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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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Search results for 'phantom limb cat' (90)

…place... why did she lose her leg to begin with? And what caused the eyesight and fever? 

While it's certainly possible that she can be having phantom limb pain, are there signs showing that she is having it? Typically we see phantom leg pain
symptoms in cats like sudden yelping, jumping, and

15 June 2022 10:18 am
Posts: 3
Views: 76

…! My cat, Tampa Boo, just turned a year old (I have had her for about eight months now) and her front right leg was amputated about seven months ago. Since…

…then, she has stopped eating on her own and will only eat when coaxed (even then she does not eat much, and she is even on appetite stimulant medication). She did stop using the litterbox (she would use it when I put her in it) and, since being on gabapentin, she has used the litterbox on her…

…(she looks disheveled not dirty). However, I have done bloodwork, and everything is coming back healthy. According to the doctors she is a healthy cat. After a recent conversation with the vet, he suspects she may be suffering from phantom limb pain. He prescribed gabapentin, but I only give it to…

…with). The first day I gave her the dose (in the afternoon) it took me a several minutes to rouse her. I am going to call the vet about the medication and my concerns regarding it.

Having a cat with an amputated leg is a new experience for me and I want to help her as much as I can, but I'm…

…not sure how to best help her.

For those who have experience with cats who have had phantom limb pain, could this be what she is struggling with? 

14 June 2022 3:36 pm
Posts: 3
Views: 76

…should check out:

Best (and Worst) Pet Amputation Pain Drugs

Simbadol™ is a highly concentrated injectable version of buprenorphine, used in cats. One injection lasts 24 hours and must not be dispensed to a pet owner.

Nocita™,  is another injectable post-op pain medication veterinarians…

…can give to dogs (and provide off-label use for cats). It lasts approximately three days.

Trazodone and Zonisamide work well to ease anxiety and allow your pet to relax.  

Carprophen (Rimadyl…

…that decrease inflammation in the body, allowing it to heal. For dogs who are sensitive to NSAIDs, Galliprant® (grapiprant) is a good option. For cats, short term use of meloxicam or ketoprofen is safe.

Tapentadol is a newer opioid that complements the effects of the previous types of medications. If it sounds like ‘Tramadol,” that’s because it ‘s a new and improved version of the drug. Tapentadol is just starting to be used in…

…be as effective than morphine, and much more helpful than Tramadol at controlling pain in dogs.

Gabapentin reduces nerve pain and helps prevent phantom pain in cats and dogs.

Amitriptyline is another drug for both species that can help reduce phantom limb pain, as well as anxiety.

Amantadine is…

…also shown to be an effective pain reducer.

When is the big day? Be sure to check out Cool Tips for Tripawd Cats
if you haven't already, it's also filled with tons of great tips! Stay tuned for feedback from others.

… 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…

…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

9 March 2022 6:05 pm
Posts: 3
Views: 127

…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?

9 March 2022 2:33 am
Posts: 3
Views: 127

…and welcome to you and Oscar. Sorry you had to join our club!

So what pain medication is he on? How much, and how often?

Cats are masters at hiding pain, and many times we miss pain signals
. Backwards walking is definitely one of them. It often happens when the severed limb nerves are "misfiring" and sending confusing signals to the brain. This causes pain. It could be phantom pain
, which doesn't happen constantly but…

…suddenly and acutely. So, that's why it might seem like he's not constantly hurting. 

See:

How to Help Amputee Cats Walking Backwards
Stay tuned for feedback from others!

12 February 2022 11:48 am
Topic: Need Advice!
Posts: 2
Views: 96

…worries. 

1. As far as covering her poop, yes, that's NORMAL; it's not painful; they are just doing their business as they always have w/o the limb. The brain still sends signals to that arm. Purrkins still does this five years, six months post-op. That's entirely different than phantom limb

…pain. 

2. Gaba can be an appetite stimulant for some cats. I had the same issue with Purrkins brother. Not Purrkins. That is what's happening with the feeling starved.! If you're feeding a wet diet, I…

…get a pheromone spray, spray that in the vicinity and see if that helps. Can't hurt! 

