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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Harry the Cat - Just Diagnosed (Hi)
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Member Since:
2 October 2016
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7 October 2016 - 4:58 pm
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lol, it's ok. I have looked at a few pictures of scars. I'm expecting it to be awful and to be heartbroken no matter what... but I have an idea. 

Sounds like maybe now he will be coming home called to ask permission to do another test for diabetes bcause his blood sugar was very high, but also said this happens under stress and said she thinks he may be more comfortable at home ASAP, depending how the surgery goes and what we can do for pain management . So I got my room prepped - moved my bed to the floor and the corner to reduce inaccessable spots and put his litter box, dishes and rugs in my room, and made a little step for my bed, although I dont know when he'll be up to that. 

Just waiting now. Hope to heck he doesn't have diabetes too whateversad


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11 July 2016
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7 October 2016 - 5:16 pm
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Don't be heartbroken at his incision, you are helping Harry remember that! He wouldn't have a chance of life and would be in pain . Don't feel sorry for him when he comes home. Cheer him on try to give him positive energy. Its not easy but you can do that for him! Purrkins looked so much better then I had expected!  I think you will be shocked when he gets home. Purrkins flopped as I have said as soon as he got out of the carrier,  but then before i could even react he had jumped into the window, so anything goes. 

Room sounds great! 

Sure hope its the stress too on the diabetes too! Cant wait to see you post Harry did great and in recovery! 

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2 October 2016
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7 October 2016 - 8:41 pm
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Oh my goodness. This is traumatic! The vet decided to let me take him home because he was so distressed there. I didn't get a good look at him until we were home and I let him out. Oh my heart! But, he got up and weaved his way out of his cage and direct to his dish right away. Very stoned and wobbly, but he ate. He flopped about a bit, which was so painful to watch, and then spent about an hour intermittently vocalizing ..big loud mowls as he rolled about a bit on his back...before  caved and called the vet. She said it might be the meds cming out of his system or it might be pain :/ Not super helpful...but suggested giving him an hour to see if the gabapentin helps, and to give him another dose of tramadol now. I feel like this is tonnes of meds :`( but don't want him in pain (he's also still coming off the surgery drugs and had metacam 2 hours ago)

 I was just going to say he seemed calmer, and he's started whimpering/moaning/squirmimg again..................ugh, my poor baby

I hate this so much. 

Member Since:
2 October 2016
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7 October 2016 - 11:43 pm
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Current concerns...The vet suggested I keep Harry in his carrier overnight the first night, while the surgery meds work their way out, and also said to keep his cone on. Harry is no longer meowling, except for the odd "hey im still here" but he's having a hard time getting comfy an d keeps shifting position in there. I'm worried that the cone will jab into his sutures, that he'll pop a stitch from fliopping down on them or that he'll go to the bathroom in his cage (it's big enough for him to stand and turn around in but thats about it). I had him out a few times and three times he wet to his litter box but then just tried to curl up in it. I had to grab him before he fell incision down into the litter :s I tried holding his weight and seeing if he would go to the bathroom but he didn't..he just seems to want to sleep in his litter box! I had to wipe some litter off him and brush one little granule out of his incision 🙁 The last thing I need is him getting infected.

I was hoping we could both get a bit of rest before his next medicines at 2am but that may not be realistic


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11 July 2016
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8 October 2016 - 1:30 am
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 Im so happy to hear surgery went well! And no diabetes !Thats great.clap Harry is home and wanted to eat already thats fantastic!

You will want to stay on top of the pain , I wrote the meds and times down So I wouldn't lose track. It may seem like alot of meds but its a major surgery! 

Sounds like the meds settled the howling so thats good. I think the litter box is a safe space to lay in. Purrkins laid in his at the hospital.

We didnt do a cage or carrier and I know some have.  Coming home the same day again I have no experience. It's to restrict his movement. My first thought is if he has to stay in the carrier ,could you try the onsie on him? If the cone is a hard it would be hard to turn around and get comfortable in the carrier. 

Hopefully someone will chime in on the carrier . Put a towel under him in case he does go to the bathroom in there. I wouldn't worry about that . You can always clean that up. 

You will have to rest when he does , recovery isnt easy and it will get better! Hang in there you doing great! 

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2 October 2016
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8 October 2016 - 2:03 am
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Thanks. He's not really sleeping. He lies still for a while and then changes position a lot...I think the cone is causing some discomfort and will switch it up for the onesie when I give him his next dose of gabapentin at 2. I wasn't initially instructed to give him anything but the metacam and gabapentin. Just when I called the after hours line she suggested another dose of tramadol....

Does those two alone sound like enough? 

I just wish he would settle down. His incision is looking red and maybe even bleeding a bit because he's rolling around so much 🙁 

I moved his cage onto my bed by my pillow and that seems to have been soothing to a degree


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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8 October 2016 - 2:36 am
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Purrkins came home with the buprenorphine and gaba. In the hospital he was on different meds.  

