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Amputated Cat in agony

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I've been looking at these forums for a short time since my cat was diagnosed with a bone tumour in his left front leg, and it was quite aggressive at that. The only options were to amputate it, or put him down, really. And of course the latter option isn't worth thinking about. So he was put on a two week diet scheme as he weighed 7.7 kilos at the time, but after a week we called them about bringing it forward, as it was bothering him now and growing more prominent. The vet, after the operation was done, said we'd made the right decision as it was a very nasty bone tumour, and had to be done ASAP.

The only problem is, despite the painkillers given at the vets, he's lying on the floor, crying out in pain, as he just can't get comfortable at all, and it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach seeing this once confident cat reduced to crying on the floor. I have been given painkilling medicine in the form of a syrup, to put on his food, but I don't know if I should give him it in case I overdose him.

Any ideas? He's just crying out in pain and appears to have a rough night ahead of him. I'm sorry to put it so briefly, but the last time I wrote this out, my browser shut down!

... My poor Calypso.
post #2 of 25
Does your vets have an emergency surgery?. If not look in the yellow pages for your nearest one because there will be one somewhere.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
There IS an emergency surgery that we got a leaflet for at a stop at the vets, but it'd be something like a twenty minute drive there, which he would certainly not appreciate.

He's settled down a bit in a comfy box with a blanket now, next to a radiator, and is crying less.

Could it be something that requires an emergency vet? I get the feeling that I'd ring up, they'd say bring him over, he'd get checked out, then just sent back again. =/

Thanks for replying by the way.
post #4 of 25
Originally Posted by Medionsaturn View Post

Could it be something that requires an emergency vet? I get the feeling that I'd ring up, they'd say bring him over .
Not necessarily. They'll probably start off by asking the background of whats happend to Calypso, what meds he's been given and how much he's had.
post #5 of 25
This is highly unusual as most vets will tell you that cats are born with one leg too many. I have had several cats here that have limbs amputated. They are moving around with great grace and speed the second day of the surgery. You need to call your vet and find out what they used as anesthesia, it could be your cat is having a reaction to it. You also might ask them if they are sure they got all the cancer? They may have missed some and cancer can get pretty aggressive and painful if they leave some behind. But call a vet NOW!
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
He's settled down and is resting now.

But where the vets have shaved his skin has left it bare and he's in the room next to the garage. It has a tight door and the cat flap is blocked now, and he's in a box with a very warm blanket in, and is next to a radiator (I don't know how long it'll be on though)... Will he be alright when he's not completely covered by fur? Normally he's fine, but naturally I worry about him. =/

I can't guarentee that it'd really be any warmer elsewhere, as night time at this time of year in England is cold.

We're also reluctant to disturb him now that he's settled.
post #7 of 25
I would still ring a vet just to put your mind at ease. Like you i'm in the UK, and when Rosie was spayed she was shivering even though she was in a warm room , but like Hissy said they can have a reaction to the anaesthetic, and this i'm sure was the case with her because she was also hyper. I rang the emergency number and they told me to put a blanket over her to keep the heat in, something simple but the phone call made me feel a lot better

Can you not over ride the heating?.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
I don't really know what ringing the vet can do. I don't know the dosage of anaesthetic and what they put into him, and the vet surgery I took him to is shut down for the night now. =/

He's reacting the same way he did the last time he was sedated. When he was taken for the x-ray, he came back and just stayed lying down in the conservatory, with his eyes large and not going down. He just stared off into space.

He could move quickly if he wanted to, and can still move around now, but he's obviously not feeling too well...
post #9 of 25
Very sorry you are going through this.
Even human doctors usually underprescribe for pain. Please ask the vet that did the surgery if there are any more powerful painkillers that he cn have and also what is the maximum you can give of whatever it is you are giving
I hope the pain goes away soon Best of luck
post #10 of 25
Originally Posted by Medionsaturn View Post
I don't really know what ringing the vet can do. I don't know the dosage of anaesthetic and what they put into him, and the vet surgery I took him to is shut down for the night now. =/
Usually some vets share 24 hour hospitals if they don't have their own. It's up to you what you do, but a quick phone call could reassure you that things are normal.
post #11 of 25
That poor cat.
I would call the vet for advice.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
I don't know the dosage, and really am just not sure what to do, I'm emotionally drained from the ups (Calypso's operation a success, and his brother Midnight's lump diagnosed as just a fatty lump) and the downs (Calypso's bad state).

