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Very large cat is about to be a new member of the tripod club, scared human
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New Jersey
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31 May 2018 - 12:33 pm
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Overwhelmed and ridiculously emotional doesn’t begin to describe where I am at right now. Just came back from the vet and my 10 year old, very large male cat was diagnosed with a tumor in his back right ankle bone with amputation being the recommendation. Feeling blindsided and at a complete loss right now. Don’t know where to start or what to feel other than scared of what lies ahead of us. Looking for any pre-opperative and post-operative advice, or just words of wisdom on any aspect of this process that we are about to embark on. Worried about how his size is going to affect him even though the vet seems unconcerned about that. 

Livermore, CA
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31 May 2018 - 1:44 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

What is your boy’s name?  Is he overweight or just big?  Sounds like your vet thinks he is a good candidate for amputation- that is positive.

Have you seen our Three Legged Cats forum?  You will find tons of information there specific to cats and amputation.

I completely understand how overwhelmed you are. When my vet told me that my Pug Maggie would need her left back leg amputated due to a mast cell tumor I didn’t hear anything else she said during that visit.  I don’t remember ever even seeing a three legged dog before!  How could amputation be the solution for a bump in Maggie’s knee?

I don’t have direct experience with Tripawd cats but I have had two rear amp small dogs.  I mentioned Maggie who hopped happily along for almost 4 years after her surgery.  Now I have a Pug mix that I adopted at 10 months old- Elly lost her rear leg to a car accident when she was 7 months old.  There are some accommodations to make for a Tripawd, but for the most part they live a normal life after the recovery period.

Here are some blog posts that might help:

What to Expect on Amputation Surgery Day for Your Dog or Cat

What to Expect When You Pick Up Your Tripawd from the Clinic

Do you have surgery scheduled?

You have found the best place to be when dealing with cancer and amputation, we have been where you are now and can help!

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

New Jersey
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31 May 2018 - 2:39 pm
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My boy is Elvis (not named by me, adopted him at 5 years old because prior owners were unable to keep him). He is large and in charge, never stops talking and follows your around the house like a dog. He has a seizure disorder that requires medication that makes him kind of lazy, hence the weight. Needed to come home and digest what I had just been told and try and find some clarity to be able to schedule a date for surgery but I would assume next week. Vet seemed to think he was a great candidate and would bounce back quickly, I guess it is just me having the issue of wrapping my head around this.

Virginia
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31 May 2018 - 8:26 pm
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YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!    WE ARE RIGHT BY YOUR SIDE THE WHOLE WAY!

Of course you are flipping out and scared poopicon_pngless!  Add sick and nauseous  and stressed amd panicked …we’ve  all been there and understand  like no others can!

We alao understand how happy you’ll be when surgery is done and that bum leg is gone and Elivis is being “large and in charge”  Elvis again!

Sure, recovery is no picnic and it is major surgery .  Getting the good balance of pain meds proper dosage  can take a bit of tweaking. We’re  here ro help you navigate  the recovery  period.  And we”ll help you celebrate  all the upcoming  victories  you and Elvis will share!

Check out all the links Karen gave you.  We have some extremely  knowledgeable  kitty members  who have so much first hand insight to help  you with any challenges. 

Deep breaths…..lots of chocolate!!  STAY CONNECTED 

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!

The Rainbow Bridge

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31 May 2018 - 9:06 pm
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Oh my gosh we all understand how scary this is for you. I’m sorry about the diagnosis but that’s great your vet feels he is a good candidate. Vets see a LOT of Tripawd kitties, they know when they see one that will do well on three legs. 

I’d also recommend checking out the TriKitty blogs, you’ll find lots of good examples of cats doing well after amputation surgery. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 June 2018 - 12:14 pm
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Hi sweetie 🌸

So sorry Elvis will have to go through surgery but you can rest assure he can do this 😻

The vets feel he is a good candidate and, as pointed out, we’ve got great kitty pawrents who will share their experience with you.

I cannot contribute with my own as I was owned by a Great Dane but, if anything, I can state if my 170lb dog did it so will your cutie kitty 😺

Sending you a big hug and lots of ear scratches to Elvis 😽🎸😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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1 June 2018 - 3:10 pm
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Hello and welcome!

So nice to meet you and Elvis, just sorry it had to happen under this circumstances.  Tuxedo, my adorable chunk of a kitty, was 9 almost 10 when he had his rear leg and partial pelvis amputated due to a dog attack.  Tuxedo was and still is on the heavy side 15# prior 13# now, though he is very active.  Now over a year later, my 11 year old boy constantly amazed me with what he can do.  Truthfully, I do not think of him as disabled in any way these days, because as I and many there here will tell you it is amazing how well animals adapt.

