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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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Cat front leg amputation. 7 days post op and he has been crying out in pain for last 4 days.
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9 December 2013 - 4:15 pm
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I am trying to find information or someone that has gone through similar situation. I am trying to validate if this pain is normal. My cat had a front limb amputation with scapula removal after badly breaking his leg. Vet assured he would be pain free an healed within 7 to 10 days. He is confined in a 4 ft x 3 ft modifed closet for recovery and seems to be ok when inside. However when let out even if for 10 to 15 min he will cry out in pain up to four times. I have never heard him scream this loud even compared to when the accident happened and he broke his leg. It lasts for a few seconds then he is ok until the next “pain attack” This is killing me to watch and with all we’ve been through I was really hoping he would be better. I was covinced within two weeks he would be healed and completely back to normal. The vet gave 7 days metacam for inflamation and 7 days pills for pain. The vet also said medication wise there is nothing more to be done, he cannot give any explenation for pain and is giving a wait and see approach. I do not want my cat to suffer and I am worried something might have been done wrong during surgery. Any advice,info or shared similar experience would be greatly appreciated.

Here and Now


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9 December 2013 - 4:22 pm
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Welcome, your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Hopefully one of our veterinary expert members will provide some professional feedback for you. We’ll make sure Erica knows you’re here too, she’s one of our resident tri-kitty experts and blogs about Jill the cancer fighting tripawd kitty.

Here and Now


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9 December 2013 - 4:26 pm
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mkla said
The vet gave 7 days metacam for inflamation and 7 days pills for pain.

Only metacam? What pain medication was prescribed? If in doubt, please seek a second opinion.

What is your kitty’s name?

New York, NY
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9 December 2013 - 4:32 pm
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Hi There,

 

I’m so sorry to hear your kitty is in so much pain!!!  What pain meds has he been given besides metacam?  Jill is my kitty and did not experience anything like this, in fact she showed no sign of pain at all.  She was given buprenex for pain relief at home.

I have heard that metacam can be safe for kitties, but is quite controversial, so (BIG DISCLAIMER – I AM NOT A VET) maybe that is causing some discomfort?  Here is one link about metacam and kittys:

http://www.aska…..etacam.php

Is the pain constant or just every once in a while?  It COULD be phantom pains which you may want to ask your vet about and I believe they can prescribe gabapentin for that.  

I’m sorry I can’t be of more help, but this certainly doesn’t sound “normal” as to what I experienced with Jill….

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

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9 December 2013 - 5:41 pm
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Thank you for the quick replies. His name is Charlot. I am aware of metacam with cats, even the vet gave a reduced dose for a small period of time and wanted me to give and wait two days and give again. I had full blood work done before and after all this. He was given buprenorphine slow release. Two injections 3 days apart and 7 days of Tramadol. I just started giving the Tramadol today but even with the injection which was supposed to be strong he would still cry out. When he cries out sometimes you can see the muscles contract like spasms. I brought up phantom pains with the vet he said it could be but to keep in mind it was a big surgery. After the seven day pills they dont want to risk giving more medication as he has already been on alot since the accident. I agree its a big surgery but everything i could find on cat amputation no cat seemed to experience shots of pain like this. There was one story i came across that they said the cat did cry out a few times and they would go to vet but once there cat seemed fine and it only happened two or three times. It was the same for me when I brought him back to vet after day 5 he seemed fine, not in pain and didn’t cry out, but at home its a different story. I read several dog amputation stories concerning phantom pains and it seems to occur quite often up to 10 days after where dog wimpers and cries out in pain. They all said to give it time. I don’t know if it would be a big difference between cats and dogs but like i said i can’t sem to find any instances with cats. Unfortunatly I’am worried the next step would be euthanasia. Suffering like this and being kept in a room is not a quality of life and having to keep him on medication just raises other health concerns. I don’t know how long i should give with the vets wait and see approach if he constantly cries out in pain.

Here and Now


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9 December 2013 - 5:47 pm
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mkla said
When he cries out sometimes you can see the muscles contract like spasms.

Sudden outbursts and twitching like that may indicate phantom limb pain. Consider these tips to help relieve phantom pain, and ask you vet about Gabapentin or seek another opinion. Light massage and a cold compress can help, but please keep in mind we are not vets.

Best wishes, please keep us posted!

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9 December 2013 - 5:49 pm
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admin said

mkla said
When he cries out sometimes you can see the muscles contract like spasms.

