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One week comparison

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Hey there,

First, I realized yesterday that my posts are going up on the Tripawds Facebook page.. ha!  I am sorry if it seems like I’m inundating the world with my cat updates, but I love you all for the input and support, so I’m only a tiny bit sorry.  Thought it was funny though that one of the preview pictures on the Facebook post just showed me and no cat HAHA.

I had the thought that I’d get some new videos of the little man to show the world what’s up with his walking.  I feel it is a bit more deliberate since the medication stopped, but he does occasionally surprise me with some speed (like when he doesn’t want me to pick him up–whatever, man).  I do think the collar impedes him a bit too.  Anyway, I took the first video and he just stopped and stared/meowed at me.  The second video I got a few more steps captured.  Eh.  I will try again later, but here they are anyway:

I won’t even apologize for the messiness of our house.  We just have water bowls and litter boxes all over the place (and shammy thingies for when I spill-ha).

Also, I took a look at his incision (INCISION WARNING! lol) and some of the stitches are very loose.  He can’t reach it with the collar, we’ve tested this out.. so our theory is that maybe some swelling went down and that’s why they look looser?  The incision itself looks 97% good, there is a weird bubbly spot that bugs me a little, but in general it seems to be healing well.  And his little fur is coming through!

Incision comparison (top: 3/30, bottom 4/6)

Incision comparison (top: 3/30, bottom 4/6)

 

That is all from me!  Have a lovely Tuesday.  🙂


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Phase 2

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YES hi!  Me again.

So after I complained about the big ole impersonal surgeon office not calling me….. they called me.  I should have actually remembered that this particular surgeon works Monday-Thursday.. ha.

The pathology came back on his little leg, and he said “complex adenocarcinoma.”  And then a lot of unhappy sounding words about how prognosis isn’t always great, and we can only monitor because surgically we’ve sort of reached our limit, so we should talk to an oncologist to come up with the next plan.

Google searches for adenocarcinoma are not entirely helpful.  Like this:
Adenocarcinomas, on the other hand, affect glands and organs and are systemically aggressive.

AWESOME.

Oh and this,
The prognosis for most with organ-based adenocarcinoma isn’t favorable because these fast-growing malignant tumors metastasize. If treated for organ-based adenocarcinoma, your cat might experience a good quality of life for a year or more. If a mammary adenocarcinoma is found early, before it is has spread, your cat can live for years after surgical removal of the tumor.

So, at this point, I have no idea.  I don’t know how early we found it.  The vet said the visible tumors were cleanly removed, so it could be fine.  But making a jump from sarcoma to adenocarcinoma seems very bad.  So, chemo it is??

Cats don’t care.

Here is something I’ve learned throughout this process.  Cat owners may have the very best intentions of letting their kiddos rest after surgery, but then we start to feel bad.  And I think to myself, he should have a little more room to move, I doubt he’ll do too much anyway.

No.  This is not correct.  I talked about the closet thing the other day… basically, whenever we’re upstairs, he slinks off into the far corner of the closet and stays there until nature calls or he’s hungry.  As a result, we’ve had to push the crate up against the closet door (which I posted a picture of).  The other night we did not do that, and instead just closed our bedroom door, which was fine until our other kiddo meowed until we let her out.. so I barricaded the door with some things with the hope that she’d be able to get back in, but he wouldn’t be able to get out.  This is like a 3am brainstorm session on barricading, mind you..

So, no surprise then when I heard the whole thing fall down and a galloping cat go down the hall.  Daphne was next to me, which means Fredo was apparently the galloper.  He ended up in another bedroom down the hall, and we’re like, well what the crap.  Apparently he’s pretty quick on his feet.  I’ve also mentioned how he always wants to use the big litter box, which is downstairs.. so we thought, maybe he wants to go down there.  But before we could pick him up, he just went down the stairs while we stood at the top and freaked out.

Soooo… cats don’t care.  I think that’s what I’ve always liked about cats anyway (cat person through and through), they do their own thing.  He didn’t want the litter box though, so after a few minutes we put him back in his crate house, and he stayed there for about 18 hours.. seriously.  We opened it up and were like, hey, come out.  Nope.  He was standing firm in his defiance LOL.

He did come out eventually though, and I brought him downstairs.  Pre-surgery, one of his spots was on our chaise lounge on the couch (we would joke that it’s a good thing we got a couch with a chaise lounge, for Fredo), and I saw him walking toward that and decided to see how it went for him.  I don’t think it was necessarily easy, but he pretty smoothly jumped up there and got comfortable.  But then his OTHER spot is the back of the couch, so he gave that a shot a little later with pretty minimal effort.  Good stuff!  Two pics ahead… I swear I haven’t seen him as relaxed thus far as he is in that second picture.  Cracks me up.

