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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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Crying out and struggling
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
1 February 2018
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1 February 2018 - 10:57 am
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Hi guys, we are new! My cat Dupuis is almost 7 and the second week in January got her left hind limb amputated due to having a vaccine induced fibrosarcoma. Now I work at the specialty clinic that the surgery was done at and have access to her doctor often. She I currently on gabapentin and tramadol 2-3 times a day. But what’s happening I need reassurance this is something other have dealt with. When she lays down on her good leg, so her amputated side up and tries to get back up she struggles. At times she screams out in pain and her muscles in that area seem very sore. Once she gets up she’s fine and the pain seems to subside. I’m wondering if this is just due to her trying to use muscles that are still healing. And a little bit of her being over dramatic. She seems happy otherwise, eating great, still cuddling. She just has what I refer to as episodes where she screams out. Anyone ever experience this?? Thank you in advance. 

Here and Now

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1 February 2018 - 3:03 pm
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Welcome and best wishes for Dupuis!

It is still relatively early in her recovery process. The outbursts could be pain from weakness and struggling to get up, or it could be phantom pain .

You might also consider consulting with a certified rehab vet/tech for a professional evaluation, treatment recommendations and exercises you can do at home to keep Dupuis fit and strong. Visit a CCRP or CCRT and the Tripawds Foundation will even pay for your first visit from the Maggie Moo Fund for Tripawd Rehab!

Don’t miss the many Tri-kitty blogs and this long list of helpful recovery and care tips for three legged cats.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.


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1 February 2018 - 8:54 pm
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Some from our cat community will chime in to shsre their first hand knowledge.  It does seem as though the pain could actually be coming from, as Admin Guy said, from that leg being sore.  It takes about thirty days for the remaining kimbs and all the muscles, back and neck, to adjust to the new mobility on three legs.

She may be expressing a little bit of frustration also because she’s trying to figure out how to push her self up from a laying down position with just one backmleg.

Would she let you help her up  with a harness?   She may need thst extra support for another week or so.

If it’s nerve pain the Gabapentin should take care of that.

Stay connected and let us k kw how Dupianps is doing.


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

PS.  You may be able to get reimbursed from the vaccine company.  Some others here have.   Talk with your Vet about that.

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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2 February 2018 - 10:45 am
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Hi and Welcome,
Sorry to hear Dupuis is having episodes of pain. I do not think Dupuis is being over dramatic . No animal is dramatic & screams out for no reason! This is a major surgery they have removed a limb and cut a lot of nerves, muscle and bone.

It does sound like she is experiencing phantom limb pain (episodes). The brain is still sending signals to the limb to move that is not there, firing all those nerves. This does happen more in rear leg kitties here are some posts that might help show you and see others experiences.

Cat- post amputation strange bahavior

Cat displaying strange behaviour after amputation

Snuggles 15 days post surgery he gets weird attacks

Does it come out of the blue or only when starting to stand?

Have you tried to massage the area at all and if so does she allow you to? Purrkins has had episodes of Phantom limb and he will not allow me near the area during a episode.

How often are you on the Gabapentin ? Purrkins was on Gabapentin 100 mg capsule every 8 hours is she still on both of Gaba and Tramadol? Did she just start the Gaba? It might take a little bit to get into her system to work.

If the Gaba is being given every 8 hours and she has been on the Gaba since her surgery & still having episodes, your surgeon might need to look closer. Most of the time the meds resolve these issues in a few instances they had to go back in because of nerves or sutures etc. not common but possible.

Now I work at the specialty clinic that the surgery was done at and have access to her doctor often

Even better! Please discuss all this with the Vet.  Take a video of the episode for the Vet they will be able to see what is happening & better help Dupuis. She is having Episodes of pain that can be managed with meds most of the time.

A Post on VAS and Rear leg Kittty Blogs below.

Vaccine Associated Sarcoma – Fibrosarcoma, Osteosarcoma, Chondrosarcoma

Blogs that are rear leg amputees

Whatever the cause we do hope the meds & time is all she needs and this resolves.

Let us know what your Vet says please.

Holly & Purrkins❤️

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2 February 2018 - 5:11 pm
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My cat had a right front leg amputation back in 2015 at age 14 and it took him a few weeks to truly get used to having a missing limb. Even after two years post op, he was still going through the motions of using the missing limb to “bury” his poo in his litter box. I’m sure Dupuis is still healing and just getting used to being off balance and figuring out how to get up from a prone position. 

How awesome is it that you have access to the vet/clinic that did the surgery!? I bet if you fill them in with what you are observing, the doc will be able to reassure you and prescribe more pain medication if necessary to help him through the rest of his recovery.

Good luck – keep us posted!



Hattie and Jerry Cat (right front leg and scapula amputation due to chondrosarcoma at age 14, lived 2 1/2 years post amputation, succumbed suddenly to suspected lymphoma at age 16)

10/2001 - 10/9/2017 R.I.P ~ Love you always

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