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New Tripawd Mom-trying to take it all in stride for my furbaby
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18 September 2017 - 10:38 am
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Hi.  I am Rusty's mom, Gina.  Rusty was diagnosed with a tumor in his left hind leg and it was amputated on Thursday 9/14/17.  At the doctor's advice, we got a XXL training cage (German sheperd size) and set it up in our bedroom for his return on Saturday 9/16/17.  He was sent home with the E Collar and liquid antibiotics.  They gave him a pain shot that is supposed to last 3-4 days only and no other pain meds.

In the carrier on the way home, he got the cone off.  After a few hours, my boyfriend climbed into the cage to put it on him.  After a very stressful time, we managed to do it.  Zero interest in food throughout Saturday.  Fight to get the meds into Rusty.  

Sunday brought a little better results.  Some of the medication wound up in the cat.  He licked broth off my fingers and then used my fingers to wash his face like it was his paws.  Night dosing of meds-no success.  I called the vet and they told me to call my local vet to see what other options I may have.  Pills have not been successful. I am hoping there is some sort of shot that can be given for the antibiotic.  I am also concerned about short period of time for the pain killers.  

And now I think I need to rename my cat HOUDINI.  I woke up to him standing, very proudly I think, next to his cone.  I have seen multiple pictures of cats without the cone but I am paranoid that he will open the stitches.  I cannot get the darn thing back on him.  He moves around so much and I really scared of doing something to damage the surgery site.  On a positive note, he ate an entire bowl of food while purring, had some treats, still took NO antibiotics and is sleeping extremely well.  He accepts lots of love too.

I have called and let a message with the normal vet who is currently in surgery.  I am hoping that I can arrange a house call that consists of med dosings and e-collar replacement!! 

I know I am not alone but still trying very hard not to freak out.

Rusty "The Bunnyman" adopted us in 2014 when we met him at an estate sale and he promptly followed us around.  Because of his owner's sudden passing, he was on his way to a regular (not non-kill) shelter that night.  NO WAY!  Fast forward- Aug/Sept 2017, back left leg amputated (HSA cancer).  He is cancer free, at least for now.   He is hopping around, getting spoiled by Mommy Gina & Daddy Nick, new tripawd parents who are still learning!

Livermore, CA
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18 September 2017 - 11:36 am
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Hello and welcome Gina and Rusty, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

First off- 3 to 4 days of pain meds does not seem like enough to me.  My pug Maggie was on pain meds for 2 weeks after her left rear amp.  My tripawd Elly was on pain meds for 3 days after a dental surgery!

Here is a good blog post about recognizing pain signs in dogs and cats, it might help you to judge how Rusty is doing.

As far as the cone- as you know it is really important to keep Rusty away from the incision.  Some kitty parents have used a onsie with success. I've only had success with keeping a cone on my small dogs by using a collar instead of the tie string.

Stay tuned for input from others, especially our cat members.  In the meantime if you look through this forum (Three Legged Cats) you will find some good info including a list of Rear Amp Kitty Blogs.

Hang in there, it actually sounds like Rusty is doing pretty well so far.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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18 September 2017 - 12:27 pm
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Thank you!

While a house call wasn't in the cards, my vet did call and I have an appt this afternoon.  He will be giving Rusty an injection of antibiotics that is good for two weeks!  That will be so much easier than the twice a day, half the meds getting in him ordeal.

Since Rusty was an indoor cat, we never had a collar so they used the gauze in the hospital.  I am bringing a newly purchased collar to the vet.  Hopefully that helps.  They are going to try to redo the collar too.

I asked about the 3-4 days pain shot.  They will judge when they see him tonight.  If he will need more, I really wish they could do it all there.  Getting medicine into this boy was not fun when I didn't have a huge wound to worry about.

For the other kitty parents out there... how did you handle minimizing the movement while the cat healed?  I was told to get the crate.  He sleeps alot so overall it seems ok.  It is just when I need to do something for him that it gets tough because he can push himself into the back corner and I can't get him too easily.

