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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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Elderly cat going in for hind leg amputation tomorrow. Kindly ask for advice or words of encouragement.
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3 July 2019 - 1:21 pm
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Hello, 

This is my first time posting. We have a lovely little cat, well not that little anymore she’s almost 20 years old. Last year we noticed a little limp which went away again, the first vet said it was just arthritis and refused to do x-rays. As we could feel a lump we took her to another vet which took a fine needle aspirate and some x rays and concluded it was cancer. The aspirate report showed it might be myxosarcoma, but not sure.

Looking for any treatments the vet basically told us she was too old to do anything about it and just give her pain meds. Well she did fine on the meds but recently it’s like the meds jut don’t work anymore and she’s been limping. The tumor has also grown. So I called them and insisted we amputate the leg, and surprisingly they agreed.

So here we are, tomorrow is the big day and I’m very nervous, partly because of her age and if she will make it through the surgery, and partly how she will cope with having lost a leg. The vet tried to reassure me, but still a million thoughts race through my mind and I keep second guessing my decision. But I believe that this is the right thing to do for her, so she can lead a normal pain free life again.

Other than the limping she’s very much herself, eating, drinking, using the litter box, you wouldn’t tell she was sick. It’s evident she has the will to live and that’s why I want to give her the opportunity to live it pain-free. 

Does anyone have any advice, words of encouragement? I have been lurking on other peoples experiences and  a common theme is the initial shock of seeing our friends having lost a limb. But with time it gets better.

Thanks in advance. 

Virginia




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3 July 2019 - 4:58 pm
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Encouragement??? Advice???  You have definitely  come to the right place!!!

Forst thing I’m  going to do is give you a link to another senior kitty, 20 yr young Moira, who recently  had her amputation  a couple of weeks ago.  I think your will be quite inspired,  as well as quite reassured. 

https://tripawd…..y-old-cat/

You are making a decision  out of love, as well as the reality  that the pain meds are no longer working  and her quality  is questionable.   Of course you have concerns.  We all understand  that all too well.  But you are in a place where amputation  is her best chance for removing  the pain and giving  her a chance  for quality  time for however, long that may be.  

Regardless of age (and we say age is just a number around here!), this is majpr surgery and recovery  is now picnic.   As you will see from Moira’s post that. once recovery continues to take place, the sparkle starts ro come back more and more.

Is she spending  the night at a 24/7 staffed clinic?

What’s  your kitty’s name?  We would love to see a picture.   Here’s  a link  for adding images .

STAY CONNECTED!  We are here ro help in anyway we can.  Plus, our kitty community  is chock full of tips to help you navigate  through the recovery. 

Extra higs

Sally I 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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 July 2019 - 5:23 pm
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Sally gave you spot-on advice, I was going to send you to Moira’s posts too! She’s quite an inspawration.

And yes, age is just a number when it comes to animals! Just try not to compare your cat’s recovery to others, especially younger cats. Older cats will need a bit longer to find their bearings but that doesn’t mean they won’t.

When it comes to the clinic, do make sure they are not leaving her alone at night without a technician to check on her. If they don’t have overnight staff, she is better off coming home with you even though it may be a sleepless night. But it’s nothing you can’t deal with. Many have, and it’s not the most fun but you’ll be stronger and closer to your kitty because of the experience.

Also, you may want to check our What to Expect series of articles about post-amputation care.

Is her name Nounou? She sounds amazing!

Good luck tomorrow and know that we are sending lotsa good wishes for a speedy recovery. Please keep us posted. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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4 July 2019 - 2:21 am
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Hi Jerry and and Sally,

Thank you for your good advice. I read through Moiras story and it is really encouraging to see!

I just got a call from the vet telling me the bloodwork looks fine, except for salt levels which they need to adjust for a couple of hours , he thinks she’s a bit dehydrated. If everything goes well the surgery will be over in a couple of hours. I have to say delivering her to the vet was the hardest part. I was in tears when they took her in. It’s a 24/7 staffed clinic so they will keep her overnight and keep a close eye on her. 

