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-   -   Leg amputation in a cat (

lindapalm May 31st, 2016 07:07 PM

Leg amputation in a cat
Has anyone ever had to have their cats back leg amputated, and how did they do? Our cat is having this procedure done tomorrow, and I'm sure the vet will give me help, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me what to expect healing wise, and how did their cat adjust to walking again

marko June 1st, 2016 07:00 AM

My mum had a cat that had to have a back leg amputated. The cat did just fine. We are going back about 15 years but I don't remember it taking long to heal at all.... and the cat adjusted quickly. :goodvibes: :fingerscr for a smooth procedure.

lindapalm June 1st, 2016 08:58 AM

Thanks, Marko. good to hear. I'm definitely going to be worried for awhile, he's having it done today and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him, too.

hazelrunpack June 1st, 2016 12:19 PM

:fingerscr and praying, too! Let us know how he does, pls! :goodvibes:

Longblades June 1st, 2016 03:34 PM

How is your cat today? I only have ever met one dog with a back leg off but he seemed to have adjusted remarkably well. A back leg does not bear as much weight and is ususally easier to adjust to.

lindapalm June 1st, 2016 07:08 PM

They called me about 1 and said he was just waking up. His blood tests came back normal (they were worried about diabetes) He said I can take him home tomorrow, but I really wish they would keep him longer that 24 hrs. I can't imagine how he will be able to use a litter box or even want to eat from the start, and I would feel better if someone that knew what he was doing would watch him, but being home might make Spencer feel better. The first week is going to be very scary and sad

We had him on a diet, and hes going to have to lose probably 3-4 more lbs because the vet said being a back leg he is going to probably have arthritis in the other leg, and being overweight will make it worse

hazelrunpack June 1st, 2016 09:40 PM

:2huggers: Glad it's over and the test results so far are good!

The first week after major surgery is always scary and stressful. I always tell myself to just take it one day at a time and not to worry, but it's hard to not let my imagination run away with me--and as for not worrying? Yeah, like [I]that's[/I] gonna happen! :rolleyes: :o It feels like forever while they're healing, but a few months from now you'll hardly remember it. :grouphug:

Keeping both of you in my thoughts and prayers till Spencer is better! Bless you for taking this on so he [I]can[/I] get better! :goodvibes:

lindapalm June 2nd, 2016 09:03 PM

Brought Spencer home this afternoon. Watching him get out of the carrier, and try to get around is heartbreaking. He initially panicked when I let him loose in a bedroom (that luckily we took most of the furniture out of), and banged into walls trying to maneuver. He wants out of the room, but would definitely hurt himself if we let him
He is on pain meds, and I'm supposed to put them under his tongue or gums and have the meds stay in his mouth, but that doesn't work with a cat, he just swallows it. The vet also didn't put an e collar on him, which I couldn't believe because of the many stitches, but he claims he doesn't need one. I'm going to watch him closely because I have my doubts. I keep putting him in his litter box, which is a cookie sheet filled with litter, but he just lays in it, so I'm sure there will be a accidents. Hazelrunpack, I'm sure your right, each day will be a little better, I just wish it was next week already. Thanks

carolpalmer June 3rd, 2016 06:46 AM

I am really sorry about the cat. I have never heard of such a thing. I pray for the speedy recovery of your cat. I guess you were left with no other option than to choose amputation.

RUSTYcat June 3rd, 2016 11:38 AM

He is on pain meds, and I'm supposed to put them under his tongue or gums and have the meds stay in his mouth....

but that doesn't work with a cat, [B][COLOR="Red"]he just swallows it[/COLOR][/B].[/QUOTE]

Here's the trick to giving Buprenorphine: You were given tiny pre-loaded syringes....instead of squirting the entire dose at once, [B]put only 1-2 drops[/B] into the mouth (either under the tongue or in the side of the mouth, withdraw the syringe, wait a few seconds and repeat....repeat this until the entire dose is given.

You are on the floor with him - holding him between your legs, one hand holds the syringe, the other hand is either holding his head back while medicating, or stroking/rubbing his head/ears/chin between each mini dose.

At the end of the dosing, continue the pleasurable handling for a few minutes - you don't want him to access water/food for at least 5 minutes....if you give him a treat after that, all of this will become a routine that he will (probably) look forward to.

With oral Buprenorphine, I find that it's effective ONLY for ~6 hours....AND that [I]it's critical to [B]stay ahead of the pain[/B][/I], because Bup requires a short period to get through the oral tissue and actually into the bloodstream, I need to [U]medicate about 15-20 minutes before[/U] the end of the 6-hour 'working" period. (Most Rx directions are for 8+ hour dosing....that simply doesn't work.)

Post back if that's not clear.

** it is very common that Buprenorphine will cause urine retention. This does not usually persist in my experience, but I'd advise you keep an eye on his 'output'. I found that it was important to keep notes about litter box 'deposits' (and eating too)....otherwise, things get very blurry and potentially important info will be missed/forgotten (e.g. should he become constipated, there'll be no accurate info available, just guesses).

(I also sent you a PM.....?)

lindapalm June 3rd, 2016 12:49 PM

RUSTYcat, thank your for the information. Putting a little med at a time makes sense, this way he might not be forced to swallow. I'm afraid to put him in between my legs, in case it would hurt Thank You. I can't give him a treat after, they all seem to have chicken in them, and he's allergic and that's what got him in this trouble. There are VERY FEW foods for cats without chicken

He's on the meds every 12 HOURS. and that didn't seem like enough to me, either. He is finally eating today, not drinking water, but still hasn't peed or pooped. The vet said he peed on his towel in his cage, I pick him up and put him in the litter, but he just lays in it. That worries me. Thank you once again, I need all the help I can get, this is really scary and I hope I made the right decision

RUSTYcat June 3rd, 2016 02:46 PM

Bup every 12 hours ?????? Ridiculous. Period.And...contrary to all the literature.

