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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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6 July 2019 - 11:12 am
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Well just got off the phone with the hospital, they believe it should be enough pain meds for her, as long as she eats drinks and rests comfortably… and shivering could be a side effect of the patch. We just need to monitor her closely and take her temperature. But I do agree I can’t imagine metacam will be enough when the patch comes off on Monday! I think I’ll have to insist. 

I have to say you guys are amazing for responding and helping me I really appreciate it! And equally amazing because you have lived through a similar situation. I think reality just hit me now that her leg is missing and she walks funny and stumbles. It really pains me to see, plus she looks so down because of the cone, she can’t clean herself . I sure do hope we did the right thing for her. At least she still has a crazy appetite and just munches down whatever I give her. 

Bonus good news : she can totally hold her balance now while peeing! (no poop yet) 

Virginia




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6 July 2019 - 2:57 pm
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  Buprenorphine is the pain med I was trying to spell out earlier.  We see it used here very frequently  for cats for a weekis agter surgery.

Yeah, some Bets are still behind when it comes to recording  dogs and cats need pain meds after major surgery!!  Here’s  a link to pain management   to  ake you feel more confident  if you want to advocate for more pain meds Monday.  And yeah, the shivering  “could’ be from the patch, and it could also be a aign pf pain.

Give yourself a pat kn rhe back for staying  strong! Getting to this point is exhausting  phusically and emotionally!  It is soooo normal during early recovery  to second guess the decision…..soooooo normal!!!   It took ,me three weeks before  I could say I did this FOR my Hapoy Hannah and not TO her!!!

I know it’s  hard  to see, but Nounouche is doing really  well this early on.  Especially  for a ….er….mature kitty!!

So happy to hear how well she’s  eating!!!! Again, ahead of the curve in that area too!!

Oh, and check out the e-books on kitty tips.  There are tips for helping to groom kitties while waiting  for them to be able to do it.  And as long as you are right there  watching  jer loke a Hawk, you can take the cone off for a vit so she can fo that..

You both are doing  such a good job!!!

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!

Virginia




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6 July 2019 - 3:11 pm
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Here’s  the link on ebooks for kitty.   It was put together  by some of our most knowledgeable  kitty members ever!

https://downloa…..-cat-tips/

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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7 July 2019 - 1:55 pm
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I ended up getting kitty wipes. Basically cat safe wet wipes that I found at the local pet food place.  I know Moe must have been feeling dreadful with the cone and not being able to clean herself. About 10 years ago she had a stress licking problem and basically “Shaved” all the fur of the insides of her legs. I think it might have helped her feel cleaner and better being wiped down now and again. I didn’t clean the stitches at all but kept a close eye on them.  They healed up fine. She was so happy to finally get the cone off after the stitches came out.  And I think it wasn’t until after the cone was out of her way that she really started walking (hopping) more.

-Suzanne & Moira

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7 July 2019 - 3:13 pm
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Cone off/ sutures out makes a huge difference! I know it’s hard,  but keeping that cone on right now is just as important.  They can shred an incision in no time flat and then it needs to be resutured many times so hang in there.  

I agree with Sally on pain meds too.  I had to fight tooth and nail to keep Huck properly medicated.  

Yay for peeing on three!!! And the wipes are a great way to help keep her clean during the cone of shame period.  

You really are doing a great job❤

Not that I would wish this experience on anybody,  but I think its pretty cool to have two people with senior kitties to help support each other throughout this stressful recovery period.  

Hugs, 

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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8 July 2019 - 8:53 am
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Hi everyone, 

Thank you for all the suggestions, the fentanyl patch has finally come off. And just got off the phone with the vet, he still is reluctant to give any more pain meds and even told me to lower the dose of metacam which I think is totally nonsense! It has now been 5 days since the surgery and still no bowel movement, I’ve tried paraffin oil yesterday and today, if we she hasn’t had a movement tomorrow we’ll have to bring her in… This worries me.. 

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8 July 2019 - 9:07 am
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It has taken up to 7 days for some of our furbabies to finally poop. The anesthesia and other drugs can really slow down the system. As long as she is eating and drinking I think you should have a “present” soon! Keep watching her (I know you will) and I would think over the next day she should finally poop. I cannot tell you how many of us stressed over this, myself included. 

Is she getting plenty of fluids? Even canned food is like 70% water so as long as it is going in, it will eventually come out. 

I am in total disagreement with the vet on the medication and wondering if you might want to check out other options for medical care if this doc thinks she does not need pain medication after only 5 days. He/ she would be on a morphine drip if it was their limb that was amputated! Sorry, this is a sore spot for many of us with pets that have had to have a limb amputated. I had to get pretty aggressive with Huckleberry’s doctor, which I changed after he recovered. I just don’t understand what about amputation negates pain management ?!

I used a tiny bit of Miralax, like 1/8 teaspoon in his water, and he finally produced after what seemed like a lifetime. I know your girl is older, which is even more worry, but it sounds like she is progressing really well. I am not a vet, and not trying to give vet advice. You can call your doc and ask them about adding a tiny bit of Miralax to her water and see what their reaction is to that. 

