Steve is home from the hospital for the night. Tomorrow we have an appointment with the specialist who is performing her surgery. The receptionist I made her appointment with said that her surgery will probably be Wednesday. She had x rays and bloodwork done today to prep her for surgery. One of the technicians said that she was good for her bloodwork but was having none of the x rays!
I’ve heard from a lot of the staff how sweet and awesome Steve is. They all really love her and I think they’ve been spoiling her a little extra! The overnight tech last night sent me a picture of her!
I’m still a little scared but I’m trying not to get overwhelmed. I’m just taking it all one step (or hop) at a time. I picked her up from the hospital this afternoon and got discharge instructions for tonight and tomorrow morning. Tomorrow we go to the specialist and ask all of the questions we have on our minds. Maybe Steve comes home after that. Maybe not, but we’ll go from there.
At the end of the week, Saturday, is Steve’s 2nd Gotcha Day. I’m looking forward to that. I hope she doesn’t have to celebrate it in the hospital, but really, I’ll just be grateful that she gets to celebrate it at all!
Steve and I were at the vet first thing this morning. The plan was for Dr Sarah and I to remove a chunk of poop that was stuck down low in Steve’s colon. Dr Sarah gloved up and went in. She felt the same thing I felt and tried like I did to remove it with no luck. She decided that she wanted to give Steve a pain med injection before proceeding any further and to take and X Ray to make sure that we were actually dealing with what we thought we were dealing with.
Steve has megacolon. Her entire colon is filled with more poo than I’ve ever seen. I felt myself deflate and the tears well up. I’ve feared this for 2 years. Dr Sarah started talking and I don’t know how much of it I actually caught and processed. Then I realized that I needed to straighten up and make a plan for Steve. This wasn’t a death sentence. Dr Sarah was talking about things step by step. First, she’ll take Steve for the day and work on emptying her colon. Then, she’ll see where her colon’s elasticity is. Is it actually megacolon, or just a lot of backed up poop? She’ll get in touch with the surgeon who handles megacolon surgeries. She’ll send him the X Ray and get his opinion. Maybe Steve will spend the night while they work on emptying her out some more. If it is megacolon, we’ll talk post op prognosis with the surgeon. Is Steve going to live a happy life after surgery? Is she going to continue to be at risk for this again? Is it worth putting Steve through surgery?
I’ve cried a lot in the last 3 hours. I’ve accepted my cat’s mortality many times. I’ve prepared myself to say goodbye to her many times. I’ve also set up a youcaring page for her because Jay and I can’t afford surgery. I won’t link it here because I’m pretty sure that’s breaking the rules, but it isn’t private and it is searchable if you are interested in helping out. If we do not go through with the surgery, any funds raised beyond Steve’s current vet bill will be donated to the Guardian Angel Fund at Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, which paid for Steve’s amputation surgery.
I’ve had a lot of support from family, friends, and total strangers. I’m eternally grateful for that. Please remain positive for me that Steve will get to celebrate her 2 year adoptiversary on Saturday, even if it’s in surgical recovery.
I’ve been missing from the blogs for how long? Over the past few days while the blogs have moved to a new server, I’ve wanted nothing more than to blog. Steve has not been doing well and I’ve needed to vent or to beg for support or pity from you all or something…I don’t really know.
As mentioned in my last post, Steve’s constipation troubles have flared up again. The doctor she saw last Friday had recommended Royal Canin’s fiber response diet. I’m not a big fan of Royal Canin, so I did a little research. I looked for success stories on the internet and asked my sister’s sister in law (who just graduated from vet school) what she thought about the food. She said she’s a fan and that one of her co-workers is having a lot of success with it with his cat. Finally, I asked Steve’s regular doctor. She wanted to go a no fiber route and recommended a fresh frozen diet. Steve wanted NOTHING to do with it. Even Saxon and Spyder turned their noses up at it.
