birthdate: July 31, 1992
Age when diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer): 12.5
Date of diagnosis: 12/1/04
left shoulder and front leg tripod
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: Moe started limping in June 2004 but was misdiagnosed as either arthritis or a bone spur in her shoulder since the cancer was just starting and showed merely as a dark spot in the leg at the joint. An xray December 1, 2004 showed involvement of her bone from the shoulder joint to the elbow.
2. When was kitty last vaccinated: N/A since Moe didn't have VAS
3. How long did you wait to have the lump removed: A month and 10 days. I would not wait that long again. I was afraid I had given the cancer time to spread.
4. Was this your cat's first surgery: yes
5. Did you consult with a specialist or oncologist: No I did not.
6. Who removed the lump (regular vet or surgeon): My regular vet.
7. How long did your cat stay at the vet's after surgery: From Monday surgery to Wednesday. For a more homey feeling and less "hospital" environment, I took towels from home to place in Moe's cage at the vet clinic.
8. Did you do anything special to prepare for your kitty's homecoming: I bought a bed that was like a sofa that I sat on the floor. I knew from this website that the cats tended to not need nor want to be isolated in a cage. I bought newborn tee shirts which later I altered to fit to keep her from pulling at the sutures. I also got a few days vacation to stay with her in case it was needed, so it was nice to have no worries of something happening when I was away from her.
9. Did your cat have any post-operative problems? None whatsoever.
10. What was your cat's adjustment period like: Moe began walking right away. She still has not tried "high jumps" and seems to be taking it slow and careful. Jumping on and off of a bed is no problem.
11. How is your kitty now: She is healthy and happy. She follows me around like she did pre cancer. It has been 4 months since her surgery. Her coat is shorter in the surgical area but she has a good coverage.
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: Before Moe's surgery I felt it was not fair to put
a cat the age of my Moe through what I felt was too much trauma, pain, and I
grieved for the loss of her leg. Those thoughts were mine, but it was her leg
or her life. She was otherwise "healthy" so anything short of lifesaving actions
was unthinkable. And Moe has not seemed to allow herself have to be handicapped.
She came home from the vet, went to the litterbox, and afterwards stood
on her hind feet and covered one handed. Cats have an inborn need to heal
quickly as they would in the wild. They are amazing. You can see more
about my kitty girl and her sisters at: http://www.geocities.com/thecatsmeows/
Moe wearing her vet jacket
Moe playing (Jan/Feb 2005)