Rusty "The Bunnyman" adopted us in 2014 when we met him at an estate sale and he promptly followed us around.  Because of his owner's sudden passing, he was on his way to a regular (not non-kill) shelter that night.  NO WAY!  Fast forward- Aug/Sept 2017, back left leg amputated (HSA cancer).  He is cancer free, at least for now.   He is hopping around, getting spoiled by Mommy Gina & Daddy Nick, new tripawd parents who are still learning!

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18 September 2017 - 1:58 pm
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Hi Gina & Rusty, 

Welcome and also sorry we had to meet this way.  As you will find there are some great people on here with lots of advice and  support.   Tuxedo one of my cats had his rear leg amputated due to trauma a few months back.  So while I have no understanding of the cancer aspects unfortunately I do have some experience with the recovery from hind leg amputation, or more accurately Tuxedo does. 

When he came home from the emergency vet clinic after the surgery, he was given 5 days worth of pain medication and a week worth of antibiotics.  The antibiotics were a liquid and it was a bit of a struggle to get most of that in him instead of on him.  The pain meds, there were 2, were both sublingual.  Those were a bit easier as all I had to do was get them in his mouth.  Still a struggle to say the least. So I can certainly relate to the issues with the medication.  He might need another day or two of pain medication, but every cat is different.

Tuxedo was also sent home with a cone that he constantly was escaping.  I decided to leave that off since he seemed to be ignoring the incision.  Big mistake!  Evidently he was very busy while I was sleeping. He ended up getting the wound infected and needed about six more weeks of treatments.  During that time he did have to wear the cone continually. So if at all possible keep him in that cone until the stitches are out.   I read of some people using stitched up kids clothing to cover the area.  But I think if you have a houdini type cat, he would get out of that too and be very proud of his actions. 

The first day home Tuxedo ran around and did all sorts of things that you would never imagine a cat who just had a leg amputated could do.  Unfortunately I had not found this site back then.  So Tuxedo had the run of the house.  Since he mostly slept, this was not an issue until around day 4 when he decided to hole up under my bed where it was impossible to get to him.  It was a couple of days before he finally decided to come out on his own.  I would recommend before taking Rusty out of the crate to block off all access to the bed, just in case he tries to scoot under there.

-Dawna, Tuxedo, & Dazzle

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18 September 2017 - 2:05 pm
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Thank you so much!  

I am off to the doctor to get a two week antibiotic shot and see what he says about the pain meds.  

They will also recone him while I am there.  Hopefully it stays on.

now if I could just get my heart out of my throat as I am trying to figure out how to get him into the carrier without hurting him!!

Right now I am regretting having the soft duffle bag style.  He was pretty good going into before.  Not so sure now.  He is currently sleeping with his back to me in the furthest corner of the cage.  

whatever

Rusty "The Bunnyman" adopted us in 2014 when we met him at an estate sale and he promptly followed us around.  Because of his owner's sudden passing, he was on his way to a regular (not non-kill) shelter that night.  NO WAY!  Fast forward- Aug/Sept 2017, back left leg amputated (HSA cancer).  He is cancer free, at least for now.   He is hopping around, getting spoiled by Mommy Gina & Daddy Nick, new tripawd parents who are still learning!

Michigan
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18 September 2017 - 2:30 pm
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Welcome Rusty & Gina,

I’m sorry to hear about Rusty is this a VAS?
They most likely will be giving rusty Convenia injection a antibiotic that last 2 weeks.

They CAN give Rusty something else for pain & they have a fentanyl pain patch some kitties come home with. Bring all this up at your appointment tonight & explain you cannot medicate at home! You are not the only paw parents that can't get meds in kitty! Why they make patches and long lasting injections, transdermal patches etc.

