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16 year old cat post-amputation
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6 December 2015 - 10:52 am
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I also used an aluminum tray with a thin layer of litter at first. Over time Jerry transitioned to his regular litter box. He still tries to use his missing limb to cover his stuff (he was never good at it to begin with and now he is terrible at it). He will go through the motions, then realize he isn’t making progress, and then must just say “screw it!” because he’ll jump out and I’ll come in behind him and scoop it out for him. 

You can’t watch Progo every moment and you definitely needs breaks! Jerry is 5 months post surgery and he still misjudges distance trying to jump from thing to thing and on occasion, will land with a thud. I think it’s happened twice and I freak out more than he does. 

Hope things are getting easier for you all today!

Hattie & Jerry

Hugs,

Hattie and Jerry Cat (right front leg and scapula amputation due to chondrosarcoma at age 14, lived 2 1/2 years post amputation, succumbed suddenly to suspected lymphoma at age 16)

10/2001 - 10/9/2017 R.I.P ~ Love you always

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7 December 2015 - 8:48 pm
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Yesterday was Day 4 and today was Day 5, after the surgery. Yesterday, he really stayed in his bed all day, and we carried food and water to him. He only got out to pee (on the floor). I was pretty sad about it. But he also seemed to enjoy his cone-free eating/drinking. One thing he did while I watched, just after eating, was to “groom” his (new) furry cat bed and the floor, but he still has made no move toward bothering his bandage. 

Yesterday afternoon, the Fentanyl patch was taken off (that took some doing! Patience, gloves, and a bit of olive oil), and the doctor called to see how he was doing. The doctor does not think he needs additional pain meds unless/until he shows other signs of pain. We take him in on Thursday for a followup visit, when she will change or remove the bandage. I was disappointed that she wouldn’t let the housecall vet do it, but also the housecall vet hasn’t responded to my last two emails, so I’m not sure if that relationship is going to work out after all (too bad; I liked that vet)!

Today, he seems more alert and less sleepy, though still resting a lot. This morning, he peed on the floor in the kitchen, BUT then he crawled to the bathroom, lifted himself up over the threshold of the bathroom door (which is a low step), and crawled to the litter box (I had put two in the bathroom, where there is usually just one, because he has been peeing on the floor in there). He pooped in the litter box after I put him in it and sort of held him upright for a moment, though he seemed a little constipated. Then I lifted him out and went to do something around the corner. I went back in, and he had gotten himself into the other litter box and was pooping some more. So that was all encouraging. Tonight, while I was at a rehearsal (a babysitter was home with our son), he went into the bathroom by himself again to pee (on the floor, but closer to the litterbox), but then he laid on the floor partially in the puddle, so I think it tired him out. I cleaned him off as best I could when I got home (I don’t think he’d been in it too long, but poor guy) and put him back in his bed, which is where he is now.

He normally eats dry food, but I gave him some wet today as a treat, and he seemed to really like it, so I will probably continue doing that, since he can’t get to the water bowl so well. He doesn’t eat the dry food well while he’s lying down. It’s like he isn’t positioned right over the bowl, so it’s a nice change from hand-feeding (he eats more of the dry food out of our palms, but will accidentally bite our fingers if we’re not careful). 

Baby steps, and still no *literal* steps, but it feels a bit like progress.

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7 December 2015 - 8:49 pm
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boxerhattie said
I also used an aluminum tray with a thin layer of litter at first. Over time Jerry transitioned to his regular litter box. He still tries to use his missing limb to cover his stuff (he was never good at it to begin with and now he is terrible at it). He will go through the motions, then realize he isn’t making progress, and then must just say “screw it!” because he’ll jump out and I’ll come in behind him and scoop it out for him. 

You can’t watch Progo every moment and you definitely needs breaks! Jerry is 5 months post surgery and he still misjudges distance trying to jump from thing to thing and on occasion, will land with a thud. I think it’s happened twice and I freak out more than he does. 

