Fredo is home.. and suggestions/recommendations

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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

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  • benny55 says:

    FREDO!! You are one brave Dude! Nothing’s gonna hold you back!!

    You really are doing a stellar job of caring for Fredo’s every need! Good job!!

    Others can give you advice in kitty cleaning, etc. He’ll get the hang of it. This is really, really early in recovery so he’ll figure things out in another few days. He clearly has no lroblem getting around in three legs already! Unbelievable!!

    Usually cats don’t need lain meds as long as dogs. My Happy Hannah was on them almost three weeks. Cat owners can give you more input in that.

    Keep these great updates…and cute photos coming!!

    Hugs to all!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

    • Jaime says:

      Thanks for the nice words! I still feel inadequate as a cat parent, ha! Mostly because, you know, his leg got amputated. I know that’s wrong though, haha. He is very relaxed though since being home so I’m happy for that.

  • rica55 says:

    Yeah Fredo!! Way to show the doggys how the kitty’s get it done!!! This all sounds exactly like Jills experience. I brought her home and she was shocking me with how mobile she was. She had also peed on herself at the vet so I think that’s fairly normal.
    I’m embarrassed for Jill that Fredo is already going up steps!!! She’s still, TWO YEARS later, needing a boost to get on the couch and bed but I expect that’s because I babied her too much.
    As for the pain meds, is he getting buprenex? That’s what Jill got and she was in it for six days. After that nothing and she was totally fine.
    I have heard of some kitties needing additional days of pain meds so I would just keep an eye on him. One thing- some back leg cat amps (not dogs for some odd reason) do this backward walk thing. Jill didn’t, but I was warned about it beforehand by another mom whose kitty did it so I waited and waited for Jill to do it but she never did. If you google “cat leg amputated backwards walk” there’s some info on it and a video.
    Keep us posted and let me know if you have any questions! If you have any questions or concerns you need a quick answer to feel free to email me!

    • Jaime says:

      I am baffled by the stairs myself! I wonder how he’d be without some active pain meds in his system. But he got up there so quickly. He’s been impressive so far but we’ll see how it goes once the meds start coming down. It is Buprenex. SUCH A PAIN. They want it administered under the tongue, and I have a hard enough time just getting him to open his mouth for me. Might be a two-person job. I’ll check out those videos.. sounds weird! I will definitely shoot you an email with any questions that come up. 🙂

      • rica55 says:

        You don’t have to do it under the tongue, you can also do it just inside his mouth as well, that’s what I did and it was much easier!

        • Jaime says:

          Okay that sounds good. We’ve done the best we can (including a 1am administration this morning, that was awesome..) just to get it into his mouth and try to avoid just shooting it in there. I do remember the doctor saying the gums would be okay, but the vet tech was very specific about getting it under his tongue. Either way, all things considered he seems to be in good spirits so something must be working in there. He is in a crate all day today so hopefully he isn’t too miserable!

  • kazann says:

    I’m glad Fredo is home, it means he is doing well. I don’t think I can give great advice on pain meds because Mona went nutty on them. She got real wily when it was time for her next dose. She escaped from the house by crashing through a screen door on days 3-4 and was gone for 24 hours. If you think he’s still in pain after Thursday then talk to your vet about continuing with the meds.

    Although Mona was nutty, she did not wear a cone, didn’t bother her stitches but scratched the drain which the vet had to remove anyway. I would just wipe her using a damp baby’s facecloth and she loved that.

    The litter box and Mona. Well that did not go well. She raced around the house (escape artist) and peed everywhere but the litter box (which had the newspaper pellets). She peed inside a desk drawer. Finally I got the old used litter from the garbage and put that on top and she used it by balancing on the lip and peeing over the edge! In retrospect I think all of this is too much change for her. Mona became happier when I gave up and let her do whatever she wanted to do.

    Hmmm, this makes Mona sound like a monster cat. She’s actually very calm and sweet. The vet’s office said she was the easiest going cat they’ve ever had. Fredo sound sweet also. Hope he grows happier every day as he feels better.


    • Jaime says:

      Haha no monsters here! Fredo is very mild-mannered 97% of the time and then the rest of the time he is just a maniac. LOL. I guess we’re all a little entitled to that time, especially if we had their circumstances.

      Crazy your kiddo didn’t need a cone! After his last procedure he IMMEDIATELY pulled a stitch after we removed the bandage off his leg. We hate seeing him in cat depression with his cone, but it is better than the alternative.

      Any thoughts on how to know for sure if he’s in pain? The tech said I could decrease meds to twice a day if I thought he was doing well, but I’m not sure how to really tell.

  • kazann says:

    Amputation is major surgery. I wouldn’t decrease until I start seeing more “normal” behaviours, perhaps in 2-3 days. Mona seemed nuttier when it was time for more pain meds so maybe the pain was starting up again.

    Cats don’t show obvious signs of paint.They may hide and I believe their heart rate increases when in pain but that would be hard to monitor. Also if you touch the surgical site and if Fredo pulls away or snaps at you he may have some pain. Ultimately I think it’s best to watch for changes in behaviour.

    By the way I believe it’s okay to just get the Buprenex on the gums. The intention is for it to absorb, not to be swallowed at the back of the mouth.

    Hope this helps,

    • Jaime says:

      Okay thanks! He did get pretty restless right before the 1am medication.. but he’d also been in the crate for quite a while by that point so maybe he was just needing to move around a bit.

    • nicholasandcompany says:

      Yep, Buprenex is absorbed transmucosally, so you want to give it either in the cheek pouch (my cats’ preference) or underneath the tongue. Won’t do any harm if it’s swallowed, but you won’t get very good absorption.

      Glad to hear that Fredo is doing so well post-op!

  • Codie Rae says:

    Wow! Sounds like you pretty much have all the bases covered! Its been a long time since I had kitties so I don’t have much in the way of advice. But Earthbath makes grooming wipes for cats (I have used their dog wipes and liked them)if you want to go that route.
    Hoppy to hear Fredo is doing so well, can’t keep a good kitty down!


    • nicholasandcompany says:

      I used these when Nick had similar urinary issues post-op, and loved them. Not sure that Nick was all that enamored with the scent, but they got the job done.

      • Jaime says:

        Perfect! I’m going to swing by on the way home and grab some.

        • nicholasandcompany says:

          * We used the dog version, because I am mean and like the fruity smelling stuff… he probably would’ve preferred the cat ones above, but again… I am mean. 😉

  • mike&iris says:

    Congratulations! I’m in the same stage as you. 2nd day home, refuses the ice pack and just starting trying to lick the wound so we are in the cone. I bought a donut but she could still lick her wound. She, is Iris, a 5 month Pitbull. Right rear amputation. It’s sad but I’m letting her cry herself to sleep right now, I’m in college so I have to get some school work done, but I’ll be back by her side after not too long.

    I wish you and Fredo a speedy and seamless recovery!

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