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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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Fibrosarcoma diagnosis in cat
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Michigan


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14 December 2021 - 7:21 am
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I wanted to clarify my comment on the carrier(den) I should have been clearer;) Take the door off if it's a hard plastic carrier for Vera to feel like she can go in and out of it. Or leave the door open if it's a soft zippered one. The goal is to give her a little hideaway of some sort. Put a comfy bed inside or line it. Or a little nook somewhere like the linen closet if it is not too high for her. An open closet door with a bed might also work to let her choose the spot.

Purrkins never got his claws thru the onesie. I cant assure you it won't happen, but I hope it won't. Purrkins licked his onesie, which was ok as long as Vera cant lick the incision itself. The onesies shifted for us, and I always had to watch.

Hugs and a chin scratch to Vera.
Holly & Purrkins ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

Member Since:
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14 December 2021 - 9:55 am
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I figured out last night that I'm going to have to rotate shirts frequently. As the neck stretches out she can get her front leg out, pretty resourceful.

Finally got some gabapentin today, so I think she'll be more comfortable. She commandeered a box under a bed and has been resting there with a blanket. I was worried that I would wake up this morning to her t-shirt in shreds, but she managed a good night.

Our biggest issue now is getting her to drink water, she was a faucet user. I switched her to wet food to make sure she doesn't get dehydrated.

And yes Holly, the linen closet is too high unfortunately. I think the cat tree would help her need to be up high (she also slept a lot on the top shelf in my closet).

Last night was hectic, but today I'll take a picture of our patient, sweet, tough girl!

On The Road


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14 December 2021 - 11:39 am
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Oh I'm so glad she didn't mess with the incision! Yep, keeping her hydrated and pain-free will keep recovery on track. Try spiking her water with tuna fish water from the can as a bonus treat (she won't know she's being extra-hydrated!)

We can't wait to see pictures!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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14 December 2021 - 11:40 am
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Love following various recovery and seeing how she continues to improve. I also enjoy reading the invaluable information shared by Holly as we always learn something from our cat master.

Can't wait to see more pictures of sweet Vera.

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!

Michigan


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14 December 2021 - 1:49 pm
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Yes, we switched out Purrkins onesie with a fresh, clean one at least once daily to check his incision, sometimes 2,3 depending on the stretched and shifting. I did find that baby t-shirts seemed to hold the neck better, less stretchy than the onesie. Both served their purpose.ย 

Glad you got some gabapentin on board. I hope it's prescribed every 8 hours? Cats will go under the bed nine times out of 10 given a chance.

Hopefully, you can see & get to her as needed?

Being on a wet diet, cats do not drink as they would on a dry diet. This is because they are getting the moisture needed from their wet food. So try not to worry about that. It is a drastic change likely you are seeing, but that's why;) Great observation & great you switched h er to a wet diet. You might want to look into a fountain for Vera. One comes to mind that looks like a faucet for faucet drinking kitties.

Pioneer Pet Swan Pet Drinking Fountain: 80oz Water Capacityย 

Ditto Jerry tuna water is helpful. We also use chicken bone broths that are a hit here for extra hydration. You can add a little more water to her can food too. You can also spike the water with fortiflora a probiotic it is like crack for cats! But, I'll say again, it is not a worry on a wet diet, and very normal . Why we always suggest wet food for recovery! Always have a fresh bowl available for her. They are fussy about clean, fresh water and why a fountain might be ideal for Vera.

I'm glad Vera had a good evening; I'm sure the gaba will help; if not, let your vet know the timing or dosage might need to be tweaked.

Holly & Purrkins๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

Member Since:
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16 December 2021 - 1:38 pm
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So I can't figure out how to add pictures!

And life is crazy between homeschooling 3 girls, a recovering kitty, 2 active dogs and everything in between.

The cat tree arrived today! Hoping she warms up to it because she has chosen her old bed on the human bed in the spare room. The room change may have been overwhelming in itself. We may end up shifting her back, but 2 teen girls sharing a room with a cat is somewhat crowded. My thinking is that she needs less supervision and a safer place since she's been adamant about getting on the dresser in their room.ย 

I cannot believe she's already a week out from surgery. I could not have been as competent and calm without the advice and encouragement found here, it is much appreciated.

