Three Legs Are Better Than Four for Texas Farm Cat

PetMD Editorial
Updated: June 03, 2016
Published: March 02, 2016
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Typically, when you think of a cat having to undergo an amputation, you don't think of it as a positive thing. But in the case of Renco the cat, it has allowed this animal a new, healthier chance at living a pain-free life. 

When Renco was brought into the Vet Ranch in Texas from a farm where he was living, the kitty was suffering from a terrible, displaced fracture in his femur. As Dr. David Galewsky explains to petMD, "It was very painful and was affecting his quality of life." 

Dr. Galewsky realized that it would take Renco a long time, if ever, to heal from this chronic and debilitating injury. With that, he decided an amputation would be the best possible chance for Renco to have a better quality of life. Dr. Galewsky notes, "We only resort to amputations when we think that medically it is the best option. In Renco's case it was." 

The hour-long procedure, which also included neutering him, was a success and Renco showed signs of improvement immediately.

"He was moving more, purring more, obviously happier," Dr. Galewski says. "Now three or so weeks post-op, he is like every other cat in Texas."

You can watch the surgery here, but fair warning: Some viewers may find the footage graphic.

Renco, like plenty of other cats, now has three legs instead of four, but it doesn't take healthy animals very long to adjust to their new lives. In fact, Dr. Galewsky says that most cats are up and walking the very next day after an amputation. 

"In my experience it is the owners who take longer to adjust," Dr. Galewsky notes. "People don't realize that for an animal, this surgery relieves excruciating pain or a chronic, crippling lameness. The animals don't look in a mirror or compare themselves to other cats and think they look disfigured." 

And lucky for Renco, he has a new family that loves him no matter what he looks like. Dr. Galewsky says the tripod was adopted "very quickly" after the surgery and is now living his happy new life as a "wonderful family pet." 

Image courtesy of Vet Ranch