Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please advise

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Lynsey
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Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please advise

Post by Lynsey » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:25 pm

Hi everyone I am new here and feel I need to reach out to fellow cat lovers as I am really struggling to come to terms with the events of last week or so. Last Tuesday my lovely cat Florence (Flo) didnt come home. To cut a long story shorter, she was missing for 5 nights and I found out was hit by a van. For 5 days I looked for her and thought I had lost her but miraculously she managed to find her way home but with her rear right leg hanging lifelessly. I have since learned she has a torn achilles tendon. My options are surgery to attempt to repair the tendon costing £2000, an even more expensive op to fuse the leg rigid or the cheaper option of amputation. I have been advised that attempts to repair are not guaranteed to work or her leg could be susceptible to further injury. I dont have that kind of money but would find it if i knew it was worthwhile but I feel like it would be such an ordeal to put her through invasive surgery which might fail anyway. I am leaning towards amputation as i feel this may be the best option for her but its breaking my heart to have to make this decision. I should add that I adopted Flo from the cats protection just this summer after having to pts my much loved 17 year old cat Titch. It feels like a double blow to have to make another heartwrenching decision so soon after. I want Flo to have the best quality of life, any advice would be much appreciated and thank you for reading.
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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:16 pm

Hello Lynsey and welcome to CC.

I'm sorry to hear about poor Flo. I can imagine the joy of her return followed by the shock of her injury.

I can't advise you whether to go for the op or not (though chances are if the operation is a success - that still might not be the end of her problems) BUT as mummy to a tripod, I can tell you it hasn't slowed him down one bit! :D

Bob had his left front leg amputated due to nerve damage. He runs, jumps (up and down), washes himself - with no problems and even manages to bat the other cats! :roll:

Flo would soon adapt to a three-legged life. BTW she is one sweet little girl, such a pretty cat.
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Please keep in touch and let us know how you go on.

In the meantime, fusses to Flo. x

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Crewella » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:18 pm

There are several 'tripod' owners who frequent this forum - I'm sure one will be along soon, but I'm afraid I have no direct experience.

I do know, however, that cats do very well on three legs. I'm so sorry to hear about poor Flo, it must be an awful time for you. (((hugs)))



**...... and one had posted whilst I typed!

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Lynsey » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:48 pm

Thank you both for your replies, since I heard back from the vets yesterday i've been looking at YouTube clips of 3 legged cats and researching how I could help her recover, modify my home etc. At the moment its so sad watching her try to get about on her lame foot and I cant stop thinking that just 10 days ago she was jumping high in the air catching flies and now she's like this. She is probably going to teach me some lessons about resilience and determination and i'm sure she will cope better than I am as I am prone to over-think things; an impediment cats do not suffer from :-)
Bob is a very handsome chap and looks unfazed by being minus a leg, it helps to know they can go on and thrive.

I will keep you posted on her progress, she's sleeping just now, poor wee thing x

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:06 pm

Lynsey wrote:just 10 days ago she was jumping high in the air catching flies
...and there is no reason she can't do that again.

I've seen Bobby do a vertical take off (from lying down) and snatch a fly out of the air! :shock: :lol:

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Lynsey » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:16 pm

Fantastic! That gives me a lot of hope. She is a ninja at catching spiders (then eating them, yuck!) Hopefully it wont be too long before shes back doing what she loves.

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:41 pm

I HATE craneflies (a childhood scare). Bobby LOVES them and obligingly catches and gobbles them up, (double yuk) :lol:

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Crewella » Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:51 pm

I have a permanent foster cat, Basil, who was handed in at the vets with a badly broken front leg (upper leg, humerus). He'd obviously been wandering on it for a couple of weeks, as it had started to set at an awkward angle. There was much discussion at the time about whether they should amputate or try to save the leg, and eventually it was decided to give it a go and see if the bone could be repaired.

