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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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Worried about cat's lack of vocalizations post op
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Member Since:
3 July 2022
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3 July 2022 - 12:43 pm
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Hi,

Sorry about the long text coming up,

my sweet 1,7 old girl Momo took a nasty fall which broke her right hind leg 😔 we had to make the choice between euthanasia and amputation, as due to the type of fracture saving the leg wouldn't have been possible. She had her surgery on Friday and was discharged Saturday. She has a fentanyl patch until Tuesday, gets 0,5ml Gabapentin in the evening and from today on gets 0,15 ml Metacam (an NSAID) a day. She has little appetite, but has eaten her brother's vet prescribed food on her own (naughty!)and I've spoon fed her wet food. She has peed and pooped.

I understand it's early days (2 days post op) but I'm freaked out by her behavior - she hasn't meaowed or purred once. She doesn't seem to be interested in us, even though normally she absolutely adores me and up to her accident was very vocal about going out and always complained loudly to me everytime I left the house without her (I take her out on a leash). Did anyone else experience this lack of interest to humans? She closes her eyes fondly when I scratch her head gently, but doesn't make any vocalizations at all. Our other cat gets kicked away when he tries to lick her (she allows sniffing though), but she doesn't hiss at him.

The Rainbow Bridge


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3 July 2022 - 1:00 pm
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Hi @Peachy and Momo, welcome. We are so sorry about the accident! Just last night, Lilo was probably going to lose a leg too, because of an accident in the house. You are in good company in the club nopawdy wants to join.

Try not to panic. Everything you describe sounds totally normal and to be expected. She's been through a lot, and is high as a kite right now. It sounds like she is getting very good pain management , which is exactly what she needs to recover. The fact that she is otherwise eating, eliminating, and tolerating everyone around her is a VERY good sign that she will bounce back pretty easily.

Give her time and space. Amputation recovery is hard work, and the body needs all the help it can get to heal. She is young and sparky, she will get there! I know it's difficult to see our animals so out of it, but try to see the big picture, it's a temporary thing. In about 2 weeks she will be herself again (but just remember she will still be in recovery mode, so you'll need to make sure she stays chill, and doesn't do crazy things like jump from high places, or roam outside). 

Keep us posted OK? 

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4 July 2022 - 1:55 am
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Hi jerry, thank you so much for your reply. This forum has really been a godsend to us, this experience has been so traumatising and isolating. Reading other's success stories has been so encouraging. 

I'm trying to stay calm and give her time. Yesterday evening Momo decided to enter her beloved cat tunnel for a while! She also discovered our windows and looked outside and sniffed the air for a bit, which she's always loved doing. I broke down in tears when I saw that, it feels like a huge step forward! She's still sleeping a lot, I've seen her do a "big stretch" several times so I know she's comfortable. No sign of infection so far either, hoping it stays that way!!

Last night was extremely rough though because of our other kitty, Taro. I'm pretty sure he thinks he's Momo's doctor. I locked him out of our bedroom as I did the other night, but this night he was NOT having it. He woke me up all night by screaming and scratching the door and didn't give up. You'd think he would grow tired of it but no, he took a few minutes break but then went right back to screaming and jumping and clawing at the door. Eventually I gave  up and let him in since I couldn't sleep at all and thought that the noise had to stress Momo out too. He settled next to me in the bed after thoroughly checking on Momo by sniffing her (thankfully Momo still doesn't let him lick her). So after that I slept very lightly, waking up each time one of the cats turned, because I obviously wanted to prevent Taro from being able to lick Momo or mess with her stitches. But at least I got some rest in the end.

The Rainbow Bridge


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4 July 2022 - 11:04 am
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Awww what a great update, thank you. I'm curious what part of the world you are in?

Everything about Momo's behavior you describe are GREAT signs. She's curious, she's stretching, she's comfy. And yes she will still sleep for a while, it's very early in recovery. But all things point to progress. Keep in mind that recovery is not always a straight line, sometimes there are ups and downs so if that happens don't get discouraged. 

I'm glad Dr. Taro is good with Momo's recovery too! If you want to be extra sure he doesn't bother her incision, try a baby onesie

Cheers to more progress (and some sleep for you too!)

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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4 July 2022 - 4:52 pm
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While we always say jotmto compare recoveries,  as every dog or cat recovers at their own pace.  However, it does seem like Momo is ahead of the curve in her recovery!!

Now, if she does have a bit of a crash after all the hospital  meds wear off and the patch comes off, don't  be alarmed.   That does happen  sometimes.  A bit of med tweaking  corrects everything  IF needed.  But right now, she's really doing well!  Good job!  

And I love that "Dr Taro insists  on being her "comfort cat".😎

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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5 July 2022 - 3:12 am
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We're in Scandinavia! I'm definitely going to try the onesie, but first I'll try to sew one from an old t-shirt, let's see if that works out 😂 so far Taro hasn't been allowed to touch the stitches but I assume as Momo starts to feel better she may allow grooming from him again so extra protection would be good. 

So far Momo is doing great, today she even came to greet me at the door which she normally always does! She found her voice yesterday and meows at me which makes me so so happy ❤️ I assume she wants to go out (on a leash) but I'll wait a couple of days with that since she's still super tired and I want to have a recovery suit ready for her when we leave the house to avoid infection. Thanks for the kind messages everyone, it's so great to have support during a tough time like this.

The Rainbow Bridge


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5 July 2022 - 10:28 am
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Aww it makes us happy too that she is doing so well. Yeah I'd wait a while to leash walk her, at least until her stitches are out. Until then if you have a safe place for her to catch sunbeams outside I'm sure that will pick up her spirits when she's ready to go outside.

We'd love to see what you design with the old t-shirt!

Scandinavia? COOL! It's so nice to meet members all over the globe. 

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7 July 2022 - 5:57 am
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I can't seem to find how to insert images on my phone 😂 But the design isn't anything too fancy since I ended up skipping the sewing and simply cut straps from the t-shirt so I can maneuver her easily in and out of it.

Momo has enjoyed sunbeams on our yard! I had her on a leash just in case she wanted to move a lot, but luckily she was happy to walk a couple of meters and then catch some z's in the sun. I've read on phantom limb pain and don't think she's experiencing it. However, I saw her shaking/shivering a couple of times today as she was sitting on the couch. She hadn't strained herself beforehand and wasn't trying to move. I tried to google around if shivering is a pain signal or not but couldn't find much information on it. Has anyone experienced it? Could she just be cold? It's 70F inside and that should be a comfortable temperature for her, especially since her fur is long and thick. I've called her vet and she'll get back to me when she's out of surgery, but wanted to ask for community input anyway 😊 

Here and Now


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7 July 2022 - 2:18 pm
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peachy said
I can't seem to find how to insert images on my phone... 

Here are detailed instructions for adding photos to forum posts . If you don't already share photos online somewhere, you can start a free Tripawds blog any time and upload them there. Need further help? Post in the Tech Support forum and we'll be happy to help!

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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7 July 2022 - 2:54 pm
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Nothing better than the healing rays of the sun.

She really seems to be doing really well, especially  this early on.

Yes,   "shivering" can sometimes be a pain sign.  Of course talk to your Vet, but since she's  only done this a little bit while sitting on the couch, could even be just a tug or pinch from the stitches.  Certainly  of your Vet thinks otherwise, an increase in pain meds, or  frequency can help.

Yes, you are right.  Phantom  limb pain is much more noticeable.....they will jump up out of nowhere as though they had an electric shock and would probably  be very vocal.

You are doing am excellent  job of caring for her👍

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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