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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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Just found out our cat needs amputation
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Forum Posts: 1209
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7 January 2017 - 8:56 pm
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I don’t think he did too much. He obviously is able to work his way out of the room to find you and hang out. I think the concern is for too much activity such as running and jumping. On about day 3 I took Mona to the patio door to look outside.

Could you remove the cone at times so he can clean himself? If he goes to the incision then just wipe that area for him with a warm, damp cloth.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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8 January 2017 - 2:49 am
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Was he able to reach the incision with his mouth?  Make sure he can’t even with wearing the cone. I think walking anywhere he wants is fine.  I wouldn’t let him jump much.  I think you can take off cone for breaks if you watch him like a hawk. I am so glad he is doing so well!!

Cami and Rocky

Michigan


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8 January 2017 - 6:33 am
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As you already know limited activity is best.

We all do and have done things a little differently here. I don’t think there is a wrong and right. All depends on the animal and the humans and whats doable 😉

It doesn’t sound like he did too much. You don’t want him jumping but he is a cat and its not always possible to prevent everything! Purrkins jumped in the window the first day home ! Much to my disbelief . 

We were in the spare room for 14 days Purrkins was not thrilled and protested on and off . We added his window seats and stairs in the room after a week one of us was always with him . We lived in that room. 

After the first week , I set up a old phone with a free Presence app, motion activated camera , that allowed me to try to do some life;)

It alerted me to any motion and I would go back in. He obviously is doing great and wanted to be by his humans;)

No way you can take your computer to his room to work? That would help him feel more settled .

I would not let him lick his incision AT ALL!

I would take the cone off and let him eat and have a good break from it, like Kerren mentioned he will want to clean himself and thats great but not the incision.

How is the drain going ? Incision look good?

Hugs,

Holly & Purrkinsheart

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8 January 2017 - 2:14 pm
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Thanks everyone for your input! It’s been an exciting day and wouldn’t you know it, Dad was in charge because I went to church! Litter box has been an issue (but I finally got it resolved with a clever little adaptation) so Sami peed but missed the tray a good bit and then needed to take his first BM since his surgery and missed completely. While straining to poo, a couple of drops of blood oozed out from around (not through) his drain tubes. So by the time I got home, it was like “clean up on aisle 4!” around our house.

He’s all cleaned up now (thanks to all natural cat wipes) and sleeping from his busy morning.

Our vet almost “threatened” us with taking off the cone. He said they can get to a stitch so quick that it’s hard to prevent. Sami has tried even with the cone on so I believe him. He has actually adjusted to the cone in every way other than the litter box (which I resolved by using the upside down lid of a large storage bin, lined with cat pee pads and then the “Tomorrow’s News” litter from the vet). Plus, it seems more cruel to let him go without it and then put it back on!

He hasn’t tried to jump yet but we’ve caught him eyeing the bed and sofas so we’ve piled up stuff on them to prevent any jumping attempts. Drain tubes come out on Wednesday and vet wants to “approve” the surgical suit to make sure Sami can’t get to stitches wearing it. I surely hope that thing gets here by Wednesday so we have the option of using it instead of the cone.

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8 January 2017 - 3:10 pm
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All of this sounds good! And you guys sound very attentive and creative to any challenges. How does Sami seem to feel? Is he eatting well? Still sleeping a lot?

Cami and Rocky

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8 January 2017 - 3:11 pm
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Hi everyone again,

I’m sorry to go MIA on my own thread but we were super busy over the holidays with a lot of visitors, and then it was my daughter’s birthday. At any rate, I have kind of a bizarre update on April….While we’ve been trying to get together enough money for the surgery, she’s started using her leg again, and it’s gotten stronger every day to the point that I’d say it’s currently about 80-90 percent back to normal. She hobbles slightly but it’s a drastic improvement on how it looked before.

I never actually saw the X-rays but the vet seemed pessimistic at the time, although she said it wasn’t an emergency. Shortly after that I called the low-cost surgery place (which the vet actually recommended–they keep their costs down by doing nothing but surgeries, and only on an out-patient basis), and they asked for the vet to send over the X-rays. Even the surgery place was alarmed and recommended doing surgery right away.

She’s not acting like she’s in any pain, although I know animals don’t always show pain. She’s getting around just fine, jumping up and down easily and using the injured leg. We’re still trying to keep her in the house but she’s escaped a couple of times. She’s sleeping, eating and using the litter box fine. We’re thinking we’ll wait a week or two and then take her to our regular vet for a second opinion. The vet we saw after the injury was a vet we’d never been to before because our usual one was closed for the holidays.

When I asked the vet if she thought the leg could heal on its own, she said no. But I’ve read online since then that cats have an unusual ability to heal themselves. Is it possible?! I don’t want to have false hopes but I’m pretty amazed by the improvement she’s made. Did she somehow pop her foot back into place? Could it pop back out again?! I guess only time will tell….

To those who asked about the cost of the surgery, the vet said it would normally be $1,200, but at the low-cost surgery place it’s $450.

