Today, I invite in MomFOD to discuss the current state of my stump.
Thanks, Crepes. Alana here. We thought it would be easier for me to discuss this since Crepes is still processing the news.
When we adopted Crepes, we knew she was missing a foot. How that occurred was still a mystery. Judging from the fact that she arrived at the rescue that way and also had a sibling that was missing a front limb, all signs pointed to a congenital defect. Since we adopted her, we have been monitoring her progress, making sure we cared for her stump and watching her grow into an able-bodied kitty who could manage to jump quite high with only one leg. We’ve also been periodically getting her checked for alignment and balance problems, since we knew that only one side of her rear musculature was getting any use.
Recently, we noticed that she was clearly in a lot of pain. She began to chew the fur off her stomach, her rear normal leg, and even her front elbow. A few months ago, we did a quick course of Traumeel, which seemed to help alleviate some of the pain. We attempted to keep her on Cosequin, an anti-inflammatory for cats, but it tended to make her herpes flare up. Without any pain meds, her pain got worse, and consequently, so did her temperament. She was no longer her happy self.
After another visit to the doctor, we decided to do full-body x-rays to rule out early-onset arthritis or any internal issues. They did not show any of those, but what they did show was that Crepes’ issue was far more pronounced than we’d ever guessed.
We had always noticed that her less useful hip was smaller, but we assumed that it was the lack of muscle because of disuse. Such is not the case.
This is Crepes’ xray. Notice her hips – they are not only showing some curvature to one side, but the one on the left of this photo shows that her hip socket never properly formed, nor did the bone that fits into it. Essentially, her hip bone is never in the right place.
Additionally, if we look at her knee there, we can see that her kneecap is in the wrong place and is about an inch lower than is should be.
This all means that her injury is almost certainly congenital, meaning she was born this way. Unfortunately, it also means that she is probably suffering from quite a bit of discomfort. But what can we do about it?
For now, we are doing another, longer-term course of Traumeel. After two weeks on it, her disposition has changed dramatically. She is no longer persistently showing signs of anger and she’s running around and playing with toys for the first time in months. If the pain management no longer works, we may have to consider future surgical options.
If your pet is missing a limb, keep in mind that it’s important to have regularly veterinary check ups to make sure that the injury isn’t translating up the chain into back, neck, or other pain. The loss one one limb requires compensation by the others, meaning your pet might be suffering from muscle imbalances, overuse injuries, or misalignment of joints.
Signs of Pain:
- Change in temperament
- Chewing or “barbering” the fur off a certain area
- Favoring a limb
- Aggression and not wanting to be touched
Remember that cats hide pain well. For an excellent article and a more complete list of how to recognize and deal with pain, check out this article from the Cat Hospital of Chicago.
We’ll keep you updated on Crepes’ situation. For now, please treat her as normal. She gets annoyed with too much babying.
Alana and Crepes.