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BMC veterinary research
Volume 18 | Issue 1 (April 2022)

Complications and owner satisfaction associated with limb amputation in cats: 59 cases (2007-2017).

BMC Vet Res. April 2022;18(1):147.
John R Wagner1, Dana M Desandre-Robinson2, George E Moore3, Catherine A Loughin4, Micha C Simons5
1 Department of Surgery, Long Island Veterinary Specialists, 163 S Service Rd, Plainview, NY, 11803, USA.; 2 Department of Surgery, Affiliated Veterinary Specialists, 9905 S US Hwy 17-92, Maitland, FL, 32751, USA.; 3 Department of Veterinary Administration, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA.; 4 Department of Surgery, Long Island Veterinary Specialists, 163 S Service Rd, Plainview, NY, 11803, USA.; 5 Department of Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA.
© 2022. The Author(s).


BACKGROUND:Limb amputation may be recommended in domestic cats following a severe injury or disease. The purpose of the study was to report the signalment, the complications, recovery outcome, owner satisfaction and expectations of domestic cats following limb amputation.
RESULTS:Medical records of 3 specialty hospitals were reviewed for cats that received a single limb amputation in a 10 year period (2007-2017). These cat owners were contacted, and 59 owners completed surveys, comprising the study population. The most common reasons for limb amputation were neoplasia (54.2%, 32/59), traumatic injury (40.7%, 24/59), bone or joint infection (3.4%, 2/59), and thromboembolism (1.7%, 1/59). Thirty-four cats (57.6%) had postoperative complications. Of the fifty-nine surveys, 52.5% reported minor complications and 5.1% reported major complications. There were no differences in postoperative complication rates for thoracic versus pelvic limb amputations. All owners reported either excellent (77.9%, 46/59), good (20.3% 12/59), or fair (1.7%, 1/59) satisfaction with the procedure. Based on their previous experiences, 84.7% (50/59) of owners would elect limb amputation if medically warranted for another pet. The remaining 15.3% of owners who would not elect limb amputation again had experienced death of their pet with a median survival time of 183 days.
CONCLUSION:Owners reported a positive satisfaction when considering complications, recovery outcome, and expectations. This study can be used by veterinarians to guide cat owners in the decision making process of limb amputation.

Cat limb amputation; Forelimb amputation; Hind limb amputation; Owner satisfaction; Owner survey;

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