Next appointment + some thoughts

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First, thank you to everyone who has wandered over to this little blog and left words of encouragement.  I’m in a good place right now, but I anticipate that will change quickly BECAAAUSE..

Appointment is on Monday!  So, 3/30 at 9:30am.  The scheduler I spoke with was setting me up for a consultation with the surgeon and asked me if I wanted to keep the day open for the possibility of a same-day surgery.  It felt pretty “on the spot” and fast, but there’s really no point in prolonging this now.  I am so nervous for the day we bring him home and have to watch him struggle without that back leg.  I know it gets better, but it still has to be so hard.  I’m happy that he will be in the care of the hospital for a couple days post-surgery.

I can’t tell if his demeanor has been different the last few days.  He seems pretty lethargic and very needy.  He’s always been more dog than cat in the sense that he LOVES attention and will follow you around and get in your face to get it.  Our girl is the opposite and seems offended when you try to give her attention.. ha.  So, not much has changed for him in that aspect, but he just seems to have a little less energy lately.  And, of course, his walking is inhibited by his foot, which he shakes and chews pretty often.  It’s definitely bothering him.  I keep telling myself that, so I can feel better when it’s not there anymore.  Still hard.

The hospital he’ll be treated at has two surgeons on staff; the one we’re meeting Monday is a “diplomate” and board-certified, so I feel good about that.  Hopefully my confidence doesn’t change once I meet the guy!

My regular vet gave me the name of an oncologist to speak with regarding chemo post-amputation.  The consult alone is $175.  Does this seem normal?  I’m clueless about cost for these kinds of things.  I really never thought I’d be contacting an oncologist for ANY reason, human- or pet-related.

And with that in mind too, does anyone have any general parameters regarding the cost of this amputation?  As I said, we weren’t given the numbers yet.  That comes at the consult, but if he goes immediately to surgery that day, it doesn’t really give us a lot of time to think about it.  We will have to shuffle money around.  2015 was supposed to be the year of our debt payoff.. unfortunately most of the progress we’ve made will go into this little guy’s leg.

This brings me to another thought.  Toe amputation is not worth it.  Last year my vet did mention the possibility of a whole leg amputation, and I was horrified.  Of course we opted to go with a toe removal because why jump the gun?  But as a result, we paid for one expensive toe removal, then another little tumor removal last month, and now this leg.  So for anyone out there researching osteosarcoma… don’t put your confidence in just removing the toe with the hopes that the cancer doesn’t return.  Unless chemo is an option at that point–which it should be.  I talked about not blaming myself, but I do wish we’d had the foresight to skip some steps and give him the best shot a year ago.  And save ourselves a couple grand… expensive guy, especially since he came to us for free.

This was all over the place, whoops!  I will report back on Monday once I know more.  And maybe he will be in surgery!  Yikes.

Some pics of the big guy and his cool new front paw haircuts.  🙂

Little poodle paws where his catheter/IV were inserted for the CT scan.

Little poodle paws where his catheter/IV were inserted for the CT scan.

Basically the cutest thing ever.

Basically the cutest thing ever.


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Comments
  • benny55 says:

    You are NOT all lver the p@ace and everyone here u derstands all too well the emotional agony this lart of the journey puts us through!!! I actually CANCELLED my first surgery appointment for Happy Hannah! I had not found this site until after I finally did go through with the amputation!

    Geez…my tablet is messing up..lr connection..so ething freezing anyway..

    Will co e back later

    We are here for you! You are nkt alone! We understand!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

    • Jaime says:

      Thanks for the sweet comments! It’s nice to know that I’m not the first person to go through all this. 🙂

  • rica55 says:

    OHHHH HE IS SOOOO CUTE!!!!!!!!!
    I totally understand how you’re feeling – I know how anxious I was I totally remember it like it was yesterday. Jilly is a clingy little thing herself, so I was terrified she would be so sad at the hospital without me. Someone told me to wear a shirt I didn’t care about to bed the night before her surgery and give it to the vet tech the morning of her surgery for her to lay on while she was wake up in recovery. I have no idea if it gave her any comfort, but it gave me comfort knowing she had something there that had my scent on it.
    Just try to relax as much as possible and know you are doing the best thing for him.
    As far as the cost – that’s about what I paid for the onco consult. Where abouts do you live? That can definitely affect things. We are in NYC, so things are always more expensive here.
    As for the toe thing…I hear what you’re saying – oddly enough there may never be another one in this position as its so rare!! I wish I wouldve just amputated her leg at the time, but we werent even given that option as we didn’t even know it was cancer at first. They sent the toe away for biopsy and that’s when we found out. But it’s definitely about 1k more I wish I could have saved!!!!
    Keep us posted and let me know what questions you have!!
    xoxo,
    Erica & Jilly

    • Jaime says:

      I love the shirt idea, for my own peace of mind! He loves our couch pillows too, I might throw one of those in there.. hahaha. The office might think we’re nuts, but oh well.

