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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Thank you all for your support! I know I’m strong – I’ve had to say goodby to 7 beloved pets in the past 8 years. Plus a lot of other losses. I’m just not quite as strong as I used to be. It’s all gotten to be a bit much.
Sky and I had amazing cuddles last night. He licked my nose and the tears from my face and I told him how weird things were going to get and how much I love him.
My vet says she’s got this. She will have injectable morphine at home for him if he needs it. Gabapentin may be prescribed in addition to the buprenorphrine. She’s equipped with anything he will need at first. Then it’s up to me and my pets to accommodate him. She thinks he will only want about 3 days isolation. And that he won’t have to learn to walk. He just will.
I do have the best doctors on our side. They won’t let me screw up.
Thanks for the life preserver! I appreciate your caring very much. I’ll update as I can.
I think it is great you had a talk with Sky. I did the same with Purrkins. Fantastic to hear on your Vet has this !! That has to be comforting.
I would highly suggest the Gabapentin for Sky rear leg kitties have more issue with phantom limb pain that we have seen here. Better to have him on it then have to add it when needed. Just my opinion! Your Vet will know best.
Every kitty is different in recovery Purrkins did have to relearn his life on three since his was his front leg. Purrkins was using his leg right up until his surgery. It was a big change for him.
We will be thinking of you and Sky on Friday.
Holly & Purrkins❤️
2 August 2018
I want to let you know that you have another cheer team in your corner! My kitty Samba and I have endured thanks to the encouragement of this group. Samba is healthy and happy, being 2 months out from amputation for an injection site sarcoma of her left shoulder blade area. I faced the same fears and concerns going into it that you are. The money, whether or not it would be enough to fight off the cancer, how to cope with feeling like I was harming her rather than helping her. I have no regrets. I believe that all kitties have enormous resilience, strength, and understanding of their mommies and daddies. If you feel he has more life to live, the way that I did about Samba (who is 11 years old), you will be so relieved when you see her shed that nasty tumor and re-claim the life she knew before cancer came in. I had a tearful conversation with Samba as well, and it helped so much to cry for her and get it off my chest all the emotions that come with making such a hard decision.
I agree with others about the pain meds. A sleepy cat is better than a hurting cat. We did buprenorphine and gabapentin. I even started the gabapentin the day before the surgery because I read that it may help prevent phantom limb pain this way. She has had no evidence of ongoing pain after the initial recovery period. We both slept in a spare room with a twin mattress on the floor for 2 weeks after her surgery. I had made a little “cave” bed for Samba made by draping a blanket over some gate panels for darkness. I blocked the rest of the furniture off so she couldn’t hide too much. She did get constipated from her buprenorphine, which I fixed with Miralax, but then I fixed it too far and she had diarrhea, haha! All better now, though. Man, I felt like I was an ICU pet nurse for a little while though, the way I kept her meds on schedule even overnight! It is so worth it to know you are not neglecting their pain. A week may be a better amount of time to shoot for rather than 3 days of meds.
Please share any questions you have! We are here for you and beautiful Sky! So happy for you that he has been such a treasure to you, and I believe in a rewarding future for you both, no matter how long!
Grace and Samba
p.s. Read Samba’s story at https://sambath…..wds.com/ Click on August 2018 if you want to start reading from the beginning.
25 April 2007
16 October 2018
Thank you all for your support, encouragement and advice! Tomorrow is D Day.. ugh. Sky and I have had the most amazing cuddles lately – he’s always been the best snuggler – maybe I’m just drinking it in more.
We will have gabapentin, I’m sure. I actually have some here anyway for my Cavalier – who of course injured his legs somehow yesterday so now gets a vet visit today! Sigh.. When it rains it monsoons.
My vet will have injectable morphine at home to give him the night after surgery. Whatever Sky needs to make him comfortable the whole way, will be done. I’ll see if I can post a photo of him.
I have a lot to do today to prepare for the next few days. So please know I’ll be taking your advice and appreciate your support for myself and Sky very, very much!!!
22 February 2013
Your Bet is spectacular To take Sky home for the night to watch over him is above and beyond! It also says a lot about how special you are and how much the Vet respects the bond you and Sky have💓 This os not something the Vet would so so willingly for just anyone.
Update is when surgery is over so we can celebrate with you. And give your Cavalier am extra treat for us, okay?
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!
Thanks, Sally, for your caring! Yes, my vet is special and I know how lucky we are! She has been with me through the “wars” with 5 previous pets and subsequent euthanasia. She is also co-executor on my will, so if anything happens to me she will adopt Sky and Marlowe my Cavalier and find home together for my other 2 bonded cats.
My keyboard is acting up so I’ll BBL
I’m back and keyboard is charged.
So, in the meantime, my vet decided to meet me at the hospital when Sky is released!! It’s so amazing and appreciated – I wasn’t truly sure I was going to be able to drive very safely. I’m shaky now. I would have done my best but she is home today and knows I’m a huge wuss. It will help me to see him for the first time with her to cushion the shock and support me. Then she will take him home and keep him comfortable until tomorrow. Or Sunday if need be but I think/hope tomorrow will be fine.
I haven’t heard from surgeon yet for update. Will let you know – thanks so much!!
Update: Sky had surgery and recovered well … to a point. He ate a tiny bit at the hospital which was encouraging but not since. My incredible vet met me at the hospital to pick him up and take him home. He was fairly alert and the staff loved him – he was giving kisses and doing Sky magic. I almost fainted when I saw the surgical site, however. I tried to prepare mentally but it took my breath away. I’m glad I didn’t have to drive him to her house. I was really shaky.
I’m going to post the update I put on facebook so I don’t have to re-write it. While I got a better night’s sleep last night I’m still drained. Here you go.
