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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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Need Advice-Cat Walking Backward
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Member Since:
17 November 2021
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17 November 2021 - 9:28 pm
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Hi all,

So my Bengal kitty, Leo had his rear leg amputated in June due to a vaccine induced sarcoma. Since then he has had this terrible off balance issue that does not seem to be getting any better. He is fine when he knows where he wants to go (for the most part) but when he is just moving throughout the house or just sitting, he does this awkward backwards walk leaning toward his remaining leg. This causes him to not only lose balance but he ends up flopping around like a fish out of water.

The vet first put him on Prednisone thinking he may have a brain tumor, there was no response so she decided that wasn't the case. She put him on Gabapentin thinking maybe it is phantom limb pain. As I was weaning him off the Prednisone and introduced the Gabapentin (GP), he did great for 2 weeks. Once I stopped the Prednisone all together and he was just on the GP, he started having the same issue again.

We went back to the vet today and I asked if he can go back on the Prednisone again. I know it is not good for them to be on steroids long term and I dont know why that seemed to work but I don't know what to do; it is heartbreaking to watch.

The stump is still sensitive when touched. Has anyone had similar issues? I feel terrible for him. I am knew here to this forum. I didn't know where else to turn. Thank you in advance!

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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18 November 2021 - 9:37 am
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Hi Kellie and Leo! Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

You've come to the right place, and you are not alone. I'm sorry to hear Leo has the backward walking thing going on. Unfortunately it's not unusual in cats only for some reason. See:

How to Help Amputee Cats Walking Backwards

What did your vet say about putting him back on Pred? 

My recommendation: get him evaluated by a veterinary rehabilitation therapist. The Tripawds Foundation can pay for your first rehab visit . These folks are experts at pinpointing pain and eliminating it. Sounds like Leo can really benefit from a therapy visit so they can figure out what's going on. If your vet doesn't have a referral for you please let us know and we can find you a nearby clinic. Oftentimes this situation takes a multi-modal approach with pain management and additional hands-on work like acupuncture and gentle stretching. Here are some examples of felines who had rehab therapy through our program that helped them tremendously.

Three Legged Cat Walking Backwards Benefits from Free Feline Rehab

Free Feline Rehab for Three Legged Cat Fergie

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

Member Since:
17 November 2021
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18 November 2021 - 10:01 am
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Hi Jerry,

Thank you so much! I am so glad I found this site. So my vet put him back on the prednisone , increased the dosage of it as well as the Gabapentin. He does seem better today but he is also very stoned! I guess that is the lesser of two evils although I am not sure how he feels about it. I would definitely be interested in finding a pain management rehab in my area and that is awesome that the foundation is willing to help. How do I go about that?

On The Road

Member Since:
24 September 2009
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18 November 2021 - 2:50 pm
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We are glad you found us too! 

Yeah the Gabapentin can make animals really wonky at first. If he's too out of it, see if you can work with your vet to give more of the dosage at night so that his body gets used to it while he's sleeping. 

I'm so happy you're open to the idea of rehab! This link will take you to our info post about the rehab reimbursement program. Toward the bottom there are 3 directories that enable you to search for a practitioner near you (I like the University of Tennessee one best). If you can't locate one just let me know and I'll try to help find one for you.


Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene | | |

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