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do i get my 14 yo cat's leg amputated or get him PTS??? Advice please

(25 Posts)
madcatlady444 Sat 18-Jan-14 17:46:32

my beloved 14 year old siamese cross has a tumour on his back paw, the vet has removed it twice but it has come back with a vengeance. It is really big and has burst through the skin. It is bandaged but obviously uncomfortable for him to walk on. He also has a recently-diagnosed thyroid problem. The vet wants to amputate his leg, but my instinct tells me he won't cope and will be miserable/hate us for doing this to him. He was born to one of our other cats, so we have had him since birth and he sleeps in our bed. I love him so much but don't want him to suffer. My DDs get very upset at the thought of putting him down. The vet wants to operate on Monday, what should I do?????

madcatlady444 Sat 18-Jan-14 17:48:58

apologies for the uncapitalised I in the title

HansieMom Sat 18-Jan-14 17:52:01

I would have it amputated. It hurts him and he has a lot of years left. We had to amputate a leg on our cat. He got around fine. At first he waited for his leg to 'kick in' while walking.

lljkk Sat 18-Jan-14 17:52:49

What are the odds of the tumour spreading?
Sorry for your difficult decision. flowers

Pooka Sat 18-Jan-14 17:54:07

To be entirely honest? I would PTS.

It's terribly sad, but I'm a firm believer in avoiding suffering for pets. Some cats might deal well with the transition. But there's no saying until after the op and there'll be a substantial recovery time. Tied in with the other health issue, and also to an extent thinking about his breed, I wouldn't be happy with amputation in terms of quality of life and cat happiness.

I mention the breed because I have had a siamese cat once and known others. The ones I've known have been incredibly clever and aware of themselves and surroundings. Am probably talking absolute tosh, but in comparison with my current moggies they seemed much higher maintenance (loved them for it) and more likely to find the limitations of amputation difficult.


Pooka Sat 18-Jan-14 17:56:11

Sorry -just noticed is a cross.

I do think that 14 is a pretty good age for a cat. My last cat was 16 when she developed tumours on her kidneys (apparently not uncommon) and I thought she was a good age. Currently have a 15 year old boy who is in good health but I'm thankful for that all the time (because I see him as a very elderly gent now).

HazeltheMcWitch Sat 18-Jan-14 17:58:08

Oh, poor cat and poor you.

One of our cats got hit by a car and lost a leg, aged 13. He lived another 7 years.

He was a really outdoorsy, climby cat before. The amputation meant that he did not really go farther than our garden and the next neighbours' that he considered his also , and he no longer climbed trees etc. He also stopped hunting. But he was happy, got around fine after the initial few weeks. Could get on sofas, beds etc. He still took no shit from our other cat and our jack russell!

impty Sat 18-Jan-14 18:01:51

I don't think anyone can tell you what to do. Obviously, you need to do something as the cat will be in pain.

However, I too think 14 years is a fair innings for a cat.

I also agree with a Vet who once told me that its better to pts a week early, rather than wait a week too long. I agree with this and try and keep it in mind when I've been in the same position.

Either way, I'm sorry you are in this position.

Catypillar Sat 18-Jan-14 18:01:54

I've met a few very mobile three legged cats. I had a bunny that had to have his leg amputated after an accident- he was hopping around less than 24 hours later- animals don't have the same psychological reaction to amputation as people do and so they seem to recover really fast. He didn't have any pain killers either apart from a metacam injection at the time of the surgery. From what I've heard about the three legged cats I know they were similar in their impressive recoveries.

RandomMess Sat 18-Jan-14 18:05:26

I would be concerned that the tumour will just reappear somewhere else? I would seriously think that PTS would be the better option.

Not a decision I would like to have to make though sad

Wolfiefan Sat 18-Jan-14 18:06:03

We have an 18 year old mog here. If the vet thinks amputating is the best option (ie if tumour not spread) then I'd be very tempted to give it a go. If the cancer has spread and it is just delaying the inevitable then I don't think I'd want to put the cat through the extra stress.
(FWIW our girl had major abdo surgery last year. Lots of warnings about how major it was. She came through brilliantly!)
So sorry you are facing this.

