Helping your Cat Heal after Amputation: Tips and Top Products Life may not be the same, but you can help your cat recover and restart

Helping your Cat Heal after Amputation: Tips and Top Products

Cat amputation can be a tough decision for pet parents. However, at times, it is absolutely essential. The good thing is that you can do your bit to ensure the best quality of life for your kitty despite the major changes it encounters

Pet parenting is a full-time responsibility, but the joy of companionship your furry friend can bring makes the experience worthwhile. The inclination toward pet ownership is not surprising. Millions of households in the US raise pets, with 49 million households owning dogs, and cats coming on the second spot with 28.2 million.

The difference is mainly because cats require more care and attention. They are small and delicate, making it necessary to provide them with a safe space. Traffic and other predatory animals can threaten their safety outdoors. Your kitty may sustain injuries indoors or outdoors, sometimes severe enough to require a limb amputation surgery. 

Recently, Angelina, a cat requiring partial amputation, was found on the streets of Las Vegas. As the skin on Angelina’s arm had a protrusion of a small nub, she was susceptible to pain, infections, and growing abscesses. Homeward Bound Cat Adoptions ensured a safe foster home for Angelina, but that’s not enough to ensure a healthy life for her. The center is now seeking help to collect $1,000 for the cat’s amputation procedure. 

Although such incidents are common in domesticated and stray animals, they do affect their well-being. From hindering mobility to causing severe trauma and leading to safety issues, an amputated limb can make things hard.  

In this article, we will share a few tips and products you can rely on as a pet parent to help your cat adapt and recover from surgical amputation. 

Tips to Maintain Your Pet’s Quality of Life

When you elect for limb amputation for your cat, you feel upset and overwhelmed. Although amputation involves complex surgery, it is fairly common. For example, research suggests that it is the only option to treat feline osteosarcoma. Cat amputation also becomes necessary when fractures do not mend, infections persist, or your kitty’s injuries are severe.

Life with three legs or a missing arm can be challenging for your furry companion. However, it should not affect your pet’s quality of life. Here are a few tips that can help them retain it. 

Ensure Proper Post Surgical Care

While amputation sounds drastic, it may be a life-saver for your pet. The best thing you can do for it is to commit to proper post-surgical care. Attentive care can make the animal comfortable and speed up the healing process. Your vet surgeon will recommend pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antibiotics to reduce pain and infection.

Keep the surgical site clean and dry, watching closely for any complications and signs of infection such as swelling, redness, or discharge. Limit your pet’s activity during the recovery period as too much of it can cause excessive strain on the remaining limbs. Attend follow-up appointments for regular wound checks and adjustments to care instructions. 

Research suggests that surgical wound healing timelines in cats may vary from 9.33±0.81 to 10.83±0.75 days, depending on factors like age and health status. Cat owners should be ready to set aside time to look after their furry friends during this phase. 

Keep It Indoors

The recovery phase can be challenging for your pet, specifically if it loves spending time outdoors. Keep them indoors until the surgical wound heals, and your cat feels steady and confident again. Walking on three legs or moving around without an arm may require fresh skills and modifications. You can do your bit by giving it some navigation practice indoors.

Avoid rushing the outdoor experience after amputation and wait until your cat is ready. If she does not feel comfortable outdoors or faces threats from other animals initially, bring it indoors immediately.  Ensure she is safe and secure outside because a second injury is the last thing you want your kitty to encounter. 

Offer Motivation

Helping your cat recover from an amputation surgery is not only about offering pain relief and a safe space. You must also motivate her to help her regain balance and adapt to the physical changes. When your pet learns to do something by herself again, give it lots of praise or a tasty, healthy treat. 

However, watch out for going overboard because offering too many treats can cause weight gain. Your cat will be in a fix if she becomes overweight because it can affect balance and posture. 

Stop the Boredom

Edmund Klebe, a cat parent, notes that his cat had cancer in a hind leg, but he regained mobility after healing. However, he knew something was different. 

Recovering from major surgery can be boring for an active pet because it confines them indoors and reduces activities. You can choose some fun, low-impact games to keep its body and mind active. Avoid ones requiring running or jumping, though you can resume them once your kitty gets her bounce back. Consider investing in new toys and games to keep boredom at bay.

Create a Comfortable Space

Like a human healing from a surgical amputation, cats also require home modifications to stay comfortable in the long run. Getting up onto furniture could be an issue for a cat on three legs. Try putting a step by the bed or sofa to help your pet access her favorite sleeping spots again. The modification can also help her practice some moves and regain mobility down the line.

Beyond healing from amputation during the post-recovery phase, you should think about its safety and comfort in the long run. Home modifications, weight management, wound care, optimal nutrition, and wound care are some steps you should commit to. 

Top Products for Faster Healing

According to Lillian Sonsteby, a veterinary medicine student, you cannot administer human pain medication to cats. Stick with your vet’s recommendation to ensure safe and effective post-surgical pain relief for your pet. We have a list of top products for faster healing and pain management:

Metacam Oral Suspension

Studies show that NSAIDs are highly recommended for controlling post-operative pain in cats due to their analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic effects. Metacam Oral Suspension is an FDA-approved NSAID that relieves post-operative soreness and osteoarthritis pain in pets. The medication is easy to administer as you can add it to your cat’s food without worrying about changing its taste or flavor. Alternatively, you can give it without food. 

Onsior for Cats

Onsior is another NSAID that helps alleviate postoperative inflammation and pain in cats. Additionally, cat owners can use it to manage pain and inflammation caused by musculoskeletal disorders. Onsior is available in oral tablet and injection forms, offering flexibility in administration to match individual feline needs. The core ingredient of this medication is Robenacoxib, a proven postoperative analgesic for cats and dogs. 

Chlorhexidine Solution

Chlorhexidine gluconate 0.2% rinse can be safely used as a general cleansing solution for cleaning and irrigation of superficial wounds on dogs and cats. While you should use this product under your vet’s supervision, it is a good addition to your cat’s first-aid kit. Chlorhexidine Solution is ideal for application to superficial abrasions, cuts, or insect stings. It fights fungi, ringworms, bacteria, and yeast that cause infections. 

Hill's Prescription Diet Metabolic Weight Management Cat Treats

While this product may seem like a surprising addition to the list, it is ideal to keep your kitty motivated without causing weight gain. With Hill's Prescription Diet Metabolic Weight Management Cat Treats, you can provide good nutrition to your cat while rewarding it with positive reinforcement during the recovery training sessions. Combine it with a weight management prescription diet to help your pet deal with the risk of obesity after amputation. 

In conclusion, cat amputation may not be as scary as it sounds to pet parents. Most cat parents state their pets regained their quality of life after amputation. Many would not even think twice about making the same decision, despite the challenges amputation poses. The truth is that your cat can live and be happy even without a limb, provided you do your bit to ensure its comfort, safety, and health with some adjustments and proper care. 

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