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Old 09-05-2004, 03:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default cost of amputation?

can anyone tell me how much they paid for an amputation to the hind leg? zipper, my cat, tore some ligaments in her right hind leg, and is currently in a cast, but it's not working. i'm strapped for cash at the moment, and was wondering how much others paid for a similar amputation. right now her right hind paw is swollen, from being in the cast i suppose, and since it's the weekend her regular vet clinic is closed, and i don't have the money to send her to an emergency one, but i will if push comes to shove. am i over reacting, can she live with the swelling till monday (it's more than a little swollen, but not a whole lot)? is there anything i can do to lessen the swelling or maybe ease her pain. i was wondering the amputation question becuase i cannot put her to sleep, even though i'm out voted, 4 to 1 in my house. or maybe putting her to sleep is the best option? i don't know, i'm very confused at the moment. any thoughts or comments would be great.

*edit* thanks for all the great thoughts. here's a pict of her:

the duct tape is not making the cast more tighter, just a hopeful ward against biting.[/img]
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You may get a variety of answers but costs vary tremendously depending on where you are. Manhattan will be very different from Des Moines. Your best bet is to call around to local clinics to see what the range is in your area.

There are two main types of hind-leg amputation; disarticulation at the hip, and mid-femur. They may vary in cost, so ask which kind they do, and why.

Also, ask what is included in the surgery. Do they do or require pre-anesthetic blood tests? What anesthesia drugs do they use? What kind of monitoring is done during surgery? Is post-operative pain relief included? Will he be kept overnight and do they charge more for that? All these things will affect the cost.

Cheers,
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Old 09-05-2004, 07:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't ehlp you with your question but I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear your awful situation. It must be hard for you to deal with.

*hugs to you*
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Old 09-05-2004, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just wanted to wish much comfort and good health to Zipper.
I wish you much peacefulnes in the decisions ahead and I also wish you affordable vet bills!! Zipper is lucky to have you.
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Old 09-05-2004, 09:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I urge you not to put her to sleep if her leg can be fixed or more likely amputated. I have a 3-legged cat and he is a wonderful boy. He had his front leg amputated, and it was several hundred dollars--but we insisted on the best pain meds and several days' hospital stay. I'm sure it could be done cheaper if you are strapped for cash, and perhaps the vet could arrange a payment plan for you.

I have a friend whose cat lost a back leg, and he got along fine...I've heard that losing a back leg is actually less of a problem for the cat than losing the front leg.

Best wishes to you and your cat.

Edit: I just wanted to add a couple pics showing Xander just after amputation and then as he is now:

A few days after surgery:


Now:
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Old 09-05-2004, 11:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Xander looks like he is wearing red nail polish.

Poor Zipper. I hope his leg can be saved though.
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Old 09-05-2004, 12:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I just wanted to ask if you were sure that the swelling is from the cast and not from something else, possibly an infection?
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Old 09-05-2004, 06:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think most animals actually have more problems when a hind leg is amputated. They support more weight than the front legs do and I don't know about cats, but bigger dogs and heavier animals can have hip problems later on in life from the stress of having a hind leg removed.

I really think you should wait it out and talk to different vets about what to do. Amputation seems like it should be one of your last options. And definately try to find a vet who can offer you a payment plan.
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Old 09-05-2004, 09:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OsnobunnieO
I think most animals actually have more problems when a hind leg is amputated. They support more weight than the front legs do and I don't know about cats, but bigger dogs and heavier animals can have hip problems later on in life from the stress of having a hind leg removed.
Actually it's the opposite. I recently went through this with my dog and was advised by several vets and orthopedic specialists that it is harder if a forelimb is amputated than a hind limb. Normally, cats and dogs bear more weight on the front. When they lose one of the forelimbs, they are more prone to hip problems because they resort to putting more weight on the hind legs. Though it maybe also be true that they end up with hip problems if they have a hind limb amputated, as I imagine they are putting extra pressure and usage on the one hind leg, thus causing a similar effect. Keeping them at a healthy weight is ESSENTIAL after an amputation. It's important that they are not carrying any excess weight.

Cats tend to jump on and off objects and it is harder to not have the use of both front legs than to bear the loss of a rear leg. However, many cats and dogs have front or back limbs amputated and go on to live long, happy, healthy lives. See Xander as a perfect example!

How old is your cat? Is she otherwise healthy? If so, I don't see any reason why she couldn't live a happy life with the loss of her leg. Even if you are outnumbered, do what's in the best interest of your cat. How long has your cat been receiving treatment for her leg?

Here are a few links about cats and amputation:

http://www.messybeast.com/disabled.htm#amputee
http://www.peninsulahumanesociety.org/r ... n3-14.html
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Old 09-05-2004, 09:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drjean
There are two main types of hind-leg amputation; disarticulation at the hip, and mid-femur. They may vary in cost, so ask which kind they do, and why.
Dr. Jean,

Do you feel that one procedure is more effective than the other? I've heard that sometimes cats that have the mid-femur amputation still try to put weight on the limb and it causes problems. What are your thoughts about this?
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