So you have some references to look at; here are pain indicators 

&

FELINE GRIMACE SCALE 
Here is a qof life scale to look at for the future!!! https://my.vetm.....eScale.pdf

Hang in

11 February 2022 2:40 pm
Posts: 21
Views: 372

…help or suggestions would be appreciated. Crybaby had FHO surgery then complications with that caused him to have a leg amputation a month afterwards. Everything was good with recovering considering until maybe 8 weeks afterwards…

…2 weeks 1 doses every 12 hours then another 2 weeks with 1 dose every 24 then every other day until we got him independent. He just had a bad phantom limb pain attack as seen in this video. What can we do?

2 January 2022 2:14 pm
Posts: 31
Views: 520

…trembling be phamtom limb pain in kitties?

Our surgeon advised that phantom limb pain is totally real for cats and prescribed gabapentin as needed for it.  Immediately after surgery, my tripawd kitty was trembling as the pain meds wore off, so it seemed…

…that seems to handle it. Otherwise, she's acting normally. 

Any other advice for pain relief this far after surgery?  And any experiences with phantom limb pain a month or more post surgery? 

Many thanks hive brain!

25 October 2021 2:11 pm
Posts: 13
Views: 1568

…sarcoma discovery, he had only been to the vet once in several years because he has to be fully sedated to have a minor visit. He had a senior cat exam about a year ago and most things were looking good. He just had an IBD flare up and she wanted to keep an eye on liver levels. A few months…

…wasn't too concerning to anyone. It took a special feline anesthesiologist two attempts to get him out for his amputation surgery.

He's a lovely cat, just not at the vet. So most of his vet visits are me explaining things until something really needs to be looked at. I assume during the…

…to surgery he was jumping on counters and even the top of doors on occasion. So the jumping has been cut out of his life the past few months.

The phantom limb issues seem to be largely confusion with him. He forgets how to walk, you can see the missing limb surrounding muscles moving. He flops all…

… he also chewed some hair off the area with the missing leg (a few days ago). I had been told by his vets that the gabapentin "blocked" the phantom issues and if they occurred to give him a dose. But I think you all have more experience collectively, so I wanted more advice.

thanks again!

Kirsten Thompson
15 September 2021 12:59 pm
Posts: 12
Views: 194

…said

Hi there and welcome.  

My cat Tuxedo had his rear leg and partial pelvis amputated over 4 years back.  Sorry about what maybe a late response but I am not on here often as he is…

…doing his normal happy adorable/annoying cat things these days.  So if you wish to contact me, it is best to leave me a private message through the site.  I did want to chime in here. …

… Following Tuxedo's surgery he was never on gabapentin and other than a few isolated incidents, never seemed to show having any phantom limb pain like you described.  However, after stitches and all bandages were finally removed, he became a grooming fiend.  He would at times lick away…

…this year, when his vet prescribed gabapentin for him.  The vets rationale was that it was possible that Tuxedo had been experiencing isolated phantom limb pain episodes all this time.  Well I do not know if that is right, but I do know that after a couple weeks on gabapentin, no more over grooming…

….  At his last checkup, I inquired about taking him off of the medication and the vet was hesitant to do so.  She said that if it is working and at a low dose, Tuxedo would likely be better on it that risk the episodes…

… in my long winded manner, I am saying, if the gabapentin is working, I would not be in any rush to discontinue it.  Because it seems that some cats may experience phantom limb pain far longer than it might be anticipated, though perhaps on a lower level.  Obviously I am not a vet, but wanted to…


Hugs and best wishes

Dawna, Tuxedo, Lilly, and Angel Dazzle

  

Hi everyone - This is my first time posting but I did read the tripod book for cats prior to Monster's surgery, and it helped prepare me so much that I can't express my gratitude for you all. Monster is 16 and had rapid growing…

… I'm not sure if the amputation caused his internal bits to change positioning a bit. And not sure if others have had this experience? He is an IBD cat so food options are very limited. And coming out of surgery, he was slow to pee, very slow to poop, and even got syringe fed. But it seems like all…

…of those memories disappear once you are past them.

