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Does Euthanasia Make Sense For My Tripod Kitty?

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by psykael, May 22, 2019.

  1. psykael

    psykael Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    May 22, 2019
    Hello all,

    It's been a hard year for my kitty Mochis and I was hoping to get some advice from other cat owners. My partner and I are contemplating our options with euthanasia being one of them. I'm going to explain some of Mochis' recent history to give y'all some context.

    My partner and I inherited Mochis from a family member, we estimate he is about 6 or 8 years old. He used to be an indoor/outdoor cat which is one of the reasons he sustained his original injuries sometime last year.

    He broke both of his back legs in an unknown accident while outside. One of the breaks was major and the other was minor. We found an amazing vet that specializes in orthopedics and was willing to try to repair Mochis' leg. We tried surgery for the leg with the major break but it didn't take and we ended up having to amputate his leg. This was after three months of restriction to a crate.

    Mochis seemed to adapt well to his new disability and was still as active and playful as ever. Our vet said that the break on Mochis' remaining leg had healed during his time in the crate and because it wasn't on a weight bearing bone he should be okay. Unfortunately the condition of his other leg started to deteriorate and once again we were looking at surgery. At this point our vet began to hypothesize Mochis' was either born with brittle bones or that his initial injury was more traumatic than we first thought.

    Another three months of crate restriction and our cat was back. He was weak and uncoordinated at first but soon he was running and playing like any normal cat. But it didn't last long for my poor kitty. We noticed his gait was off and right away we took him to our vet.

    Our vet told us the bad news: Mochis' leg was broken again but in a new location. This time the bone that were broken were even smaller and more difficult to preform surgery on. Our vet was as heartbroken as we were and offered to preform the surgery pro bono, we would just be responsible for anesthesia and the cost of the required pins and plates.

    It was hard to stay optimistic this whole time but we really felt that this would be the last surgery Mochis' would ever need. Three more months went by and finally it was time for Mochis to get his cast removed.

    About a week ago my partner was playing with Mochis and she heard a popping noise. We knew once again our friend was in trouble. Our vet was out of town for a week but we took him in as soon as he was back. This was on Monday.

    Mochis received x-rays which confirmed what we already knew: his leg was broken once again. I had been doing some reading on prosthetics for Mochis and our vet said he would complete a peer-to-peer call with another vet who specializes in prosthetics to see if Mochis would be a candidate.

    We got a call back today from our vet and he told us that the prosthetics specialist said Mochis' wouldn't be a good candidate due to him only having three legs. Which leave us were we are now.

    The way I see if we have a few options:
    1. Get a second opinion from another prosthetic specialist. There is a whole list of doctors who do pet prosthetics on the OrthoPets website
    2. Amputate his remaining leg
    3. Euthanasia
    Ideally I would like to try a prosthetic leg out for Mochis as it would give him higher mobility. Although I have fears that his remaining leg would break again in some unforeseen way. This is despite that fact that if he were to get a prosthetic, the broken part of his leg would be amputated leaving the health part of his leg to control the device.

    If the whole prosthetic thing is out of the picture I personally believe Mochis would adapt to having only two legs. When he got his second surgery, he wasn't able to use his remaining back leg while it was in the cast. He was able to scoot around quite well by doing little steps then booty hops. I also know that there are owners of paralyzed cats out there who deal with even more health issues than I would imagine a double amputee would deal with such as incontinence. Although I do worry about new health issues that might arise with him only have two legs. My partner has read that pets with two legs can develop heart conditions from the physical exertion itself.

    Then finally another part of me says Mochis has suffered enough and perhaps it is time for him to be put down. His last year has been extremely hard for him. But I also feel like I'm giving up the fight too early. When I look at him I feel like he wants to keep fighting too.

    Even with his broken leg he still wants to play. He still comes to the door to greet us when we get home. He still scratches up his cat post every night. He is still affectionate and wants to be pet or to take naps next to us while we watch Netflix as a family. He still loves looking outside and watching the birds.

