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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Fuzz Update-Rough Read
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Forum Posts: 74
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19 November 2020 - 6:15 am
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It is so hard to sit and type this.. so much uncertainty..so much unknown..so many unanswered questions.. mostly, Why? Why Fuzz?  For the past several weeks Fuzz has been deteriorating physically.  I had started him on the mirtazepine pill ( a total nightmare to quarter and then administer every 48-72 hours) to see if it would boost appetite.  Recently Fuzz has been licking food-mainly the juices and gravies or if it is really mousse type consistency- but not eating a lot.  I know with his age I am sure he has bad teeth too but a full on dental screening and appointment are not something he could handle nor would I put him through it.  I have been feeding him routinely when I am home (unfortunately I have a job that requires me being away from home from 6 am until 330 pm) and would try to get him to eat before I left then a couple times in evening.  Over past couple days he has been hiding in basement and physically just looks bad.  The vet was mailing  a tube of mirtazipine ointment to try in ears and veterinary prescription moist food but I have yet to receive thanks to our fabulous US Postal Service and their speedy service!  I live in a rural area with no great access to veterinarian medicine which is why I found the clinic /oncologist over 1.5 hours away from my house.  It makes getting quick and adequate care very difficult. With this Covid nightmare it has made accessing and scheduling even more difficult.  Fuzz was not due to go back until 12/23 for his routine cancer check, but honestly I don’t think he will make it that long.  I have found some liquid weight gainer/supplement for cats that shipped and hopefully will arrive today and  purchased actual tuna that he nibbles and licks -including this morning). He has not been fond of the high calorie nutrient gels that I end up smearing all over him and myself and find blobs flung on counter or floor after trying to get it in him.  When I got home yesterday I found him hiding in basement where he has been for past 3 days and he was actually laying inside a covered litterbox.  My basement has a heated cement floor and he prefers to stay down there I would guess because of that.  He likes to also lay beside a dehumidifier that blows air and maybe the noise comforts him.  I fed him as much as I could get him to lick yesterday including throughout night (so if this is rambling it is because my stress is so high and I have not really slept much in a few days plus dealing with nightmare of a job) Before I left for work he was in his spot by dehumidifier and I got him to nibble some tuna and lick some gravy from a bone broth watered down canned food.  I left it with him and he was sitting up alert and moved around a bit but seems unsteady on his feet (weakness and very low energy would be my guess).  I just wish I lived closer to the help and treatment he needs or at least be more readily accessible with distance (mind you where I work is 45 minutes away from my house also) so the option of just going home and picking him up to get to a quick appointment would take literally well over 2 hours to arrive.  I also should note that I still had a half of bottle of his liquid gabapentin in refridegerator that actually said on label from vet was good until November 2020. I gave him .5 cc last night and will give him more tonight.  I don’t believe he is in pain as oncologist said his cancer that has metastisized would not be painful ( in his lungs and small lump on his abdomen) I don’t notice him breathing irregular or shallow breathing yet either and figured the gabapentin would not hurt.  

My feelings are just extreme anger over the unfairness of this whole situation with  odds that he faced and being told his cancer was the best kind and amputation pretty much cures it then  turned out to be the worst kind because it spread and new forms developed and deep resounding grief  because I know he does not have much longer and I dread making the decision.. I also know that I am NOT going to allow a euthanasia without being present.  I know my farm vet does an old school method I don’t approve of and the only other clinic apparently does not let anyone in their building at this time.  So I am emotionally a wreck with all of that.  Just wishing for the moment of where they goto sleep and quickly pass due to a total shut down and not wake up.  But he continues to fight.  He seems confused and most likely scared with everything because I can just see it in his eyes.  There is a small spark still in there but the Fuzz of old and that booming dog like human like personality is slipping away.  

