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Here we go again: possible soft tissue sarcoma in remaining foreleg??
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11 July 2017 - 4:40 pm
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Well. Harry and I went into our vet, here in our home community (not the vet who did his amputation in October), because he's got a very sore toe on his remaining front leg. The vet here, who is an ortho surgery specialist, took a look at Harry's x-rays from a few weeks ago and said it may indeed be a soft tissue injury..but may also be a soft tissue cancer. Especially since it's been about a month since I first took him in (to the other vet) and it hasn't gotten better. 

He also said that prognosis for bone cancer is a lot less positive than the other vet indicated. They had said a couple of years, maybe the rest of his normal life span. This vet said a year is optimistic (but that there are always exceptions). 

So that was a bit of a hit. I'm not regretting going through with the amputation. He's had an extra 9 months of life up until this point, and 7-8 of those have been good (taking into account the misery month of recovery and this past monthish of pain). 

We're going in Thursday for a proper exam. Harry has to be sedated for examination and the vet didn't want to have to sedate him twice in one week if he needs to operate - and he wouldn't have had time today. So, Thursday he will be put under so the vet can get a good look at his toe. If he confirms that it's not just an injury, he's going to call me and discuss options 1) amputate the toe and send it off for testing - if it's cancer, that could mean 2 week recovery for a month's remaining life... 2) do a biopsy - if it's cancer he would have to go back for amputation anyway...or euthenasia ...3) pain management and eventual euthenasia, or immediate euthenasia. 

Obviously, I'm hoping it's nothing. But also trying to prepare myself. And have no clue what to chose for the best ;_; 

It's his middle toe. If that makes a difference. I just don't know that I can put him through that....especially as I don't know how he'll be able to move while he recovers...especially especially for the sake of an unknown, potentially very limited, amount of life. Ugh. I hate this gray area stuff. And I don't want to say goodbye. But I also don't want to be selfish. 

Michigan
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11 July 2017 - 8:28 pm
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Does Harry still have his claws in his front feet?  Like, could it be an injury to his nail or nail bed that's causing the pain?  Whereas if he's declawed, obviously, that wouldn't apply.

Just a thought..

You know that you will do what you have to do for Harry's best quality of life.  And whatever decisions you make will be made from a place of love.

Hugs to you

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

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Michigan
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11 July 2017 - 8:42 pm
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Ok, so it is still possible it is just a soft tissue injury!

Purrkns had a soft tissue sarcoma on his wrist! He had a lump! Purrkins lump/tumor never bothered him I could touch it the vet touched it and no reaction, he never limped . When he had the surgical biopsy! Then he favored that leg but didn't limp!

Does Harry have a lump on his toe?

As for the Vet saying a year is optimistic for Harry having Osteo! Statistics don't mean anything but numbers ok!! Animals out live numbers everyday on this site! Interesting how the vets differ in opinion isn't it? Just pointing some things out!!

All’s I do know is there are tripawds that have surgery on their remaining limbs and recover.
We do not know for certain Harry has to have surgery yet. Or even what we are dealing with yet!

If it is a soft tissue injury it can heal , medication & rest & patience. Maybe he wasn't on medication long enough this last time?

If there is no lump and the X-rays were clear then I don't see any reason to be amputating a toe? Is the Vet doing X-rays again of the toe? Of the lungs ?

If it is a cancer? Then that leaves you with all the options you posted above.
What you decide is best for Harry & you I’m afraid only you know that answer!

This journey is full of Grey areas! Follow your instinct and make the best educated, quality of life decisions you can for Harry and you will make that out of love & that is all Harry could ever ask for!

We are hoping it is NOTHING but a injury that can heal !!
Sending Positive & healing thoughts your way for Thursday !
Hugs
Holly & Purrkinsheart

Virginia
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11 July 2017 - 8:43 pm
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Just a quick question, and back later.

You mentioned a "two week recovery for remaining one month life." Unclear on how that conclusion was drawn.

Hugs to you....hang in there...back.later!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge

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12 July 2017 - 9:14 am
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I know that hurt to hear the vet tell you that the other prognosis was overly-optimistic. But keep in mind that 1) an orthopedic surgeon is not a cancer specialist and 2) nobody can slap a time stamp on an animal's butt. There are so many times when our Tripawds outlive even the worst case predictions. Nobody can see the future.

As for the toe-putation. Did the ortho vet say anything about Harry's mobility challenges if he loses that toe? When it comes to recovery for this procedure, animals bounce back pretty fast. I've known many who have lost toes and within a few days you couldn't even tell.