My Mum, who doesn't get much sleep anyway, will be keeping a watchful eye on him so I know he'll be in safe hands, and there's always the emergency vet number.

They told me he'd take three days to recover fully, and I don't think he's in danger of dying. He's just drained of energy from the anaesthetic, which I think is hard not to have. We can give him his medicine in the morning.

But I'm just feeling really bad, and need to go bed. =/
post #13 of 25
Just wanted to check - the cat flap is fixed so that other animals can't get in, right? You don't want a coyote (or the English equivalent or something coming in when your cat can't defend himself.

And I vote for getting in touch with the vet, or a vet, to give him more pain relief. I wouldn't put him through the discomfort of a car trip but they might be able to give him more or something more effective.

I just remembered, too, that when my cats had surgeries, they were very very restless and disoriented their first night home. I think it takes a while for the anesthesia to work out of their system (same as us). But I'd still contact the vet to see if his pain meds can be improved. Cats are pretty stoic about pain, so if he's complaining it might be very bad.

Poor baby.
post #14 of 25
If they used ketamine and he doesn't perk up or if he really starts to slide downhill, call you vet. There is a reversal shot but it has to be given quickly.
post #15 of 25
I am so sorry that Calypso and you are going through this pain. To clearify some things:

Did you put the pain 'syrup' on or mixed in his food. Unless he eats every morsel of food or licks up all the pain syrup, he is NOT getting the required dose of medicine. Read the instructions and see if you can use a dropper and put pain medicine in the side of his mouth.

You do not need to know the details of surgery and anesthesia to call the after hours emergency. They can help by you telling them his SYMPTOMS at the moment. They are trained to know the abnormal reactions.

Please put him someplace warm. Pain causes the body temperature and blood pressure to drop. If he is cold, you could make things worse. Put him in your bed if you must. Just keep him warm.

Most important is to get help sooner rather than waiting.

I hope you can get him some relief soon.
post #16 of 25
I'm so sorry about your baby Calypso. Hopefully he'll feel better by morning where you are. Totally agree with the point that if you're putting pain medicine on his food he may not be getting enough and that may be causing his agony. Try to syringe it into his mouth instead.

I know you may not want to cause him even more discomfort, but the discomfort of syringing medication into his mouth is nothing compared to what he may be going through without the full dose of painkillers to tide him through.

Best of luck to both of you... Vibes for Calypso's speedy recovery
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi guys.

Well, it's much better news for Calypso, I'm pretty sure that he was disorientated from the anaesthetic, and my family making a big fuss of him probably made him feel worse than he actually was. Last night he calmed down when he was left to rest in the safety of the lounge, and then went back to his bed after a while. He slept peacefully, which was exactly what the doctor ordered, and is feeling like himself again.

I have to say, that I probably felt even worse than he did! The adrenaline from the shock of seeing him like that, and worrying about him had given me AWFUL pain in my legs when I tried to sleep, most likely from the lactic acid, as I myself have a lot of my own health problems. I also had a terrible case of butterflies in my stomach and felt that any water I drank or food I ate would come straight back up.

I didn't get to sleep untill 3 AM and kept making my family check on Calypso. (I have to admit, I can get a bit paranoid about their health =/)

Anyway, this morning he was still groggy and coming to terms with not having the leg he's relied on for over 10 years, but he had a VERY long wee in the litter tray that was absolutely fine, and surely indicated that he'd been drinking water in the night.

We also rang up the vets, who said it was unusual for him to be in pain, and as he wasn't interested in his food, which he needed for his syrup painkillers, we made an appointment for him to have another injection at the vets.

It's worth noting that since he went to sleep in the night he hasn't been crying at all. Even as I write this he hasn't meowed once today. He's given a few groans every so often, but nothing like it was last night. And also we didn't give him any painkillers last night, in case we overdosed him with the injection he'd already had from the vets.