Hope things are getting easier for you all today!

Hattie & Jerry

Strangely, he will NOT use the aluminum tray with a thin layer of litter AT ALL. It is very near his bed, and he wouldn’t have to go far to use it, but he is completely uninterested in it.

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8 December 2015 - 3:14 pm
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Well, the progress making it into the litter box for poop is encouraging! It’s so hard being patient. I bet he’ll be peeing in there before you know it.

You guys are taking such good care of him; you must be exhausted. I hope things continue to get easier and better by the day. If you have the opportunity to do something for yourself during this time…take it:-) I enjoyed your update – thanks for taking the time to post one!

Hattie & Jerry

Hugs,

Hattie and Jerry Cat (right front leg and scapula amputation due to chondrosarcoma at age 14, lived 2 1/2 years post amputation, succumbed suddenly to suspected lymphoma at age 16)

10/2001 - 10/9/2017 R.I.P ~ Love you always

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10 December 2015 - 4:46 am
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Well, we’ve made it through Days 6 and 7, and today is Day 8 post-surgery. A few notes for those following along or who go through this at a later date and read here to see what it was like for us:

Day 6
Gave him some more wet food — really enjoyed it. He continues to have a decent appetite, but really will only eat dry food if I carry it to him. Prefers to take it from my palm, but will accidentally bite my fingers  if I don’t hold my hand flat enough. Wet food he will eat from the bowl. Mostly stayed in bed all day. Peed only once?

Day 7.
Mostly in bed again all day, or next to it. Ate some wet food. Husband gave him antibiotic with a little turkey, which he ate too fast and then threw up. In the evening I asked my husband to carry Progo to the bathroom (because I was doing kid bedtime), where his “preferred” litterbox is, and he peed on the floor there.

Despite him spending most of days 6 and 7 in his cat bed, he seemed much more alert when awake, and whenever his cone was removed for feeding he would lick anything in reach — especially his cat bed — except his bandages, which he still hasn’t bothered. I bought some cat “wipes” and wiped down his chin, which is getting kind of funky in the collar (which I also wipe down periodically).

Day 8 (today)
6 am — I was awoken by some thumping. and found he had gotten out of bed and crawled to litterbox. Tiny poop in the litterbox, but he’d apparently then gotten back out and crawled to our toilet to finish pooping and to pee on the floor. He then somehow (or maybe upon entering the room beforehand) scraped off his E-collar on the threshold, and crawled toward our living room (where his scratching box and the stairs are, but we’ve put a baby gate across the stairs). He meowed at me when I got to him. Maybe he was mad about the gate? Or just saying hello. Anyway, I petted him for a while, as he chose to lie near his scratching box. He ate and drank a bit and sort of compulsively groomed my face and arm. He seems to be pushing up a bit more with his remaining front foot, though not really “walking.”

Unfortunately for him, he goes back to the animal hospital today for his first post-surgery checkup. Hopefully the doctor can also advise about joint supplements and probiotics.Thanks for checking in on us!

Virginia
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10 December 2015 - 9:42 am
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Thanks for taking the time to chronicle Progo’s progress. And yes! There is progress!

It’s important for everyone beginning this joirney to see all the different aspects of recovery and to reinforce every recovery is different. Our seniors do take a little more ri e to adjust.

I love Progo’s strong will and stubborn determination to get where he wants ro be! This fella’ has spunk!

I look forward to following his journey and continuing to celebrate all of his victories!

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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10 December 2015 - 11:50 am
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Progo is just home from having his bandage removed. We put a shirt on him, to protect the stitches (as our wooden floor in our rental is terrible, with rough edges on some of the boards) and to help our 4.5 year old not be scared of how Progo looks, BUT with the shirt on, our cat immediately started trying to scratch his incision area (front leg) with a rear leg. He also tried to chew the shirt (I had the cone off so that we could get the tee on). We took the tee back off, but how do I protect his stitches from that rear leg scratching? The cone won’t stop that, will it?  