Six hours is my maximum span...and, again, administered 15-20m prior.

If you're going to 'up' the dosing, make sure to order a refill well ahead.

Today, pain is managed differently from how Spencer's is.....a combination of 2-3 drugs are used, each targeting different pain pathways. This is called "multi-modal" pain control/prevention. It's much more effective and less sedative (though, with his surgery, sedation is a good thing).

With this type of surgery, two other types of drugs are often added to the opiod drug (Buprenorphine). One is an NSAID, often meloxicam ("Metacam"), which is given at the lowest effective dosing. The other is Gabapentin which, in the simplest terms, 'targets nerve endings' (though not an actual pain med, it's effective against pain in that way).

You could consider speaking to your Vet and asking him to consider a cocktail of pain control. At the very least, adding in a [I][U]very low-dose[/U][/I] NSAID would be really helpful. (if you're in the US, you have to be extremely careful...there's no feline Metacam available, only canine which is 3x the feline strength)

On positioning for medicating: You might lay him on his good (left ?) side on a bed or on a countertop with towel/blankt under and bend over closely on him, so that he's effectively 'trapped'.

Treats: Orijen makes freeze-dried cat treats...there are 2 w/out chicken. They are expensive, though, and I would want an exchange/refund/credit arrangement in case they are rejected. Here they are[LIST=1][*][url][/url] . Boneless wild boar, boneless beef, boneless lamb, wild boar liver, lamb liver, beef liver.[*][url][/url] . Boneless venison, elk liver, boneless elk, venison liver, boneless quail, steelhead trout.[/LIST]
Bonito flakes? Does he like cheese? How about a teaspoonful of a really stinky Fancy Feast variety?

lindapalm June 3rd, 2016 05:27 PM

Considering the extensive surgery, I couldn't believe he gets it only every 12 hours, too. He also is done with his antibiotics, which I feel he should be getting longer. It also dawned on me that he said the meds are chicken flavored, and we think chicken is what caused his allergies and this problem, so I'm going to have him change that

The vet is a very good vet, but not very sympathetic I noticed that when he did the exam. I think I'm going to call him tomorrow and say I spilled the meds, can he give me more. Then I can dose him every 6 hours. I seriously doubt he will agree Spencer needs more. Would Amytryptline work the same as Gabapentin, he is on that? I tried responding to your PM, explaining what Spencers problem is, but I'm very computer stupid and I don't think it went through. Again, thank you so much for your help, the website you sent is very good. It helps so much to get the most info possible

RUSTYcat June 3rd, 2016 09:14 PM

[QUOTE=lindapalm;1074025]It also dawned on me that he said the meds are chicken flavored, and we think chicken is what caused his allergies and this problem, so I'm going to have him change that

Would Amytryptline work the same as Gabapentin, he is on that?[/QUOTE]

Just on the flavoured drug thingie.....there may be NO chicken in that chicken flavour he used! It may simply be a combination of gawd-only-knows-what chemicals/substances that apparently resembles chicken flavour. Was there any particular behaviour or reaction in Spencer caused by chicken...and, have you seen that again now?

I'm a little confused.....are you saying [I][U]he's on Amitriptyline now[/U][/I]?

Amitriptyline is used as part of multi-modal pain, perhaps this Vet is unknowingly providing more than the Bup towards relieving Spencer's pain! I'll give you a not-too-clinical reference about using more than one drug for pain control right here: [URL=""][/URL] . Here's the chart from there showing the three classes of drugs - Amitriptyline in the "adjunct" category. (I was given Gabapentin from that group.)


[B]I've sent you another PM[/B]....replying is easy...just go to the bottom of the text, type your reply and press "submit"

hazelrunpack June 4th, 2016 06:05 PM

How is Spencer doing today, Linda? :fingerscr :goodvibes:

lindapalm June 4th, 2016 07:37 PM

He's doing okay. He's eating, but not drinking, so I am giving him wet food and putting water in it. I have his litter in a cookie sheet, but I think its too slippery for him to stand in, so I'm going to try to put a non skid sheet on the bottom, and see if that works. He is just so sad to look at, and watch him walk. I'm sure when his fur grows back he will look better. I'm giving him his pain meds more often, and doing it the way RUSTYcat suggested, which was a very good idea. I can't understand why he has not tried to lick his stitches, we have been struggling since February to find something to prevent him from licking his leg, and now he isn't even trying. Hopefully the stitches won't start itching and get him going. Thank you for asking, hazelrunpack

hazelrunpack June 5th, 2016 11:27 AM

If cats heal at the same rate as dogs, the itches will start in the next couple of days, so there's that to watch for. I hope the pain meds help soothe the itch for him, though--the meds do seem to do that for the dogs after surgery. Do you have a cone for him in case he [I]does[/I] get the urge to lick?

lindapalm June 5th, 2016 12:11 PM

I'm definitely gong to be watching. I have a cone, another cone with duct tape on it, a blow up doughnut collar, a t shirt, and baby pajamas. None of them worked. Its amazing, he is fat and has short legs, but can find a way to lick past them. We were calling him Houdini.

hazelrunpack June 5th, 2016 12:15 PM

:laughing: What a character!! But it sounds like you're well-prepared...and practiced! With luck, he won't need any of them! :fingerscr :goodvibes:

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