SKY UPDATE: I’ve had numerous communications with Dr. Louise last night and this morning. Here is a summary to this point. While he ate a tiny bit at the hospital, he hasn’t eaten since. That’s a concern. But he was on her lap for cuddles and pulling her hands toward him – she is getting a dose of his magic. She has given him warmed subcu fluids, Cerenia to ease any nausea from anesthesia, 2 types of pain meds, antibiotics, and prednisolone which he usually takes but should stimulate his appetite. He peed so that’s good. He’s in a quiet bathroom with a floor heated to 86 degrees. Both Louise and her 11 yr old daughter, Emmie, are hanging out with him. Emmie is pretty special, too! Apple:Tree Louise thinks he should probably stay there tonight. I have to agree. I can’t do the things she can do for him. He is obviously comfortable and not stressed. I sent a faux fur throw along and a sweatshirt of mine and he is curled up on them. I’ll try to add a photo from my phone – but not of the surgical site for my fellow queasy friends! Ultimately, Sky is getting the 5 star treatment he deserves. I got a good night’s sleep. Progress is being made! 💝Adding: they sent the limb out for histopathology report including bone. May take 10 days to get full results. Will let you know…
We haven’t communicated since late this morning. I expect her to update me this evening when there is any news. While this has shaken me, I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve received. I gather the strength I need from everyone – thanks!
Great news soon you can bring Sky home and continue recovery!!
Purrkins would not eat in the hospital even when I went to visit him. They were not as concerned because they know Purrkins purrsonality he likely would not to eat in the hospital setting. When I brought Purrkins home, and we both settled Purrkins did eat for me.
Purrkins only scooted in the hospital peed where he laid it was heartbreaking when I saw him like that BUT that is the all the drugs in their system and them not being home. Home is magical it was for us,
Kitties not wanting to eat after surgery is normal why we say get yummy wet stinky foods for them if Sky doesn’t have a special diet that is. I got Purrkins Tuna & Salmon, Chicken and Herring etc. all fishy foods I do not usually feed him knowing he maybe finicky to eat.
What works for one is not a one size fits all. You have to stimulate the senses to get past the meds. Stinky fish worked for us. I had baby food too. Gerber’s meat-based turkey and gravy, chicken and gravy, ham and gravy all those are kitties favorites. They are not balanced however they work to get kitty eating again and are high in calories. I’m sure your vet will syringe feed Sky if needed.
Wet food is best you won’t have to worry so much about keeping them hydrated.
Thanks for the update get some rest Sky is in great hands!
Holly & Purrkins
Thanks, Holly, for the great advice! Good news: Sky ate this morning!! Dr. Louise sent me a video of him chowing down on some salmon. Yes I’ll make sure I provide stinky food. . And the baby food you mentioned. Thanks again!
She is bringing him here within the hour. He is still very wobbly. Slept so much he hasn’t learned to balance yet. But I think I’m ready.
i was so worried about his not eating last night, it motivated me to want him here. But he really did need to be there the first 48 hours. We will both have a learning curve but love conquers all, right?
Many thanks to you and Purrkins!
Rebecca & Sky
Don’t think Rebecca you are ready ok? You are ready!! REPEAT!! YOU are READY! Your boy needs you to be strong for you both!
Purrkins face planted all over when he first got home Sky won’t face plant wobbly normal until they get the hang of the new body and it will come quickly I promise! Love will conquer together you got this!!
I agree Sky needed to be monitored closely just to be on the safe side! Now you are, and yay Sky is coming home!! You got this Rebecca I promise you, you have this if you have any questions or freak out whatever get on and post Try your hardest for Sky he will pick up on your emotions ok. I will be around this evening If you want or need anything post ok.
I mentioned the two weeks limited activity already try not letting Sky jump or do too much if you can keep him contained to one room moving it would be best. Less moving is best! You want Sky drugged and resting!! Sky being a rear legger would still appreciate a low sided litter box. I cut Purrkins out because he had issues getting in and out of his at first.
I know you mentioned no cone so be eagle eyes on Sky not licking or biting his incision. 24-7 eagle eye!! If he does, you will need to get that covered with a cone of some kind.
The hospital iced Purrkins incision for three days we had instructions for warm compresses. Instructions below Purrkins loved his warm compresses.
Wound Care Instructions –
Please apply a warm compress to Purrkins incision 2-3 times a day for the next 3-5 days or until seroma resolves.
Heat a moistened clean washcloth in the microwave. Place in a sealed ziplock bag & apply to Purrkin incision for 10 minutes at a time.
Great on the foods!! You are READY
Big hugs and scratches and kisses to your Beautiful Sky when he gets home.
Holly & Purrkins
6 July 2017
So very glad to hear that Sky is coming home. I think you will be very surprised at how quickly Sky will adapt. Tuxedo, my little tripawd baby, took off on a wild run around the house on his first day home. Hopefully Sky will be a bit more calm for you and not make you chase him down.
You have been given a ton of great advise & I do not have much more to add. Just double check to make sure the under bed is closed off completely and keep an eye on Sky’s incision licking. Tuxedo spent several days under my bed, despite my best intentions. It might seem cruel to keep them in a cone for two weeks, but far better that than to have to wear one for close to 2 months while trying to heal a infected incision.
One last thing, I seriously doubt if you will ever see Sky face plant as he is a rear amputee. But you may see him doing handstands as he progresses through the healing process. It is just part of the adjustment the rear amputees (at least the stubborn ones who refuse to use stairs) have to make. They quickly catch on that they need to jump/push harder when jumping up. Unfortunately that also means for a while they push harder while jumping down and end up overbalancing themselves (the handstands). Tuxedo scared me for weeks when he would do them off the couch and bed.
-Dawna, Tuxedo, & Dazzle