A few weeks in, he got stressed, and completely forgot how to walk and started having a lot of phantom movement of his muscles on the right side. I gave one dose of gabapentin from his post surgery meds and he woke up normal.

Fast forward another…

…and normal. A week later, he's eating his regrowth of hair right over his hip joint. And he's never been an over-groomer.

As his name might indicate, Monster does not like the vet and most vets have rejected him over the years. His surgeon and the staff at Blue Pearl in Louisville have been…

…concern about him going on gabapentin long-term because he hates meds and it is messy giving him a liquid, but it does seem to work to shut off that phantom pain
receptor in the brain. He's old and I'm always aware that kidney issues in old cats can pop up at any point. Any advice is appreciated.

Kirsten Thompson
15 September 2021 10:54 am
Posts: 16
Views: 536

…there and welcome.  

My cat Tuxedo had his rear leg and partial pelvis amputated over 4 years back.  Sorry about what maybe a late response but I am not on here often as he is…

…doing his normal happy adorable/annoying cat things these days.  So if you wish to contact me, it is best to leave me a private message through the site.  I did want to chime in here. …

… Following Tuxedo's surgery he was never on gabapentin and other than a few isolated incidents, never seemed to show having any phantom limb pain like you described.  However, after stitches and all bandages were finally removed, he became a grooming fiend.  He would at times lick away…

…this year, when his vet prescribed gabapentin for him.  The vets rationale was that it was possible that Tuxedo had been experiencing isolated phantom limb pain episodes all this time.  Well I do not know if that is right, but I do know that after a couple weeks on gabapentin, no more over grooming…

….  At his last checkup, I inquired about taking him off of the medication and the vet was hesitant to do so.  She said that if it is working and at a low dose, Tuxedo would likely be better on it that risk the episodes…

… in my long winded manner, I am saying, if the gabapentin is working, I would not be in any rush to discontinue it.  Because it seems that some cats may experience phantom limb pain far longer than it might be anticipated, though perhaps on a lower level.  Obviously I am not a vet, but wanted to

15 August 2021 8:24 pm
Posts: 16
Views: 536

…living in our yard and slept on our deck at night. We were devastated when he disappeared and came back dragging a back leg. I thought it was dislocated, and we were eventually able to trap him to have him looked at. His femur was broken in half. We chose surgery over euthanasia, and almost 4…

…that had to have amputations. What Sally said about being so young and it sometimes taking longer to perfect their new balance is true. Also, medication is important for pain management
. You may get flack about that and may have to advocate strongly to help General Tso recover without pain. Phantom limb pain can occur, and is manageable too with proper medication. 

For now, one day at a time! One thing you will see as you read our stories is

8 August 2021 8:20 am
Posts: 22
Views: 398

…don't know what happened to him. We isolated him with a huge dog crate and bed off the frame in our spare bedroom for recovery and hopes of domesticating him. We introduced him to our furmily slowly, and if one of us was not in the room then nobody but Huck was in the room. I played music for him…

…and kept cat tv on for the brief times that he was alone. 

When he approached the time to remove sutures, he did get grouchy and snappy some. I think the…

…. We had to watch him closely after too because I didn't want him going buck wild with the incision and licking it back open. 

He did have some phantom limb discomfort, and we had him on gabapentin for about 3 weeks total before weaning him off. 

You don't know Trike's background or what happened…

…have 3 formerly feral furbabies and a big white marshmallow that nopawdy wanted. I agree.. something is triggering this. He might be having some phantom limb pain on top, and after all that he has been through he just might not be reacting really well to all the extra stimulation. Some cats do not do…

… he has us, and I'm in no particular rush for him to leave.  Our last foster to leave us was here for nine months...but we do have a total of 8 cats (6 are fosters), 2 dogs, 2 sugar gliders...and as of two nights ago, 9 domestic bunnies (3 adult females, 6 juveniles/babies) that were part

12 July 2021 12:19 pm
Topic: Aggression?
Posts: 17
Views: 339

…don't know what happened to him. We isolated him with a huge dog crate and bed off the frame in our spare bedroom for recovery and hopes of domesticating him. We introduced him to our furmily slowly, and if one of us was not in the room then nobody but Huck was in the room. I played music for him…

…and kept cat tv on for the brief times that he was alone. 