Our regular vet also called to check up on him.. the office where the surgery was actually performed has not called.  I’m not trying to be a whiner about it, but I am surprised.  I’m used to the smaller office, I suppose.  But at least that guy did call to see how recovery was going.  I can’t complain.. it’s all going well.

I can’t believe a week ago today I was a nervous wreck in the vet’s office.  This has been a really fast week, comparably.. the last two recoveries felt like they were dragging.  I think that’s the e-collar’s fault.  Cloud Collar for the win!  Happy Monday everyone!

20150405_193221

Couch nap

Couch nap

Cruising right along

Hi there,

Not too much going on over here.  Our big guy has one dose of his Buprenex left.  I tapered him down… randomly, I work for a prescription insurance management company, and one big part of my job is assisting pharmacists in implementing taper schedules for some of our members who are on high doses of meds (usually narcotics).  So, when my vet was like, three times a day and then he’s done!  I was like, hold on, this is buprenorphine.. we’re going to take it easy.  I know, I’m not a vet, but in my head I was thinking, let’s ease him out of this.  When I’m not working, I’m a counseling student so the psychological side of me was like, he’ll like this better…  Anywayyy.. with that said, I dropped him to every 12 hours at first, and now it’s been about 22ish hours since his last dose.  He has one left, so we’ll give him that before bedtime and hope that he doesn’t struggle too much when there are no more doses.

He does seem to be better once he’s had more time between doses.  Case in point, I was just chilling here on the couch, and he jumped up onto my recliner foot rest thingie.  This is his usual spot when we’re watching tv, he likes to hang out near us.  He has not shown any real affection since pre-surgery so the fact that he wanted to sit near us was a win!  Not to mention, he JUMPED up here.. his back leg is such a champ.   (see picture #1)

His new thing is to hide out in the farthest corner of our closet that he can manage, hidden behind some stuff.  He was there at bedtime last night until we pulled him out today around 6pm, so LOTS of rest for his little body.  His incision looks so good.  During the last procedure when he had the bump removed from his ankle, it got swollen with liquid that we had to drain, and that just freaked me out. I was convinced it was infected and he would die from it.. LOL.  In this case, the surgeon actually said that this may happen and it’s normal, but so far there’s nothing.  I was told it is a result of muscles rubbing together and liquid forming underneath the surface, so it’s generally not a big deal.  But nevertheless, if we can avoid it, that is ideal for me.  And I think initially there was some bruising near his incision site, that seems to be gone.. the incision has no weird crusty stuff and no redness.  I’m pretty happy with our ability to get this guy healed!  The recovery the last two times just wasn’t as smooth as I’d wanted, so that’s why I was worried this time.  I added a picture (picture #3) of the closet setup… when we were out, we pushed the crate up against the closet door so that he wouldn’t have TOO much roaming room, but also so we didn’t have to lock him in the crate while we were gone.  One of our unframed wedding pictures served as a barrier because in my neurotic head, I imagined him trying to jump over the crate.  Unlikely, but whatever..

I took the picture of him (#2) in the litter box (I removed the lid to make it easier for him) because he just looked so funny staring at the ceiling.  I feel like if he could talk and see things on the internet he’d be like, UMM HELLO, untag me please.  But, on that note, I did swap out the litter for giant pine-y pellets which didn’t thrill him at first, but oh well.  Life goes on, buddy!  He is so stinking graceful getting into that box though.  Once his first two feet are in, he’s able to push off that back leg and somehow make it look smooth.  Impressive.  Cats are just remarkable.. or maybe that’s true for all animals?

Last picture is Fredo with some flowers from his human grandparents.  I imagined something much cuter; instead he was like, I’m really thirsty…. that is all.

I shall return with many exciting stories of non-medicated cats.. actually I’m pretty sure we’ll have more of the same updates until his stitches are out (April 15) and he can start increasing his activity a bit.  Still, I’ll probably at least come back with some pictures before then.  I’ll try to get an updated picture of his incision when he’s not adorably comfortable next to me.  🙂

The pictures are out of order, and I am not motivated enough to fix them (when I get good at this blogging thing, I’ll add the pictures IN the text so it’s not like a giant clump of pictures at the end).  You get it though!

