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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
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Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My cats front right paw got stuck in an animal trap my idiot

Resolved Question:

My cat's front right paw got stuck in an animal trap my idiot neighbor set. He's an outdoor cat and it happened over night. We found him in the morning and removed to foot trap. I rushed him to the vet, but he is still really injured. He examined the paw, took x-rays, clipped and cleaned the wound, administered antibiotics and pain medication. He doesn't have feeling in his toes and the area is very swollen from the loss of blood circulation. He told me to soak the wound for five mins everyday, give him oral antibiotics, and spray the paw with a wound cleanser twice a day. I was told to bring him back in a week to see if he needs his WHOLE front leg amputated. Is there anything more i can do to help my poor cat? A surgery maybe? I'm desperate and don't want to have to amputate. Should i get a second opinion? Are there prosthetic paws? It seems barbaric to amputate the whole front leg if its only the paw that's damaged.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 3 years ago.
Hello.

Unfortunately we do see this a lot with cats. I would treat just as your vet is doing. You basically treat the infection first and get the swelling down. After that, you see if blood supply and nerve supply returns. If the foot is not viable, then amputation is needed. Cats do not do well with prosthetics- they never really learn to use them and they are very difficult to maintain. Amputating just the foot or lower on the leg is worse on the cat as well- they still need to carry around the extra weight of the leg even though they don't use it. Cats do much better if you amputate high at the shoulder.

There is a chance that function will return. I usually give them 1-2 weeks. If the skin turns cold, hard and black then I get less optimistic. In that case, I'd amputate sooner. If the food is relatively pink and not worsening, then I give it time and many will regain circulation and do ok.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I'm currently giving my cat tramadol for the pain but he is reluctant to swallow the tablet. Is it okay to grind up the pill and mix it with wet cat food? Also, if he does need an amputation, can you give me an estimate of the cost of surgery? I've already paid over 300 hundred dollars and almost exhausted my rainy day fund. Is the recovery difficult? Should I make him an indoor cat since will not have the same range of movement? Sorry to bombard you with questions; I couldn't think clearly at the vet's office. I was too emotional for rational questions.

Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 3 years ago.
Tramadol is very bitter, so he's unlikely to eat it in food. You can try it and see if he takes to it though. I prefer Buprenex in cats, as it can be hard for them to take Tramadol.

The amputation is usually ~ 300-500 for the surgery and post-op care. You may find it cheaper, but that is pretty average at a day clinic. With a boarded surgeon, it's ~ 1500.

The surgery recovery is usually pretty rapid. They're walking within 12-24 hours and usually they are back to normal activity within a week.

No problem with the questions, happy to help.
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 17236
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary
Cat Vet
17236 Satisfied Customers
DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