I wish there was more good news to share.. more good days.. buy my days are not good. Last year was awful losing my 15 year old yellow Labrador best friend/companion and Fuzz being diagnosed and starting his cancer/tripawd journey and now 2020 sucks because of so many reasons but mainly because I am losing my best Feline Friend.  I hate life right now and just wish I could disappear and make it all go away.  I am putting up a Christmas tree  for Fuzz because he was always the helper and loved crawling in the tree destroying garland and ornaments.  I plan on letting him soak up his tree time all weekend.  The one tiny piece to make you all smile at the end of this saga is that Panda (aka Itty Bitty) a rescue kitten I took in 3 years ago is now bordering on obese.  She loves when Fuzz does not finish all his food and apparently sneaks in to devour it.  She is a short squatty type cat that is now bordering on being as round as she is tall.  She sat with us this morning watching him nibble his tuna. I am sure she snuck in to get some after I left… might be changing her name to Piglet instead of Panda…. Oh and I received my order of  Tripawd 2021 calendars this week in the mail.. Fuzz is Mr. January for 2021..  sp_hearticon2    – Melissa and Fuzz

Virginia




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19 November 2020 - 9:36 am
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Oh Melissa, as hard as it was to write this, I’m so glad you did.  You know you are surrounded by your tripawd family who understand all the emotions, the sheer exhaustion the anger, the fear, the uncertainty  AND the depth of love you have for the ADORAVLE Fuzz.  And we also know that wherever  this part of the journey takes you, your love is soooo strong you WILL be able to stay present  with him and continue love on him and spoil him.

I hope it helped to put voice to your emotions  right now and to the experiences you are having with Fuzz.  I live a distance  from good Vets, speciality clinics, etc also.  The drive time, the time required  away from home because  of work, errands, etc adds more stress and frustration for you  tight now.  Again, we understand .

I think you can relax a little when you’re away from home knowing  Fuzz is perfectly  content staking out his claim on the heated floor in the basement. He apparently  likes his quiet time with all the warmth and away from “Piglet” trying to sneak into his food😉

For now though, what’s  REALLY important  is Fuzz is with you right now.  And as hard as it is. put all those feelings and emotions away that are trying to interfere with your time together with Fuzz.  You will be able to sort through  all those feelings and questions at another time.  Right now, make the best of the time you have with Fuzz.

Just to put your mind a little more at ease and to keep so e of the stress off you, you can talk to a Bet (not the farm Vet) to arrange for you to be present whenever  that time comes.  It is my understanding  that Bets DO allow that, even If it means a quiet area outside set up specifically  for gentle transitions so you can be together.

You are doing EVERYTHING  possible to keep Fuzz comfortable….above and beyond what many pet owners would do.  And Fuzz knows that

Hoping some of the good stuff you have ordered helps..And the Gaba may help take the edge off of there is any minor discomfort,  so that’s  a good idea.  Maybe some other kitty members  can help with the food issues.

I love that you are putting up a tree just for Fuzz to “help” you decorate….or undecorate!  I hope you’ll share pictures.

TRY and get some rest for yourself. Fuzz does not appear to be in any crisis  and is doing what he wants, where he wants.  So use his nap times as your nap times.  

And Panda (itty Bitty Piglet), sounds like you meed to go on a diet!  Would love a picture ofnuoj too.  A picture of ypu and Fuzz together would be an extra bonus

((((((((((((((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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19 November 2020 - 2:07 pm
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Melissa and Fuzz, we know how hard this time is for you. We all hope when we amputate a leg, or do any surgery, that is will give us many more years of happiness and love with our pets.

I love that you are putting up a tree for Fuzz! This will be a very special time for you and it might add a bit of excitement for Fuzz. 

I’d like to give some ideas on how to make your decisions and planning at this time in Fuzz’s life based on my experience with Mona.

