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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Anything I need to get for pre/post amputation surgery for cat?
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Member Since:
17 November 2016
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17 November 2016 - 11:52 am
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My 11 yr old orange tabby was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and his front left leg amputation is scheduled for next Tuesday. After a week of limping, the x-rays came back with the bad news. He's currently on Tramadol for the pain while he waits for the surgery. He’s going to a specialist surgeon, so I’m sure he’s in good hands. This website has been extremely helpful in helping us not feel like barbarians making the decision to amputate. We were so stressed (and still stressed) about the idea, but I just want him to feel better. After reading everyone's stories, it's made me feel so much better! I'm super thankful for all of the info!

I was hoping to get some information on what things I should get for my kitty for post-surgery home care or any tid-bits of what to expect/look out for? Unfortunately due to the holiday coming up, the vet's office will be closed for about 5 days! So knowing what to expect would be most helpful.

I'll be home with him for 7 days, which I'm super thankful for! We already bought him a smaller/lower litter box, one that he can easily walk in/out of; a very huge wire cage to keep him in so he doesn't try to jump or hurt himself too much; a soft fabric cone collar; and some treats/tuna. 

I read that some people buy onesies, but I’m worried the stitches will get stuck in fabric?? He might prefer the little shirt to the cone, so maybe I’ll buy some just in case. 

Any information/advise would be awesome!

On The Road


Member Since:
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17 November 2016 - 2:06 pm
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kittyam said

I was hoping to get some information 

Welcome and best wishes for a speedy recovery! What's your cat's name?

Others will chime in soon. In the mean time, be sure to check out all the tri-kitty blogs for lots of helpful tips for feline recovery and care.

Use the Advanced Search above to refine your search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here .

Start here if you ever need help navigating the many resources this community has to offer. And please keep us posted, your future forum posts will not require moderation.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet



Member Since:
27 July 2014
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17 November 2016 - 9:29 pm
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I'm sorry for the diagnosis. My cat Mona had her front leg amputated 2.5 years ago. Some suggestions I have based on my experience with Mona:

  • Food - the vet sent her home with wet kitten food because it's high in fat and protein and Mona loved it. Some folks have trouble getting their cats to eat.
  • Review the medications your cat will be on after the surgery with the vet. Make sure you get an emergency number to phone if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Mona did not wear a wear anything (she prefers to go commando) and did not touch the stitches. I did put warm and cool damp facecloths over the surgical site for a few minutes if she seemed interested in it. She seemed to enjoy that. I think some surgeons wrap the cats up in a bandage.

All cats are different. My biggest challenge was with the pain meds. One thing I learned here is to stagger them so your getting the meds in before the pain starts up again. When Mona's pain would start she would race around the house. So for example, if they say the pain med is 3-4 times a day. I suggest every 6 hours (rather than 8 hours) and if there's also an anti-inflammatory, give that every 6 hours between the pain med times.

Keep in touch and hugs for your cat,

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Michigan


Member Since:
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18 November 2016 - 5:54 am
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Hello and welcome, not the club any of us want to join , its the best support group to be in! 

We have had a lot of kitties join with bone cancer lately please take some time reading thru the blogs and or forums they will help.

http://tripawds.....ts/page-2/

http://tripawds.....p/#p176720

http://tripawds.....need-help/

http://tripawds.....2/#p175041

Blog http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com

Our cat Purrkins had his front left leg amputated 4 months ago due to a soft tissue sarcoma.

Make sure your vet is up to date and current pain management , you want to have that in place before coming home.

http://tripawds.....alth-tips/

Seems pain management varies and depends on your Vet on what they prescribe.
We had a liquid Buprenorphine and a Gabapentin a capsule . I opened the capsule and poured the powder into a small bowl added some tuna water or sardine water tiny bit and mixed it then syringed it back up to administer to him. Tuna and sardine are strong and will mask bitter tasting meds will help with the frothing. 

The liquid is easier to syringe , just have to be careful not to aspirate them.
A quiet place to recover , if your going to use the cage you might want to put blanket or towel over for security. 

Most cats will want to hide after surgery and coming home.
You want to be sure wherever he is you will be able to get to him at med time. We used a spare room to recover in. If you let him out of the cage just be sure not to have under the bed accessible ! Shove blankets pillows whatever under it to block it. They usually will go straight for under the bed to hide. We ended up putting our mattress on the floor. Purrkins chose a closet to recover in.

I got a lot of different can foods for recovery knowing it might be a issue to try to get him to eat. The stronger smelling foods helped in our case. Tuna & salmon, chicken and herring . We only had to coax him to eat the first day or two home . Its normal with all the pain meds for them not to want to eat. Just have to coax them.

We got permission from our surgeon that we could go without a cone and use baby onesies and baby t-shirts on Purrkins, I cut the bottoms off and sewed the one arm shut, he didn't mind them at all. No problem with anything sticking to them;)
I did check  his incision twice a day and changed his onesie every day. 

Jerry just did an article on recovery suits and ideas. http://gear.tripawds.com

We used exercise floor pads in the room he recovered in ,to help with the mishaps as he was learning , rugs too. we raised the food and water bowl. In any way that works for you .It makes it easier on them.

We got a lower rim litter box for Purrkins also for recovery and thats where he had his problem , was getting in and flopping, he had trouble getting his balance the first day. We then cut out the front to make it lower. That was the fix for him. All cats and experiences are different . That's the beauty of this site you get advice and experience from many!

We got Purrkins some steps to get to his favorite spots. You can use boxes or furniture just try to make things easier on him . You want to try to protect their remaining three legs. Going up will be no problem going down will take some relearning. But rest assured they learn and will do great on 3. 

