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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Find out in Be More Dog: Learning to Live in the Now by Tripawds founders Rene and Jim. Learn life lessons learned from their Chief Fun Officer Jerry G. Dawg! Get the book and find fun gifts in the Be More Dog Bookstore.
Thank you for checking in on us Holly and Purrkins. It is a huge comfort to know others have been down this road and are willing to help others along as they begin.
After a bout of cold feet and speaking with our vet again we decided to proceed today.
Surgery went well and he didn't see any evidence of regrowth, which was encouraging. He did a good job of explaining what he did and what to expect when we see her (although not sure anything will prepare me or our youngest who is 9 for that). She did well with anesthesia and was still clearing the effects this afternoon. We decided to keep her there for tonight (the vet will check on her) to prevent excessive movement and have better rest. Hopefully tomorrow afternoon she'll come home, and then the real journey begins.
I'm sure I will have a million questions and concerns along with emotions and fear.
Any suggestions for the first days home are welcome. I'll be looking back through the blogs to glean direction and info.
I'm so glad the surgery went well for Vera! (Thanks for the post nudge, Holly!).
When it comes to bringing home a new Trikitty, remember that if you project calmness and confidence, Vera will feel it. And that goes the same for young children too! The more you normalize the situation, and remind them that Vera's bad leg is gone and she will be feeling better soon, the better they will follow your lead.
Is your house all good to go with a recovery area for her? Be sure to check out our What to Expect articles , which have lots of tips for you.
We've had a gate up for some time due to having a puppy, it blocks off the wing of the house where our kids' rooms are (believe it or not it's generally quiet back there). Does she need to be in a smaller area at first? We have a guest bathroom where her food and litter box are that she could be confined to with enough space to go in and hang out with her.
I'll look back through the "what to expect", thank you for the link!
Yay, surgery is done and Vera did well🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻; that's a massive relief I know it was for me! You will still be anxious to get her home. I have no hooman children, so I am of zero help. I would explain to her what was happening and why. Vera will come home minus a leg and possibly show her videos of what Vera will be like on three legs. Kids are so smart she will likely be your best helper;)
The first day home was scary for me; Purrkins stayed in the hospital for several days and never attempted to get up on his three legs. I was so happy to get him home, and when I did, he shot out of the carrier and did a lot of faceplanting! It was his first attempt on three legs, drugged to the nines and NOT what I expected. It ripped my heart out. That's when I panicked and hopped on the site! After Purrkins settled down and realized he was indeed home, I could see Purrkins was in there (his eyes). I got my bearings again, and I settled down:) I decided for Purrkins and myself to help him, not faceplant assisting him. Bless him. He appreciated all my help, not exactly a normal kitty;)
Vera likely will have some faceplants as she learns her new hop. She may not too all our animals are different. One of the members here told me anything goes in recovery, and yep, that's the most accurate statement and where we need to TRY not to compare our recovery to others.
IF we had been sent home with enough pain meds, Purrkins recovery would have gone smoothly! So again, makes sure you have adequate pain meds and duration. The very least that you can get more if needed. Thankfully we had no issue getting more pain meds, but it meant Purrkins suffered and should not have, and I had to take him back to the vet because I would not leave him alone.
We took the frame off the bed and put the mattress on the floor for Purrkins recovery in a spare room. Cats will go directly under a bed at a time like this given a chance. Don't let her have the option. Purrkins chose a closet to recover in. I made his den there.
I don't like gates for cats; they can jump over easily, even on three, but go for it if it worked for you in the past great. Just do not underestimate a cat on three legs. For example, Purrkins could not even hop the first day home, yet he leaped into the window with no issue. It scared the crap out of me.
Yes, you want to keep her contained in a smaller area; whatever that would be restrictions for us were two weeks in a spare room. I would personally want her closer to me than in the bathroom, but whatever works for your situation it great. The main thing is to restrict movement!
A modified litter box to help her get in and out. I helped Purrkins the first few days get in and out of his box until he could manage on his own,
I agree with Jerry project as calmly as possible. Practice some deep breathing, inhale 1,2,34, hold 1,2,3,4, and exhale for 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8! . If you panic, get afraid, have questions, hop on here; we will do our best to help you thru, ok!
Is Vera coming home today?
Holly & Purrkins 💝💝💝
We picked her up this afternoon!
Our vet was impressed with her recovery, she was already standing this morning and watching everything going on at the clinic.
We decided to put her in with our older 2 daughters. The first thing she did was jump on a bed (thankfully low) and try to tear her cone off (which I took off). She has a pressure bandage for the next 2 days, so she can't get to her wound (theoretically) and I'm sewing the necks of her t-shirts. She ate a little and has been sleeping since. It's hard for her to get up from laying down, but she's already figuring out her new center of balance and hop walk after a few stumbles. I'm encouraged so far. She is a tough kitty and I'm sure there will be bumps in the road, but thus far I am REALLY relieved and hopeful to be on a path to her being cancer free.
So happy to hear Vera is home! WELCOME HOME, VERA!
She is doing fantastic one her first day home!😁😁😁
Yes, hopefully, she will not mind the little t-shirts or onesies.
