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Day 3 and 4 after surgery!

March 9th, 2014

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Sorry it’s taken me a while to write! Between school and work I was pooped when I got home!

Niko had some amazing milestones yesterday! She let me hand feed her an entire handful of food and she learned how to drink water with the silly cone on her head! Also she hasn’t yet taken nor needed her pain medicine at all. I’m not sure if it was the same for anyone else but she really hasn’t needed it. Really the only thing that bugs her is the cone but that will come off in a week or so. I got her to wear a onsie at one point but she somehow got it off, I’ll have to get her a new one.

Well that’s all their is to really report today! Thank you everyone for your support!

-Niko and Rachel


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After surgery Day 2 (and a little about last night!)

March 7th, 2014

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Scale 1-10
Nikos stress level:  3
Pain level: 2
Movement: HAS FIGURED OUT HOW TO WALK!!!! It’s the standing part that she is having problems with for now!
Mood: Calm most of the time does have a little stress every once in a while when trying to stand
Touching: Let’s me pet her entire body and even lets me pet close to her wound ( I was looking away when that happened)
Eating/drinking: Has shown a little interest in food (hasn’t eaten yet) but none in water
Bathroom: Peed this morning, hasn’t really gone since

Niko is doing much better today than she was yesterday. I thought about going back and editing my last post to sound less scared but decided to let it be. Now for anyone reading this as a source of what to expect let me just say theirs nothing that can really prepare you for that first hour or two when you bring your pet back home from this surgery. It’s scary to watch them walk around while on that pain medication and (in my case) meow in confusion and soreness but I promise they do calm down and as those heavy drugs wear off they do calm down and become more of their normal self. It IS very stressful for yourself but I will give you the same wonderful advice given to me, KEEP CALM. Just remember the sickness has been removed and now all that’s left is to heal! They’re going to be OK.
For Niko I discovered their wasn’t really a ‘hide’ place besides her kennel (and she sure as heck wasn’t about to go back in there). To fix this I got a large box, cut off the opening flaps, put a blanket that had our families scent on it, and then put a heating pad on low under the blanket. This worked WONDERFULLY once she discovered it and she in fact slept quite well in it all night. The heating pad I used was a regular one but that doesn’t mean I’m saying go out and buy one at Walmart or for sure that you can use your own. Only use a regular heating pad if you KNOW that the lowest setting is a SAFE heat source. If you don’t have one or you feel like it’s to hot even with the blanket as a buffer, I recommend getting one at a pet store that’s made for pets!

SO Niko on Day 2 has been wonderful! The only problem she’s had today is with her cone and the fact that she discovered she has to stay in my room for now. I might try the onsie on tomorrow, I would like her wound to be untouched by anything for a few more days though. She has slept all day ON THE BED! That was a great surprise! She couldn’t jump up onto the bed so I did help her up but that’s because I didn’t want her to stress her wound to much right now.  The stitches still look healthy and wonderfully done! No swelling! They did lazier surgery and then a special lazier at the end on the wound and around it to make sure their wasn’t to much swelling and such. All in all it cost about 680 with my student discount. Without the discount it would have been around 880. I’ll try and post a copy of the bill at a later date. The only thing I wish I had have them do differently would be giving me a liquid pain killer since she hasn’t been interested in eating or drinking yet. Other than that she has been wonderful!

As always here is a picture of Niko in her (half) fuzzy cuteness!

Asleep on the bed :)

Asleep on the bed 🙂

 

Day one after surgery

March 6th, 2014

Scale 1-10

Nikos stress level:  10
Pain level: 4
Movement: Moves in small bursts, can sort of walk but has trouble with balance
Mood: Stressed, confused
Touching: Will let me pet her head and upper half of spine
Eating/drinking: Has no intrest, have been offering food and water every once in a while
Bathroom: Has not gone to the bathroom yet

Both of us are very stressed. Nikos surgery went fine they sent her home same day with pills and gave her an injection for pain before she was sent home. I feel like the worst person ever. I tried sitting her (while still in her kennel) on the bed and opened the door for her and she came out. She stumbled around for a while before deciding to get onto the floor. She stumbled around some more then laid down and has been laying there (sleeping now) since. I decided to leave her cone on because she had an EXTREMELY angry reaction to even just being picked up in the kennel so I think (at lest for now) it would be better to leave the cone on and let her be. She’s been pretty much stumbling around right now meowing a lot and very stressed and I feel so helpless to just make it all better now so she just has to learn to walk and doesn’t have to go though this long healing process. So far she seems to better if I leave the computer on playing a gaming channel that I watch a lot on youtube.