To add insult to injury, after coming home from boarding, Steve’s appetite was in the toilet and she still wasn’t pooping. I found myself back at the vet on Wednesday afternoon seeing the doctor that had administered two enemas to Steve over the weekend. We talked diet again. She also recommended the fiber response, so I was sold. She ran bloodwork on Steve to check her electrolytes, then administered an enema and sent her home. I was told to expect poop by Thursday afternoon. That night, I ran out to Petsmart and picked up Steve’s new and VERY expensive ($44 for an 8.8 pound bag) prescription food as well as some new options of wet food to give her her Miralax in since she was obviously getting burned out on what she had been eating. She had no appetite for dinner, so I syringe fed her 25 mL of beef broth with her Miralax mixed in on doctor’s orders.
Thursday, in the middle of my walks (ie. my workday), I stopped home to take Yorrick out to pee and to check on Steve, who was locked in the bathroom. No poop, but she did eat REALLY well. I called the vet with the good and bad news. She was hopeful that Steve was eating. We made a plan for me to keep monitoring for poop and to pick up supplies to administer a warm soapy water enema at home on Friday if there was no poop by Thursday night or Friday morning.
So here we are on Friday. Steve continues to eat well. Her attitude is…meh. She’s not 100% my Stevie girl, but she’s also not the “I feel like crap” cat that I saw Tuesday night which led me to make Wednesday’s appointment. Still no poop, so Jay just helped me administer her soapy water enema. It’s working a little already.
I miss my cat. I can’t wait for her to be normal again so she can snuggle with me on the sofa or lounge on the floor wherever and whenever she pleases. I hate leaving her in the bathroom all day and night. I just want her to get better.
As I said in my last post, Saturday was Steve’s 2 year Ampuversary, and Jay and I were on a mini vacation for the weekend.
Jay took Friday off to leave for the Jersey shore early. He slept in a little, but was still awake earlier than I was (one of the perks of being a dog walker is the late morning start). I got up and wasn’t one foot out of the bedroom when he told me to watch where I stepped because someone had puked everywhere. He wasn’t kidding. It was EVERYWHERE! Part of me cursed him for not cleaning it up, part of me was happy he had left it so I could see what it consisted of and if it was something to be concerned about. Oh man, was it something to be concerned about!! I must have cleaned up 20something piles of puke. I traced it all back to Steve because she was the most lethargic and ….well….she had puke in her beard. I felt her belly for hard stool and didn’t feel anything, so I hoped it was just a case of the kitty pukes. I fed everyone and let her eat breakfast next to me. She ate a little then called it quits which I blamed on her recent pukes. I went to work and hoped that Jay would keep me posted before he left.
Jay texted me around noon that Steve was still puking. CRAP! I was able to swing by home an hour later and found she had puked up breakfast. Double CRAP! I had been fearing it all day. All signs pointed to constipated. I felt her belly again and still didn’t feel anything. I finished my day and kept trying to talk myself out of Steve being constipated, but when I finished and got home I took another feel – a good feel – and there it was. Triple CRAP! I called the vet. They could see me in an hour. Instead of dinner and a shower before packing and driving down the shore, I shoved half a sandwich in my face and packed myself, Jay, and Steve for weekends away (with the intention of Steve staying the weekend at the vet for monitoring).
The vet tech that started our appointment was nice, also a Tripawd owner, but was skeptical. She thought I was probably just looking for hard stool in Steve’s belly and felt something else. I told her that was fine and if Steve just needed a quick Cerenia shot, I would be totally ok with that!! The doctor – one we’ve never seen before – felt the same way. She brought in a different tech to restrain Steve for the feel. This tech, Laura, knew me and laughed about how the tech who took Steve’s vitals at her annual appointment on Monday never noticed that she only had 3 legs. Laura assured her that she knew Steve, has seen plenty of pictures on Facebook, and that Steve definitely only has 3 legs!! Anyways, the doctor felt hard stool. Bummer. Steve was spending the weekend and her ampuversary in the hospital getting enemas. The good news was that they were not going to charge me for hospitalization, just for medical boarding. Phew!!
