Approximate birth date: 6/2000

    Date of diagnosis: November 2004

    Age when diagnosed: 4 1/2

    Right Rear Leg Tripod

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1. When did you notice the lump, what was the size and where was it located, was it low on the leg or higher - closer to your cat's body:   My husband noticed it on Monday, November 15, 2004. It was just above the joint. The tumor itself was encased in a fluid filled sac about the size of a thumbnail. .

2. When was kitty last vaccinated:  July, 2004

3. How long did you wait to have the lump removed: Lump was removed November 16 - margins not clean. Amputation/Hemipelvectomy performed December 20, 2004.

4. Was this your cat's first surgery for VAS: Yes

5. Did you consult with a specialist or oncologist: We consulted with an oncologist as I wanted not only a 2nd opinion on the diagnosis, I wanted a 2nd opinion on the prognosis and types of treatments available. it was the oncologist who stressed the need to take both the hip and the leg for the widest possible margins. Neither chemo nor radiation were recommended.

6. Who removed the lump (regular vet or surgeon): Regular vet removed the lump and performed the amputation.

7. How long did your cat stay at the vet's after surgery:  2 1/2 days in both cases. We visited her for about an hour on the 2nd day which was good for all us! Also brought towels we had used to put in her cage so she'd smell something familiar.

8. Did you do anything special to prepare for your kitty's homecoming:   Borrowed a large dog crate to keep her confined for a few days. We noticed right away she was having trouble moving around and using the litter pan in there - also our other 2 cats were not bothering her so we opened the door - and she got out as fast as she could! We had the last 2 weeks of the year off so we were home alot to keep an eye on her. The only area she was not allowed in was the garage as there are too many places for her to get in trouble there. We moved the litter pan to a more convenient location and made an additional one out of a shirt box incase she had trouble with the regular one (she didn't). Bought a variety of food and treats to encourage her to eat. Mostly we realized we had to take our cues from her and react accordingly.

9. Did your cat have any post-operative problems?   None.

10. What was your cat's adjustment period like:   For the first couple of weeks her walking was more hop (or flop) than walk as she was using both front paws at a time. Within her first 48 hours home she managed to jump on top of our hot tub from the top step as well as jump on our bed which is a pillow top reasonably high off the floor. In addition, she managed the 3 steps from the laundry room to get through the cat door into the main part of the house. Getting her back on track eating took the better part of a week. She would eat small amounts of dry food out of our hands. I would also put some wet food on her paws which she would eat while grooming. By Tues. of week 2 she was pigging out.

11. How is your kitty now:  Doing very well. We are not quite 5 months post surgery. She's walking smoother, 1 front paw at a time and running even better. Playing more than she used to and in general doing everything she did pre-surgery. Her jumping is of course a bit impaired but she never was much of a jumper.

12. Please add any other information that you think would be helpful to future tripod owners or anything else that you'd like to tell people about your kitty:   I initially was 1000% against amputation. Kelly is an extremely feisty, spunky cat. I didn't think she'd be able to handle amputation - I thought it would ruin her and that I would be doing it more for me than for her. I was 1000% wrong - she has adjusted beautifully in every way as have our other 2 cats, Chainsaw and Dude, to being with her.

Kelly using her cat door



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