When he approached the time to remove sutures, he did get grouchy and snappy some. I think the…

…. We had to watch him closely after too because I didn't want him going buck wild with the incision and licking it back open. 

He did have some phantom limb discomfort, and we had him on gabapentin for about 3 weeks total before weaning him off. 

You don't know Trike's background or what happened…

…have 3 formerly feral furbabies and a big white marshmallow that nopawdy wanted. I agree.. something is triggering this. He might be having some phantom limb pain on top, and after all that he has been through he just might not be reacting really well to all the extra stimulation. Some cats do not do

12 July 2021 8:22 am
Topic: Aggression?
Posts: 17
Views: 339

… I joined the group because I need some wisdom from those of you who have so much more experience with our three-legged friends.  

We've been cat fosters for two years, and have handled a number of different issues, including some feral cats - but Trike (our tripod foster) is just so…

…leg amputation at 14 weeks of age.  While on cage rest, he was happy, calm, and purred non-stop.  Didn't complain about the cage rest, didn't climb the walls (we'd had a previous foster with a broken leg who ALWAYS climbed the kennel walls!), and was just a really good boy.  Fast forward to…

…there the whole time he tried to move in - she was no exception).  She brought him back home, and he was once again fine.  We have two dogs, four cats of our own, and five foster cats that he interacts with, and he doesn't display that behavior with any of them. My husband came home from a trip…

…we've seen the angry behavior at home was one night when Trike slept in my daughter's room instead of mine - he was growling and hissing at the two cats in her room (that he interacts fine with during the day), as well as at her, for a couple of hours.

Since some "moody" kittens have recently…

…out, with a hiss or growl, somewhat randomly and sometimes when I hold him/move him in my arms.  I've presumed those were perhaps moments of pain/phantom limb pain?  But other than those rare moments, he's just chill here at home.  So...any thoughts on whether this bizarre "new environment" Dr.

10 July 2021 6:14 pm
Topic: Aggression?
Posts: 17
Views: 339

…and Fergs, welcome! I just answered your comment in the Cats Walking Backwards article and was totally hoping you would come here and post. Thank you! Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so…

…does seem like Fergs was waiting for you though, he knew you needed to be rescued! I'm glad you adopted him.

When it comes to a young animal with limb difference, no matter how they lost it, if they are hopping around on 3 and they are under 1 year old they have a lack of motor skills and…

…"ouch! stop! don't proceed!" Maybe the leg movement pulls on a nerve somewhere. It's hard to say. The backward walking that happens with some cats does appear to be a pain signal of some sort, although most vets folks have talked to here say they just don't know what causes it. But as you read…

… things like massage, Gabapentin and even dry needling acupuncture can help. Our phantom leg pain
articles have lots of the same information that can be applied to this situation.

Your vet sounds amazing! You are so lucky to have him

14 June 2021 9:30 am
Posts: 6
Views: 163

Video 2

Hello! I’m new here and I can’t find much information out there about cats born with 3 legs. 

Some background information about my tripawd. I lost my “soul-cat” (named Cosmo) unexpectedly Christmas day of 2020. I…

…wasn’t exactly what I was looking for when I went to pick out a new friend (I was being rather shallow and artificial and wanted ONLY an all white cat, subconsciously trying to ‘replace’ Cosmo…which, obviously, I’m thankful that didn’t happen) This kitten actually “picked” me out… quite literally.…

… He was lounging in a cat tree and kept tapping me on my shoulder! Needless to say, I wanted him to come home with me. It wasn’t until the facility employee was scanning him…

…getting him prepared to leave that I noticed he had an awkward walk and limp. Looking closer, his rear left leg is much shorter: about half of a limb. The vet tech at the rescue explained that he was born with this malformation and he should get along just fine considering he doesn’t know any…

…adjustment period. 