I think she’s still trying to use her leg that got removed because I see it twitching a lot. I’m really scared that her stitches will come out but when my dog had to wear the cone because she was fixed she did pretty good.

I really thought I would be ready for this moment but I didn’t expect this feeling of helplessness that has settled in. I read and re read beginning blogs and thought I was extremely prepared for this moment of home coming but to be honest I feel like I did nothing to prepare for this. It’s very scary.

Niko last night before surgery. Leg closest to camera is the one being taken off. After surgery.

 

ANY advice is welcome. Right now she is asleep again. She wakes up and goes back to sleep randomly. I will be sleeping on the floor with her tonight, she does better if I’m right here next to her, if I move away she seems more scared and confused.

Night before surgery :(

March 5th, 2014

Just took Nikos food and water away after trying to feed her some of it before 10 pm. It’s moments like these I wish we had some sort of communication because I know she’s going to have a fit about this in an hour or so. I came home from work to find her once again at the very top of her tree but I think she got up their because she could hear the dog making her usual racket while coming inside. As a bit of a side note she usually didn’t come hide in my room when the dog came in but she has lately and I think it’s because her foot is getting worse so I feel a little better that I’m doing the right thing. Her foot also looks REALLY swollen so whatever is going on in there is getting worse.

Right now, much to my cat’s delight, I’m trying to change the bed covers and do some last minute spot cleaning. I really do mean delight because she likes to attack the covers as they settle and she always is around to supervise that I clean the right way! I accidentally left her kennel out a while ago and I was worried that it would make her nervous considering the only time we have it out is times she’s going to the vet but she surprised me by going in and relaxing and even napping a little in it? I don’t know, I think she’s just trying to confuse my under standing of the feline mind on purpose.

I want to say thank you to everyone for you comments, I promise I am reading them it’s just hard to respond right now between work, the up coming surgery, and being a part time student. I’ll try and get better about commenting but I promise I am reading them and REALLY want to say thank you very much for the support and advice that you all are giving me.

As a happy ending to this post here is a picture I just took of Niko and her micy mice 🙂

20140301_214334

5 days until surgery :(

March 2nd, 2014

Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU! For all your support! I want to quickly say PLEASE feel free to add any advice in the form of comments or other wise EVEN if you think I may already know it! I would rather re-read helpful advice than never hear or even think of it!

Niko is doing alright, her paw bleeds every once in a while which is a little scary but she seriously doesn’t seem to notice! She’s eating normally, acting like she always does, does NOT seem to be in any pain. I want to compare it to when people have an annoying sore leg, like it hurts and you can’t walk on it because that doesn’t feel good but it’s more like an annoying hurt than a truly painful hurt? I really hope that made more sense than it seems. Any who she’s doing good. She does poop on the rug in the dining room every once in a while but she always seems to alert us as soon as she does it. As if she’s saying I’m sorry I don’t want you to be mad at me but it was just to hard to go to the liter box this time! We never scold her for this.

Back to her leg, I have a hope that the transition won’t be that hard because for the past two weeks she seems to have stopped using it and as adapted to life without it’s use. She does of course limp when she walks but I’ve noticed she’s developed a little hop when she’s walking. I did mention this to the vet and they said since she is acting normal and (after I looked at her foot and described it to them) it seems like it’s nothing that needs to be seriously addressed ( as in the amputation date needing to be moved up). Oddly enough when I got home from work I found her at the top of her current tree looking very pleased with herself!