Did they give you instructions on after care for his incision ? I am of no help , we didnt have any incision problems. We were told NOT to apply anything to it. The hospital did ice it for 3 days and then we were told to do warm packs for 3 days 3 times a day. A damp wash cloth was allowed to help the incision as it started to heal and get itchy.  

These drugs can make them wired too. I think taking the cone off will help with the rolling ,the onesie will cover his incison. When you do the next med and put the onesie on ,place him in his box again just in case he needs to go.  

Talk to him and keep him close to you so he can see you that will help! 

Im sure others will chime in with there experiences. 

Member Since:
2 October 2016
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8 October 2016 - 6:22 am
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Oh my goodness, the onesie made such a difference. We were both able to get a couple of hours of sleep. His one front leg still seems pretty wobbly and I'm fearful he will injure it, but he hopped out to finish off the food with the gabapentin in it and then hopped into the litter box where he peed (!)...partially while sitting IN the pee, but whatever. He let me clean him up with my trusty kitty wipes. He then hobbled across the room and hopped up on my bed (!!!) , while I went "oooh no, be careful", where he is now curled up. He started to bathe himself but the effort was just too much and he's curled back up. Im a bit wary of going to sleep myself and having him stumble off..

Re the incision, the vet sad much what you have said: use a warm damp cloth when there is seepage (maybe some epson salts in the water...although I dont have any and wont be leaving the house for a while), cool packs if he allows it (he wasn't best pleased when I put one on him), and that's it. 

I feel like buprenorphine and gabapentin is a stronger mix than just metacam (which is antiinflam, as I understand it) and gabapentin. I think the tramadol wasn't specifically prescribed to continue because I had such a hard time getting it in and the vet kept saying he will be in less pain over the incision than he was with the bone cancer...but the Tramadol was still sent "in case" and a bit in, even though he foamed some out, seems better than nothing (I administered it undr the on-call vet's instruction not just on a whim) and I will keep using it if the other two don't seem enough I think...


Member Since:
11 July 2016
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8 October 2016 - 7:50 am
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big-grinclapThats fantastic !  You both are doing great! Harry way to go!!! I understand the fear of the other leg. You only have the bed he can get up on in that room right? Either way you are there as he figures the first days out and he will! You have a step down you can guide him to use that and just guide or do what your instinct says to do! His leg will take months to gain muscle to compensate for the missing one. Purrkins leg is now a lot bigger then it was ! It impressive how they compensate .

As for the ice did yo have a soft gel type pack ? If not put some ice in a damp wash cloth or towel and then in a baggie. Ill add a picture of what we did the warm compress that way it wont be direct ice on him or so cold, could try that and see if he minds that.

Purrkins loved his warm but that was 3 days after icing! Just showing you the idea.

Your right on the medication , Kerrens Mona was on Metcam also and I thought Smore was too. They can tell you more on Metcam and . If you are at all concerned on his meds call your vet .  You will get more feedback  from others today.

Hugs to you both! 

Member Since:
14 February 2016
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8 October 2016 - 8:21 am
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Hooray!  Sounds like Harry has turned a corner.  Most of us got the cones off as soon as we could, so glad the onesie is working.  I had a tri-dog, not a cat, but it sounds just fine to me that he is with you on the bed, especially if that is where he normally slept.  He has got to be more comfortable, and sleep is the best thing for him right now.  

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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8 October 2016 - 8:58 am
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Seeing them come off the hospital meds and anesthesia is really hard to watch. You re far stronger than you realize!

Holly and Kerren have given such great advice! So glad we have such a knowledgeable group of kitty moms!

Harry! No jumping arou d sweet boy! Your muscles and joints need to adjust to three legs slowly.

You still jave some rough patches to go through during this recovery period. Stay connected. Just knowing what you are observing is "normal", even though scary, helps reduce the stress a tiny bit.

Lots of 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!

Member Since:
27 July 2014
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8 October 2016 - 10:05 am
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I'm happy to hear Harry is home with you and doing well and peeing in the right place. I just wanted to say that Mona did not wear a cone because the vet said she didn't need it and he was right. If Mona tried to scratch at her stitches with her hind leg I would put a cool, damp washcloth on and she would stop. She would lick the area but never chew. Some people give their pet supervised cone -free time. You might want to try that so Harry gets a cone break.

The Metacam is for inflammation and pain. In Canada it's commonly used alone for minor surgeries but doesn't provide enough pain relief for an amputation.

I have no experience with the gabapentin.

Harry is bathing himself. That is excellent! He slept on the bed. Great! Perhaps you can drape a towel over the cage and leave the door open so Harry thinks of it more like a den. He might find it to be a good place to sleep and then just come out to use the litter, eat, or even choose to got back on the bed. Cats are very hard to control and I think there are times that we should allow them to go where they want (within reason of course). Right now the most important issue is that his incision does not get infected or the stitches pulled out and I'm sure you'll be attentive to that.

