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Infection after amputatation.....getting very worried
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Member Since:
16 April 2024
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16 April 2024 - 5:12 am
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Hi, my kitty was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in her front left paw.  It was amputate by a junior (but keen) vet 6 days ago.  I took her home on Thursday night (after one night stay at vet where she wasn't eating), she was really good on Friday, then on Saturday I had given her both bupe and Meloxicam and she curled up in a corner....I thought it was the drugs knocking her out, but by Sunday when she was still that way, I noticed some pus oozing out from the incision site....where the stitches change direction....it looks like it wasn't stitched up there.  She was given a clavulox injection (24 hour one), the area was squeezed to remove pus and cleaned.  She was good for about 12 hours or so then went downhill again.  I brought her back to the vet last night and she had a very high temperature (about 104 degrees).  Vet told me he thought it would heal and just needed more time for the medicine to work and added Clindamycin to her antibiotics.  She had her first dose of clindamycin about 6 hours ago.  She was good this morning, ate well last night and this morning, but hasn't eaten since and it's now 9pm....she doesn't look like she is feeling well at all.  I've spent all my money on the surgery and have little available to me for the next 3 days so can't afford to get her into a specialist centre.  Help/advice please!  I am so scared.

Virginia







Member Since:
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16 April 2024 - 9:05 am
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Hi Naomi.... I can certainly understand how upsetting this must be for you. You are definitely doing everything possible to get your sweet kitty over this initial hurdle.

I don't have a lot of insight on your situation but your post has been approved and maybe other community members can provide more information.

I understand 100% not having the finances to pursue certain options. I do wish you could get her in to somewhere else for a second opinion. Maybe they would just it wouldn't be too costly.

And obvious infection how quickly and aggressively. Was any type drain suggested?

Also important would be for the vet to culture the infection and eliminate MRSA . That would require a very specific antibiotic.

What's your kitty's name and how old is she? Has she been using the litter box okay? 

Is she drinking I'm unclear as to what extent the amputation took of her leg.  Could you clarify how much was amputated?

I guess the only other suggestion I would have if you can't get her into a different vet would be to have this Vet give you some answers regarding what to expect for recovery. Let that vet know she is still lethargic and not eating and  the incision is not healing. If there is any way you can take your temperature for her at home, I would try to do that too.

Please keep us posted and hopefully others will have additional input.

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!

Member Since:
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16 April 2024 - 9:46 am
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benny55, thank you so much for your reply!

My kitty's name is Zoe and she is 12 years old.  About 5 weeks ago I noticed a lesion/crater looking thing on the inside of her lower left leg.  The vet thought it was a burst abscess, though I told him her chances of having been in a fight were about nil (she's 100% indoors and gets on with her cat friends in the house).  A few days later he'd discussed it with someone else and suggested I bring her in for a biopsy, which I did....it came back as suspected melanoma.  I then booked her in to see an oncologist and she had 2 more biopsies and lung x-rays done.  I then got a second opinion from another oncologist.  Based on their advice I went ahead with the amputation, with the plan that it be followed by chemo (carboplatin...I think).  Amputation was done almost a week ago.  They had to remove her shoulder and 6 lymph nodes in addition to the leg.  She doesn't seem to be in much pain from that, but this infection is causiing her to be quite sick.  I can't get her metacam tonight cause I can't get her to eat.  Very upsetting.  I brought her back to my vet practice on Sunday but the vet who did the surgery wasn't working.  I brought her back on Monday, her temp was super high...he suggested adding antirobe to the clavulox.  It is now early Wednesday morning, and she isn't doing great.  I've spent over $6000 so far and can come up with the money for the chemo, but won't have any more money for a few days, and even then it won't be a fortune.  I'll ring my local specialist centre tomorrow and see what is the earliest appointment I can get for a surgeon to look at her....I assume it's a surgeon that needs to look at it in case it hasn't been sewn together properly??  That will cost me over $400 just to see him and will wipe me out til Friday.  But at least I should get some answers.  Big problem though with trying to book in to see decent one quickly....you mostly get trainees when you need urgent appointments, and they cost the same and often aren't very good.  Also, the specialists only do morning appointments, and I need to work each morning this week (no choice)....only other option is to bring them in through emergency, but that adds an extra $300+ to the cost and I won't be able to come up with that in the next 3 days.  Almost 2am and I have to be up in 3 hours for work....in such a panic that it's hard to sleep.

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16 April 2024 - 9:50 am
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I should have added that my vet has only ever done one of these surgeries before and that was when he was in vet school.  It cost me about $4000 to get it done by him, and would have cost me double(ish) to get done by a specialist surgeon, and I didn't have the extra money and trusted this vet.  The vet's last advice to me on Monday was that he wanted to give the antibiotics more time to work.....they aren't working, at least not as well as they need to as the pus area is getting larger and I can tell she feels unwell.  I'm really upset....the goal of this was to buy her some quality time....other than her leg she was still feeling pretty good before the surgery.  I really want her to start feeling better ASAP.

As for me asking vet about prognosis, I told him I was really worried and he said he was too.....not very helpful.

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 April 2024 - 11:29 am
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Naomi, I'm so sorry about this situation. Amputation is stressful enough and when things go sideways it makes it even worse. 

Try to keep in mind that what new vets may lack in hands-on experience, they make up for with a fresher perspective and more willingness to try new methods than older vets who are more set in their ways.

Has the vet taken a culture sample of the infection? If not you really want one done asap to make sure the antibiotics are appropriate for the type of infection she might have. 

I say might, because are you sure it's an infection and not a seroma , which is usually harmless and goes away in a few days once the drainage dissipates. You can encourage draining by using a warm washcloth compress applied to the area for about 15 minutes, a few times a day.