  • Nicholas & Company says:

    We found out about Nick’s osteosarcoma following a pathological fracture, so things moved pretty quickly on the amputation front. (The diagnosis was made around midnight, and by eight the next morning, they were prepping him for surgery.) In many ways (apart from the whole fracture bit), moving forward right away was kind of a blessing, because it didn’t give me time to sit around and agonize about things. By the time the shock wore off, Nick was ready to come home.

    Fees can vary a bit from place to place, but $175 is about what you’d pay for an initial oncology consult in my neck of the woods (upper midwest)… I think the local veterinary teaching hospital runs a little higher. I can’t remember exactly what we paid for Nick’s surgery, but given the circumstances, it included a whole battery of diagnostics and emergency fees that likely wouldn’t apply in Fredo’s case.

    Don’t beat yourself up about the toe amputation. Sometimes more conservative procedures pay off, and sometimes they don’t. Unfortunately for Fredo, it ended up not being possible to salvage the limb. Hindsight is always 20/20, you know? The good thing about feline osteosarcoma is that while it will recur locally with incomplete resection, distant metastasis is uncommon… so if this is osteosarcoma, the odds are in his favor. Sometimes it’s good to be a cat. 🙂

    Best of luck on Monday… we’ll be thinking of you. Let us know how things go!

    • Jaime says:

      Hey there,
      That’s good news about the metastasis. It’s true I can’t look back and play that “what if” game. Won’t change anything! Just pushing forward now. I’m glad the appointment is tomorrow so I can stop looking at him and thinking “how is he going to look with three legs?” Haha.. I think I’ve come to terms that he’ll adjust totally fine, now I’m just worried about my own nerves.

  • kazann says:

    Sorry to hear about the need for an amputation. My cat Mona got cancer from a vaccine and when the vet realize what kind it may be he advised an immediate amputation so it was done the next day. In a way it was a blessing for me because I didn’t have time to think and worry. I realized that it was the only way we could save her life. Luckily no other treatments such as radiation or chemo were required.

    I paid $2,000 for the amputation, there were some other costs before for xrays and other diagnostic expenses. The pharmaceutical company who produced the vaccine reimbursed me for part of the costs. Somewhere here at Tripawds is a list of places that may provide financial assistance. Here is a forum with what others have paid: http://tripawds.com/forums/tips-and-resources/costs-of-amputation-and-chemotherapy-for-cats-what-did-you-pay/

    Hope all goes well with Monday’s appointment. One thing I did the night before Mona’s surgery was to set up a “nursery” for her with everything I needed for her recovery. Of course, what I thought was a good idea, Mona thought differently… But that’s a cat for you!

    Kerren and Tripawd Mona

    • Jaime says:

      Haha.. cats do have a mind of their own!! When he had the toe amputated, I’m like, I MUST buy him a bed to relax in since he won’t be able to get up to the bed as easily. Yeah, that’s been sitting unoccupied in our living room for a year now. Crazy kids. Thanks for the link! That’s good information.

  • Codie Rae says:

    Awww, Fredo is beautiful! Love the tiger kitties :). Erica is right, amputation costs can vary quite a bit depending on where you live and where you have it done (regular vet, certified surgeon, teaching hospital). While you don’t want to prolong Fredo’s discomfort, if you have doubts about cost or the surgeon don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. Are you near a veterinary teaching hospital? They usually have rates substantially cheaper than you can find anywhere else. One of our trikitty moms (Fang’s) posted this awhile back, which may help give you some perspective http://cldavis.tripawds.com/2013/01/22/the-cost-of-amputation-surgery/.
    Hang tight,and, as Sally would say if her tablet hadn’t frozen up, BREATHE! You and Fredo will get through this 🙂

    xoxox,
    Codie Rae

    • Jaime says:

      Ooh thanks, that link helps. I had read somewhere that it was cheaper than most people expected, so that helps. Less than 24 hours now!

  • jerry says:

    Fredo i love your new hair cut!

    so happy to see that you’ve been given that link, that was the one I was going to pass along. don’t you love this community?!

    Many people here do whatever they can to save that leg if there’s a chance that the cancer won’t spread. Yeah, it’s expensive and often leads to the same outcome, losing a limb, but you’re not alone there so know that you did your best and that’s what counts.

    OK so tomorrow we will all be thinking of you. yes it’s fast decision-making time but when the outcome will be the same no matter how long you wait, why prolong the pain? the lethargy and neediness is pretty typical behavior right before an amp due to osteo, I think most of us experienced the same thing. Once that bad leg is off though, look out, Fredo will be flying off the walls and back to normal in no time.

    Stay pawsitive, breathe and be a strong leader of the pride. You can do it! Keep us posted.

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