  Lucky came to us with just a stump on his back left side.  He is almost 4 months old and we are looking at having it removed so it can’t get infected.  My vet has not done xrays so I have no idea what happened to it. He is scheduled for surgery on Nov 17 but we are getting a second opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon on the 12th.

I like your dog crate idea. Lucky had to be contained for 2 weeks in September when he had his eye removed (also due to infection).  It was not easy for  him then.  We have a “corral” that he was in during that time.  We were going to just use the spare bedroom (the kitten room) but I’m not liking the idea of him being shut off by himself.  I’ll be interested to see how your dog crate works!

Best of luck with Orpheus coming home!! Please keep us updated!!

Barb & Lucky

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27 October 2020 - 5:20 pm
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Small update… all good.

So, he’s been home a day, and can NOT be kept down. I think since he’s already used to often only using three legs that his adjustment to not having even a short leg has been instantaneous. He …. does not love the dog crate; we’re working on making it a place he’s comfortable with, so we can reasonably leave him in it when we leave him alone in the room, but for now we’re not leaving him alone.

He slept like a baby last night (which is to say, woke up a few times, but went back to sleep pretty well 🙂 ).

He is exhibiting no pain behaviors (but who knows, right?), he tries to groom himself but is thwarted by his soft cone, goes straight for the stitches if we take the cone off so we don’t do that, and overall appears at least as happy as he ever has been (which is very happy) and SO much better than the bad couple of days he’s had in pain.

He’s not on much in the way of meds: Robenacoxib for three days, and Clavamox for 14 days. 

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27 October 2020 - 5:22 pm
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luckysmom20 said
I’m so glad that your little kitty did so well with surgery!!  We are in the same kind of boat.  Lucky came to us with just a stump on his back left side.  He is almost 4 months old and we are looking at having it removed so it can’t get infected.  My vet has not done xrays so I have no idea what happened to it. He is scheduled for surgery on Nov 17 but we are getting a second opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon on the 12th.

  

That IS similar! I’d love to hear updates about Lucky and what you end up doing.

Virginia




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27 October 2020 - 7:33 pm
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WOW!!!  Orpheus really is rockin ‘ recovery!  As you mentioned,  it’s really not that much of a difference now to go from the stump to being a tripawd.  So happy to hear how well he’s doing.  

Andnyes, mist jave a pocture of his cat cabe cage😎

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 October 2020 - 12:32 pm
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That’s pawesome things are going well. How’s he doing today? 

You’re right about the pain management he came home with, it’s not much. Did he perhaps get a 3-day injectable pain reliever called Nocita? Check your invoice.

Also, check out these posts about managing pain signals and see if he’s showing any signs. Cats are so good at hiding them.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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