I would definitely get a number I could call or know who to call and where I needed to go , if you would need help during the holiday!
Recovery is not easy but hang in there , they need to sleep and recover, very limited activities, have any questions jump on and ask we are all here to help and share our experiences. 

Keep us posted please!

Hugs 

Holly & Purrkinsheart

Virginia







Member Since:
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18 November 2016 - 9:33 am
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Sorry you find yourself here, but as you can see, there is no better place to be for support , I information and understanding. This is a very stressful time and we can all relate! Once surgery is over and recovery is started, you will feel much better!

And once recovery is completed, you will be ECSTATIC!!

You've gotten GREAT advice from our kitty experts, Kerren and Holly! They know their stuff, that's for sure!

Maybe try putting the cone on him for a few minutes while giving him some treats so he'll not be so spooked by it. Also give him some extra good treats in the wire cage too.

You're gonna do great...and so is he!! What's his name? And we'd love to see more photos!

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:
17 November 2016
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18 November 2016 - 12:02 pm
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Thanks so much for all the wonderful info and support! It's truly priceless. I think I've got everything now. His primary vet will have someone on staff while the surgeon's office is closed, and the surgeon's office has a 24 hours on call nurse that I can call for any emergencies.

I've read a couple of the blogs, and they're a great help too!

His name is Shmagegy (Yiddish for fool) because was quite the terror as a kitten, but he's softened up a lot! Now he's a mush and very good, although too smart, cat. He's my heart.heart

Member Since:
2 October 2016
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18 November 2016 - 8:27 pm
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Sorry you find yourself here. Gosh, there seems to be a lot of this with kitties since I signed up 🙁 But well done for being proactive about things. 

I used onesies for my Harry, who had a front leg amputation a month and a half ago. Once I figured out how to sew them so he couldn't stretch out the collar enough to get his other leg out, they worked a trick for us. We did not have issues with his stitches getting stuck on the fabric and I found it surprisingly easy to get them on and off, and him surprisingly comfortable in them (although all cats are different, I'm sure). 

I relate to feeling anxious, and I think I would advise you to be prepared for a tough couple of weeks emotionally - as well as a bit of initial trauma over the site of your wee one after surgery. They shave tonnes and the incisions are big. But also know that before you know it, you'll be looking backwards shocked at how normal life is again an dhow well your boy is doing. You're absolutely making the right choice to get rid of his pain, and people say that the pain from the amputation surgery is actually minor in comparison to the pain of bone cancer. 

I haven't read everyone's posts, so sorry if I'm repeating others, but consider asking your vet about gabapentin for nerve pain, and make sure you have a clear pain management plan in place before coming home. For the first while, especially if he's kept contained, he'll probably be mostly resting. After he starts to get his energy back, you might want to look at using strategic steps and things to reduce strain on his remaining limb with getting up and down places. 

Hang in there! Hope all goes well. 

Michigan


Member Since:
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21 November 2016 - 1:35 pm
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We are sending Shmagegy and you pawsitive energy for tomorrow we wish you the best ! 

We will be thinking of you!

Holly and Purrkinsheart

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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21 November 2016 - 7:46 pm
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Don't forget to eat lots of CHOCOLATE! It calms the nerves!way-cool

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!

Livermore, CA




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21 November 2016 - 8:19 pm
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I hope everything goes well tomorrow.  Update when you can.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

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

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22 November 2016 - 1:22 pm
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Shmagegy is out of surgery, and in recovery. They took his shoulder blade and front left leg. Unfortunately because the bone cancer was closer to the shoulder blade than his elbow, the surgeon had to take more. I'm personally happier that he didn't leave a 'stump'. I just always felt it would be better.  Turns out the bone was broken, and he was losing a bit of muscle because he wasn't using the leg. I feel so bad for having to wait so long, but we got the surgery done as soon as possible! He was, thankfully, on tramadol and then on buprenex. He was limping for about 2 weeks up until the surgery. We also ‘wasted’ the first week because the primary vet decided to wait on x-rays and put him on pain meds to see if would have gotten better. way-confused

I'll pick him up tomorrow. My primary vet has been calling me every day to check on him. Surgeon’s office will call me tonight with an update.

Thanks everyone! I hope all your fur-babies are doing well and have a great holiday! heart

On The Road


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22 November 2016 - 2:02 pm
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Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Please keep us posted.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Michigan


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11 July 2016
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22 November 2016 - 2:04 pm
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Thanks for the update!

Glad to hear Smagegy is out of surgery! He is going to feel so much better without that painful leg!

He was was already limping he will adjust even quicker! 

Purrkins shoulder was also taken with his leg. His surgeon said it would be easier on him without the shoulder. 

Glad to hear you have good contacts ,that sure helps when they call with updates!

Look forward to seeing Smagegy is home and recovering! 

Hugs

Holly & Purrkinsheart

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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22 November 2016 - 8:14 pm
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YAAAAAAAAAY!! SURGERY IS DONE AND RECOVERY IS STARTED!! 🙂

Smagegy is feeling nompain and probably seeing a few pink elephants!

Try and get some rest yourself. Getting to this point is pretty exhausting, emotionally and physically!

Lots of hugs!

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

PS. Many of us here had our dogs or cats diagnosis "delayed" because the first "treatment plan" of pain meds is based assuming the limp is a sprain, or arthritis, etc

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!

Livermore, CA




Member Since:
18 October 2009
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22 November 2016 - 8:22 pm
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Glad to hear the surgery went well!

Put everything behind you now and focus on recovery.  Can't change anything that happened but your positive attitude will help Smagegy get through recovery and on with his life.

Let us know when you get him home.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

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

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