So Steve made it almost a year and a half with no poop troubles. The doctor wasn’t entirely surprised. She wants to continue with the laxative/wet food plan, and switch Steve’s dry food to a high fiber prescription diet. I’m hoping it doesn’t dig too much into my pockets because I was going to change Yorrick to a rabbit diet. Steve’s diet is more important, though, so Yorrick can wait!
I have been absent a really long time! The reason is good news, if you ask me. I have been incredibly busy with my pet sitting and dog walking business!!
I thought I should check in, though, since this month is Steve’s ampuversary and adoptiversary and today is my vertigo-versary!! I’ve been one year “free” of vertigo!! I put free in quotation marks because I technically still have vertigo. If I stop taking Benadryl, the spins come right back.
Steve continues to be a foster big sister!! I organized my foster animal pictures and counted them all a couple of litters ago. At that point we were in the high 30s. I lost count, but we’re now somewhere in the 50s for how many animals we have fostered in the past 6 years. We have kept two (Spyder and Steve) and 4 have died (2 died several summers ago – 1 from an antibiotic toxicity and 1 from a virus outbreak – and 2 died in the last litter we had, possibly from distemper, possibly from a survival of the fittest type of situation). I think we’re doing pretty good!! Steve camps out at the bedroom door every day, waiting for the kittens to be released to “gen pop!” The distemper litter was kept in quarantine extra long and only got to come out for 3 days before going in for spay and neuter, but those 3 days were incredibly fun! They were so ready to explore anything beyond the closet and Steve, Spyder, and Saxon couldn’t keep up with them!!
Nebula JUST got adopted last week!! Can you believe it?! She was the longest we’ve ever fostered anything! She ended up going to an adoption center at the nearby PetSmart where she lived for just over a week before getting adopted.
Jay had a class with Esteban’s mom so we got to check in on him briefly. He’s doing great and loving life with his one eyed brother!
Steve’s Ampuversary is on the 15th. Jay and I will be on vacation down the Jersey shore, but I’ll try to remember to post to at least the Facebook page! Her Adoptiversary is two weeks later (remember, we signed her adoption papers when we went to have her sutures removed) so I need to make time to come back and post for that! Two whole years!! WOOHOO!!!! (and no more pooping troubles!)
Oops! It’s been awhile since Steve and I have checked in! I guess I’ve just been busy working and taking care of kittens!! Yup, it’s kitten season! In addition to Nebula, we currently have three 7ish week old kittens from a litter of 7 (a staff member at the shelter has the other four). We’ve had them since they were three weeks old. They’re so stinkin’ cute!! No mom came in with them, but they’ve been eating on their own since they arrived.
Poor Steve is trying to be a good foster sister to Nebula and Nebula just keeps hissing and swatting at her. The kittens haven’t been tested for FIV/FeLV so Steve hasn’t really met them yet except for the few times I’ve had them out to bathe them and I’ve let her smell their butts. Of course, she hissed at them, but I’ve caught her a few times at the bedroom door trying to check them out when they’re playing in the bedroom.
We shaved Saxon last week to get rid of some mats and to prevent summer matting. When he came home, Steve didn’t recognize his scent and starting hissing and swatting at him. I couldn’t help but laugh. I even intentionally brought them together a few times to see it happen! I’m so bad!! They’re fine now, back to playing and wrestling. Saxon is so soft! Shaving him was the right decision. He looks kind of funny, but the knots are gone and his coat gets a new start at growing out!
Nebula has been approved to go up for adoption from foster. I’ll be setting up her spay appointment when I’m at the shelter tomorrow for the kittens’ vet check. The kittens will probably be available for adoption in another two weeks. I just weighed them. Two of them are approaching two pounds, and one (the runt) is not quite a pound and a half.
