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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Senior Cat with Hip Dysplasia Needs Amputation
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25 March 2024 - 2:25 pm
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Hello everyone, our 10 year old rescue cat (Puck) has been having mobility problems for a few months due to hip dysplasia. Over the last couple of days his mobility of one of his hind legs decreased dramatically and we noticed terrible swelling. We took him to a vet as soon as we could. It\'s a massive tumor and unlikely to be able to be removed without amputation.rn rnI understand that animals typically handle amputation very well. But given his age, size (20 lbs), and hip dysplasia, we are terrified that amputation would further destabilize his hips and ultimately lower his quality of life past what is acceptable. He is bright eyed, eating well, enjoys his loves and scritches. In short, from the front he looks like the picture of health and from the back I wonder what monsters we are to keep him going like this. We are devastated and don't know what to do.


Any similar experiences anyone has would be immensely appreciated. Any insight on how cats with more advanced years or hip dysplasia have handled this kind of surgery would really help us make a more informed decision.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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25 March 2024 - 4:07 pm
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We've approved your post so other members can help provide support and information. 

Your sweet Puck clearly is a very loved  cat.

FWIW we've had kitty amputees far older than 10 yrs old do very well on three.As far as the hip dysplasia,  I can only say that dogs have also had that issue and handled three okay.  Others will chime  on ,kitty specific challenge along those lines

If you. have access to an Orthopedic Surgeon they maybe  able to give uou further guidance .  They can assess if he's a fit candidate....and it certainly  sounds like Puck is fit overall.


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!


I do want to add that your Vet might suggest a diet for puck. It is extra hard on joints Etc if a cat is overweight.

We just had a kitty on here who was overweight and the surgeon had him lose a couple of pounds before he did the surgery to help him be mobile quicker. Again, an orthopedic surgeon can maybe give you advice along those lines.

Also here is a link To another kitty named Nancy Drew who is just now recovering from surgery. Nancy is 17.  


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!

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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26 March 2024 - 1:46 pm
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Hi and welcome! I'm so sorry you are in this tough spot!

I agree with Sally, a visit with a vet specializing in orthopedic care would be really helpful. It's not necessarily his age (10 is pretty middle-age for a cat, not really that old from what we've seen here), but his size combined with his hip dysplasia that could make recovery and life on three challenging. Honestly I had no idea that cats even suffered from it but it makes sense. That is not to say that he can't do well on three, but I'd want as many expert opinions from vets as possible before deciding. Generally, larger animals do take longer to recover, but they eventually get there. Some will have challenges, some won't, you just never know.

Meanwhile you may also want to look into electrochemotherapy as an option to manage the tumor for palliative care. It's had some good results with a few members here, so something to consider if you haven't talked to an oncologist yet (have you?).

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