On The Road


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16 December 2021 - 9:40 pm
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One week down! YAY!ย 

I would think that for many cats that room change would be the cause of some anxiety. Can you put more of her old, favorite, familiar things in the room to make her feel comfortable in the safest place in your home? Maybe a dresser drawer?ย 

We knew you could do this, you had it in you to make it through the hardest parts and beyond. You've got this!

PS Yes you have your hands full! Email me pics, I'd love to post them for you.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Member Since:
16 November 2021
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17 December 2021 - 11:10 am
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Thank you Jerry for sharing my pictures for me, I just sent an email.

Our youngest had a sleepover with Vera in the guestroom last night to help her adjust. Today she's gotten up to look outside in between naps. Feel like we are in a good routine.

Did anyone use an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment as the sutures healed? Wasn't sure if it is advisable or helpful. She hasn't scratched much, but as we use less gabapentin it might become an issue.

Thank you!

Carrie H and Vers (her nickname, along with many others)

Michigan


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17 December 2021 - 3:24 pm
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Glad to see Vera is up & looking for her birdies. Great sign!
We were not to put anything on the incision, but our warm compresses described here.

IMG_2687.jpgImage Enlarger

Does Vers have a follow-up appt? Ask then or phone your vet for their input.
Scratches to Vera, please!
๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

On The Road


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18 December 2021 - 9:02 am
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Hi Carrie! I'm happy to share them, she is so smoochable!

Vera3.jpgImage Enlarger

Vera2.jpgImage Enlarger

Vera1.jpgImage Enlarger

If her incision looks good I wouldn't put anything on it that your vet doesn't prescribe. Fur will grow over it soon enough, you won't even remember it's there.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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18 December 2021 - 10:15 am
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ADORABLE!!!ย  ย Just cute as can be. So glad Jerry shared these.

Love how she's lookimg out the window just enjoying being in the moment.

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!

Michigan


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18 December 2021 - 4:21 pm
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Awe, Vera, you are beautiful!
I wondered if she was a tuxedo kitty when you said white and black.
She wears her onesies well too;)

I love she is back on patrol at her window.!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜
Give her a scratch and smooch from us, please!
๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

Member Since:
16 November 2021
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18 December 2021 - 7:13 pm
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She has some cool white markings across the back of her neck and down the front. I had a tuxedo as a little girl and had always wanted another. 40 years later . . . finally added one to our family.

It will be interesting too see if this changes her. She loved to be outside, but hasn't made much of a fuss being inside in a single room. Pretty sure she'll be glad to get rid of the onesies!

To answer your question Holly, she didn't have any follow-up scheduled aside from her suture removal Thursday. I'm going to assume he thinks we'll call if we notice anything.

Thankful that every day seems to be an improvement:)

Michigan


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20 December 2021 - 8:29 am
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Yaay, for everyday improvements.smiley_clap

Yes, that's the normal recheck for stitch removal; & to make sure the incision has healed. Most vets do not want anything on the incision.

I'm sure he will tell you but if not, ask if Vera can lick after the stitches are out. Purrkins was allowed, but his removal was at 14 days. They felt everything was healed well enough. So he was free to be a cat again that day. Not all kitties get that green light at removable it all depends on how they have healed. I hope Vera gets the ok but don't be surprised if she does not. She might need that onesie longer and again might not.๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

I suggest adding a little bird feeder on or near that window. Vers would love it. A lot of kitties transition to being indoor-only kitties.

Scratches to Vera, please!
Holly & Purrkins๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

Member Since:
16 November 2021
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26 June 2022 - 2:24 pm
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For the past 6 months Vera has done AMAZING! We made the decision to let her resume normal life, to include being outside during the day, and to allow her to figure out her limits.

A few weeks ago we noticed a lump on her amputation site. The vet aspirated, which after reading some new info that has been shared here I wish we hadn't done. It was clear, but doesn't mean much, and he was cautious and honest. He thought it could maybe be a cyst caused by internal suture irritation, but we are outside a general timeline for that occurring. After reading about the association between inflammation and the upstart of fibrosarcoma I'm resigned to the fact it's likely reoccurance.

The amputation decision was difficult enough, but to give the green light to go in and biopsy and try to remove it doesn't make much sense at this point.ย  It's disheartening, but I'd rather her last days be doing what she loves.

I have no idea what to expect though. And if I need to ask under another topic I can. This site carried us through the first journey and I very much have appreciated the support.

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