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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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Amputation Surgery for Suspected Lymphangiosarcoma
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Member Since:
25 October 2022
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27 October 2022 - 3:12 pm
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Our 15yo cat, Little Miss, had front limb amputation surgery yesterday due to suspected lymphangiosarcoma. The tumor was basically on her right scapula (if that’s the cat anatomy term for it) and had begun to spread horizontally towards her tail. Due to that, when the surgeon did the amputation, she made the incision horizontally not vertically like we typically see so she could make sure she got all the margins she needed. 

I talked to the surgeon today about how she did during the night and this morning. Supposedly (and not surprisingly), Little Miss did NOT like the bandage and laid there like she was dead. Think about some of those funny pictures/videos you see of cats who instantly flop on their side when you put a harness on them – this is Little Miss with harnesses and apparently bandages. Once they took her bandage off, they said she perked right up. 

We’re hoping that she can come home today – she’s eating fine, but her temperature is a little low. The surgeon thought that her temperature may have been low because she didn’t move while she had the bandage on. If her temp is back up when they check it this afternoon, she can come home! 

I was considering an amputation recovery shirt for her (like the ones linked here on the site), but after hearing that she did not like the bandage, I’m worried that we’ll have the same issues with the shirt. Does anyone have any tips or recommendations? 

As an aside, I can’t begin to express how thankful I am to have found this site! While I am not new to caring for unique medical needs of pets, cancer and amputation are new and I’ve been feeling very emotional and overwhelmed these last few weeks. 

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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27 October 2022 - 5:43 pm
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Aww poor Little Miss! I can’t wait to see photos of her (here’s how adding images to the forums works). Hopefully she can come home today.

That’s a really great question about whether or not she will actually tolerate a recovery suit. It’s hard to say. The cone (the only other sure-fire way to make sure she doesn’t bother the incision) might be even worse on her. Since it’s the cheaper option, I would try the cone first. Here’s a post about making a Houdin-proof cone for cats.

Sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of browsing and reading here, I’m so happy to know that. If you have any questions at all, we are here to help. Don’t be shy! And welcome. Your future posts won’t need approval so post away. 

Member Since:
25 October 2022
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27 October 2022 - 7:00 pm
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Thank you for your quick response and kind words, Jerry! I heard back from the vet after writing the post, and unfortunately they want her to stay another night. I’m going to stay positive and see it as more time to dig into this idea a bit more.

The cone may just be it though. She will tolerate one for a period of time and we do have a soft cone that we sent to the surgeon with her to try instead of the plastic ones (pic below), so hopefully it works.

As an aside, the cloudy circle you see in her eye in one of the photos is actually a graft. She developed entropion in both eyes two years ago and had to have it (and the damage to her eyeball) surgically corrected. I could write a book (or a lot of blog posts) about this cat’s life. 


CAEF1F65-07CA-4D9D-B6D5-A95806A2E0DB-scaled-e1666918414769.jpegImage Enlarger

The Rainbow Bridge

Member Since:
25 April 2007
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28 October 2022 - 11:05 am
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She is SO CUTE! Being a Tripawd now really adds to her charm! I’m sorry she had to stay another night. Is she coming home today? That soft cone should work, and being that she already has her scent on it she will probably like that better than something new.

YAY for starting a blog, I can’t wait to go check it out. Sharing her story and everything you’ve been through together will be so helpful for others, thank you for telling Bubbie’s story.


Member Since:
22 February 2013
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28 October 2022 - 7:46 pm
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Little Moss is as cute as can be.  Ahe wears that cone like a fashionista Tripawd RockStar!

Yeah, often our dogs and cats end up staying more than one or two nights at the Bets.  Actually  that’s  a good time for you to catch up on some good sleep!


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!

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