It sounds like this could be a problem with the incision area if the stitches are not holding together. In that case, sometimes a surgical debridement is necessary (removal of old dead skin to encourage new growth). So if the incision area is not healthy, be prepared for that. 

Remember that chemo is optional. Right now deal with what is in front of you, and if your money needs to go to helping her overcome this obstacle that's what's most important. 

Please keep us posted OK? 

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16 April 2024 - 10:41 pm
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Thank you everyone!  I am waiting outside the vets right now while they do a debridement surgery on Zoe.  Pus was literally pouring out of the site when I brought her in today and they took her straight in to do the surgery.  He's also swabbed it but reckons we might not get results for days.  I am so worried.

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 April 2024 - 11:14 pm
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Oh no I was hoping it wouldn't go that route but better than not taking action fast enough. I'm so sorry, I know this is stressful! 

So did they do the culture on it?

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16 April 2024 - 11:45 pm
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Yes, he took cultures but reckons it will take days to get the results.  I'm still waiting for her at vet and getting really scared something has gone wrong.  

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17 April 2024 - 12:33 am
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Out of surgery and on her way home!  Phew!  He also gave her an injection of enrofloxacin and amoxyclav and told me to stop the antirobe.  The enrofloxacin is new and I'm crossing my fingers it works!  Assuming we get on top of the infection, she'll be starting her chemo as soon as it can get started.  The cancer is really aggressive and there was significant spread in just 3 weeks, already creating two additional tumors and getting into at least 6 of her lymph nodes (now removed).  If she can't start chemo fairly quickly and slow the spread, this will have all been for nothing sadly.  Her prognosis without chemo or amputation was only days and possibly weeks.  

California
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8 April 2024
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17 April 2024 - 1:58 pm
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Hi Naomi,

Not sure where you're located, but you might try a fundraiser through " Go Fund Me" or other similar entities via an online search.  

There are some credit cards that offer 0% APR on balance transfers; this approach would give you additional time to pay off any new medical charges incurred.

"0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer."*  (Citi Simplicity card)

looks to me like a best choice.  Hope this helps and I am sending all my positive healing energy to your little kitty.

Susan & Skippy (Skippy is 1 week post hind leg amputation, but no infection or other issues to date).

Virginia







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17 April 2024 - 2:56 pm
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Geez, what a whirlwind!!!!  Standing  ovation to YOU for staying on top of things and advocating for better attention from the Vets doe what was going on with Zoe!  Good job!!!

So glad they did do a culture to check for MRSA as that requires a very specific  antibiotic.   One of the new ones ahe's on may be for that just in case.....dunno though.

 

I understand your need for wanting to get the chemo started as soon as possible.  FWIW, 

You are still in the "normal" range for when a lot of Oncos  start the chemo after amputation. Yes, sometimes the sooner the better, but also you want to get her in better shape before you do start the chemo.  Additionally,  as I'm sure you know, there are no guarantees  one way or another when ot comes to chemo.  So try not to Vet yourself up avout being avle to go through with it.  

A lot of people choose not to do it, sometimes because of finances, sometimes for other reasons. We've seen cases where our pets have been beaten the statistics whether they do chemo or not. We've also seen cases where pets don't get the extended time we had hoped for whether they did chemo or not. It can just often be a crapshoot.

You have done the main thing at this point, getting rid of her pain and giving her a chance at a quality life for more loving and spoiling. Obviously it doesn't feel like celebrating that oitcome quite yet at this point because of the infection, etc. You will get the infection handled you will get her through recovery and you will get to do more spoiling and loving with your sweet so Zoe

Keep is updated.  Hang in there!  

You Are Not Alone In this, we are all right by your side to help you navigate through this temporary hurdle.

Hugs 

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

 

PS Susan, thank you for taking time to offer some possible financial solutions.  I'll add to that great advice "Care Credit".  They also offer no interest for X number of months depending  on the amount put on the creidt card.  

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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16 April 2024
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17 April 2024 - 10:28 pm
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OMG.  I just saw the infected area and it appears to be open again and far worse in terms of infection with pus now spreading over a much bigger area.  OMG.  

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18 April 2024 - 2:55 am
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So, I rushed her into the specialist centre this afternoon for a consult with a surgeon.  He didn't think it was too bad, though not good.  He wants to wait on the culture results before we do anything....he says that even if it is MSRA, she will likely recover, but will be a lot more work involved (which I already knew because I've been reading blogs etc on here about it!).  He believes she may require another surgery (though not before we get the results from the cultures) with further debridement, but he also thinks there is a chance she might not need it.....case of wait and see.  He doesn't think there is pus coming out at the moment and he thinks that the white stuff I saw is likely skin.  I'm so glad I got her in there!  Also, if a further surgery does need to be done, ballpark figure he gave me is about $1000 which is $1000s less than what I feared he might say and is doable if it needs to be done.  So though we are far from out of the woods, I feel some relief given his optimism about her recovering from the infection and him not thinking the wound is sewn up too badly. 

Thank you so much to all of you for being here for me!  This has been outrageously stressful for both me and Zoe and it's so nice having people to listen to me and provide me with some guidance here!  Please keep your fingers crossed for Zoe! 

Virginia







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18 April 2024 - 3:28 am
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So glad you were able to get Zoe into the specialist so quickly. It sounds like you were finally in really good hands and getting your questions answered and a path forward figure it out.

This really stinks that you are going through all this and I'm so sorry. This has been such an up and down roller coaster for you but hopefully things will start to settle down.

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!

California
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8 April 2024
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18 April 2024 - 8:18 am
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Hello Naomi,

Relieved to hear that you took Zoe to the specialty center and mostly that there's hope for her wellbeing!

Keep up the good care & I hope to hear more pawsitive updates on Zoe's recovery.

Skippy

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