The good news is that his mobility IMMEDIATELY improved with the bandage and the collar off, as he stood by himself for the first time and turned around a bit, but of course he has to wear the collar another week until his stitches are removed.

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10 December 2015 - 11:59 am
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I would definitely call the vet about the itchiness because they may tell you that he’s healed enough and it’s OK, or they may tell you that it’s a major concern and to do something specific to make it stop itching.  You can’t really contain a cat (as far as I know) enough to keep them from scratching with a rear leg.

Sebastian didn’t start doing that until later and the doctor said he was no longer at risk of tearing his incision.  His wound got really scabby (normal) and that’s why he was scratching, so the vet told us we could put warm damp cloths on it to try to dissolve some of the scabs.  He wasn’t a big fan of that and the scratching never got horribly bad so we left him alone.

We also couldn’t keep a shirt on him.  I thought I was so smart sewing denim on top of a onesie because he would never be able to scratch through it…let me tell you, one less leg just makes a cat more flexible!!!  He wiggled out of it in no time.

Glad to hear Progo’s attitude is improving though, moving around a little, asking for attention, etc. That’s wonderful!!

The Rainbow Bridge

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10 December 2015 - 6:36 pm
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So glad to hear his mobility is better, that’s fantastic!

You bring up an important point…they can certainly scratch that front incision with a rear leg. Cones protect from the mouth doing any damage but not those back legs. Did you try a baby onsie on him yet? I can’t recall. It’s worth a try, I know it’s worked for other cats (obviously not that trickster Sebastian though!).

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Virginia
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10 December 2015 - 9:30 pm
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Just a quick, and very loud YAAAAAAAAAY FOR. PROGO!! We have MOBILITY!!! clap Whether it’s three seconds or three minutes, it’s another VICTORY for Progo during his recovery!! Remember, his remaining front let is probably sore and strained from doing “the crawl”.

Extra catnip for Progo tonight!

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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11 December 2015 - 12:54 pm
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well I feel terrible, because I was just reading your other thread and then came on over here to this one and I totally could have offered advice – but it looks like everyone else got you through it and sounds like Progo is doing great!!!  I also live in NYC and my Jilly is a tripawd kitty.  tomorrow will be her three year ampuversary!!!  Where is your Progo being treated?  I’m glad to hear things are going well!!!!

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JillTheTripawdCancerFightingKitty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

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11 December 2015 - 2:51 pm
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rica55 said 
well I feel terrible, because I was just reading your other thread and then came on over here to this one and I totally could have offered advice – but it looks like everyone else got you through it and sounds like Progo is doing great!!!  I also live in NYC and my Jilly is a tripawd kitty.  tomorrow will be her three year ampuversary!!!  Where is your Progo being treated?  I’m glad to hear things are going well!!!!

Hi! Thanks for the message. We are going to VERG in Brooklyn. 

And thanks, everyone, for the advice on the scratching. Progo really didn’t like the tee shirt, and it seemed to make him fuss over the area more than no shirt, so we took it off. He does scratch occasionally, but it seems like he’s trying to scratch higher, not at the stitches, so we’re just keeping an eye out for anything that threatens his stitches.

Today, he has moved around a bit, but still shuns the litter boxes. 

I was feeling kind of good about his progress, and then we got the call from the surgeon with our biopsy results. In short, the leg tumor was sarcoma, so that’s what’s left behind in his armpit area. Surgeon said this is a very broad category of tumors that originate from subcutaneous tissue or muscle. Very common in cats. Tend to have little fingers of cells to go beyond what we can see and feel, so radiation is often recommended. I don’t know if I want to put my 16 year old cat through radiation. She said sarcoma cells don’t typically spread to other areas as quickly.

