Owners' observations of domestic cats after limb amputation


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Abstract

Questionnaires were distributed to owners of cats that had undergone limb amputation in the UK, through 1000 veterinary clinics or publications relating to companion cats, or online. Between July 2009 and February 2010, responses were received relating to 234 cats, and data for 204 of these were included in subsequent analyses. The responses received provided data on signalment, aetiology, quality of life, behavioural changes and pain observed in cats after partial or total amputation of a limb. Young male domestic shorthair cats were over-represented in the sample; the most common reason for amputation was a fractured bone, and the hindlimb was almost twice as likely to be amputated as the forelimb. Although 89 per cent of the cats received analgesics/anti-inflammatories after discharge, the owners of 35 per cent of the animals observed some signs of pain during recovery. Eighty-nine per cent of the cats were thought to have regained a ‘normal’ quality of life as defined by the owner and 94 per cent of the owners stated that they would agree with the decision to amputate the affected limb in a pet if faced with the same decision again.

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