I named him Ferguson (aka Fergs, Fergie). 

A week later I took him to my personal vet to get their opinion and to be educated/informed of anything I would need to know as a new tripawd Mom. My vet said the same thing and added that it’s possible he might need the rest of…

…his limb amputated but only if it seemed to cause problems.

As he grew, his limb stayed short giving him more and more of a limp. I took him to the vet again with concern for his hips. (I’m trying to be proactive as possible…

…Cosmo.) But, again, my vet said everything was fine. He checked out great in all areas of health and the vet saw no need to amputate the remaining limb nor did he observe any other health concerns. (Disclaimer - I have a tremendous amount of faith and respect for my vet. He’s cared for all of my…

…pets which includes 5 cats and 2 dogs over the past 11 years. Also, 6 years ago he performed a very difficult surgery on another kitty of mine, saving his life, that has…

…appreciate the interruption of his eating lol 

Long story short, I haven’t found any information at all on this behavior being observed in a cat that was born as a tripawd. Only in recent amputees. I’m taking him to the vet soon but was curious if anyone else has any experience with this…

…behavior. Especially if it’s been with a non-amputee. 

From what I’ve read, it sounds like phantom limb with gabapentin and massages for help. 

I guess my concern though, is if he might have nerve damage from the birth defect or an underlying nerve

14 June 2021 8:25 am
Posts: 6
Views: 163

…!

Nice to meet you and Spree, though wish the circumstances had been better.  A bit over 4 years ago, my cat Tuxedo had his rear leg and partial pelvis amputated due to trauma.  He is 14 years old now and a total lovable brat who amazes me at what he can do…

…despite his handicap.  Truly he inspires me on those days when my arthritis really acts up. After surgery he was on a number of medications, but never on gabapentin, so I can not offer any suggestions on the dose esp for such small cat. My Tuxedo is a big boy weighing double Spree at…

…14 pounds.  But way back then I did do some investigating of homeopathic treatments in case it appeared he needed anything for phantom limb pain.  And St John's Wort (hypericum perforatum) was one such med.  This website listed dosages for animals based on weight https://frankli..…

…...d-anxiety/

You might also want to private message Purkins, a member of this community because if memory serves it was either a medication she used or was thinking about using.  I do not recall much about my conversations with her as it was many years past.  

Hugs and best wishes,

13 June 2021 4:38 pm
Posts: 6
Views: 253

… 

My 12-year-old cat Mimi has recently had her back leg amputated about 12 days ago. I am concerned about these episodes she has where she walks backwards, cries out and…

…over just last night and it sometimes seems painful and other times just confusing for her. 

I have told the vet multiple times and asked if it's phantom limb pain, he informs me that it is very rare but I have been doubting that from all the posts i read about it.

I was also trying to find a place

16 May 2021 12:22 am
Posts: 10
Views: 287

…said

My cat gets energy work. I realize energy work is a woo woo kind of thing, and many people don't believe in it. But I've witnessed it help my cats (and…

…humans) firsthand. I did buy the Farabloc
, but my cat never sits on it. We did a lot to help integrate the energy of the leg. I can't guarantee Rita won't get phantom limb pain, but I think the energy

29 April 2021 5:52 pm
Posts: 17
Views: 13752

cat gets energy work. I realize energy work is a woo woo kind of thing, and many people don't believe in it. But I've witnessed it help my cats (and humans) firsthand. I did buy the Farabloc
, but my cat never sits on it. We did a lot to help integrate the energy of the leg. I can't…

…guarantee Rita won't get phantom limb pain, but I think the energy work-- like acupuncture--will help.  If you have any interest in trying this for Boskers, I'm happy to send along a

