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Brand New Cat Tripawd Mom
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Michigan
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11 August 2017 - 8:31 am
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Hi, everyone,

Our boy, Charlie, just had his right hind leg amputated yesterday for a suspected vaccine related sarcoma.  We do know it is a soft tissue sarcoma, but we won't know for sure what type until the histology report comes back.  He isn't home yet, but in the meantime this page has helped me A LOT.  We are getting his space ready and taking the advice on the other threads to get our Yorkie and other kitty ready. 

This is been a heartbreaking process.  Cancer is scary enough, but amputation made it harder.  He's such a good boy.  He doesn't deserve to go through this. He's the cat that that has turned a self proclaimed dog person into a hardcore cat person.  I've had friends conspire to catnap him.  He's lovable, outgoing, quick to purr, and talkative.  He's my teenage son's best friend.  I have been crying a lot.  Every call from the vet makes me cry, even when it's good news.  I can't seem to stop.  But, we are doing everything we can to save him.  He's family and he deserves that from us.  It has drained my savings and we've resorted to credit options, but we wouldn't have it any other way.  I've only had one jerk at work question whether I should spend that kind of money on 'just a cat' because that's basically a new roof for her.

I know this will all get easier with time.  We haven't even had a chance to see Charlie yet, and we're anxious to see him.  I don't really know if I need advice yet since we're still reeling from the surgery.  I honestly don't know if I can form any questions yet.  Maybe just encouragement and good stories will be the most helpful for me.  If any other cancer kitty parents are out there, can you tell us how they are doing?  Did the amputation cure them?  And if you keep us in your thoughts and prayers that this is not a vaccine related sarcoma, we would appreciate it.  We will have more treatments ahead if it is, and there will still be a pretty high chance of recurrence. 

The Rainbow Bridge

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11 August 2017 - 10:19 am
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Heeeeyyyyy I wish I could reach out and give you a big {{{{HUG}}}}. I know this is so scary and emotional but I promise you will look back in time and just be amazed and so inspired by Charlie. What a lucky boy to have such loving humans looking after him. 

Ok so my best advice to you is exactly what I tell dog parents: be a strong leader. Let Charlie know you believe he will be strong and happy and thrive, and he will reflect that right back at you. Animals are so in tune with our emotions and what we give out they give right back. SO as hard as it will be, focus on his resiliency and courage and you can both sail through the hardest parts.

To answer your questions:

If any other cancer kitty parents are out there, can you tell us how they are doing?  Did the amputation cure them? 

Have you seen our TriKitty blogs yet? Do hop on over and check them out, you'll find tons of inspirational stories. Just keep in mind that all cats are different, as are cancers, so it's best not to compare Charlile's case and recovery against others. Just know that in general, animals are amaaaaaaazingly resilient and so much stronger than we ever give them credit for. I know Charlie will dazzle you!

When you think of other questions we will be here OK? Let us know how the homecoming goes.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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11 August 2017 - 1:58 pm
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I'll give you a quick reply for now since I'm on my lunch break. My cat Mona also had her leg amputated due to a vaccine associated sarcoma. That was 3 years ago and she is doing great. If they can take the leg before the tumour spreads then the cancer is likely gone. The pathologist will comment on the surgical margins in the report.

Once things settle down please ask the vet to submit a request to cover the costs of surgery to the pharma company that produced the vaccine that may have caused the tumour. We can talk about this later. In the meantime I hope Charlie can come home soon where he'll get lots of loving. He will amaze you in many ways.

Hugs,

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Virginia
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12 August 2017 - 11:25 am
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You've gotten great I fo feom Jerry and Kitty Mona's Mom Kerren.

I just wanted to add a "welcome" and to remind you, as you can already see, you are not alone!   Come back to us as soon as you can and we'll help support you through recovery.  It's no.picnic for a couple of weeks.   We'll also celebrate with you as Charlie's sparkle comes back!

BTW.....14 yr old Kitty Freya just celebrated five years after amputation kicking that pics of crap disease to the curb and still counting!!! 🙂

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

East Tennessee
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12 August 2017 - 12:23 pm
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Obie is just two months out from his amputation.  As you know, it is an emotional rollercoaster, especially at the first.  But it gets better with time.  We are very glad we made the decision to amputate.  Obie is a sweet, loving cat and he continues to brighten our lives with his presence.  There are a lot  of good resources here that will help you navigate this time. 

I was really worried Obie would have to learn to walk on three legs, but he got right up on his own.  I still give him a hand now and then, but cats are pretty capable on (mostly) their own.

East Tennessee
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12 August 2017 - 12:35 pm
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One more thing, make sure they send you home with enough pain meds.  They sent us home with just 4 doses, and I ended up having to go to the emergency vet services on the weekend to get enough to last through the week.  Charlie will probably need at least a week of pain medication. 

Be sure to open the bag and count the doses before you leave if at all possible.  Also, another lesson learned, make sure they give you the needles if you get a syringe.  You use the syringe with the needle to remove the dose, then remove the needle and squirt it into the kitty's mouth.  Super easy, if you have that totally important needle!

Michigan
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12 August 2017 - 5:34 pm
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Thank you so much, everyone! We brought home Charlie this morning. When they brought him into the room he flopped across the floor like a fish out of water over to us and pressed his head into our hands. He just purred and made kitty biscuits as we held him, pet him, and talked to him. I started crying again, and I think the vets have come to expect every encounter with me included tears. It was hard to see him struggle, but to see our boy only interested in loving on us made it hard not to cry. He's been content here at home. He likes to have someone sitting with him while he rests. It's obvious that I'm more upset about this than he is. They gave us several types on pain meds and I think we have about a week's worth. He goes back on Monday to have his drainage port removed. Hopefully they will have the histology report by then to know whether he needs further treatment. 