But the need for the vets to give him an injection was soon rendered obsolete. We gave him some dry cat food (he couldn't handle wet as a kitten, so we've mainly stuck to dry since) that had been dampened in water so that he could eat it easier, and get some moisture, as the vets told me he'd have a sore throat for 24 hours. Since he ate about twelve pieces he grew in strength, and wanted more but we didn't want to overload him. We applied his syrup into his mouth for him and he's been quite content.

After his food he really perked up, his eyes were able to go thinner than they were yesterday, and he was purring, and decided to clean himself. I'm a bit concerned as he solves itchy parts on his body by biting them or scratching with his hind legs (the vets trimmed the claws on them down as much as they could for us) and the stitches will soon start to bother him, if they haven't already. He licked them quite a bit, but didn't stay in one spot and moved around his body, so I'm not sure of the need for a cone or drastic measure on his hind legs (by that I mean putting mittens on them, which I've heard some people do).

I'm just a bit concerned as tomorrow the whole family is going out, so he'll be in his room unsupervised and may choose to bite at them then.

As for how he is now, he's decided on a very comfy spot on the recliner on our sofa with my sister, the delve in it is perfect as it stops him putting pressure on his remaining front leg, and he's had a nice long sleep. He's awake now, but just resting, which is probably the best thing that he can do right now.

As for concern over a coyote equivalent in the UK (Foxes?), the Cat flap leads to the garage which is protected by a metal door that always remains shut, it's only there because the cats have their food and litter tray in there and it's preferable to leaving the door open. We do have a field behind us, but it's protected by a fence and there's no cat flap on the door leading to there.

The cat flap was closed, as I didn't want his more capable brother, Midnight, coming in during the night and going "What the hell is that?!" before attacking the helpless Calypso. There was a chance of this, as previously when they've had to wear cones they've either attacked or hissed at each other.

However, they've met and touched noses and are currently not seperated from each other right now with no hisses or growls, but when there is no human supervision as we're out or it's night time, I think I might keep them seperated for a while longer. I just wonder if a boundaries case might arise, though...

Thanks for the terrific support anyway, and it's nice to see Calypso more like his usual self. He has a check-up at the vets tomorrow morning just to keep an eye on where he's had his leg amputated, to make sure it's alright. (He had antibiotics for it yesterday anyway, which lasts 48 hours) And he'll have his stitches out in around 9 days time.
post #18 of 25
I am glad your baby is getting better. for a complete recovery.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've fed him a few more bits that have been dampened again, and he perked right up. He'd been complacent for a few hours, just sleeping, but with every piece he had, he looked even more ravenously for more! He's cleaning himself like he did after eating last time, perhaps because of the added moisture?

I'm growing in confidence about him now, he's moved onto my sister's lap.. Naturally I still worry, he can get up things fine, but when it comes to the hurdle of him getting up and down the stairs... =/

I'm such a worrier, if I'm like this with my Cats, just wait 'till I get kids.
post #20 of 25
Don't we all treat our babies as if they are our flesh and blood? I am happy to hear the latest update. for a speedy recover and that he'll be back to his old self soon!!
post #21 of 25
Bless him! I hope he feels better soon and manages ok with 3 legs.
post #22 of 25
I was glad to see the good news that he's doing better. I'm sure he'll be just fine. I can tell how much you love him.
post #23 of 25
Its great to hear that Calypso is perking up and his appetite is back! Kudos to you for your love and patience. I guess you were right, your family fussing over him might have translated some additional stress to him that first night. He will do fine, don't you worry! Animals are far more resilient than human beings. More vibes for his continued and complete recovery
post #24 of 25
I am glad he is feeling better, but am surprised that they havent recommended a collar or cage rest - Pebbles had her back left leg amputated and needed both for 10 days. The cage rest was important so her amputation could heal without the pressure of her tryign to jump etc.
post #25 of 25
I'm glad I didn't come into this thread until after you fixed it. I felt terrible as I was reading your struggles and his.

He's lucky he's got such a caring family. That's for sure.
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