They had also taken a small sample of an ulceration under his tongue that they said could be “age related changes” and normal or something else. The surgeon said the pathologist was very wishy washy because of how small the sample was — but that they couldn’t easily take a larger sample because might damage his salivary gland. SO the pathologist would not commit to it being cancerous or not. She said it could be squamous cell carcinoma, which is common in cats, and which does tend to be aggressive and that things would change relatively quickly if that’s the case (and that since it was discovered by accident, perhaps that’s not what it is, as we haven’t noticed him having trouble eating). SO hoping it’s not going to be that. It could also be just inflammatory changes that resemble a tumor. We are to monitor for any bleeding from the mouth, if he doesn’t want to eat, etc. 

They really want us to bring him in for an additional visit, to consult with the oncologist, which I hesitate to do. I just hate taking him down there so often. And I doubt we will choose radiation. I doubt we can really afford it, after already spending so much on the amputation, especially given his age. But the surgeon says the oncologist can also talk to us about what to expect, how to monitor, if any additional therapies are suggested. Ugh. I just want to keep him at home. 🙁 Guess we have some thinking to do. This isn’t easy or fun (stating the obvious, but still).

Virginia
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11 December 2015 - 10:47 pm
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Sorry to jave to do these screenshots..keep getting booted off…….

Screenshot_2015-12-12-00-32-29_zpszoyjrjdk.jpgImage Enlarger

Screenshot_2015-12-12-00-31-58_zpspxyhram5.jpgImage Enlarger

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 December 2015 - 11:34 am
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Glad Progo is home and attempting to move around a bit – that was great to read. But sorry he’s not yet using the litter box regularly. I wish you luck with your next decision and hopefully it will bring you peace either way, and you can just enjoy your time together again.

Hattie & Jerry

Hugs,

Hattie and Jerry Cat (right front leg and scapula amputation due to chondrosarcoma at age 14, lived 2 1/2 years post amputation, succumbed suddenly to suspected lymphoma at age 16)

10/2001 - 10/9/2017 R.I.P ~ Love you always

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18 December 2015 - 8:38 am
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I’ve had a huge mood swing today, from high to low, in a matter of hours. Things had been holding pretty steady. He was unhappy in the cone but would limp around when we would take it off and watch him while he ate. He was holding his urine and then peeing on the floor rather than in the litterbox. But he was pretty affectionate and didn’t seem to be in pain. 

Also, a mouse has appeared in our kitchen, which is frustrating. It must know our cat is no longer on the job.

Yesterday (Day 15, post surgery), my husband took Progo back to the surgeon and she removed the stitches. She said to leave the cone on him one more night, and it could come off today. So today, we took the cone off and felt really great about it. Progo immediately started giving himself a serious bath, but didn’t seem to be bothering the incision site much. I left to take my son to school. My husband then went off to work some time while I was gone. I came home after about 2 hours, as the kids had a short program at school.

Progo now has freaky looking small, round sore/wound on his middle. It’s not at his incision site, but lower on his midsection, not quite to his stomach. I can’t tell if it’s an abscess or what.  He meows when I move the fur around it to see it better, so it seems like it hurts. Did he lick or chew a hole in himself?!!!!! Is this a new kind of cancer?! I know this sounds crazy, but it almost looks like he tried to chew off a nipple or something. His incision site also looks more raw, so I assume he’s been licking it. Argh.

I sadly put the cone back on and called the emergency place that did the surgery. They said we could bring him in again, but aren’t sure if it’s an emergency or not. We don’t really have time for that. We need to do other things. Taking him in for his stitches took a big chunk out of yesterday, and we’ve been to this place 4 times in a month already. Plus, it’s 30-45 minutes to get there and 30-45 minutes to get back. They also said we could have our “primary care” vet assess the wound and incision site, to see if it’s something that requires an emergency visit. I called the housecall vet who diagnosed the tumor in the first place (but that was the only time we’d seen her, as we hadn’t used a vet since 2009 because he gets so stressed out by vet visits and has been so healthy, so she’s not really our established vet; we don’t have an established vet). She hasn’t called back yet.

So now I am stressed out about a new thing, just when I thought we could relax a little and enjoy some cone-free time.

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