#4

#4

#3

#3

#1

#1

#2

#2

Day 3

Hi all,

So three days since surgery, and Fredo is progressing well, I think.  I assume his incision is healing.  The stitches are intact and there’s no weird redness or swelling.  His walking looks good, and we have dropped him to two doses of pain medication (every 12 hours) which seems to be working really well.  He’s been much more vocal today, although his “talking” does seem like yelling, if that were possible.  Or like a cranky old grandpa.  Anyway, I’m cool with it.

Oh, so we were told one of the side effects of the Buprenex is constipation, so we haven’t been terribly bent out of shape about him not going #2 since he’s been home..  but remember his displeasure with his tiny litter boxes… today he got into the laundry room and before we found him, he’d hopped into his old box, spun around a few times, squatted and did his biz!  My husband and I literally high-fived, and then took a moment to wonder how this was our life.. HAHA.  We don’t have kids yet, but I imagine there are a few moments like that coming up once we do.  Yikes.

But seriously.. yay!  I was worried about the logistics of the #2-ing, like how does one get enough leverage with only one leg?  But he did just fine.  Even dug a hole before he started.  And then he jumped out of that box with the most spring in his step that I’ve seen thus far.  And now it becomes very aware that I must go buy newspaper litter like, TONIGHT.  So, that’s the plan.

The cloud collar was worth the investment (of $12, so not exactly the most expensive endeavor for us lately, Fredo-wise).  I think most of his problem with the e-collar was that it was so much work to turn his head to see things (because it involved turning his whole body), and now he’s able to turn his head like a normal guy.  🙂

We have four doses of medication left, which will bring us to Saturday morning.  Hopefully at that point we don’t have too many issues with pain??  I hope.  We are finally really good at squirting that stuff into the cheek.  He’s probably like, WOOHOO this is so much better than last time.

Side note – we bought a “Love Glove” which is just a cat brush that you wear, and Fredo was pretty indifferent about it, but Daphne loooooved it.  Plus we got a ton of fur off her with it.  Just fyi if your cats typically don’t like brushes.

No exciting Fredo pictures today, since sadly I was not able to ambush him with a camera while he was in his litter box (ha), but here are a couple pics anyway.

 

Daphne, for good measure.

Daphne, for good measure.

Enjoying his post at the patio door

Enjoying his post at the patio door

 

Day 2 at home

Heyo,

Nothing terribly new over here.   He smells.. I’m fairly sure that he’s peeing on himself because he doesn’t have two hind legs to crouch in the litter box.  I don’t really know what sort of adjustments cats make for this kind of situation, but I’m sure he’ll get more comfortable eventually.  In all honesty, the litter box is sort of small, so he gets in there and spins in circles until something feels right.  Maybe a bigger box would be helpful.  But, at the end of it all, he’s using it, so it is what it is, for now.  He is apparently desperate to use his normal litter box, he just goes over there and sits in front of the door.  Tomorrow I might buy some more “tripawd-safe” litter and just swap that litter out so I don’t have to block him out.

I ordered some waterless cat foam shampoo-y stuff which Amazon says will be delivered before 8pm tonight (I’m in AZ–they have an hour!) so maybe he’ll let me get close enough to use that on him.  The doc recommended cold compresses for three days (followed by warm compresses after that) and so far that has been wildly unsuccessful.  He’s like, get away woman.  Leave me to lay here on the rug.  Or that’s what I imagine he’s saying.  I ordered some cat shampoo towelettes too, because I’m lazy and get everything from Amazon.  Those should be on their way soon.

I also got the cloud collar, as you can see from the picture below.  I swear he’s happier.. it sure is nice having that peripheral vision.  I’m keeping an eye on it though, I don’t want to worry about it popping off when we’re not around or being too uncomfortable for him to rest.  He’s not really able to get his face to the ground to sleep like he is with the cone.  It’s an experiment, for now.  It is just air so it might serve as a fairly comfortable pillow.

I took a video earlier, but it ended with him doing awkward litter box circles and stumbling quite a bit and I felt bad.  Then it felt like a rather private moment, so I’ll get another video another time.  People were impressed with the video of his walking yesterday, that was cute.  He is so far a very great success story.  However, I am very much looking forward to the day that we can remove the cones/collars and he can clean himself, and his butt fur grows back.  It is incredible how thick cats’ coats are!  I know that sounds dumb, but here in AZ, people always say that cats can’t get stung by scorpions because the hair is too dense.. I totally get it.  That is another lesson learned for the past few days.  🙂

By the way, if we have any Instagrammers, I have commandeered the hashtag #tripawdfredo, I’ll be posting pics under that tag from time to time rather than going totally crazy over here.  xoxo

Wants the old litter box real bad!

Wants the old litter box real bad!

