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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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11 yr old cat, diagnosed with sarcoma in front leg, need advice
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Member Since:
20 September 2022
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20 September 2022 - 9:23 am
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Hi, I found this forum today after we got the news that the lump on my cat Gizmo’s leg is most probably a spindle cell sarcoma. And the only way of cutting it out is to amputate.

At the moment they don’t want to do that, first they want to check his overall health, and see if it has spread anywhere else. They told me it doesn’t often spread, and they want to do a biopsy to confirm and while he’s under do his teeth which are currently causing him more discomfort and pain that the sarcoma is.

The vet told me that if it is left alone it will grow and become painful and uncomfortable for him.

I saw online that supposedly 90% of cats who have it effectively removed never get it again. 

So I have accepted that he would need to have his leg amputated so long as it means he will have a better quality of life and will continue to live for years to come. But while perusing the forums I noticed a lot of people saying their cats or dogs sarcoma was lower in the leg, and the entire leg had to be taken to get it all. 

Gizmos sarcoma is at the top of his leg almost on his chest. This has me really worried that he isn’t even going to be a good candidate for amputation, and I am once again looking at more likely losing my cat.

If anyone can give any helpful info or insight if they had a similar experience it would be greatly appreciated. I’ve had a hard time with this since my parents don’t see the cats as important as my brother and I do, and have been hard on me about spending all this money on vet bills recently for them. But thankfully my dad agreed to get him treated as long as it means he will be around without pain for years to come.

I’m in Canberra Australia and we go to a specialist cat vet, if anyone has any resources for my location that would be great, I’ve seen a lot of mention of having an oncologist and I don’t know if my vet has one or if there are any in Canberra or nearby NSW. 

I booked Gizmos appointment for a senior consult and to get bloods and ultrasounds and stuff done to check his heart and kidneys and stuff, but the appointment isn’t until the 10th of October, 3 weeks away, and just this past week (having him on antibiotics in case it was just an infection) his lump seems to have grown. But I could be just overthinking it. I sent an email regardless to ask them to keep us on a cancellation list because I want to get him in asap so we can sort things out before they get worse.

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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20 September 2022 - 11:41 am
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Hi Katie and Gizmo, welcome! Your future posts won’t need to wait for approval so post away.

We are so glad you joined and shared what’s going on with your kitty. Everyone here understands the emotions and difficult decisions you are facing, so you are in good company! I’m glad that while your dad isn’t too supportive right now, at least he’s willing to help out. It looks like Canberra has a really good oncology clinic, the Animal Referral Hospital. It appears they do remote consulting, which is terrific because if your vet is willing to work with them, you only need to take Gizmo to his regular vet and not a new one. I also love that you are working with a cat friendly practice! 

So it’s really good that they are doing labs and diagnostics first before going forward with surgery. When it comes to a tumor location, spindle cell tumours can be tricky but not impossible to remove even when they are closer to the chest cavity. Our Jerry had an osteosarcoma tumor on his scapula, right next to the chest wall, but the vets got it all and he went on to live 2 years. I know this is a different type of cancer with different behaviors, but I just wanted to share that bit of hope with you. If the vets feel confident taking the tumor out with the leg, he can certainly go on to live a happy life on 3! 11 is still quite young.

Try not to jump ahead of yourself OK? This journey requires one paw in front of the other, making decisions as they come. Once the diagnostic results are in you should know more about what you are dealing with.

Thanks again for joining. Keep us posted!

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