29 April 2021 10:57 am
Posts: 17
Views: 13752

…sharing especially when people are likely on this forum because they are in the thick of terrible decisions about amputating their beloved pet's limbs. Fiona has recovered beautifully.  Her personality is the same.  Through stools and steps to out beds, she manages climbs like a champ.  We even…

…the last month, she caught a mouse and a mole out in our back garden (don't worry, it's totally fenced and we monitor her--she is truly an indoor cat other than these supervised excursions) and proudly nabbed a roach in the basement--so her hunting days (luckily for us!) haven't diminished. …

… While she does have the phantom limb itching issues, we are able to lend a hand and help her out and she doesn't seem bothered by it.  I know making these decisions can be incredibly…

…stressful, but once you get through the healing and recovery, it does get better. We're so very grateful to have Fiona in our lives and hope by catching the cancer early and operating quickly, we will have Fiona for many, many more years.  Everyone take care. Be well. Anne 

15 April 2021 8:13 am
Posts: 5
Views: 261

…tsp 2 X a day - too hard 1/4 tsp 2 times a day. Again please continue to give the Miralax and do not stop. 

Questions I have had your first post Phantom Limb and litter box regression

 post you wrote this

Amelia was diagnosed with extensive osteosarcoma this past October. They did chemotherapy…

…with the colon x-ray? Any masses?  

Did the colon look distended or just full of poop? 

What are the side effects of bisphosphonates
in cats? 

Can this be the cause of constipation for Amelia?

She hasn’t pooped since thursday but she also hasn’t really eaten much and was totally

28 March 2021 3:07 pm
Posts: 45
Views: 913

…with your  Vet if you feel like he's experiencing pain.  Other than trying to get to the incision, everything else all good, right???     Again, phantom limb  pain signs are VERY severe with a quick onset, vocalizing  pain, trying to"run away" from the pain surge. 

This is just all in the FWIW category.  You know your kitty best👍

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

4 March 2021 9:58 am
Posts: 11
Views: 289

…is common as long as TumTum is not reactive when it happens, meaning he jumps or runs away from the missing limb, attacks the missing limb aggressively goes after the limb, biting, licking.

The vet explained to me that the brain still sends messages to that limb. If you see any of…

…the above, call the vet and tweak the Gaba, but it sounds normal.

Using the missing limb, the muscles moving, twitch are common and not of concern.

You will know if it is phantom limb pain. I promise it's disturbing for the cat, dog

4 March 2021 8:37 am
Posts: 11
Views: 289

…and other than that he doesn’t seem to be in pain. There’s no yowling. He is rather relaxed, loving and sometimes even playful. Although I know cats can hide pain well. So is there anyone who’s had this with their cat? Is it normal? Is it a sign of phantom limb pain? What is happening that’s

4 March 2021 2:20 am
Posts: 11
Views: 289

…that you would handle it better than you gave yourself credit for

Even now, three years later, Huck will try to scratch his ear with his missing limb and it does this little quiver. I reach over and give his ear and chin a good scratch and he is fine. It is not phantom limb pain, totally…

…different and does not bother him. 

So sorry I have been behind. I am catching up though 🙂

Hugs,

Jackie and Huck

23 January 2021 12:54 pm
Posts: 42
Views: 1736

…was on Gabapentin for between 2-3 weeks after surgery. It did help a lot with the phantom limb issue and he has not had any issues since then. Some furbabies are on it longer, some less. In a lot of cases (like ours) we really had to advocate for pain meds as our vet thought after a few days he would not need medication 

The buprenorphen also helped a great deal!

The medications did

4 January 2021 4:09 am
Posts: 7
Views: 278

…Lucky’s mom,

My cat Molly limped on her left front leg on 10/23/2020 after jumping off the scratching post. We took her to the vet the following day and they found dark…

…) for one week after surgery. She saw the vet again one week after and he didn’t think additional pain meds were needed. So far, I haven’t noticed phantom limb pain in her.

It was devastating learning that she had to get amputated. However, there were days I hoped we could get the amputation done

2 January 2021 11:27 am
Posts: 7
Views: 278
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