  • For many of Mona’s appointments, I was able to leave Mona at the clinic for the day if necessary. That way they were able to observe her and give her treatments, such as saline, and then phone me later. Could that work for you on a workday?
  • I also live in a small community. If I had to take Mona to an emergency vet after 11:00 pm or on a Sunday then I’d have to drive for 1.5 hours. I realized that was my greatest fear – to have Mona struggling while I drive a long distance for help. So I kept asking the vet what I needed to look for and how to manage if things turned for the worst on a weekend. She was still hoping for Mona to respond to the thyroid medication and when she saw Mona’s condition on Monday, knowing my fears, she said it was time. Melissa, could you talk to the oncologist or another vet to help you assess the next steps and timing? It can help relieve some of the stress for you and help you develop a clear plan.
  • I developed a euthanasia plan. Thankfully I’m able to go in the clinic with Mona although for her previous appointments they did the checkups, etc. in a separate room from me. For the euthanasia, I was in the room with Mona cuddled next to me while they gave her the injections. The vet and assistant were only in the room for minutes at a time for COVID safety and we all wore masks. In some other clinics, I would not have been able to go into the building. I hope you can find one that can meet your needs.

You know what Fuzz enjoys and what gives him pleasure. Savour those special moments. You are doing a great job finding food and comforts for Fuzz. I was laughing about Panda, who is just like Eli who also hung around waiting for leftovers. I guess it’s their way to show support by doing the dishes. icon_lol

Give that Fuzz lots of love and cuddles. Hugs for you.

Kerren

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19 November 2020 - 2:26 pm
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((((hugs)))) This is such a tough situation and I can’t blame you for being mad, I would be too. This was not supposed to happen, darnit, and it feels exceptionally unfair in a world that is upside down right now. I’m so sorry. 

I noticed some pawsitive things in your post, like he isn’t showing metastasis symptoms, and how you did find a few things that Fuzz enjoys licking and savoring right now. Forget the other stuff and the things he hates to eat. When we want our pets to eat so badly and they won’t, we tend to get stressed out which stresses them out. So skip the nutritional gels and such if he can’t stand them. Spoil him rotten and give him whatever appeals to his taste buds. It can be a guessing game but have you seen these posts about appetite ideas? Maybe something there can help.

As far as when you know in your heart that he is ready to transition, well, you already know what you don’t want so stay away from the country vet for such an important appointment. Try to find the strength and the time to make a plan to help him transition as easily as possible. You can do this! I know that even AAHA-accredited vet clinics are allowing pet parents into the clinic only for saying goodbye. You can try hospice teams like Lap of Love but I recently learned that they are slammed right now. So then what about mobile vets who can come to you? Have you tried calling around? And if you’re too far out in the sticks, what about renting an AirB&B in a nearby city for the day, in a spot where a mobile vet will come? Look around the nearest city to see if there’s one who specializes in end-of-life care. I can help you if you’d like. Just have a plan so that worst case scenario you don’t have to make decisions on the spot. Odds are Fuzz won’t just go to sleep, I’m so sorry to say. It’s just rare. 

It sounds to me like things are at the point where focusing on love and attention and cuddling is more important than more medical intervention that would make you both miserable. We got to that point with Jerry and while it was hard to say “OK no more meds except pain management “, it was also liberating and allowed us to focus on every minute together instead of being upset or frustrated that he wouldn’t take his pills, or that they weren’t helping.

I’m so sorry you are going through this. You are doing an amazing job with Fuzz and he is a true hero to all of us. Be proud of all that you’ve done for your sweet boy and remember, the only way cancer “wins” is if you allow it to steal away precious time together. 

If you want to talk please call the Tripawds Helpline OK? We are here for you and totally understand your heartache.

(((hugs)))

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 November 2020 - 2:28 pm
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kazann said
Melissa and Fuzz, we know how hard this time is for you. We all hope when we amputate a leg, or do any surgery, that is will give us many more years of happiness and love with our pets.

  

Kerren, you are so generous and loving, thank you for being here to offer your experience and support. You totally understand and we are so grateful that you are part of this community. 