Lots of love to Harry!

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Member Since:
2 October 2016
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8 October 2016 - 1:10 pm
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😀 Yes I'm feeling a lot of relief.

The bed is the only thing to get up on, yes...I'm considering removing the box spring to make it even lower for now. I do have steps dow though and am keeping a close eye. He's mostly in the corner where the bed meets the wall which feels safe, especially when I'm right near by or sleeping on the open side.

My vet called this morning to check up and I asked about the Tramadol and she said to keep giving it to him regularly for now, so I'm glad I called last night and gave him some. This morning's dose actually went in pretty well. He was hlalf asleep and I just sort of lifted his head and got it in sideways. Nearly no foam 😛 I'm now trying to synch up his different meds with times that will be reasonable to maintain when I'm back to work tuesday. Currently trying to get him up to have some food with gabapentin in but he's not interested. He just wants to sleep and I'm ok with that for now...

I do have an ice pack with a towel that I tried last night. I think I'll try again now that he's less fussy. 

Thanks for the cheers. Last night was pretty hellish, and I'm so thankful I found this place and you lovely supportive people. I'm still anxious about healing ad adjustment but so relieved that he's somewhat mobile and eating and peeing and sleeping. 

We're definitely done with the cone. The cone sucks. It seemed to do more damage than good and so far he's not at all interested in his stitches. I'm sure that will change as it gets itchy and hair grows back...I like the damp cloth idea, and I got some vet wrap for his hind claws, and his t-shirts are on hand, for when I'm not around. Which will be a few days yet. Thankfully. His cage is there ready for him if he wants it. He seems happier on the bed and crawls under the blanket when he wants darkness (which he has always done)

Here's the traumatic first view:

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After he got his shirt on

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On the bed...

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Member Since:
6 July 2016
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8 October 2016 - 1:20 pm
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Sorry for not being here sooner. Jack our boy had his amputation about 8 weeks ago. He's now back to his full coat of fur, just in time to shed it as the fine weather arrives 🙂

As opioid meds are very difficult to get in NZ we had to do on meloxicam alone, and I split the dose to every 6 hours and it was good for holding him.

You might want to consider raw feeding to get Harry's weight down. Jack does a mix (he's a young cat and was active pre amputation) but he has lost around 500-700g using raw food for main meals. Chicken hearts are a particular favourite.

Jack also gets 2x 15 minutes wand time religiously daily. Visitors get first dibs on playing.He also has several toys he now plays with himself a favorite is a door hanging bird on elastic. It got new 'nip' added yesterday and it was getting smacked around regularly.

Jack's biggest progress recently if we've noticed him using his stump! He has a short length of bone before the shoulder joint and he will rest on it for balance when cleaning. Last time I posted it was about assisted ear cleaning on his amputation side and although he gets help once a week, I caught him using his BACK paw to do a good dig around in the ear. I guess it's nicer than ear wipes!

Jack has insisted on being outside but 90% of the time goes out with humans present. Last night I spotted him wandering in next door's garden. It took him extra effort to get back over the fence and you could see he was very tired from his adventure. When he's tired he's a bit more clumsy.

The biggest change is Jack is both more settled and more vocal. He's a total cuddle bug and great for my 80 y/o Mum. He's also very gentle and tender to my two step daughters who grew up without cats as they learn how to read Kitty behaviour. 

As well as tuna water, sardines are great too!

Good luck with the healing


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11 July 2016
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8 October 2016 - 2:02 pm
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Harry is adorable in his onesie ! What a sweetie!superstarheart So glad to see your both feeling better!

We got rid of the box springs as well to make the trip down lower. We stripped the room and then slowly added things back as he recovered.  We just did a relearning process at his pace. As for his pain meds our Buprenorphine instructions were every 8-12 hours we did the 8 hours for first two days then started slowly stretching that and watched him closely for any discomfort. The gaba was every 8 hours. 

Recovery isnt easy. Harry is doing AMAZINGLY well! Remember it gets easier each day. You may have set backs and you may not . Just take one day at a time, your guys will get thru this! 

Things really get better when they get stitches out and weaned off the meds!  I definitely would try the ice again that will help with the swelling. 

Just going to add some tips that worked for us on meds if the Gabapentin is a capsule ? Ours was we opened the capsule and added a little tuna or sardine juice and syringed it back up ,to syringe it to him. That way we didnt have to be sure he ate all of the food with the meds.

You want to get him his meds even if he isnt eating. Another trick we use is baby food turkey and gravy! Hide the gaba in there and Purrkins would lick it right up. Baby food is also high in calories if he doesn't want to eat he might like the baby food.  

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