I did not get any prep time before I found myself a tripawd owner.  However, I am not sure I really needed much either.  Tuxedo due to his stubborn nature pretty much did what he wanted, no matter what I was told he should or should not do!  Many here have set up a recovery type room or spot at home.  A place free of obstacles and in a controlled environment, such as a spare bedroom, a large dog crate, a tent, etc.  If Elvis will be in an area near a bed, take care to block the underneath area fully off.  He will get under it, I promise.  Some have used or made low sided litter boxes.   I used pizza boxes that a local restaurant donated.  Many use regular cat litter.  My vet recommended using coarsly shedded newspaper as litter while healing to minimize the chance of getting any tiny grains of it in the incision.  The local newpaper donated and shredded this for me.  I had a terrible time getting Tuxedo to eat afterwards.  I literally tried everything.  Others comment that really smelly food triggered appetites.  In m case it was a certain type and flavor of cat treat.  When I wrote to the manufacturer and thanked them for whatever made that one special, they sent me enough coupons for well over a year’s worth of food and treats.  Notice a trend here?  If you ask for help, just about everyone will if they can.  So please do not be afraid to reach out to others.  This site, for example is a great source for emotional support.  I am certain that had this thread been in the cat section you would have had a ton of responses by now from proud tripawd feline owners, not just me.  

Elvis will come home with a cone of some sort.  As a rear amputee he needs (really needs) to wear this while healing.  Many cats are somewhat of a Houdini with respect to cones.  Tuxedo was constantly escaping his, which was likely part of the reason his incision got infected, turning what should have been a two week healing period into close to two months.  Some have had luck with soft cones (I did not), others with donut type cones, hard cones, see through cones, etc.  Hopefully you and Elvis won’t need to go cone shopping.

As to getting around, Elvis will probably try to run through your place when he first gets home (not kidding) and then mostly rest for the next several days.  Many use throw rugs/exercise mats on hardwood and tile areas once their babbies are allowed to officially explore again (usually around 2 weeks when the stitches come out).  Tuxedo and throw rugs were not a good mix as he kept running to launch himself on to the like some sort of an amusement ride, causing even the rubber backed ones to slide.  Yes 3 legged cats can run fast, very fast!  For getting up on furniture, like the sofa or bed, some sort of step or stairs helps.  Though usually Tuxedo ignores the ones I have and jumps straight from the floor.  Every now and then though I do see him using them.

Tuxedo’s biggest problem is balance, or as I sometimes call it grace, with respect to doing things.  I do not know if this is because of him only having half of a pelvis or if this is common for all rear tripawd cats.  By this I mean he sits very crooked, is easily toppled, has a hard time standing still if getting a scratching session, etc.  However, this really does not hamper him.  He literally can do anything he wants to do and more.  

Two things that I would recommend is that you get your support system for yourself set up and make sure the vet sends you home with adequate pain medication.  This is a very emotionally tyring time for you.  Having people you can talk to helps a lot.  This site is an excellent source for some of that as everyone here has been through the same situation in some fashion.  Elvis will have a better recovery if you take care of you.  That way he does not feel that he has to.

Also it seems most vets only send cat owners home with 3 days worth of pain medication.  Yes, they did that to Tuxedo and me.  I ended up going back for an additional 4 days worth.  But knowing what I know now, I would have insisted on it at the time.

Best wishes to you and Elvis.  You both should get through this fine.  Being a big older boy may mean he needs a bit more time to adjust, but if Tuxedo (who is currently sitting on my head) is any example, he will not just adapt but thrive.

-Dawna, Dazzle, & Tuxedo

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1 June 2018 - 5:10 pm
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I can’t thank everyone enough. This has been emotionally overwhelming, today especially as I had to schedule the surgery which is set for Weds of next week, and I know this rollercoaster is just getting started. I feel so badly for what is about to happen to he because he is in no pain and is literally the happiest 22 pounder around, I just feel horrible that next week he is going to have one of his legs chopped off and will not understand what is happening… silly, I know. Hearing everyone say how quickly they bounce back has given me a lot of hope but I am scared beyond words.