I’m trying to designing a new cat tree for her that will have the same height she has on her first one (it’s maybe 4 feet off the ground?)  but without the crazy vertical leaps that her current one has. Of course she won’t be able to use it for a long time but I know it’ll make her feel great once I deem she can once again leap buildings in a single bound!

Well that’s really all to touch on for today! I’ll try and take some newer pictures of Niko and her micy mice but for now here she is in all her catty cuteness!

Niko on my friends Army backpack, claiming it as her own!

Niko on my friends Army backpack, claiming it as her own!

The beginning

March 1st, 2014

To start off my name is Rachel and I’m 22 years old. I currently have a dog, cat, two birds, two leopard geckos, two mice, and some fish. In this blog I will be sharing my adoring feline friend, Niko, with you all. Please forgive any grammar or spelling errors, they’re not my strong suit.

To start I’d like to tell you a little bit about Niko. She is a 9 year old calico cat (she was a shelter kitten), she is about 14 pounds, and  loves to be in every ones way. She gets along well with my Malamute/husky Jasmine (they do have their moments because Jasmine is 10 months old and still learning Niko is a cuddlier not a rough houser). Luckily my last Dog, Dawn, was a very calm and collected dog and was a perfect introduction to dogs for Niko because Dawn (who has since passed away) had already passed her crazy teens when we had gotten Niko. Niko loves to sit on her tree and listen to the parakeets, and she of course has claimed the mice as her own personal Discovery channel show. She is my third cat I’ve owned and to me the closest one because my other cats really preferred my parents rather than me and my crazy adventures at that younger age. (the other two passed away before I got Niko). She loves to chase my feet under the covers and loves to play cops and robbers with the pesky little red dot. She loves my mom because she gets to ‘help’ her grade her papers, she loves my Dad because he’s always spoiling her, and she LOOOOVES me because I’m an Xbox gamer and therefore am her personal throne 90% of the time. Usually if I’m home and on Xbox you can find her cuddling with me in the chair getting lovens between/during games. I like to think I’m her favorite because of those moments. To be honest I’m not really sure how to start into all this so here goes:

About three weeks ago my family and I noticed that Niko was walking with a strange little limp on her side. Upon further inspection it looked like she had cut her paw (the soft skin part and not the furry part) and that maybe it just needed some first aid and it would all be ok. I’ve had many different kinds of pets in my young adult life time so I wasn’t a stranger to the occasional scratch or odd wound on my animals and knew how to treat it accordingly. After a week of treating it it did not seem to get better and so I made a vet appointment.

Of course this visit wasn’t without its hissing and being angry that mom would even dare to remove her from her domain and into this strange smelling place. At first the Vet thought it was an infection but decided to do some testing just in case. When the results came back it was discovered that she had a large tumor in her upper thigh and that a tumor had also set itself into her paw and was the reason for it looking infected and her leg would have to be removed.

I want to take a moment and express how scary this really is for me as a pet owner. I didn’t know what to do or if I should even go though with the surgery or put her down because she is in serious pain when she walks. At first I put off researching because I was scared at what I would find. I didn’t want to put her down but I was scared I would be putting her though trauma for the selfish reason of not being able to let her go. What if we go though with it and she ends up wasting away from depression? What if she ends up hating me? The defining moment in all this was when a friend of mine told me of this site and all it’s stories. I cannot express to you how much release this all was to me when I found every ones stories of their pets and their path and to know Niko and I weren’t alone on this hard journey.

Niko has a set surgery date of Wednesday March 5th (next week) and I want to thank everyone that has every person that has shared their stories on this site. I cannot express enough how much it helped to read everything and know we’re not the only ones out there. I have everything ready for her. I have onesies to put on her so she won’t have to go though the stress of a cone, I have those pill capsule treats ready for her (I’ve given her a few before hand so she won’t think it’s totally usual), I’ve done a ‘deep clean scrub’ of my room, I’ve already moved her new lower litter box and food into my room so it isn’t a strange adjustment for her, and she (of course) has her micey mice next to my bed for easy viewing pleasure. Once again I thank you all for your stoires and I hope that if someone else does have to go though this they find this story hopeful also.

-Niko and Rachel

    June 2017
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