I hope things go well on Thursday and the vet finds it's just an infected nail or something. Keep us posted OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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12 July 2017 - 10:42 am
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midnighter94 said
Does Harry still have his claws in his front feet?  Like, could it be an injury to his nail or nail bed that's causing the pain?  Whereas if he's declawed, obviously, that wouldn't apply.

Just a thought..

You know that you will do what you have to do for Harry's best quality of life.  And whatever decisions you make will be made from a place of love.

Hugs to you

Donna  

He does have claws, and I'm hoping it's something like this - we went in at the other vet because of pain, had an x-ray, and all she saw was a bit of swelling around the toe, which she diagnosed as soemething along these lines. He was given antibiotics and painkillers. He got better briefly. Then bad again, and now it's visibly swollen and very sore again. Feels sort of stiff around the nailbed. 

I just want to decide what I'm going to do if it's not, in advance, so I'm not making a decision on the spot. 

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12 July 2017 - 10:53 am
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Purrkins said
Ok, so it is still possible it is just a soft tissue injury!

Purrkns had a soft tissue sarcoma on his wrist! He had a lump! Purrkins lump/tumor never bothered him I could touch it the vet touched it and no reaction, he never limped . When he had the surgical biopsy! Then he favored that leg but didn't limp!

Does Harry have a lump on his toe?

As for the Vet saying a year is optimistic for Harry having Osteo! Statistics don't mean anything but numbers ok!! Animals out live numbers everyday on this site! Interesting how the vets differ in opinion isn't it? Just pointing some things out!!

All’s I do know is there are tripawds that have surgery on their remaining limbs and recover.
We do not know for certain Harry has to have surgery yet. Or even what we are dealing with yet!

If it is a soft tissue injury it can heal , medication & rest & patience. Maybe he wasn't on medication long enough this last time?

If there is no lump and the X-rays were clear then I don't see any reason to be amputating a toe? Is the Vet doing X-rays again of the toe? Of the lungs ?

If it is a cancer? Then that leaves you with all the options you posted above.
What you decide is best for Harry & you I’m afraid only you know that answer!

This journey is full of Grey areas! Follow your instinct and make the best educated, quality of life decisions you can for Harry and you will make that out of love & that is all Harry could ever ask for!

We are hoping it is NOTHING but a injury that can heal !!
Sending Positive & healing thoughts your way for Thursday !
Hugs
Holly & Purrkinsheart  

I think the option to take the toe is because, if he can't figure out what the problem is by manipulating it and doing another x-ray, he is assuming that it is cancer and that waiting for biopsy results could give it time to spread...only to have to have him back in again, keeping  in mind that Harry is awful at the vet because he's so scared there. 

It doesn't feel like a lump, exactly. It's definitely painful to touch or walk on. There is swelling around where his nail comes out and it's a bit stiff. I haven't tried pushing out his nail on that toe since his last vet visit because he really doesn't want me touching that toe, but he pulls away sharply when I get to that digit (the others aren't bothering him). 

I am very much hoping that it's a wound he exacerbated before it could heal properly, and that he just needs more time and rest...maybe more antibiotics? The original vet said that the shot she gave him lasts for 2 weeks and it was about 2 weeks after the initial visit that I started noticing trouble again. 

But beyond that, I keep going back and forth...he's just not himself 🙁

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12 July 2017 - 10:57 am
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benny55 said
Just a quick question, and back later.

You mentioned a "two week recovery for remaining one month life." Unclear on how that conclusion was drawn.

Hugs to you....hang in there...back.later!

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

The vet said it usually takes two weeks for cats to recover from toe amputation (four legged cats, Harry may take longer) and his prognosis following that was six months tops, possibly a month...we had a good conversation and he admitted that it's really difficult to say without being able to see the future. But he was very firm with his limited life expectancy following bone cancer diagnosis (which is what Harry lost his other leg to) stance. So ...I think, he views this as the next phase of the cancer that was identified in October, in terms of worst case scenario. 

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12 July 2017 - 11:02 am
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jerry said
I know that hurt to hear the vet tell you that the other prognosis was overly-optimistic. But keep in mind that 1) an orthopedic surgeon is not a cancer specialist and 2) nobody can slap a time stamp on an animal's butt. There are so many times when our Tripawds outlive even the worst case predictions. Nobody can see the future.

As for the toe-putation. Did the ortho vet say anything about Harry's mobility challenges if he loses that toe? When it comes to recovery for this procedure, animals bounce back pretty fast. I've known many who have lost toes and within a few days you couldn't even tell.

I hope things go well on Thursday and the vet finds it's just an infected nail or something. Keep us posted OK?  

He said that it's difficult to say, given that Harry's a tripawd. He said four legged cats usually bounce back  and adjust within two weeks, and that Harry may take a little longer. He pointed out that it's a middle toe and there is another middle toe that does some of the same balancing, so he could be just fine...but was very reluctanct to advise. 