I did notice that our younger cat is afraid of Charlie. He hissed and backed away. Charlie does look different and smells different, so it might take a bit for Chad to settle down. It's heartbreaking since Chad loves Charlie so much and has missed him. At least our Yorkie has been lying near Charlie and keeping him company. 

East Tennessee
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12 August 2017 - 6:21 pm
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Charlie sounds like a wonderful cat.  I'm so glad you have each other!  Glad your Yorkie is keeping him company too! 

Michigan
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13 August 2017 - 1:28 pm
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My phone wouldn't let me attach photos to my previous post, so I am following up on my computer.  I had to link to the photos from my Facebook and I'm hoping they will show up for you.  I have a photo of our dog, Tim, cuddling up with Charlie once he was back home, and the other is of my son holding his kitty in the hospital when we went to pick him up.  We did have to coax Charlie to eat this morning, but after starting out with a syringe of tuna juice he finally started eating and drinking on his own.  I was worried we would have to go into the hospital today, but he's is doing much better now he had some food and water.  We will be going in tomorrow to have his drain removed.  Charlie and TimImage Enlarger

 

HospitalImage Enlarger

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13 August 2017 - 3:57 pm
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Your photos are very sweet, especially your son looking at his cat so lovingly.

My vet sent my tripawd cat Mona home with wet kitten food. She loved it and there were no problems with her eating it. It even sounded like she was smacking her lips. 

We all have some little challenges with our cats, food, medication, litter boxes, etc but it can all be overcome. I think the main concern is watching for infection and keeping the cat from licking or chewing on the incision. My Mona did not wear a cone and didn't fuss with her incision but most cats wear some type of protection. You can discuss this with your vet or check out postings on this site if you have any problems.

I'm happy to hear Charlie is home where he belongs with Tim as a body guard. 

Heal well dear Charlie!

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Michigan
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13 August 2017 - 5:25 pm
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We are very lucky that Charlie isn't interested in his incision.  We haven't had to put the cone on him.  He gets up occasionally, but he's more interested in lying on the be next to his human (my son).  He hasn't had much to eat since he's been back, but after using a syringe and getting him to eat a little this morning, later on he got up once to eat a little on his own.  He only went to the litter box to pee once today.  I worry that he may still be having some issues with pain.  He occasionally groans and shivers, and he will do this shortly before his doses are due.  I will bring this up to the vet tomorrow.  Other than these worries, his incision looks good.  I just wish he could tell us what he needs. 

East Tennessee
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13 August 2017 - 6:51 pm
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Your pictures are great, thanks for sharing!  Your son and Charlie look so sweet together, love the paw draped possessively over your son's arm. Tim the Yorkie is my hero!  Wish we could borrow him for Obie!

Gerber baby food ham and gravy is a big hit with Obie. And I have been mixing Wellness salmon and turkey pate with a tablespoon of water to make a yummy cat food that Obie can easily lick up and also get enough water.  He loves it.

We would also gently squirt a syringe full of water into Obie's mouth when he felt too dehydrated.  That would get him swallowing enough to eat and drink sometimes.

Good lucks.  We are all here to help.

Michigan
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13 August 2017 - 7:18 pm
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Obiecat - I'm so glad I'm not the only one to resort to using a syringe!  We did use it again this evening with water and more tuna water.  It seems to perk him up enough to eat a little food.  After we get a few small syringes of fluids in him he will snack on the canned food the vet gave us, a little of the tuna that we pulled water from, and the food we usually feed him (it's a dehydrated raw diet that we add water to).  We give him a variety because at this point we want him to eat anything.  The pain meds have side effects that could suppress appetite, but not eating could be a sign that something is wrong.  As long as he takes in something, even small, I feel like it's a victory.  The sun is setting on day 3 post-surgery for us and it's still nerve wracking.  I'm glad we are seeing the vet tomorrow, not just to remove the drain, but also help put our minds at ease.  We love our guy and we're so afraid that we will do something wrong. 

We're also still waiting for our little kitty, Chad, to warm up to his big kitty.  Chad adores Charlie, but is terrified of him at the moment.  I was reading the thread about introducing the tripod kitty back into the home with other cats, and it looks like this could take quite some time to normalize.  At least our Yorkie, Tim, knew it was his kitty right away and has been a cuddle buddy. 

Virginia
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13 August 2017 - 7:29 pm
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YAAAAAAAAAY FOR CHARLIE!!!!  CHARLIE IS HOME.....HE HAS PEED....HE'S EATING SOME....AND IS SOOOOO SWEET WITH HIS TIME AND WITH HIS HUMAN!!! 🙂 🙂

Stay connected and update us as you can.  Yoy still are in the "rough" part of the recovery.  Charlie may need to have some of his pain meds a @ittle c@oser together if he's showing pain before he's due his next dose.  You can discw with your Vet.  And very observant in your part!  🙂 Good job!! 🙂

And as you already know, you have some of the most insightful kitty Moms ever to give you advice and support!

Hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

East Tennessee
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14 August 2017 - 4:39 pm
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It was a tough week for us, but we did start to see improvement.  Syringes are wonderful!  If you have the recovery pet food, you can get a larger syringe at the drugstores, sometimes for free, and squirt some into his mouth to get more calories down.  Obie didn't mind that much for a syringe or two.  I did wear a lot of it, sort of a "Eau de Pet Foode".

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