P.S. Melissa I also love the tree idea! I forgot to say that but it is adorable! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 November 2020 - 12:47 pm
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Quick update:  Fuzz is now upstairs in my loft/bedroom part of house that I have blocked steps and exit off loft and he is on carpet where he has a much easier time getting around in his weakened state.  My vet clinic overnighted me the other day the gel mirtazipine for his ears as the pills are just ridiculous and they also sent 3 cans of prescription A/D moist food for very sick or recovering animals for him to try.  After moving him upstairs yesterday morning he has been more alert and has used litter box on his own where he travels approximately15-20 feet to get to it and has peed and pooped regularly both yesterday and today.  That was a big bonus in my book.  He is being fed very tiny amounts around the clock by me and does lick and occasionally eat some. He ate an entire pouch of the Hartz bisque for breakfast and I have given him more of the prescription food he licks and some other canned food along with some human infant baby food.    I recieved in mail 2 days ago the high calorie liquid weight gainer from miracle vet and he actually licks it off spoon. Says a cat to get 1 teaspoon per day but i am giving him more than that. Definitely not going to hurt.  He is mainly laying around near his cat nip infused scratchers and frequently licks the cat nip as I replenish it for him throughout the day.  He is more alert and will get up and move around in that area periodically.  He is a bit perturbed I have him trapped upstairs but I think it is best for him and me… way easier to get up and offer food at 3 am when he is right outside my bedroom. He is due for another mirtazepine dose on his ear this afternoon- I am going with the low end every 48 hours to see.    Panda and Houdini frequently visit him and he does not seem too irritated. He does miss his Murphey _ my 98 lb black labrador retriever who does not come upstairs because of the wood staircase.  Fingers crossed he will continue to make slight improvements and show his spunk and drive right now… Thank you all for all the kind words and sentiments… I am so very humbled by your kindness and love!

Melissa and Fuzz

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21 November 2020 - 2:03 pm
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Here is current picture… in his lounge spot… wish he would chew or take mouthfuls of food… only licks the pate and don’t think he is getting much just mainly the broth and juice.. I am trying to water it down with broth and water to help but takes away from smell which he likes in some of these canned foods.  Just did second dose of ear mirtazepine. Wanting so much for that to kick start his appetite and actually eat something and not lick juices….lacking nutrition and actual sustenance is also compounding his weakness/cancer battle…he really needs a good brush and bath.. we have food and juice remnants all over his chin and chest and cat nip shrapnel coating his fluffy tail.. he is a hot mess!  but not cooperative with the brushing or mom face washes at the moment.. just like irritated with pictures..

IMG_0878-rotated.jpg

Virginia




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21 November 2020 - 8:42 pm
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First of all, your commitment do doing everything  possible for Fuzz’s well being and comfort knows no limits!  Your love is so pure and so selfless.  Of course,  Fuzz is worth every  bit of your devotion because  he is so darn cute and loveable and full of personality!

Being more alert, being perturbed at not being to go where he wants, having regular potty, eating some, showing  his displeasure at being brushes….yeah….these are definitely bonus moments to be celebrated!!

I saw on Stacy’s post that she is giving  Griffin some sardines in oil as basically  an “appetite stimulant”.  Had never heard of sardines beingn used in that way.the Vet suggested it.  

And looove the picture of Fuzz. The “shrapnel coated tail” even adds another layer of cuteness😎

Cheering for you Fuzz!

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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22 November 2020 - 11:10 am
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Awwww, dear Fuzz, you are a beauty. 

Melissa, Mona quickly devoured the mousse you suggested. I realize her condition was different than Fuzz’s because Mona had an appetite but I did find she would eat more when I fed her by hand. She would eat from both a spoon and a saucer but my fingers seemed to make it a bit more delicious.