As for the cone I am of no help we didn't use a cone but a baby onesie Purrkins is a front leg amp. I cannot see how that would help a rear leg kitty. I am afraid your stuck with the cone! Maybe a bigger one is needed? ASK 

We kept Purrkins in a spare room for recovery he was pretty good about limiting his activity we had the bed on the floor and no other furniture in the room ! He had the room to roam but he stayed in his closet for the first part of recovery we had restricted activity for 14 days. We started adding things back into the room after the first week. What you really want to Try to prevent is them from jumping ! TRY LOL Purrkins jumped in the window the first day home! I was frantic .

Do you have a blanket over the cage that would help Rusty feel more secure in the cage. Drape it over part of the cage. If you decide to let him out of the cage make sure the Bed is stuffed full so he cannot get under it or the mattress on the floor ! Yep he will go directly under the bed given the opportunity

Let us know what the Vet does for Rusty! You have the right to advocate for Rusty on his pain medications!

Good job calling & getting in! I’m sorry its needed but great your taking him in.

Don't be afraid of Rusty and picking him up you wont hurt him. Can you just scoop under his belly and slide him in? 

Hugs Holly & Purrkins
Chin scratches to Rusty

Michigan
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18 September 2017 - 2:37 pm
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German Shepard size cage I would get in it with them so he doesn't escape and if room get him in the carrier in the cage. 

Try not to panic easy to do. I hate those carriers too one way in & out and good luck zipping it !

Michigan
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18 September 2017 - 3:41 pm
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IMG_0421.jpg

This article came in Catster magazine today.

Maybe Dawna could tell you if one would work better then another? Im just passing it along in case you need a different type?

Hope things go well with the vet.

heart

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18 September 2017 - 4:12 pm
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Tuxedo managed to get out of all the various cone collar types except the rigid plastic one, that had to be both fastened skin tight to his neck and secured to his collar.  Even then he would continually and repeatedly bash the thing into anything he could find to try and flip it off.  It sounded like someone beating on the house walls and woke me up many nights.  Let me tell you those weeks where he had to wear the thing due to the infection were pure torture for all of us here.  I am not sure who was more relieved when he finally was healed to the point it could be removed.  Since it sounds ike Rusty is another of the houdidi type, I suspect that going with the donut or soft cone would end up being a waste.  Tuxedo was able to get out of those types very easily.  

Virginia
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18 September 2017 - 4:38 pm
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Do we have THE BEST KITTY SUPPORT TEAM or what??!! 🙂 🙂   Nom0 other place, including at Vet offices, can you find such invaluable first hand knowledge!   THANK YOU HOLLY AND DAWNA!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I have nothing to add other than a few hugs and a promise that recovery doesnw last furever!!!   This is a very stressful time, very exhausting, and your emotions are raw.  Just hang ontonus....and eat lots of CHOCOLATE!  It helps!

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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18 September 2017 - 7:58 pm
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You've got a lot of great advice so far! Rusty's photo with the cone beside him is so funny! Believe me, when the healing is all over, you'll be laughing too. 

I hate to say it but my front-leg amputee Mona was a darling and wore absolutely nothing. No clothes, cone, bandage, nothing. The vet took her home for the first night after her amputation and he said she didn't need anything because she wasn't interested in the stitches. I don't know how he knew that. Mona was, however, a real hellion in other respects but we won't go there.

One thing I did was sooth the incision area with either a cool or a warm, damp facecloth. She loved the attention and did not seem interested in the incision. When she was cleaning herself, if I ever saw her little tongue start to venture toward the incision, I'd bring out the facecloth.

Some cats come home with a bandage so that might work except if Rusty decides he wants out of that. I think Rusty needs to sleep more to keep out of trouble. Perhaps more pain meds will help with that.

I hope the vet was able to help you out.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Virginia
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18 September 2017 - 8:44 pm
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What Kerren is trying to say Rusty, Mona is a STREAKER and loves going around nekked!!! 🙂  I think you may have just found a new girlfriend! 🙂

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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18 September 2017 - 10:15 pm
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I cannot see how that would help a rear leg kitty. I am afraid your stuck with the cone!

I was just remembering that Jilly Bean used a onsie and she was a rear amp, mom Erica had to go back to the collar because Jill could get out of the onsie.  She found that the inflatable type collar worked well.

