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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Ferril with stub/injured hind leg
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Member Since:
26 October 2023
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10 July 2024 - 1:36 pm
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The long, slow continuing story.

Meeshu is slow to warm back up after I broke her trust and took her away from her colony. She is not panic scared and she does not hate me but she still hides and then peeks out at me. She is still in her own room. I just got a pet playpen and am going to let her get used to it in her room. I will then move her and playpen to our TV room where we (me, Abby and Ruby house cats) spend time and eat our meals. This way she is not alone, yet won't go into hiding. She will have a small fuzzy den in the playpen.

Now on Tripawd topic. The initial vet visit said we will leave things for now but then if needed will amputate at the hip. I am going to get a second opinion. I have two questions. Well, one statement and one question. I want to leave as much as possible, at least the Femur. Is Meeshu in pain? Her hiding does not help me asses this. Before I took her home, when she was eating if she relaxed and her stub touched the ground, she would pick it back up. This seems to me that it must hurt? If it hurts then we should not wait to have surgery. The first vet said it was healed well around the slight protruding fibia and/or tibia and there was no infection, thus we can wait. I feel we should shorten the remaining bone and re stitch.

Any words of wisdom. This is a slow process for me because of my work, yet I need to make a plan. Thank you.

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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15 July 2024 - 11:06 am
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Hi Allen, 

You're in a tough spot for sure. It's hard to know what pain signals look like in a cat who is always hiding. I would say that if she stops eating and eliminating, that's a good indicator that she is hurting.

I think your vet is on the right track with the wait and see approach. But a second opinion is always helpful so don't hesitate to get one. A partial amputation is tricky, and the wound often doesn't heal because the stump gets banged around so much. But if it's looking good right now, I'd go with what your vet suggests to wait and see. Many animals can get along with a longer residual limb, some will not. Why put her through another major surgery right now if the wound is looking good?

Again, a second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon could put your mind at ease. Let me know if you'd like help finding one.

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