It’s been two weeks (well, almost) so we have finally let Sebastian out into his room (empty of anything to jump on). He is THRILLED! He hopped right out of the crate and walked a few laps around the room. Then he rolled around on the floor for a while, in true Sebastian style.
Even after an hour or so you can tell that his walking (or hopping) is getting better. He can also move pretty fast when he wants to (is that a treat in your hand!?).
In other news, we have been having a lot of trouble getting him to eat this past week. I finally called the vet and found out it is likely because of the antibiotics (Clavamox). Per some advice from people on this site, we tried tuna juice and chicken baby food. He really liked the baby food by itself but didn’t eat a lot when I mixed it in with his food. Pretty much every day he takes a few bites and calls it quits, no matter what he is fed. But it’s getting better…he was eating nothing, then very little, then a little more. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully he will eat more now that he is out and about.
Sebastian’s progress has been a little up and down, but it’s been more positive than negative.
Over the weekend he was definitely in pain, though we didn’t immediately realize that was the issue and nearly panicked. On Sunday he refused to eat or get out of bed. Up until then he had no problem taking his antibiotics with his food (made little pill meatballs), but that day I had to force them down his throat. When either of us approached him he wouldn’t acknowledge us at all – eyes closed, staying in bed, no noise – when usually he is much more alert and chatty. And whenever I pet him, he got mad.
I was planning to call the doctor Monday morning, but there was no need. He got right up and demanded breakfast. Loudly. He ate a whole can of wet food but refused the dry food. I guess he’s too good for it now. He was also in a good mood all day. Whew!
Then on Tuesday he refused to eat much again, but was otherwise fine. He was very clearly hungry though, so it was a little confusing. Eventually I got him to eat food out of my hand but he wouldn’t eat out of his dish. My best guess is he is in some way bothered by the e-collar when he is eating. Or he’s a momma’s boy. Who knows!
Today he is in an even better mood. He wants out of the crate bad. Soon, Sebastian, soon!! As much as I hate to see him locked up, it is forcing him to get some rest. You can tell he needs it too. After a little while of being up and moving around, you can just see him getting tired.
More good news – his incision looks AMAZING and his fur is growing back!!
Sebastian is still doing pretty good. His incision looks great, at least to my untrained eyes. He’s eating, drinking, and even going #2 (that took a few days). The vet gave him pain meds before he was released and said they would wear off in 3 days. I think they have worn off because he seems to be sleeping more. He’s still in a reasonably good mood though.
I wanted to share some more post-surgery photos with you all. It has been hard to get decent pictures with him sleeping all the time and with the big e-collar on his head.
It’s been 3 days since the surgery. Sebastian is MUCH happier now. He’s acting a lot like his usual self (still grumbly, but that’s normal). I believed everyone that said he would physically get right back up, but emotionally? I wasn’t so sure, especially given his tendency for freak outs.
The vet said he would like Sebastian to stay in the dog crate for two weeks, then he can be in his own room for a while. It kind of sucks that he has to stay locked up, but I guess it’s for the best. At least we can move it around so he is always in the same room as us. He tried to escape the crate a few times on the first day but now he seems to be accepting it. He’s also being super cute! Maybe it’s a “let me out” tactic. He’s rolling around, doing headstands practically, and trying to get belly rubs (successfully). Not sure if the headstands are OK for his incision but whatever. He’s happy! Yay!
The surgery went well and Sebastian is home early. He is doing OK so far.
They were going to keep him in the hospital for 2-3 days, but they sent him home less than 24 hours later because he was so miserable. They think he will recover better at home. I also get the feeling he was violent…which to me is great news, because he must have been feeling decent enough to put up a fight!! Plus angry Sebastian = my Sebastian. If the girl said “oh he’s doing great, he’s so mellow” I would have been terrified.
They also said he wasn’t eating, but he wolfed down a bowl of food when he got home. Clearly coming home made him feel better.
Now he’s resting in the dog crate with the occasional grumble and angry chatter. He grumbles, I tell him he’s a good boy, and he meows in agreement (hopefully). We’ll see where his mood is tomorrow. Hopefully he is not in a lot of pain. The doctor doesn’t want him moving about just yet, so we’ll keep him in the crate for a couple days. It seems like he just wants some peace and quiet. And food, of course.
For any future tripawd kitty moms and dads, here’s a little more detail. The place we took him was very nice and let us bring in a bed and t-shirt from home with everyone’s smells on it (per Jill’s mom). I’m not sure it made a difference, but it was worth a try. We also brought in his own food because he has skin allergies. This animal hospital also has 24 hour care and pet parents can call ANY time…that’s super important.