Cats need higher temperatures than humans. Mona, like Fuzz, took to heated floors so she liked to sleep on the bathroom floor. Since Fuzz isn’t in the basement right now he might like a heating pad. I believe they sell ones that turn on by the cat’s pressure or there are thermal pads. I don’t think it’s safe to have a heating pad on all the time.

Hugs for you both,

Kerren

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22 November 2020 - 12:26 pm
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kazann said

Melissa, Mona quickly devoured the mousse you suggested. I realize her condition was different than Fuzz’s because Mona had an appetite but I did find she would eat more when I fed her by hand. She would eat from both a spoon and a saucer but my fingers seemed to make it a bit more delicious.

Cats need higher temperatures than humans. Mona, like Fuzz, took to heated floors so she liked to sleep on the bathroom floor. Since Fuzz isn’t in the basement right now he might like a heating pad. I believe they sell ones that turn on by the cat’s pressure or there are thermal pads. I don’t think it’s safe to have a heating pad on all the time.

  

Kerren- I am feeding Fuzz both from spoon and lifting the saucer/plate up to him.  We have been doing this for a bit. I have also zapped most of his food in microwave to make it warmer temperature which he sometimes likes and other times not so much.. to me it increases the smell of food.  we had a rough night last night.  Just so weakend. Crawled/hobbled to litterbox and got in then decided he didnt want that one so went to one beside it and was so wore out he laid down to do his pee/poop potty then I got him out. I got him to actually drink a decent amount of ice cold water last night from a bowl and today he seems weak again. He made it to litterbox then laying in front of it on mat he peed.  I am not even mad because I told him I would help and had to run and switch loads of laundry and he did while I was gone. He has licked about a 1/4-almost half watered down can of kitten food mousse today  I offer the food to him every couple hours and get a few licks out of him.    I moved his self body heat radiating cat fleece pad upstairs but he wants nothing to do with it.  lays on carpet between recliner and end table.  Last night after being up most of night I actually took him to bed with me and put him on me under lots of covers but I think eventually he got too warm and squirmed away and then I was awake trying to get him back to sleep and make sure he did’nt flop off my bed. So today I am physically exhausted running on caffeine! I have 3 days of work ahead of me.. one being long and one being shortened.. my dad is going to step in and offer some food while I am away.. Tomorrow he will be due for his 3rd ear mirtazepine treatment (48 hour intervals)   I am so hoping it helps or something changes in his appetite with this.  I got him to lick the liquid supplement off  a spoon today and will try to give him more later.  I know from past experience from a cat that was dying of kidney failure ( had to give him daily Sub Q fluids for months) he began to smell from the toxins building up in his body.  Fuzz does not have that odor since he is literally a skeleton with barely any muscle tone and a fuzzy coat..  he smells like a combo of the supplement and food we have smeared on his chin and chest..I just wish there was something else Icould do to make him more comfortable  He is alert and mostly lays in the Sphinx pose unless he is wracked out sleeping on his side or exhausted from a trip across the floor. Thank you all again, for your thoughts and support.. Melissa

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22 November 2020 - 1:28 pm
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Hey Melissa, just wanted you to know we are thinking of you and Fuzz (and you too Murphey!), and hoping that today is a good day. You are doing everything humanly possible to help Fuzz enjoy a good quality of life, what a great mom you are. 

Keep us posted on how things are going and try to get some rest when you can, this ain’t easy that’s for sure. We send lots of sp_hearticon2

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23 November 2020 - 8:02 pm
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I have been on the site, and damn me i missed this…omg I’m so sorry,  and pissed that i missed it. 

I was looking up a high calorie supplement, which i found,  but you got it covered. 

I did not know things had progressed this far. And it kills my heart to think you can’t find anyone?? To come to your home?! 

My heart is with you,  trying to think of options but i know in my heart that I’d have an awful time dropping my beloved companion to cross the bridge without me.  

Your idea of  keeping him up in your room is wonderful.  You can let others visit him while controlling his environment.  

Sending hugs and love, 

Jackie and Huck❤❤❤

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

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