Sudden outbursts and twitching like that may indicate phantom limb pain. Consider these tips to help relieve phantom pain, and ask you vet about Gabapentin or seek another opinion. Light massage and a cold compress can help, but please keep in mind we are not vets.

Best wishes, please keep us posted!

Thank you again, I will look into this.

Virginia




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9 December 2013 - 6:58 pm
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Hi Charlot’s Mom!

Okay, take a deep breath…..everything is going to be okay! This IS major surgery and it IS early on in recovery

Hey! I was watchin! You javen’t taken those deep breathsyet! Okay, let’s go!

B R E A T H E……….EXHALE…..INALE SLOWLY…B R E A T H E….EXHALE……..INHALE…..BR E A T H E ………B R E A T H E……..B R E A T H E…….

Good job!clap

NOT A VET…but…as everyone jas said, it certainly could be phantom pain and Gabapentin is the most recommended for dogs. And you just started the Tramadol so give that time to kick in too. The pain comes on quickly,is intense, and goes quickly, and will repeat off and on. You’ll read everything you need to know in the link Admin. gave you.

I KNOW this is roigh! I KNOW seeingyour loved ne in pain and unable tohelpis ripping your heart out. EVERY animal is different…EVERY recovery is different! Some recover quicker…some slower than others.

If this happened to a human, they would still be in the hospital and on heavy pain meds! Try and remember this too shall pass. Try and remember this IS the road to recovery…it just has a few bumps along the way to a smooth ride.

Is Charlot eating oka? Drinking okay? Pooping? Peeing? If everything else is good it certainly seems to be more on the lines of phantom (which is REAL)
pain. I do kow so eof the dog owners say that gentle massage helps too.

Remember, as ard as it is to watch your cat hurt, this is temporary. It sou ds like 95% of the time he’s doing really good for sich a short timepast srgery.
And Momis doing good too!! In fact, you’re dong GREAT! I do like the idea of a secnd opinion by the way. We’re all big proponets of another set of eyes checking yhings out.

Okay now, let’s do that breathing thing again! B R E A T H E……..B R E A T H E…….B R E A T H E……….clapclap

HUGE (((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))

Sally and Happy Hannah

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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9 December 2013 - 7:42 pm
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Sounds like phantom pain . Buprenex is a pretty benign narcotic so we do not usually see vocalizations with that drug.  Gabapentin is very safe for kitties but often has to be compounded.  I would call your vet and ask about this drug.

Pam

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10 December 2013 - 11:34 am
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Thank you Sally and Happy Hannah for the kind words,support and positive attitude. I am trying to stay positive myself besides just the random shocks of pain Charlot seems to be doing fine in all other aspects. Hopefully its only time he needs and that it won’t take to long for his brain to adjust. Thank you Pam for the info, I have been calling around my local vets to see if they have any experience with what Charlot is going through. So far none of them have they have all said pretty much the same thing that cats tend to do really well afterwards and this type of crying out is uncommon. One vet so far has told me there could be benefit in doing a 3 week program on Gabapentin and they have seen it work well. Fingers crossed this is something we could fix and get the poor guy back to normal.

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11 December 2013 - 7:33 pm
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So my local vet is going to try a program of medication. Everything will be at reduced dosage basicaly giving the minimum. Charlot will be on 5 days metacam, 2 weeks,3 times a day of 0.1ml bueprenorphine and 3 weeks of Gabapentin. The metacam and gabapentin he starts saturday and the bueprenorphine starts now in place of the tramadol pills that Charlot has now decided he no longer wants anything to do with. With this and the extra time Im really hoping it works. Like I mentioned no vet I have spoken with has seen this in a cat after amputation however this vet has succesfully used a similar treatment with gabapentin on a cat with similar post op phantom pain after a declawing amputation. We will see in two weeks if there is any progress.

New York, NY
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11 December 2013 - 7:42 pm
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I really hope this helps! Please keep us posted!!

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

The Rainbow Bridge



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12 December 2013 - 1:02 pm
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You have one fantastic vet! Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information here, I know it will help other cat pawrents in the future when they’re looking for information about phantom limb pain in amputee cats.

I’m sending all my love and well wishes that it helps, please keep us posted OK?

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12 December 2013 - 1:45 pm
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Thank you Erica and Jerry. i appreciate the support and I will keep you posted.

Virginia




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13 December 2013 - 10:08 pm
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Good! You’ve got a plan! For whatever reason, I’m feeling very positive abut this.

Glad you were drawn to this Vet……meant to be!

Hang in there! You are a strong team andyou WILL get through this!

Hugs!

Sally and Happy Hannah

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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