You might have noticed a pet walking around with only three limbs and wondered how it lost a limb, or perhaps your pet has been diagnosed with a condition that may require limb amputation. At Richview Animal Hospital in Etobicoke, ON, we understand how confusing and difficult this decision can be. Learn more about limp amputation below.
How do You know if a Pet Requires Amputation?
There are several reasons a pet may require limb amputation. The most common cause is cancer. Cancerous tumors can develop in any bone, including the bones of the legs. If the tumor is small and has not spread to other parts of the body, amputation may be the best option to remove it. Other conditions requiring limb amputation include severe trauma or injury to a limb, infections, and birth defects. In addition, we see many pets injured by cars from running into the street.
How is Amputation Performed?
Limb amputation is a major surgery that is performed under general anesthesia. The affected limb is first shaved and prepped for surgery. Next, an incision is made through the skin and muscle, down to the bone. Most of the time, the entire limb is removed. In some cases, only part of the limb may be removed. The surgeon then closes the incision with stitches or staples.
What to Expect After Surgery
After surgery, your pet will be taken to our recovery area, where it will be closely monitored. Most pets stay in the hospital for 1-2 days after surgery. It's important to discourage chewing or licking the amputation site after surgery. This can cause infection or bleeding. In addition, your pet will be given pain medication to keep it comfortable after surgery.
You can expect your pet to have a reduced activity level for 4-6 weeks after surgery. They may need help going up and down stairs, getting in and out of the car, or jumping on and off furniture. You'll be surprised that your pet can adapt quickly and will soon return to its usual self.
Some pets may need some additional support for mobility after losing a limb. This may include a wheeled cart, ramps, or special harnesses. Your veterinarian can help you decide what assistive device is best for your pet.
Contact Richview Animal Hospital for Limp Amputation Support
Please contact us today if you have any questions about limb amputation or would like to schedule an appointment. We offer telemedicine appointments or in-office visits.