Here is a blog post about the collar Erica used.

I hope all went well at the vet, update when you can.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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19 September 2017 - 6:19 am
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Finding this group has been the best thing that I could have done in the past 48 hours!  I feel like I am hanging on by a thread, quick to tears, and totally inept at times.  The poor vet tech that had gotten me on the phone yesterday was there more for me than the cat.  When he called to tell me that they could give Rusty the shot, I started thanking him and crying.  When he told me it would all be OK, I proceeded through tears to tell him that I am Rusty's Mommy and I should be able to help him and now I can't even give him meds or get the stupid cone back on... what kind of Mommy is that???  Poor guy... I think I need to find out who he was and send an extra thank you!!!aw-shucks

So, here is the update.

Got him into the carrier via the get into the crate with him and scoop him up praying I don't screw anything up method.  He lived!way-cool

They gave him the two week antibiotic injection and a small pain injection.  They did send me home with 0.2mL syringes with a pain med to give as needed starting after Wednesday.  They didn't want to give him another long term injection since there may be overlap and they don't want to OD the cat.  Hopefully he will not need that since we all know how well this went.  It is a much smaller amount.

The dreaded cone... I did buy a "soft" ecollar off Amazon.  I had the vet's office put it on him.  It actually is much closer to his face, at least for now but he hasn't been able to get it off yet.  It has velcro and, although it looks so uncomfortable,  I am thinking if I try to adjust this, velcro "ripping" by his ear would not be a good thing so it is staying that snug.  The onsie was not an option that we think would work.  

He must be starting to come out of the lethargic state he was in after the surgery though.  When we opened the cage to clean up and give him lovings, he belly flopped his way out into the bedroom (I have a closet with no doors that we cleared out in the bedroom and put the cage in).  He also was quite vocal throughout the night from his cage.  I have to admit, I laid on the floor in front of the cage for part of the night.  I kept checking and the collar, while tighter, does seem OK.  He did drink some water before knocking everything over as he thrashed around the cage trying to get the cone off.  Finally at 4am, between the human snoring, the cat's mewing and thrashing,  I had to leave the room and lay on the couch to sleep.  6am came way to fast.

So next question to this awesome group... what did you do to feed the furry cone heads?  He has managed to knock over every elevated food/water bowl.

THANK YOU AGAIN!

Rusty "The Bunnyman" adopted us in 2014 when we met him at an estate sale and he promptly followed us around.  Because of his owner's sudden passing, he was on his way to a regular (not non-kill) shelter that night.  NO WAY!  Fast forward- Aug/Sept 2017, back left leg amputated (HSA cancer).  He is cancer free, at least for now.   He is hopping around, getting spoiled by Mommy Gina & Daddy Nick, new tripawd parents who are still learning!

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19 September 2017 - 6:23 am
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krun15 said

I cannot see how that would help a rear leg kitty. I am afraid your stuck with the cone!

I was just remembering that Jilly Bean used a onsie and she was a rear amp, mom Erica had to go back to the collar because Jill could get out of the onsie.  She found that the inflatable type collar worked well.

Here is a blog post about the collar Erica used.

I hope all went well at the vet, update when you can.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls  

I need to check out that blog.  I was reading up on all different types and saw some mixed results for the inflatable type.  Some cats can still turn their heads to reach that hind area.  I am sure that collar would be nicer for him.  I was thinking about it... The collar restricts his whiskers so not only is he trying to figure out the new body, he doesn't have the whiskers to help navigate sad

Rusty "The Bunnyman" adopted us in 2014 when we met him at an estate sale and he promptly followed us around.  Because of his owner's sudden passing, he was on his way to a regular (not non-kill) shelter that night.  NO WAY!  Fast forward- Aug/Sept 2017, back left leg amputated (HSA cancer).  He is cancer free, at least for now.   He is hopping around, getting spoiled by Mommy Gina & Daddy Nick, new tripawd parents who are still learning!

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