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Three-legged cats are just as lovable as their four-legged counterparts. The only difference is the added care these cats need to maintain a good quality of life. Three-legged cats happen due to amputation. Sometimes, this procedure is a must if you want to save your kitty's life. Veterinarians recommend amputation in cancer and trauma cases. The procedure is generally the last resort and is considered after all other options get exhausted. The surgery is a simple procedure.
The veterinarian can amputate the leg of the cat in many different ways. The chosen surgical procedure depends on the limb and the damage to it. When it comes to front leg amputation of the cat, the procedure involves removing the complete limb and also the shoulder blade. Such a procedure leaves the kitty with a well-padded amputation site. Since the leg is completely removed, there is also ease of movement after the operation. When it comes to hind legs, two principal methods are used. The first method results in a small stump left middle of the way via the femur. Some owners prefer it as the cat's rump appears normal and offers the cat padding. An alternative procedure is to remove the complete leg at the hip joint, which is done when the thigh is severely damaged, or there is a disease in the affected part.
Two days of trauma cases
In a few trauma cases, especially when it comes to car accidents, the veterinarian may need to treat more damage before performing the surgery. In most cases, the veterinarian will conduct many blood tests to ensure that the cat is not susceptible to complications during surgery. The real work starts after the amputation surgery gets completed. It is good that cats take less time to adjust to an amputated leg than humans. As a cat owner, expect your feline to spend about two days at the veterinary hospital. The veterinarian will give your kitty back fitted with an Elizabethan collar. The collar is also known as the "cone of shame". The purpose of the collar is to stop the kitty from irritating its surgery site. The cat will be sent home with painkillers so that it manages postoperative pain. The veterinarian, in a few cases, may prescribe antibiotics so that the chance of infection is minimized. The medicines will also control the existing infection.
Post-surgery, try to keep the kitty off any uneven or slippery surface until it figures out a way to walk steadily using three legs. For amputee cats, stairs are a problem area. The cat must visit the veterinarian to have the sutures removed a few days post-surgery. This period is an excellent time to query the veterinarian and make sure that no complications will develop.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a prosthetic leg cost for a cat?
The cost of a prosthetic leg for a cat can vary widely depending on various factors, including the type of prosthetic, the severity of the cat's condition, and the location of the veterinary clinic providing the prosthetic. The cost of a prosthetic leg for a cat can range from $550 to $1,000, which is generally less expensive than surgery, as surgeries can cost north of $2000. Braces can also be a viable option for some cats who need support for an injured limb, and they can be less expensive than surgery or a prosthetic. The cost of braces for cats can range from $200 to $500, depending on the type of brace and the complexity of the injury.
Can a cat use a prosthetic leg?
Cats are known for their remarkable adaptability and resilience, and many cats are able to adapt well to the use of a prosthetic limb. With proper training and guidance, cats can learn to walk, run, and play with a prosthetic leg, allowing them to enjoy a better quality of life. However, the success of a prosthetic limb for a cat may depend on various factors, such as the location and severity of the injury or amputation, the cat's overall health and fitness, and their willingness and ability to adapt to the prosthetic.
Do cats do well with amputations?
Cats can do very well with amputations, and many cats are able to adjust quickly to the loss of a limb. In fact, cats are known for their remarkable adaptability and resilience, and they can often continue to lead happy, healthy lives after an amputation. Amputations in cats are often performed to treat conditions such as cancer, severe injuries, or chronic infections that cannot be treated through other means. While the loss of a limb may initially be challenging for a cat, with proper care and rehabilitation, most cats are able to adapt and continue to engage in many of their normal activities. After an amputation, it's crucial to work with a veterinarian to manage the cat's pain, monitor their healing, and provide appropriate rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Are prosthetic legs permanent?
Artificial implants can be permanently anchored and integrated into the bone through a surgical process called osseointegration. During this process, the implant is surgically placed into the bone, where it is designed to fuse with the surrounding bone tissue over time. As the bone tissue grows into and around the implant, a strong and stable connection is formed between the implant and the bone. This can provide a secure and long-lasting solution for cats who require a prosthetic limb. However, the osseointegration process may not be suitable for all cats, as it requires a surgical procedure that can be complex and may carry risks. Additionally, not all cats may be candidates for osseointegration based on factors such as the location and severity of the injury or amputation, the cat's overall health and fitness, and their ability to tolerate anesthesia and surgery.
How can I help my 3 legged cat?
Ensure that your cat's living space is safe and free of hazards that could pose a risk to their mobility or well-being. Make sure they have a comfortable bed and easy access to food, water, and a litter box. Your cat may require assistance with certain activities, such as climbing up and down stairs or jumping onto furniture. You can install ramps or provide stepping stools to help your cat get around more easily. Cats need mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy, so provide toys and games that engage your cat's mind and encourage them to play and explore. Regular check-ups and veterinary care are essential for maintaining your cat's health and well-being. Your veterinarian can also monitor your cat's progress and provide guidance on any adjustments to their care that may be necessary. Physical therapy and rehabilitation can be beneficial for cats with mobility issues, including those with missing limbs. A veterinary physical therapist can develop a customized exercise and rehabilitation program to help your cat regain strength, balance, and mobility. If your cat is a candidate for a prosthetic limb, it can greatly improve its mobility and quality of life. Work with a veterinarian or a veterinary specialist in prosthetics to determine if a prosthetic is the right option for your cat.