Her name is actually Nounouche, we found her almost 20 years ago(so she might be a bit older than 20) as a kitten on the street, we decided to take her home with us and she has filled our lives with joy ever since. And she’s a tough little lady, a couple of months back she suddenly had high BP which made her blind for a couple of weeks , she bounced back like a champ and regained her vision again!

new hampshire
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4 July 2019 - 4:51 am
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Just wanted to wish you both luck and love this morning. Ill be thinking of you ❤

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

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4 July 2019 - 6:13 am
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Thank you Roane! 

Virginia




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4 July 2019 - 8:33 am
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Also sending lots of pawsitive  energy your way.lots of it!!

Hugs, lots of hugs ❤

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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4 July 2019 - 8:58 am
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Hi everyone,

So the operation is over, and was a success( though they had a bit of difficulty keeping the BP under control) ! Thankfully. She’s now recovering andhe said it will take some time for her to wake completely up and told me to check in again in a couple of hours.

Thank you for all your kind words. Hopefully she will wake up soon and wonder what the heck just happened

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 July 2019 - 9:27 am
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Nounouche is a super star! smiley_clapsmiley10 I’m so hoppy to know she made it through surgery, that’s wonderful!

She may wonder what happened, but more because she will no longer have that painful leg anymore. She’ll be so relieved. 

What is the origin of her name? French? It’s so pretty!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
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4 July 2019 - 11:30 am
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Yes it is actually a French name 🙂

I just can’t wait to have her home again, I miss her tons, she’s a tough little one!

Virginia




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4 July 2019 - 1:37 pm
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THRILLED TO HEAR THIS NEWS😁😁😁😁I. NOUNOUCHE IS A ROCKSTAR KITTY!!    

I’m  so glad she’s  staying at an overnight  clinic.   And even if she has to stay and extra night, as some dogs and cats do, she’s  in good hands!

Now try and get some rest yourself!  

Hugs 

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!

new hampshire
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4 July 2019 - 2:33 pm
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Yahhh! 🎉🎉 go nounouche!!! 20 years young she got this! 

❤Big hugs from roane & nurse moe cat

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

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4 July 2019 - 3:16 pm
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Thank you for all your lovely messages! They really warm my heart.

Just had a talk with them to see how things were going, she’s still asleep, they’re saying the wake-up is taking longer than expected but otherwise stable . I’m getting a bit worried now, I have no idea how long it should take, I mean she’s older and had a tonne of painkillers… Do any of you know how long it usually takes for waking up after anesthesia and a tonne of painkillers? I guess it depends on the individual, I mean you can’t just not wake up, right?

Hoping for the best, thank you again for all your encouragements, it really makes a difference for me, otherwise I think I would go insane here. 

☺️

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 July 2019 - 3:49 pm
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You are so right: every situation is different. It sounds like the vet team is being super cautious because of her age, so that’s a good thing. If you want, ask them these questions you asked us and see what they say. Their answers will probably put your mind at ease.

The best is yet to come. And remember you are stronger than you think, you won’t go insane, promise!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia




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4 July 2019 - 7:50 pm
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Soooo…..I was once  owned by a dog named Bernie.  Came home one might after work and Bernie had bogmopen hash across his muzzle.  Bernie got into a tussle goodness knows what.  He was probably  about five or six at the time.

Haul him to ER Vet and waited while they stitched  him up under light sedadtion. (not a bunch of pain meds or anything like that)….and waited….and waited….and spend the night in the car there waiting ro take him home before going to work.  Nope, not waking up by 7;am next morning.  Go to work…back to ER and he’s  stil not awake!!!  

Cant remember  exactly how long it took…well over 24 hrs though…before that boy finally woke up!!!

So yeah, it does happen!

Hang in there.  Your kitty is being well monitored and, other than taking time waking up, they said she is stable and that’s  good news!

Hugs

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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