Possible Kitty Leg Amputation - Advice Appreciated! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Possible Kitty Leg Amputation - Advice Appreciated!

Hello all,

My family has an outdoor cat that is around 11 years old. Recently he had a brick dropped on one of his front legs by a visiting child (makes me sick to think about this) and the x-rays are pretty bad. We attempted to cast it for a few weeks but it is simply not healing. We are faced with the option of an expensive out-of-town surgery or amputation. The thought of amputating his leg breaks my heart. I hope to find out more information on a possible surgery to fix the leg, but things don't look very promising and the vet was not certain that anything could even be done to help it.

I am so upset about the entire situation, and I was hoping someone out there could offer advice or share their experiences with amputations. I know there are plenty of three-legged cats out there living a happy and full life, so I just need to know what might be in store for him.

Thank you!

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 06:01 PM
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Location: Virginia Beach, VA
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Oh, this is so sad! I can't offer much advice except to see which the vet recommends. My vet is wonderfully honest. At 11 it might be difficult for him to adjust to 3 legs. I would say whatever is BEST for the cat is called for. Please keep us posted!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 06:19 PM
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anie's Avatar
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Location: LR, AR
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Oh my god, that's so sad it makes me sick to think about it too

I guess I would want opinion of specialist and if it's possible to save the leg, then go for surgery. Amputation always can be done...
I have no experience with three legged cats, especially with outdoors older cats...

I hope you dont mind me asking, but was it an accident or malicious child's action? You say it was visiting child. I would demand that parents of this child cover expenses. Or at least part of it, if it was just very unhappy accident (however if I think of child with bricks, it doesnt bring anything positive to my mind).
I myself have a 3 year old girl and IF she hurt an animal of a friend or family member, I would pay for treatment.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 09:02 PM
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I have a cat with an amputated front leg who is happy and loves life. He gets around easily, up and over things, up and down cat trees, on and off counters (that he isn't supposed to be on) he basically does everything a normal cat can do. He lost his leg at 4 months and adjusted right away. In an 11 year old cat, it may take longer to adjust but cats are highly adaptable and resourceful and 11 is certainly not THAT old, as most cats live well into their teens.

One word of caution, I would transition this outdoor cat into the house after surgery. He is going to lose some of his ability to defend himself and get away from threats. He would do better retiring to the indoor lifestyle.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 10:03 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Southwest USA
Posts: 55
I'm so sorry that happened. I know you are hurting
just as much as your kitty. I'm also sorry to hear that
the break is refusing to join. That is not good news.
I would like to ask if your kitty is inside during this
period of casting and recuperation, or is he going on
about his business outside? I agree with the poster
who suggested getting a bit more insistent about him
moving to an inside life.

Personally, having had the failure to unite in the break
already, I'd opt for amputation. Most cat breaks heal
swiftly and easily, or so it has been in my experience.
My vet told me the line in vet school was that if you
put to ends of a cat bone in the same room, they'd
find each other and heal up before you missed them.
As this has already been given a fair chance and didn't
happen, I'd personally skip the expense, the stress of
transport, and the stress of immobilization again and
have it taken off. I have known many amputees, one
of whom was 17 years old at the time of amputation,
who have all done very, very well. It was a little
confusing for them at first, but outside of washing that
side of the face, there should not be anything he could
not do, and probably within 2 weeks' time. That includes
climbing trees and leaping on counters, BTW

My heart goes out to you and the kitty. Please let
us know what you decide and how he progresses?

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
And never regret anything that made you smile.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 26
Hi all,

Thank you SO much for your replies! It is reassuring to hear your stories. We spoke with a surgeon and she said she would perform the surgery, but it was a risk. It would be an expensive risk, might I add. Basically our best option is amputation.

I want to transition him into being an indoor kitty, but there are some issues with that. He used to be indoors, but he would refuse to use the litter box. After consulting multiple vets, it was determined that it was merely behavioral and thus, he became an outdoor cat. He is quite happy spending most of his time being king of the garage. I am considering how I might care for him during his recovery period, but I haven't determined what I will do yet.

Thank you all!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 06:55 PM
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Location: Orange, MA
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He definietly can't be an outdoor cat with an amputation. He might be better about going in a litter box with just 3 legs.


Razzle and Geets-they left paw prints on my heart. Love you, love you always.
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