    His eating is slightly decreased but we expect that it is from eating the same food for a few months. We used to feed him a variety of Nulo cat food. We switched him to a lower calorie but still high quality food (Tiki Cat Wild Salmon) in attempt to decrease his weight. He was previously slightly overweight, especially for a cat with 3 legs. He is now at a healthy weight and we are going to start introducing more variety into his diet.

    As you can see, I am extremely torn on what to do. Any input or advice would be highly appreciated. It was actually helpful just to type all this out. Thank you to whoever read this. I wish my first post in this community could of been on a brighter note.

    CatLover49, PushPurrCatPaws and kittyluv387 purraised this.

  2. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

    Aug 29, 2014
    Would a pet wheelchair help? I think a pet can still use one if both back legs are not functioning or are amputated. Wheelchairs can be modified for a pet's specific needs.

  3. ZepMom

    ZepMom TCS Member Young Cat

    Apr 20, 2018
    I'd consider seeing a specialist if that's a possibility. I have no experience with disabled animals, but there are a lot of vidoes showing how these animals are thriving. Many have wheels that provide mobility & appear to do well. Think it would depend on the individual animal's overall health though.

    Sending healing thoughts for Mochis.

  4. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 1, 2009
    South Dakota
    If he is happy, I'd probably choose amputation. Plenty of kitties get along dragging their back end, and without the weight of the legs I think he'd do well.

    In this case I don't think I would choose prosthetics, but maybe a wheelchair if he doesn't like dragging. But after seeing videos of a few cats with no back legs, I think they do well enough without wheels.

  5. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 10, 2015
    If he's willing to fight I say keep looking into your options. See a specialist. And I think you want to keep going too.

  6. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 12, 2012
    Nebraska, USA
    My heart cries for that sweet boy! In think you have made up your mind. As long as he is engaged with lief, continue on until the suffering is apparent and options totally end. Is a brace possible for his remaining leg to support it? Or even a wrap? Cats in pain withdraw from life. He sounds like he has not. I know I would find it impossible fro me to accept my decision on euthanasia, if every option had not been tried. But financial problems should be one decision too. I know he wouldn't want to be such a burden on those who literaaly saved him. It breaks my hyeart that he has to keep going throughh all this. Only those close who love him can make that kind of decision, you know him best and you will know when he has had enough. I will pray for you all, may the good Lord show mercy to that wonderful boy who has gone through so much, and for his family who loves him.

  7. psykael

    psykael Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    May 22, 2019
    Thank you everyone for your kind and thoughtful words. We decided to not put Mochis down. We are likely going to amputate his leg and are looking into a mobility cart for Mochis. If anyone has any experience or resources regarding disabled pet care, please let me know. We are looking into Eddie's Wheels as their carts are custom made and appear high quality.

    Again a big thank you to everyone, it was really nice hearing words of encouragement during these tough times.

  8. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    I wish you and Mochis well in your endeavor through surgery, getting a mobility cart, and Mochis quick (:crossfingers::crossfingers:) adaptation!!

    Did you by chance contact anyone at Eddie's Wheels to see if they might be involved in a network of cat/dog lovers who could help guide you through what to expect and how to care for Mochis going forward? What about local rescue centers/vets that might have some contacts? Perhaps, even a local SPCA office?
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    CatLover49, Kflowers and PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  9. CatLover49

    CatLover49 My Precious Snowball Alpha Cat

    Feb 8, 2018
    Reidsville NC
    Hes beautiful:wave3:
    Oh.I wouldn't do the euthanasia at this point..he still has life in him...it wouldn't b the right thing to do...not at this point n time...my opinion...:help::noway::petcat::goodluck::redheartpump:
    Last edited: May 25, 2019

  10. CatLover49

    CatLover49 My Precious Snowball Alpha Cat

    Feb 8, 2018
    Reidsville NC
    :yess::hyper:Glad u aint gonna put Mochis down..its not time....hes still got alot of life in him...

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