Dontletthemgetyoudown Sat 18-Jan-14 18:07:55

My mum and dad's cat had this done. It lived for a fair dew years after and managed fine. It was very expensive though and it wasn't insured.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 18-Jan-14 18:11:32

I've been through this twice.

First cat injured her leg and it wouldn't heal - went every 2 days to the vet to have the bandage replaced - it was horrible for her, her leg was a mess. When it refused to heal he recommended pts - she was 17. He said she was really too old to learn to walk on 3 and she may not heal well.

My latest cat got cancer - we amputated a claw, discovered the cancer, then amputated a very large toe - it took 5 weeks to heal but the cancer had progressed round the body and had to be pts - the last 5 weeks of his life was a bit crap and his foot was healing and it wasn't great for him - was 16. This was only last month.

On balance I would not do it if it was cancer - definitely not. If it was benign and she'd previously been a good healer then maybe - but I do think it's not great for an elderly cat to relearn to walk on 3 at that age.

I would not do it with my current 2 who are 16 - they have really showed signs of ageing in the last year and are looking very elderly now. That's what your cats going to look like in a year or so isn't it?

I was shocked how quickly the cancer progressed in my cat who died last month so I definitely wouldn't do it if it was cancer.

SunshineOnACrappyDay Sat 18-Jan-14 18:18:06

I had a 14 year old tom with cancer and had his leg amputated. He got around fine and was really happy, as the pain had gone. He regained his mojo and bullied all the neighbourhood cats! However, he only lived another 8 months because the cancer spread.

In hindsight, I would have PTS. Partly because of the (huge) cost, and partly because the amputation was a big operation.

xfilefan Sat 18-Jan-14 18:20:59

Id definetly amputate-cats do brilliantly with 3 legs it doesnt worry them.

Jackthebodiless Sat 18-Jan-14 18:33:29

The thyroid problem will need either tablets for life or an operation I believe? I'm thinking through that decision at the moment. Reluctant to start cutting him up at 14. That combined with an amputation - I think I would pts. I grew up next door to a 3-legged cat and it was pitiful. He couldn't fight so would crouch nervously, permanently waiting for an attack, or jump onto our cat and bite, as a pre-emptive strike (our cat didn't fight but others around us did). Horrible decision, so sorry for you and your boy.

madcatlady444 Sat 18-Jan-14 18:47:47

Thanks for all your lovely replies. Ironically we have another 3-legged cat and she has been fine, but she was much younger & not so bright.
So I know what a big op amputation is. Although he is a Siamese cross he very much has the Siamese temperament and is very intelligent. I just think he would be miserable, but PTS doesn't feel right when he is not terminal (yet)

lljkk Sat 18-Jan-14 19:15:26

But what is the prognosis about the tumour? If it came back twice before in same place what are chances it will occur elsewhere? If those odds are high in the next 18 months, I think that would be a deal breaker for me.

madcatlady444 Sat 18-Jan-14 19:31:03

It is locally invasive, and this time is very aggressive. We don't if it has spread, needs an xray.

nooka Sat 18-Jan-14 19:31:13

Given the age of your cat I'd PTS although it would be an incredibly difficult decision. Although cats can live a long long time 14 is a pretty good innings (we've had seven cats and only one lived that long) and with an active cancer and other health problems I'd be really worried that he'd not have very long regardless in which case is a major operation fair?

lljkk Sat 18-Jan-14 21:01:54

Has vet not offered a biopsy or prognosis for the tumour?
Xray has got to be cheaper than amputation, and less stressful. Could give you more information.
My experience of tumours in small animals is that it is a kindness to put them down rather than try to fight it.
My only regrets are about trying to soldier on with a small animal with tumours; I wish I had PTS instead.

lljkk Sun 19-Jan-14 20:08:06

I hope that you're feeling better about your decisions today. flowers

madcatlady444 Mon 20-Jan-14 18:27:03

We had a family discussion yesterday and decided we couldn't amputate his leg, we are going to keep him for as long as the vet can keep him comfortable for, and then PTS. V hard decision but you all helped, thank you

RandomMess Mon 20-Jan-14 20:42:22

Hugs flowers brave decision x

SunshineOnACrappyDay Mon 20-Jan-14 22:41:40

Big hugs to you and your kitty flowers

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