It took a long time to heal with an external fixator in for 8 weeks and 12 weeks of enforced cage rest, poor Basil. The leg did, at last, set but is again at an awkward angle and he walks with his 'elbow' sticking out. He also gets arthritis in the upper joint. I do believe he's better off (just) with the leg - he's pretty active and uses it to wash, in the litter tray and to swipe the rest of the gang, but it's a close call and still early days as all this happened just over a year ago. If the arthritis problems get any worse, we still might have to rethink things.

Cats do so well on just three legs that we may yet look back and wish we'd amputated in the first place.

Give Flo a gentle fuss from me. xx

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:03 am

We did wonder how Bob would manage to wash himself with only one front paw. But he does, with relative ease. He sits back on his haunches (sort of knock-knee'd) and washes with his remaining paw (without a wobble) :D .

Flo would not have that problem.

BTW I don't know if this is right, but when I mentioned to our vet the worry I had about Bob putting extra strain on his front leg when he jumps from high places, he told me there was only a slight increase to the strain on a remaining front leg - ie it is not doubled as you would think. Does that make sense?

Again, that would not affect Flo. How is she today?

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Lynsey » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:24 am

Thank you both. At the moment i'm keeping Flo fairly confined in my living room where its warm, carpeted, theres some floor space to stretch her legs and she cant injure herself. With her dodgy leg she slips easily on the tiled floor in my kitchen and cant really weight bear which means she is pretty slow and cautious with her movements so its sad to watch. Because its so soon after her accident and days surviving outside i'm giving her lots of tlc and assuming she needs to get some strength back and probably pretty bruised too. I'm worried also about her tail as its immobile and vet didnt seem to pick up on this when they xrayed her foot so i'm going to take her back to see vets asap. I want the vet to help me assess her chances on 3 legs and also see if there is nerve damage to her tail.
Flo is being a quiet, sweet patient, still very loving but sleeping most of the time and sort of subdued if that makes sense. Shes able to clean herself well and use her litter tray but then needs another lie down from the exertion. She's also eating well so thats a good sign too. Xx

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Camdengirl » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:00 pm

Hello, I also have a tripod cat, he had a front leg removed more than four years ago and it hasn't held him back at all. His remaining paws are also misshapen because he suffered damage to those too (the rescue he came from thinks he was used in dog baiting) and he can be a bit clumsy as a result, but he's a very lively and mischievous cat. Loss of a back leg tends to be easier on a cat's joints than loss of a front one because the back legs don't support the weight of the head or take the full weight of the cat as it jumps down from things. I imagine losing a back leg would affect a cat's ability to jump up, but I have a little cat with four legs who never jumps and she seems perfectly happy climbing rather than jumping onto things. Cats generally cope incredibly well with amputation once they get used to it, and there's no reason why Flo shouldn't have a full and happy feline life with three legs.

Here's a picture of my little lad, Hops, enjoying playtime.
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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Lynsey » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:19 pm

Thanks Camdengirl, I have an appointment booked at the vets next week to discuss the possible amputation. She's still tired, wobbly and probably a bruised from the accident so i'm not wanting to rush her through another ordeal too soon but it really helps to hear from other tripod owners, it is making it that bit easier to make the decision.

Your boy looks lovely by the way :)

Here's Flo on one of her favourite stretching spots on the table - taken before the accident - I think she may need some modifications to help her hop up to these heights in future but she is lucky to have her front paws for the way down again.
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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Crewella » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:21 pm

Hops always comes to mind when I think of happy 'tripod' cats, as well as Bob. How nice to see a pic of the ginger menace himself - give him a fuss from me. xx


ADDED: and a lovely pic of Flo - she is a pretty cat, give her a (gentle) fuss from me too. I'm sure she'll be fine when this is all over. xx

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Lynsey » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:13 pm

Administering gentle fusses as I type :-) xx

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:37 pm

While you're there, give her fusses from me as well. :D
Camdengirl wrote:the rescue he came from thinks he was used in dog baiting)
Oh this makes me so angry. :evil: I would love to introduce people like that to a cow that belongs to a friend of mine. She has hospitalised 2 people and our local vet is missing fingers because of her! She'd make mincemeat of them AND their dogs. :twisted:

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Camdengirl » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:09 pm

Yes, it makes me very angry too. Hops' physical scars healed well but the mental ones are still with him, he is a terribly anxious cat and used to have nightmares, he'd wake up in the middle of the night terrified and disorientated, and would cry until I went and gave him a cuddle. Sometimes he was so frightened I couldn't get near him :(

I think a fitting punishment would be to throw those involved into an enclosure with a very hungry tiger...