Sami Cat’s Mom, I hope Sami is doing well! Best of luck to him and you!!



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8 January 2017 - 3:19 pm
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Well, I would keep the collar on if threatened by the vet!! Obviously the vet figures that Sami might sneak in a taste of a stitch. I really don’t know how the vet knew my Mona would ignore the stitches but she did. It’s not that she’s so sweet, she was terrible at using the litter!!

Mona did everything she wasn’t suppose to do. She would go from flopping around like a worm to causing havoc. She even escaped from the house on day 4 and I didn’t find her for over 24 hours. And she survived. Cats are very resilient.

I look forward to seeing Sami in his surgical suit. Photo please!

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona



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8 January 2017 - 3:29 pm
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Hi Catmom,

I now see how the thread you started became another one!

So back to April – that is great news! It sure would be wonderful if she could keep her leg. The hobbling might be due to some pain/inflammation. Perhaps your vet could give you something for that while you see if she can heal fully on her own.

I look forward to hearing more about your miracle cat!

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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8 January 2017 - 3:32 pm
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Catmom, did the vet have a name for the type of fracture or injury and why it would be best to amputate? Glad kitty is doing well…is she putting weight on the leg?

Cami and Rocky

Michigan


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8 January 2017 - 3:41 pm
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Welcome back Catmom,

I would get a second opinion just like you have planned. 

Please let us know what happens when you get to your regular vet.

They will have to xrays to fully know whats happing in the leg. 

We are keeping our Paws crossed she turns out to be a miracle kitty and gets to keep her leg!

Glad to hear she is adjusting to being inside.

Holly & Purrkins

Michigan


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8 January 2017 - 3:51 pm
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Karyn , glad you got to get out today even if you had chaos and cleanup on isle 4😉 

Is the tray you made big enough for Sami? He might be missing it for that reason. 

If you changed Sami’a litter after surgery. That can also cause some issues with litter box woes. 

If he still has issues, I would go back to the old litter. 

Hope the surgery suit gets here in time and the vet approves and Sami approves of course.

If he is doing so well in the cone, I wouldn’t be concerned . He sounds like he more then ok with it and gets around.

Purrkins was not tolerant of the cone with 4 legs and hobbled all over. I was happy to have other options.

You guys are doing great ! 

Hugs

Holly & Purrkinsheart

(cami love your new avatar pic.;)

Virginia




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8 January 2017 - 5:45 pm
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Okay, I’m getting so “catfused” A whioed lotta’ cats hanging out here! And then Rocky changed his avatar (which js adorable) to catfuse me even more!!

Ao I guess to best way to rep@h is say YAAAAAAAAAY FOR EVERYONE! It looks like things are improving for all the newest cats on this thread!!

And Kerren, everytime I remember that wild child Mona went in an unauthorized adventure for 24 hrs right after her amputation, I just cringe knowing what you must have gone through!!

Love to ALL

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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8 January 2017 - 7:10 pm
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To clear up confusion, Catmom and I (Samicatmom) both found out about the amputation of our respective fur babies (April and Sami) on the same day and jumped onto the forum at almost the same exact time! The fact that our names are so similar adds to the confusion but it is all serendipity! So glad you are back Catmom (April’s mom)! I left you a private email because I felt I had jumped into your forum and then you disappeared! Glad to know it was all for good reason (I hope lots of company is good) and that April may be healing. Now that we are in to day 5 of Sami’s healing, I can give you loads of advice too! laughing To start, we got three “second opinions.” A vet that I thought would be good but we didn’t like right away. The radiation program at Auburn University Veterinarian School also looked at xrays and confirmed amputation was necessary. The third was a vet that came recommended to me by everyone I talked to! He agreed that amputation was necessary and then referred us to his former partner (an hour away) because he thought he would be the best man for the job. So I guess that was our FOURTH opinion! We loved the surgeon and think he did a good job. So before we go any further, Catmom, the xrays are usually digital and can be emailed. We used the first set and they were sent to the other three doctors. I insisted that the first vet (that I didn’t like) email them to me because I knew I was going elsewhere. If you have the xrays in your possession, you can “shop around” more easily. 

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8 January 2017 - 7:12 pm
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cami said
All of this sounds good! And you guys sound very attentive and creative to any challenges. How does Sami seem to feel? Is he eatting well? Still sleeping a lot?

Cami and Rocky  

Just one quick quote copy! big-grin

Cami and Rocky, Sami is eating like a wild man and sleeping very well. Mom on the other hand is feeling sleep deprived but that will pass.

Virginia




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8 January 2017 - 7:23 pm
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Got it! Thanks!!!

And all posts are open for everyone to jump in!! As it turned out, it really is serendipity and so helpful that so many different aspects of everyone’s journeys are being discussed here.

All I can say is the KittyTripawd Community rocks!!! So much first hand information is shared! The solutions you vuys come up with for some of the kitty recovery hurdles…BRILLIANT!!

Love to all!

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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