I am sorry they are being so lackadaisical about her pain management smiley13

Hugs,

Jackie and Huck sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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8 July 2019 - 9:43 am
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Hi Jackie, 

I really don’t know how to convey it properly to them. They always seem to worry a lot about her kidneys which I understand, she’s also been on Metacam for quite some time now, but still this should only be for some period until everything has healed up… There must be some pain meds which are easier on the kidneys.. 

Funny to say, but poop right now would really make my day. smiley4

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8 July 2019 - 11:26 am
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Just as I was worrying she crept in her litter box and left me a beautiful present! There was pressure on, it came out with a boom. I’m very pleased. smiley4

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8 July 2019 - 12:04 pm
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YES!!! poopicon dance is ON! poopicon and YES we celebrate these things here smiley2

I totally understand about the kidneys, and once kidneys fail it is really ugly. I would ask them for some alternate ideas to help her through the next couple of weeks. How is she acting without the fentanyl?  I would also ask if the buprenorphine is a major task kidney wise as opposed to liver wise. It was a godsend for Huck, and I used that in conjunction with the gabapentin. 

I know age is a major factor here, it would be really good if she can be kept comfortable through the healing process too.

I am so glad she finally left you a “present”…. got a big old smile on my face right now! smiley_clap

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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8 July 2019 - 3:19 pm
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Yay for poop!

As for the pain meds…. If her kidneys are the reason why they are reluctant to prescribe more, that’s one thing. If they aren’t prescribing more because they don’t “think” she needs any, well, I’d say it’s time to find a vet who is more up to date on pain management protocols for cats. I would ask for specifics about their lack of willingness to prescribe.

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Virginia




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8 July 2019 - 5:02 pm
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YAAAAAAY FOR poopiconpoopiconpoopicon!!!!

 This kitty never ceases to amaze me!  The spunk she is showing  is truly remarkable this early on…..even for youngsters!

And ditto about the reason  for not doing pain meds if her kidneys values (or any other values)are sketchy.  That’s  certainly  understandable.   How does ahe see, to be doing pain wise?   I know it’s  hard to tell with our stoic furpals sometimes.   She is eating, pooping, peeing and drinking, as well as being able to hop some too….all those are really good signs!!

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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9 July 2019 - 7:43 am
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Hi all,

The fentanyl patch has been off for a little over a day now, still continuing with metacam. I don’t think she’s in any pain though it is hard for me to determine.

Behaviour wise she’s still drinking, peeing and eating. No poop since yesterday but that will come. This night she vomited. She sleeps a lot, more than usual, and whenever she finally decides to hop a bit it’s a couple of steps and then she lies down as if tired… I think. It’s only been 5 days since surgery so I guess with time she will build more stamina, and strength in the remaining leg. What are your experiences with this? Did your beloved companions just take to walking with no problem or did they need to build some strength first? I seem to see tons of videos where dogs and cats can walk almost flawlessly right after surgery…

I let the cone come off when she’s sleeping on the side the incision is on, just to give her a bit of freedom. She won’t be so quick to turn around and lick it and if she does I can quickly put the cone on again.

It seems like the shivering has gone since the fentanyl patch came off. But I still keep a close eye. 

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9 July 2019 - 8:13 am
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I have a beautiful video of Huck when I took him home the day of surgery. He hopped right into the place I had made for his recovery like it was no big deal, but a lot of that was also because he had a lot of good drugs still in his system. As he recovered he hopped on and off but more off. He slept tons. 

They do the majority of their healing while sleeping. They need tons of rest, and honestly it sounds like she is doing really well. Between it being so close after surgery, having a cone on her head, and her body adjusting to her new balance, she really is moving forward nicely. 

I think we see a huge change once sutures are out and the cone can come off. Those sutures get prickly and irritating, the cone messes with their balance. What you are describing sounds really normal, especially seeing she is not on any major pain meds. She will get her energy back as she heals and rests. The general rule of thumb is as much rest as possible for the first couple of weeks to help them heal. No jumping, running, or major activity. 

Huckleberry had an extra large dog crate to recover in, so he was not allowed to take more than a few steps at a time. After the first week, I let him out for brief periods to check out the room and lay on the bed, which was off the frame and low to the ground. He did not get full run of the house for about three weeks, and little by little he got used to life on three. He was also very young, about 2. 

Hang in there, you are doing a great job and it sounds like she is doing really, really well!

sp_hearticon2sp_hearticon2

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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9 July 2019 - 8:35 am
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<img src="https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/a263/Nounouche/0/e0960592-623e-4371-b8b2-9fc1ef511441-original.jpg?width=1920&height=1080&fit=boundsImage Enlarger

” alt=”Here she is the day we got her vome” />so I finally figured out how to upload photos. 

This is from today, a bit tired 

<img src="https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/a263/Nounouche/0/c427c3db-5e20-402e-b62e-73226c8e36ae-original.jpg?width=1920&height=1080&fit=boundsImage Enlarger

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