New Normal

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Ok, I have been horrible about checking-in or updating lately so here is the latest! Life seems to have found a new normal for us and the constant stress and fear around E are fading into the past. Where we are at is just our new normal!

E started out with such a great and confident hop (which was shocking for his size) but after a few days that was totally gone and he refused to walk at all- and when he did he was throwing himself all over the place like he had never learned to hop before. We assumed he hurt something or was sore so we did a round of pain meds, which did help. Once he was off the meds he was attempting to move around again, which was a huge relief. It was almost like once his incision was totally healed he was trying to use that missing leg to walk because it felt better and not realizing that it was gone. Almost like while he was on meds and healing maybe in his mind he was holding that missing leg up to not use it, which is why his hop was so nice. Then once he was healed he was trying to use the leg again… but it was gone! Needless to say, he was throwing himself all over the place because he kept trying to use the missing leg. This was pretty consistent for a while, but now he only does it occasionally. We notice it when he goes to get up, thinks that leg is still there, goes to throw it around, and then flops over! Once he does that the bulb in his brain clicks and he centers himself and does a very slow side-hop to where he wants to get. The hop still is not graceful and I only wish it would go back to how well he was doing in the beginning but I just have to keep saying that as long as he can get from point A to point B, thats good enough. He was never very active, no interest in exploring the house, and existed in one room of the house… his life hasn’t changed all that much by this limited mobility. So instead of him jumping on the couch, he gets a boost from whoever is around! We are also trying to get him to lose weight which is easier said than done because of the phenobarbital that he takes, but we are trying!

The one thing that we still occasionally struggle with in the litter box. He knows (and wants) to go in the litter box and we have tried about 5 different set-ups to try and figure out what works best for him. Sometimes he gets his whole body in the box and goes and other times he just sticks his front paws in, digs around and then goes (meanwhile his back end is not in the box at all!)… luckily he is pretty consistent with when he goes and we know in the morning to just put him in the box and chances are he will do his business for the day!

All in all… life has certainly found a new normal around here and every day it could be something different, but at least now we are not newbies at this! We have our struggles but also have some experience in this now! Every single day that we have E around with us is a blessing because we never know when and if his cancer could show back up again. He was the lucky boy that was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that in 25 years of practicing, our vet has never seen and there are very little studies done on because of its rarity. He is the best kitty in the world… happiest when he is next to his humans, nibbling on your fingers, and talking away to you!

 


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Regression?

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

So we are almost at 3 weeks post-op and before he was mastering the three-legged hop very well. We went for our follow-up appointment last week and he was given the ‘looks great’ by the vet. In the last few days (ever since his stitches came out and onesie/t-shirt came off) it is like he has completely forgotten how to use the three legs and is angry when he tries to even attempt to walk. When I try and help him along he tries to throw that back missing leg around like crazy, and he flops all over. Has anyone ever experienced this or have any advice?

BEFORE:

NOW:

Follow-up Visit Update

Well… it has been 13 days since surgery and we just had our follow-up appointment. Stitches are out and the incision has healed so well that he is allowed to groom that area again! Yay for no more onesies at night and big t-shirts during the day to keep him away!!!

Vet was very impressed with how well he is able to get around and his ability to use the litter box… especially given his size! He was even given the ok to travel if we want. Dad’s family has a lake house about 4 hours away that we usually go to for the 4th of July and he is able to come if I choose to bring him instead of leaving him with my mom like usual. Only suggestion was to continue to keep him in his playyard (thank goodness for facebook marketplace) at night or when he is alone so that he doesn’t hurt himself by trying to jump on the couches like he has been.

Wish we better news about the biopsy but all we can hope for is that removing the leg eliminated the extremely rare type of cancer that they found he had. So rare, that our vet of 18 years had never seen it in a cat. We gave him a fighting chance and that is all that matters!

Almost 2 Weeks!

Well, it has been almost two weeks since surgery and things seem to get better each day. Maybe it is just me but I am still not ready to give him the run of the house when he is home alone or at night. He tries to jump on the couches and chairs like he used to go but cant get that big body of his off the ground so I am a little scared he will hurt himself. Decided to invest in a baby play yard that has all he needs and he seems to like it… truthfully it probably just makes me feel better!

I am beyond happy that he has completely gone back to using the litter box. It shocks me to see him be able to hop in and out of it the way he does. This was one of my biggest worries in the days after surgery but he figured it out as everyone said he would.

He, and I, are definitely sick of the onesies and t-shirts to keep him away from the incision/whatever stitches he has left (they are dissolvable). At what point was the incision no long a concern… meaning licking was ok (no cone of shame)?

Post-Op Day 9

Our movement has gotten so much better! Today he actually hobbled all the way to his old litter box, HOPPED in, went, and then ran into the kitchen to try and steal his brothers food… just like old times!!! Stitches are still SUPER itchy and won’t leave them alone… so bad that he is trying to lick them through his t-shirt. Wish there was something we could do to help that! All in all, recovery is going pretty well.