Cloud collar is a success, so far..??

Cloud collar is a success, so far..??

Little video

Here’s a video of the kiddo.  Getting around really well!  Nowhere to go but up, big guy!  Also, I have committed a grievous error by recording this video vertically.  My husband must have been feeling nice today and didn’t make fun of me for it–one of his pet peeves.  Ha!  That’s completely off-topic.  (Side note, I just asked him why he didn’t say anything about it, and he said he didn’t realize, and now we’re debating why it’s a natural way to film on a phone.. ANYWAY…)

A good first day for our buddy.  He fought me going into the crate house, but apparently when I wasn’t home, he went in there on his own to relax when the door was open.  Cute!

Good night, lovely people!

Fredo is home.. and suggestions/recommendations

Hi all,

I got a surprise call from Fredo’s surgeon this morning, saying the night went well and he could go home.  I asked when, and he said, how about 11?  Surprise!  I had not prepared his little space at home, of course.. I thought I had an extra day.  So, I stopped for some different litter (no clay, but natural plant material or something), a new little bed, and the Kong toys with catnip were buy 2 get 1 free so obviously I got those.. not for now, but after he’s healed of course.  He loves the ones you fill with catnip, so we have about 8 of them already.  Oh well.

We got home, he was REALLY happy (okay disclaimer–I’m not sure if happy is the right word, since he’s on drugs and also doesn’t speak English) to get out of his crate and hobble around.  He was on his feet immediately, going from room to room.  He headed straight for his litter box (which had the clay litter in it still), which has a lid and kind of a high step.  He got in with minimal problems but couldn’t really get comfortable in there and gave up.  He tried again a little later, it was unsuccessful again, but this time he just sort of gave up in general and laid down on the laundry room floor.  Sad!  I took him out to the living room, and he got comfortable.  BUT THEN.. I turned around for a minute, and he was gone.. and up the stairs.  Whaaaaat!  OF COURSE the vet’s instructions said, no stairs or beds or furniture.  So, from a healing standpoint, it freaked me out, but I did feel reassured that he will adjust to stairs without a problem.

The vet suggested a large dog crate with his litter box, food, and a comfy sleep space, so I was in the process of setting that up when he went on his little stair climb.  I finished that up and locked him up in there.. it sounds sad that he’s locked up in his own house, but he actually got comfortable really quickly and has been napping (more or less) for the last few hours.   I covered it with a blanket, so it seems pretty relaxing?  I wouldn’t totally mind a comfy cave bed.  Also, let me mention that we’ve never owned a dog.. ha!  Along with Alfredo, I also inherited a large dog crate from my roommate.  I knew we were holding on to this for a reason.

Ah, we also had a conversation about litter at the vet; the vet tech did suggest the newspaper-y pellets for litter, which I’ve had before.  When I stopped at PetsMart (PetSmart?  Not sure) they only had giant bags of said litter, so I decided to get a smaller bag of the all-natural “plant material” stuff pictured below.  He said this was okay.  Generally, we want to avoid infection, so the clay-based formula is no bueno.  Still, since they are small pieces, I’m going to keep an eye on it.  I bought some disposable trays and had to cut down the sides so it’s easier for him to step into.  It seems like a pretty decent setup.  The vet tech said he was just peeing on himself, poor guy.  Mostly because he was on drugs and didn’t feel like moving, so the tech just cleaned him up with some non-water soap?  I may look into this, since bathing isn’t recommended right now, and he is so dirty.  I might be wiping him down with some towels throughout the next couple of weeks.  He’s so clean normally, which isn’t surprising since he is a cat.  But I think his life’s joy comes from cleaning himself, for real.  But anyway, off topic.. what I meant to say was, while I was out earlier, he peed in his little litter box, and that is very exciting!  Haha.  I don’t want to have to think of him peeing on himself.

Yesterday I bought some calming spray.  I have never tried this… Fredo does historically have some nerves and a puking problem (he gets nervous about eating and sometimes eats too fast, yada yada), so it wouldn’t be the worst idea ever.  Even so, I thought it couldn’t hurt, so I sprayed as much of the downstairs that I could.  Might be working, might not be.  Who knows.

So here is where I open it up for anyone else who has suggestions–particularly for the period of recovery when the pain medications stop, which at this point will be Thursday or Friday.  What should I expect?  Any other tools or tricks to make this process easier?  I’m going to head to the blogs after I post this, but still.. all advice welcome!

Pictures ahead!

Happy to be home

Happy to be home

Daphne checking out the new digs.

Daphne checking out the new digs.

Chill dude

Chill dude