I feel like...if it ends up not being cancer and I remove his toe, I will regret it. And if I don't remove his toe right away and it ends up being cancer, I will regret it way-confusedcrying ... I know that I don't want to make the decision to end his life without having a clear picture of what we're actually dealing with. 

Michigan
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12 July 2017 - 2:13 pm
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But it could just be the nail & not the whole toe, right?  He very easily could have gotten that nail caught on something & twisted it, or tugged it..

My cats are all front paw declawed, but I would think that that would be painful, right?

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  

Donna.png

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12 July 2017 - 3:17 pm
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Yes, and if that's what it is the vet will be able to tell without amputation or biopsy and will do whatever needs to be done to fix that and send him home. He's only going to biopsy or amputate (after talking to me) if he's unable to determine what's wrong with him by looking at it and doing another x-ray. 

My understanding is that declawing involves removing the bone from the final joint in each digit and then stitching them back up. I looked into it when Harry was a kitten because he was a little Edward Scissorhands, but recall deciding that it was inhumane (I learned to trim his nails instead and semi-trained him to scratch his post and nothing else...at least not people:P) 

I've just spent some time re-reading my original thread and the blog I wrote at the time, and need to say THANK YOU again to this wonderful community! This forum was essential to keeping me sane and helping me understand what was going on, and has gone a long way to helping me approach this next hurdle from a calmish, informed place. I'd actually forgotten some of the struggles we faced in those early days and, while I remember the trauma of first watching Harry flop out of his crate all stoned and Frankensteined with the vividness of PTSD - and being miserable and insomniac - I also forgot that Harry was much of himself (more than he is now, with his sore toe) within a week... so if we have to go the toe-putation route, I feel much more confident that he will adapt. I'm glad I was able to look back over my own first hand experience.  So thank you x a million, and as soon as I pay off my vet debt Tripawds is going to the top of my charity list. <3 

.............. I still don't know what I'm going to do. I've ruled out putting him down based on tomorrow unless some major unforeseen Thing comes up during examination. I can't just arbitrarily end his life because he MAY have more cancer and I don't want to pay to find out. And he's strong enough to handle either test option. 

So. If needed. Biopsy ...and leave him in this current pain/allow for potential growth of cancer/possibly have to go back for amputation anyway. Or amputation...and put him through that pain, and the trial of adjusting when we may find out there was no need. 

:/ ... I feel like the vet should have a pretty strong idea whether it's cancer ....maybe....right? Or not? Sigh. 

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12 July 2017 - 9:36 pm
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I'm sorry to hear about Harry's sore toe and the decision you may need to make. I'd like to help by breaking it down:

  • My cat Mona had a fibrosarcoma, soft tissue cancer, on her leg and it grew rapidly. It did not hurt to touch or manipulate it. Harry's toe hurts, maybe not cancer?
  • If the toe is amputated, it's tested and it's cancer, then the cancer may be gone with the toe. Mona's cancer left with her leg.
  • If the toe is amputated, it's tested and it's NOT cancer, oh well, one less toe and you still have Harry.
  • Please remember that biopsies sometimes come back inconclusive. You might want to discuss this possibility with the vet if you are considering this route.
  • When you say bone cancer, are you talking about osteosarcoma? Was that the confirmed diagnoses when Harry had his leg amputated? If so, there have been a few cats here with osteosarcoma and they seem to survive a long time.
  • We did not know for sure that Mona had cancer but amputated anyway because the tumour was rapidly growing. I didn't want to wait for biopsies, I wanted this monster growth gone.

As Jerry said, the orthopedic surgeon is not an oncologist. Have you considered another opinion?

I know this is hard. You'll always have our support whatever you choose to do.

Lots of hugs to you and Harry.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Virginia
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12 July 2017 - 9:59 pm
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As usual, good insight and keeping things chunked down from Kerren and Mona.

Just eant to se d some extra hugs and extra good positive vibes!

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((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!

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12 July 2017 - 10:27 pm
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Thanks Mona. Excellent insights ...and really along the lines of my own thinking....

As far as other opinons, etc, go....We're scheduled for tomorrow and I don't want to drag it out. And tomorrow will drain every last penny out of my bank account and top off my credit card (if we end up going the amputation route) so. This is it. 

I think I'm leaning towards toe amputation - if it's not something obvious and minor and fixable. Ah, the stress of recovery worries me. But oh well. 

Michigan
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13 July 2017 - 3:38 am
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Kerrenclap great breakdown !!

We are thinking of you guys today!! Sending good vibes, positive thoughts and prayers!

Please update when you can!! We will be watching for a update! 

HUGS 

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