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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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Possible cancerous mass in 16 1/2 y.o. hyperthyroid cat- worried about anesthesia for biopsy
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Forum Posts: 8
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23 December 2019 - 8:49 pm
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Hi everyone! Just wanted to give an updated; it’s been a wild few weeks.

We met with the oncologist on December 10 and finally got some answers: Angel has been diagnosed with progressive histeocytic sarcoma (what a mouthful) and we started chemotherapy that same day (lomustine). She’s been handling it like a champ, with the exception of continued litterbox issues (butt hanging over, just going right next to it). She’s only vomited once, and that was a few days ago (about 10 days after chemo). We got her post-chemo bloodwork and everything looks like it’s where it’s supposed to be! Additionally, the large mass on her leg is almost completely reduced in size! smiley_clap

BUT (there’s always a but) she’s had a decreased appetite (and therefore a decreased pooping regularity) since about Wednesday. We came down to my mom’s place Saturday for the holiday and I’ve noticed a few things: her meows are different and more infrequent, she’s barely eating, and as of today, she’s peeing nowhere near the litterbox. She’s very familiar with this house, she lived here for several years while I was away at college and she comes with me pretty much every time I make a visit (at least 5 times a year). So a few things:

  • I mixed some canned chicken with some white rice and she ate more of that than I’ve seen her eat of anything in the last few days, so counting that as a good step.
  • She’s peed downstairs. After the first time, I set up a litterbox down here. The second time she peed today, she stood up from where she was laying on the rug and walked over towards her food and water and peed on the tile, and basically sat in it. This struck me as super odd. Keeping an eye on her and going to try and steer her towards the downstairs box next time. Part of me wonders if maybe it has something to do with the lack of food and therefore lack of energy? idk.
  • She had her chemo on the 10th, so it’s been about 13 days. I know white blood cells are usually lowest around 7-10, so maybe this is just a slump for her?

I’d love to hear if anyone has had similar chemo experiences and also I WOULD LOVE LITTERBOX HELP. I’ve tried it all. I’ve cut a low entry in a sterilite container- she pees out the entrance no matter how far in I put the litter. Low side litterboxes have the same issues. I’m hoping that soon with the lump gone she’ll be fine with the high-sided litterbox we’ve had for years. Right now we’re just putting paper towels all over the floor around the box.

Hope everyone’s having a great holiday season!

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 December 2019 - 9:45 pm
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Hey thanks for letting us know how things are going. I had no idea cats could get histiocytic sarcoma, right now I can only recall dogs being diagnosed with it but maybe I’m having a brain fart.

How long ago was her bloodwork? It does sound like she’s feeling off and hopefully it’s just the chemo slump as you suspect. It’s REALLY good that her appetite and drinking is good!

I would post in our “Three Legged Cats” topic so people can chime in on your specific questions OK? We did write this article about Litterbox Tips but it sounds like these tips aren’t helping? 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 December 2019 - 10:47 pm
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I’m sorry to hear your cat is not doing well with the litter box. I can’t help much with that because my tripawd Mona has been one to go into the litter box and pee near the edge with most of it going outside the box. Last June she was sometimes peeing on a carpet in the corner and wasn’t eating much. In addition she was eating very little. It turns out she had both a bladder and kidney infection.

Generally cats are trying to tell us something is wrong when they pee in inappropriate places. I have no experience with chemo however chemo can weaken the immune system thereby increasing the chance of infection. I think it would be best to check this out with a vet. Perhaps your cat’s oncologist could even prescribed something over the phone to pick up at a vet clinic since you are not at home.

You might want to consider pet pee pads or I’ve even bought some inexpensive pads in drug store which are put in beds or on chairs. They are very absorbent.

I hope things turn around so you can enjoy the holidays with your family.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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22 January 2020 - 9:43 pm
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Hi everyone! I’ve been meaning to post here but it’s been a helluva month.

Angel went into kidney failure over the week of Christmas. This included a lack of control over her back legs. As soon as we got back into town from visiting my mom, I took her to the emergency vet and she stayed there for 3 days. On day two, after her kidney levels slightly increased, the attending vet even recommended euthanasia. We asked to keep her there one more night in case something improved and also so that my partner and I could just have some more time to think and process. On day 3, the new attending vet recommended sending her home and seeing how she recovered with us, so that’s where we are.

It’s been about 3 weeks since we got her back home and I can confidently say she’s about 80 percent better. She’s eating, drinking, meowing (with no sound), and she’s walking around like she’s never had a problem! We’re giving her Sub-Q fluids every morning and a weekly hormone shot for kidney-caused anemia for now. We’re going back for a recheck of everything this Friday. She’s been having some more litter issues the last few days, but we’re doing all we can and will be bringing that up to the vet.

It’s been stressful, not gonna lie. And we haven’t even talked about next steps for her cancer. I think we’re just trying to focus on the biggest issue first and stabilize her kidneys. Big thank you to everyone in this forum who always gives advice and listens to me word vomit. This has literally been consuming my life and I try not to just blab it out to everyone I talk to.icon_rolleyes

The Rainbow Bridge



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22 January 2020 - 10:00 pm
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Oh wowwwww I’m so glad she’s doing better! I got so scared when I started reading. You are amazing parents to her!

So was it the kidney issues that caused the litterbox problems? I’m guessing yes?

Soooo glad to hear she’s on the mend. Please consider starting a new topic in our  “Three Legged Cats” forum so more kitty people can see Angel’s story and offer suggestions. 

And you’re not word vomiting, you can come here to post anytime you’d like, we totally understand your worries.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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23 January 2020 - 10:27 am
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Wow, you’ve gone through a lot with such great determination in doing the best for Angel.

I might have mentioned earlier that Mona was diagnosed with stage 2 kidney disease. I’m not experienced with this but she is doing much better after antibiotics for 6 weeks and a change in diet. Her numbers are in still in an acceptable range 6 months later, her stool is less dry, she is not hacking up furballs or vomiting and she has gained weight (although she now wants to eat every 4 hours including 2 am smiley13 )  I brought the 2 litter boxes together and she seems to like the choice – one has high sides with the front cut out and the other is quite shallow.

If you’d like some input on kidney disease you might want to send a message to paws120 who is Jackie and has a tripawd kitty named Huckleberry. I seem to recall that Jackie is very experienced with cats and kidney disease and she’s very supportive and encouraging.

Congratulations in getting through this phase successfully. smiley_clap Angel is a star.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

The Rainbow Bridge



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23 January 2020 - 11:47 am
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Thanks for sharing the great information Kerren!

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