The Rainbow Bridge

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2 June 2018 - 1:14 pm
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Your fears are not silly, you care deeply about your kitty and that’s totally something we can all relate to. Yes, it is scary, but once that bad leg comes off and he bounces back, you’ll wonder why you were ever so scared. Just stick around here and let us help calm your fears and answer any questions you have OK? Keep us posted.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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2 June 2018 - 9:11 pm
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Dawna you covered EVERYTHING! mommatux covered it all, you got this!

Everypawdy and every kitty is a bit different here and there. For example, my Huckleberry was omg FERAL as the day is long. I think I would have lost a limb trying to keep his collar on. We paid the price too. Extra staples, another couple of nights hospitalized…. It was NOT a picnic, but in the end. . he kicked butt!

He is now a “normal as he will be” (he will always have a feral side) content kitty who gets around well as an indoor only cat.  He is also a right rear legger, but his pelvis is fully intact and he has good balance. His femur was broken in two due to some unknown injury when he was just a feral cat visiting our yard.

Now he sits on our laps and demands loving 😊

Hang in there, it can be a rocky road for a couple of weeks but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Jackie and Huckleberry ❤️

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

New Jersey
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3 June 2018 - 2:40 pm
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This may seem like such a silly question, but how did you take your animals home post-op? My big guy doesn’t really fit in a cat carrier (and I couldn’t imagine getting him in one post-op) but I am scared that carrying him is going to be painful for him. Maybe I am totally overthinking every single piece of what is about to happen but it seems like the only thing I am truly unsure about.

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3 June 2018 - 5:23 pm
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Tuxedo came home in a cat carrier.  The vet put him in it for me.  He was at the vet for less than 24 hours.  Evidently he was making his displeasure at being there well known, so they called and almost begged me to come get him.  From what I have read on here 2 days at the vet seems pretty common. Literally as soon as I opened the carrier door once home, he raced around the house exploring I guess.  That was my first introduction to how fast a tripawd can move.  Yes, he could stand, walk, & run at that point.  Of course about 20 minutes later, he laid down and slept for a very long time.

If Elvis is too big for a regular cat carrier, they do have medium sized dog ones, on wheels even.  I suppose you could try carrying him, I doubt if you would hurt him by doing that as he likely will be pretty doped up.  But he also might become a wiggle worm trying to re-establish his “in chargeness”.  If you do decide to carry him, make sure you have someone else along to drive so you can focus on Elvis.

Best Wishes

-Dawna, Dazzle & Tuxedo

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3 June 2018 - 5:38 pm
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Huckleberry came home the same day just a few hours after his surgery. I had a carrier large enough to fit a small dog. The vet put him in his carrier. 

I would recommend getting something large enough to secure him for the ride home plus post op visits. If you were in Kentucky I would give you mine.

Huck could walk when he got home, he was surprisingly alert and aware.

I hope this helps!

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

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3 June 2018 - 6:14 pm
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Thank you so much for the advice, my boy is so calm and such a big lap cat that I truthfully usually put him on a leash and in a dog harness when I bring him to the vet. I am so worried that I am going to do something to hurt him or make him uncomfortable in some way after surgery. I just found someone on facebook marketplace selling a large, two door cat carrier that opens from the top and like normal so I think that might have solved my problem.

Elvis doesn’t really move very fast as it is right now (mostly because he is lazy), so I don’t expect much to change. He is a permanent fixture in the middle of the couch on his blanket… the only time he really wonders around is to try and steal the other cat’s food or to go to the litter box. Just trying to make sure that all my ducks are in a row for what is about to come. Just curious, how long did you all find that you stayed home with them 24-7 after surgery?

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3 June 2018 - 6:16 pm
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mommatux said
Tuxedo came home in a cat carrier.  The vet put him in it for me.  He was at the vet for less than 24 hours.  Evidently he was making his displeasure at being there well known, so they called and almost begged me to come get him.  From what I have read on here 2 days at the vet seems pretty common. Literally as soon as I opened the carrier door once home, he raced around the house exploring I guess.  That was my first introduction to how fast a tripawd can move.  Yes, he could stand, walk, & run at that point.  Of course about 20 minutes later, he laid down and slept for a very long time.

If Elvis is too big for a regular cat carrier, they do have medium sized dog ones, on wheels even.  I suppose you could try carrying him, I doubt if you would hurt him by doing that as he likely will be pretty doped up.  But he also might become a wiggle worm trying to re-establish his “in chargeness”.  If you do decide to carry him, make sure you have someone else along to drive so you can focus on Elvis.

Best Wishes

-Dawna, Dazzle & Tuxedo  

That is absolutely hilarious that his displeasure was so well known! My guy is being sent home same-day which I find a little intimidating for sure.

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