That’s pretty much it. Now we just have to wait until next week for the pathology report. Thanks everyone for your positive thoughts and prayers.
Since the surgery isn’t until tomorrow, I am trying to keep busy. This is how I deal with things. Fortunately, there is a lot to do!
The surgeon said that he doesn’t want Sebastian to be jumping AT ALL while his wound heals (3 weeks). This seems a little different from what other people have gone through but I’m going to take what he says seriously. It can’t hurt. He said to either keep him in his very own room with no furniture, or in a large dog crate (unless heavily supervised). Fortunately we can accommodate both. I think this will be good because all 3 of our cats like to be up high – none of them like to hide under things. I think the temptation to jump and climb will just be too much in the rest of the house.
So, I spent Saturday cleaning out a room upstairs that is currently used for storage. All 3 cats helped, of course. They checked all of the boxes for me. I also made the room suitable for me to stay in, since I work from home and only require a seat and a laptop. So I threw a mattress on the floor with lots of pillows. We’ll see which one of us (me or Sebastian) uses it more.
Here’s some special considerations I thought of or got from others:
Crate – This may go downstairs eventually. I am going to keep a sheet to cover it with so that Sebastian can have his privacy. Someone else mentioned how important a hiding place is for a cat that feels vulnerable (for instinctual reasons).
Baby gates – Normal people would walk into our house and think we have children. Plug protectors, cabinet locks, baby gates…all for the cats. Well the baby gate helps with the dog too. We always have issues with Sebastian when bringing anyone to the vet and back (he has some SERIOUS vet anxiety and doesn’t even like smelling it on another cat). It has resulted in some spats. So when I read about needing to re-introduce the tripawd cat to the rest of the household, it made a lot of sense. Instead of waiting for a re-introduction, I’m going to use double stacked baby gates in the doorway to his room so that they can see & smell each other. I’ll have to close the door when I’m not there because one of his brothers is an excellent climber.
Onsies – Saw this on Fang and Jill’s blogs. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get him in one or keep him in one, but the thought of Sebastian tolerating a cone is just as concerning. He’s moody and gets very upset if you try to “contain” him. We’ll see. I sewed up the arm hole of a onsie and put some denim on the outside (scratch proof!). I made my other cat, Barney, try it on. They are similar in size and he is less likely to kill me for dressing him.
Wet food – Barney had a cancerous tumor removed earlier this year (don’t get me started on our luck). The one thing that really bothered me was that since he was contained and didn’t have free access to our fancy pet water fountain, he really did not drink enough water. He was rather miserable (mostly because of the cone) and laid in my lap the whole time, rarely getting down to drink from a bowl. So I’m going to try to prevent that with Sebastian – he’ll have a water bowl of course, but I got him some wet food that I can mix with water to get him to drink more. That’s a little trick I learned volunteering at the Humane Society.
Some pictures for your entertainment…
I’ll keep you posted on the surgery tomorrow!
P.S. He seems to be doing alright. He’s still limping but it’s worse now, and he is favoring that paw a lot. He also keeps licking where the tumor is. It can’t be comfortable. I don’t think he is in any pain though since he lets me touch it and has no problem getting around. He can’t climb as well though. We have a huge floor to ceiling cat tree in the living room and he usually climbs up the posts like a tree. The other day he tried, made it almost to the top, couldn’t pull himself up and required a boost. It’s no surprise, the vet said the tumor has started affecting muscle. Poor baby.
On Wednesday, March 12th, my fiance and I noticed our cat limping. His shoulder looked very swollen. We immediately got him in to see the vet, thinking he had hurt himself somehow. We had no idea that less than an hour later we would be devastated with the news that our handsome, charming Sebastian has a huge, aggressive tumor and is going to lose his leg.
Sebastian is an indoor cat, and we are constantly interacting with him and our other animals, so the vet knew this tumor had practically grown over night. He gave us the evening to digest the news with the assumption that we would be returning very soon for an amputation. In the meantime, our vet consulted a specialist for a 2nd opinion.
After many tears, restless nights, and talking back and forth with the two vets, we have the amputation scheduled for Monday, March 17th. So far, it doesn’t appear the cancer has spread, but it is impossible to know until the tumor is looked at.
We are devastated but so thankful that this community is here to inform and comfort us. It’s going to be a long journey, maybe more so for us than Sebastian, but we are trying to stay positive.