PS Flo is a pretty little girl! Gentle fusses to her and fingers crossed for a good recovery.

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Lynsey » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:43 pm

Hi everyone, just a wee update on Flo, she was at the vets again today because her tail has been immobile since the accident and she had started to lick it so much she was making it bald in large patches. Sadly she has to have her tail removed tomorrow as there is nerve damage. As for her foot the vet (i had asked to see a different one as felt the last one was incompetent for missing the tail paralysis)so this vet feels we should wait a while and see if she regains some strength and use of it before we decide to amputate....she has been a little steadier on it the past couple of days so we shall just have to wait and see. xx

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by meriad » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:16 am

Poor girl - good luck to her for today. Hopefully she will regain some strength in her leg / paw so she won't require a 2nd operation.

Fusses to her and please do let us know how she gets on x

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by bobbys girl » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:02 am

Hi Lynsey,

Thanks for updating. I will be thinking of you and little Flo today. Sorry she has to lose her tail, but it does sound a little more positive about her leg. (hugs) and fusses. x

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Crewella » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:12 pm

I'm thinking of you and Flo today too, all paws here crossed for her. xx

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by sarie » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:38 pm

Oh poor Flo :( Thinking of you and Flo today as she has her tail operation. I really hope there's some good news about her foot though bless her.

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Lynsey » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:46 pm

Thank you all so much :-) just spoken to vets, the op went ok but she had a lot of dead tissue so they had to remove tail and shes just left with a little bob-tail now apparently. They're keeping her in tonight to keep a close eye on her wound and should get her home tomorrow. Will keep you all posted xxx

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by meriad » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:59 pm

Oh bless her... glad the op is over and done with and she's come through it OK.

A friend of mine has a cat who had to have his tail removed due to a RTA and he has just a teeny weeny stump, if even that much. Such a gorgeous boy he is

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Crewella » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:21 pm

If there was lots of dead tissue she'll probably feel a lot better now the tail's gone. Glad she's through the op and hope she recovers well and can come home tomorrow. xx

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Lynsey » Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:13 pm

Lets hope she is back to her old self fairly soon, she has been through so much in the last few weeks. Will update on her progress soon. Thanks everyone for all your words of support. Cat people are the best! :-)

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Lynsey » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:48 am

Hi everyone, just a little update on Flo. Here is a photo of her after her operation, tail-less but still very beautiful. She's doing well and seems a little happier now the tail is gone - it must have been bothering her a lot. She is getting lots of cuddles while she recuperates and once the cone comes off and stitches are out I hope she can regain some confidence and improve the strength in her leg. The vet has said she may adapt to using the leg as it is so fingers crossed she gets to keep it. xx
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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by meriad » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:55 am

Oh my I'm in love - what a beautiful girl :)

Give her a gentle ear rub from me and glad she's doing OK

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by greenkitty » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:55 am

Such a beautiful girl. Cats are fastidious creatures so it was probably bothering her but she's bound to be feeling heaps better now it's gone and she doesn't have to worry about it any more.

Fusses to your girl :)

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by Crewella » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:54 am

Oh she is such a pretty girl! :)

And a brave one, lovely to see her looking so perky after all she's been through. Give her a fuss from me too. xx

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Re: Cat may lose a leg. Any 'tripod' owners here? please adv

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:47 pm

What a pretty girl! I'm pleased to hear she is doing well after her op. and that she may be able to keep her leg. I hope so. :D

My 'tripod', Bobby says 'hello'. He's just back from the vets after having his boosters. Vet says he is very pleased with him and although he is missing his left front leg, he has a terrific right hook :? (Bob took objection to the needle - not like him to strike out)

If things do not work out with Flo's leg, experience tells me having three legs will not slow her down one bit!

Big fusses to little Flo.

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