She will figure this all out and amaze you as she already is
I would help her down off the bed and try not to let her jump up. Less is more right now. I 100% understand sometimes they just do! As I said, Purrkins leaped into the window the first day home. Ugh, We have to try, and I did help him down.
You may or not have bumps in the road. Some kitties do sail thru recovery.
How did all the girls do with her? I bet they are also amazed!
I am also happy to see you are relieved!
Rest is best, Vera! Keep us posted when you can, please!
Hugs and scratches to Vera, please!
Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝
She does well with a cropped onesie, we'll see if it continues when the pressure bandage comes off Monday. She's slept almost the entire day, only getting up to eat and use the litter box once.
Our youngest daughter hasn't left her side today and I think she has appreciated to company and offer of a lap to snuggle in when she feels like a new sleeping spot.
She doesn't appear to be uncomfortable, just tired. I'm going to check in with our vet Monday and request some kind of step down pain meds. She's taking onsior right now but I don't want to just discontinue cold turkey after 4 days. That would be my only complaint about the journey thus far.
Thanks again to y'all for taking time to respond and encourage!
Aww what a good girl! And yes it's totally normal for a new Tripawd to want to sleep a lot. Recovery is exhausting.
Good idea to ask to continue the meds. Most pets are on them at least until stitches are out. You're a pawesome advocate!
22 February 2013
Welcome home Vera!!! So sweet that Vera has found a comfy recovery lap with your daughter. Sweet.
You're doing such a great job. And good plan to step down the pain meds when the time comes.
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!
Awe, how sweet I figured she would be your best helper. I'm sure she brings comfort to Vera.
Great on the onesie Purrkins did not mind his either.
I'm guessing they gave Vera a long-lasting pain injection called Nocita or Simbadol? It would be on your receipt.
Onsior is an NSAID & usually given for three days.
I'm sorry you were not sent home with more and longer duration., Sadly it is not uncommon, and we have to advocate for them. Excellent job calling tomorrow!
Ask about Gabapentin for nerve pain and buprenorphine!
For example, our cat just had a dental; he was sent home with three days of Onsior and three days of Buprenorphine.
Purrkins was on Gabapentin 14 days and Buprenophine 12 days. He was on Fentanyl in the hospital.
Sleep, eat, drink, potty repeat is all that's needed in recovery;)
Keep Healing, Vera. Give her a smooch & scratch from us, please.
Hugs to you and your sweet girls. Please tell them great job from us too❣️
Holly & Purrkins
The pressure bandage came off today which unfortunately gives her access to try and lick/scratch. A cone prevents licking (which she despises), but not scratching. The t-shirt provides some protection, but I'm concerned she'll get a claw through. Any thoughts?
I've been watching her for discomfort after coming off pain meds. About to call the vet to see what he will do. She's still sleeping but had some trouble getting comfortable. She REALLY wants to jump into the linen closet and is quite annoyed at her restrictions. Looking for a cat tree to get her up/down safely (saw Holly's suggestions on another page).
I'll have to snap a pic to share. It was interesting to see her shaved area, she has white hairs in her black coat and those white spots on her skin were revealed!
When the incision started to heal, Purrkins got a little itchy. I used a warm compress AROUND the incision, not on it, which seemed to help with the itches. He seemed to get itchy around the neck area. Watching 24/7 or the cone is the only way to ensure she doesn't mess with the incision at all. If she continues to go after the incision, it's time to look at her pain medication or lack of. This is very early to have no meds on board.
As for the linen closet, is she not allowed in there, or is it too high? I think she wants a den area to recover in. Most cats prefer to be in an enclosed space in recovery of some sort. People that used crates put towels or blankets over it. That's why Purrkins chose the closet. Nice safe tucked-in space to heal and not feel threatened. Purrkins had the entire spare room & it got old after a week. But we remained in there to keep activity restricted for 14 days. Purrkins was also annoyed;)
Try making a den somewhere for Vera to feel safe and secure where you or someone can still see her; even her carrier can be a safe haven if she does not despise it.
There are a lot of cat trees out there now for senior kitties. Purrkins loves his and has no issues getting up and down.
We will look forward to seeing Miss Vera! Yes, the things we learn:) It's neat to see the same markings on their skin, isn't it! The identical markings are still there when the fur is gone.
Let us know what your vet said!
Hugs & chin scratch to Vera, please!
Holly & Purrkins💝💝💝
Hey the bandage came off, that's progress! Good for you to be so conscientious of the incision area. Unfortunately the cone is the best way to prevent licking. Claw scratching is another matter but so far most people report that the t-shirt keeps it safe. If she starts going for the incision repeatedly it could be a pain signal that she's hurting and like Holly mentioned, needs a pain meds adjustment.
I agree that a den could make her happier right now. Whatever you can do to create that effect would probably be a boost to her comfort level.
And yeah that's cute about her skin color and corresponding fur. Our k9 Wyatt Ray 's surgical incision revealed the same thing to us. So cute!
Let us know how she's doing. We'll keep our paws crossed the incision stays safe.