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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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Forum Posts: 22
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30 August 2021
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30 August 2021 - 7:27 pm
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A few weeks ago I noticed a lump on my 15 year old cat, decided to have it removed and it came back as spindle cell sarcoma which apparently will come back and the vet who do the initial surgery said the recommended treatment is amputation. I contacted her main vets office and he said that he would not recommend doing an amputation on a cat that old and that in his words “they don’t do very well”. Up until this point she has been very healthy and I just feel so torn with what to do. I can’t bear to lose her but also am afraid of making a decision that could give her a poor quality of life. Could anyone give any insight positive and negative about what I could expect for a cat her age to go through amputation.

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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30 August 2021 - 9:09 pm
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Hi Shanan,

I'm so glad you found us. Post away, your future posts won't need approval.

Deciding whether or not to amputate on a senior animal is a tough decision, one that only you can make because you know her best. Your surgeon gave her the all clear because they feel she is a good candidate. Surgeons see way more amputees on pets of all ages than general practice vets. If another opinion would help, get one from a vet who does many amputations each year. 

When you talked with the surgeon, did they give you any kind of prognosis once the leg is amputated? Is the surgery curative, meaning the cancer won't need follow-up treatment?

What is YOUR gut feeling about how she will do? Is she a spunky gal? Does she handle change pretty well for a cat? 

And yes we have lots of insight about senior cats on three! Oh my gosh, you need to check out Pittens' story! Talk about a rock star! And 22-year old Harriet, who we just lost, sadly, was also given extra time with her people. There are others too. I need to run now but stay tuned for feedback from the community.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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