Yorrick turned 7 this past weekend. The only signs of his age are the little tiny lumps and bumps he’s starting to get. I shaved the fur off of each of them so I can keep an eye on them. None has grown bigger than a pea, nor has any changed shape or feel. Everything about them says sebaceous cyst, but I’m still watching them.
I think that’s all you’ve missed. How about some pictures?
I’m sure many are thinking, “What a silly anniversary!” An important milestone in this house, though.
You may recall, in an earlier blog post, I mentioned that Steve was doing well on the GI front (or behind hardy har har). So, I went back and actually looked to see just how well. I dug through Facebook posts and vet records. March 24, 2014 was the last time Steve was at the vet to be deobstipated (unclogged in medical terms)! Knock on wood, it has been a full year of successful pooping! Well…maybe not successful. It took her body a few months to regulate to the new food and the new medication; and there were several days spent locked in the bathroom while she sorted it out. We experimented with grooming wipes vs. baths vs. baby wipes. But it has been a full year without constipation!
I suppose we’ll never know if her GI issues were caused by the same thing that caused her leg malformation/injury, which led to her amputation. Or if her amputation led to trouble getting a good stance in the litter box. Or if nothing was related to anything and she just got unlucky enough to have an injury followed by an amputation followed by severe constipation.
Regardless, I couldn’t imagine life without Steve. I’m happy to celebrate poop! Especially when it isn’t in liquid form and all over my bathroom!!
If you’re interested in or struggling with this topic, here is a great article I read on it :
For some, it’s TMI. For others, it is a matter of life and death. We are so lucky that the former supervising veterinarian at the humane society got a job at our regular vet’s office. She was familiar with Steve and was able to help me during a financially rough time. I am eternally grateful to her!
No rest for the wicked amazing foster parent, that is!
Yesterday, the newest list of foster kitties in need went out. It was all moms with kittens, and we can’t take moms with kittens as we have nowhere to separate them when weaning time comes. HOWEVER!!!! One of the moms has a severely injured leg that may require amputation. I offered to foster that mom post-op if the foster who takes her and her baby for the initial foster period is not comfortable with doing so.
I’ll probably know in about 4-6 weeks if I’m going to be rehabbing another amputee!
For now, it’s just Nebula. She’s made it out into gen pop, but she’s still super skittish. As usual, Steve was the first to reach out to her, and is the first one that Nebula is really taking to.
I got an email from Esteban’s new mom today that said he slept with his new brother on the bed all day today! She said they were even touching paws at one point!! AWWWWW!!!!
Here’s the “answer key” to the “hidden objects” picture I posted of all 6 furry kids
Spyder is hiding there in the back! He was the tough one, huh? 🙂
Cross your fingers and paws for the best possible outcome for that mama cat!
Esteban was adopted today!! His new mom is the epitome of the perfect adopter! She asked all of the right questions and she’s an orange cat lover! She was also very excited to learn about the Tripawds community and I think she’s going to join! We’ll all have to keep an eye out for Jenny and Esteban!! Yup! She said she’s keeping his name 🙂 This is the best I’ve ever felt after sending one of my fosters off for adoption! I’m not sad at all. It’s like he went to an extension of myself!
No more amputee fosters…for now. I can finally take down all of the plastic jugs I had up as a barrier to keep Esteban off of the counter and top of the fridge! What a troublemaker he was!! The constant food struggles will hopefully stop now, too. Everyone was eating everyone else’s food and some cats were getting double meals and some cats were getting half meals…
Last night all 6 furry kids were all in the same room together, as if they knew it was the last chance they had!
Can you spot all 6?
I’m definitely glad I got to have another post op experience with a Tripawd, especially since Esteban’s was so different than Steve’s. Maybe when Jay and I have a bigger place, we can foster a canine Tripawd….then foster fail! 🙂
Even if Esteban doesn’t go to his furever home tomorrow, I wanted to share these:
If only you guys could feel him. His coat was so rough and in such poor shape when he first came to live with us. He’s so soft now! I think I’ve curbed his over-grooming a little too. Hopefully, he continues on this path!