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Purrkins

Tripawd Cat – Life After Amputation (Soft Tissue Sarcoma)

Purrkins

Purrkins 4 months update

November 16th, 2016 · 5 Comments · Post Amputation

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Purrkins is in his fourth month of being a Tripawd kitty now; I meant to update on his 3rd and started this in his 3rd month. 🙄

There never seems to be enough hours in the day. Time has just flown by. We are grateful every day, we had a choice and were able to amputate and cut that cancer off!

When we were faced with the decision, it was our worst nightmare! But we can most certainly say we did the right thing for Purrkins no matter what our future holds! He is such a joy to watch and does amazingly well. He is absolutely just as happy on three as he was on 4!

I still get nervous leaving him and that will never 100% change for me.

Life experiences change who you are as a person or pet parent. We had a 16-year-old cat named Garfield, he was sitting on the kitchen table, one of the boys jumped up on the table, and Garfield tried to get away and slipped off the edge of the table, he tried to catch himself, and in seconds he fell on the wood floor and not on his feet! I tried to catch him and there was no time it was a blink of an eye and Garfield was on the floor with a compound fracture bleeding from his back leg.

We rushed him to the emergency room at MSU, and we were told the worst, the break was so bad they could not repair it, on a younger healthier cat they would have amputated.  At Garfield’s age and health, he was not a candidate for surgery we had to say goodbye to our Sweet Garfield that day! I bawl as I type this three years later, it is still the same heartbreak.

You never hear anything about cats breaking bones due to falling, that doesn’t happen, right? Cat trees to the ceiling, Cat walls, cats climbing trees outside, cats jumping all over and landing fine.

Well, unfortunately, we are here to tell you it can happen. I do not know if it is never shared or if we are one in a million.

When we were faced with the decision to amputate with Purrkins years later it was truly unreal!

We have had so many new kitty members join lately I felt like I needed to share Garfield’s story.

If we can prevent accidents or mishaps, we should take that step. We are all joined by the love of our animals and want the best for them.

We are extra cautious with Purrkins he has steps going to all his favorite spots! A set at his window seat a set at the coffee table, he goes from the coffee table to the sofa. A set at our bed. He always uses his steps! We are not taking any chances if we can prevent an accident we are going to. We are doing the better safe than sorry approach!

When a new member joins, I suggest stairs or any way to make the landing or jumping up & going down easier and safer!

We also moved furniture closer together, so it’s like stairs, graduating down to areas, we added floor mats and rugs, anything to make things easier and safer on his remaining limbs! Purrkins brother also uses the steps just because he can;)

We had steps for our Garfield because he was up there in age and had arthritis. He always used them. You can use boxes and furniture if you cant get steps. Just think safer ups and safer landings!

We also put some sisal carpet on the window sill. Secured with some double-sided carpet tape, Purrkins was slipping on the window sill when he was relearning his new life. Cats love sisal anyway;)

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We live in a SMALL house, do we have room for these stairs and do they look nice NOPE do we care NOPE sure we would love the house to look great but again life changes how you look at things, and it is what it is! All that truly matters is safety and to allow our animals to be themselves and happy on 3 or 4 legs.

Purrkins is still getting acupuncture treatments done he was off for two months we go back the 21st for another session.

We do see a lot of improvement with each treatment. Purrkins comes homes and plays and has more energy. He seems to tire less frequently for the first week afterward. Dr. Matt said that that is all the endorphins working.  He has two bowel movements on his acupuncture days. It obviously stimulates everything.💩

Dr. Matt also does chiropractic and checks Purrkins alignment each visit. He said he is holding his adjustments (alignment) well and that cats usually do hold their adjustments for longer periods then dogs do.

That being said he also said he doesn’t have a lot of cat patients. Dr. Matt will also learn from Purrkins & Purrkins brother Saxton. We are not sure what the long-term plan is on acupuncture and will keep you posted on what we are doing and what Purrkins ends up needing and benefiting from.

Some things we have noticed with Purrkins are ~
● He tires easier, He plays just as hard as he did before, he just doesn’t last as long.

●His one remaining front right leg is getting a lot bigger! It is really impressive to see how the body compensates
for the increase in size!

●We have seen a decrease in him trying to use his missing limb. He was trying to use his missing arm a lot the first month and each month that is decreasing. Dr. Matt said that is normal, the brain is still sending him signals the leg is still there.

● We have seen him be startled a couple of times and he goes to take off running, without thinking and then flops frantically, then seconds later he gets his wits about him and off he goes on his 3 legs! He must realize oh yeah my leg is gone this is not working. I imagine in fight or flight mode that’s normal too.

●Purrkins has figured out some new ways to clean his one side. He props one side up on the window, wall, or his humans and can now reach everywhere except his one side of his face.

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He also seems to prefer having his amputated side propped up now when sleeping or cleaning. He always uses a pillow or wall or again us humans for support. He prefers his head elevated too. He likes to lay on the sofa between two cushions (crack) That spot no one usually wants to sit in because you sink down in between😉

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●He does appreciate his one side of his face wiped off and his one ear to be scratched more often. We are happy to oblige.

●When he sits, he now brings his 2 back feet in closer to the front leg.

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●Purrkins has decided to go back to using the non-handicap litter box;) We have three litter boxes total, we cut two of the boxes out in the front for him to have easier access. His brother Saxton didn’t mind the alterations. In fact, he still is using the easy access boxes. Purrkins uses both the cut and uncut ones now. updated (all the boxes are cut now)

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We have three of these boxes cut out in front. We used a Dremel tool with a cutting blade on it and then filed it smooth.

●Purrkins stopped sleeping in his regular bed after surgery it has a warmer in it. We noticed him laying on the air ducts on the floor. We took the heater out of his bed, and he still did not use it. He prefers to be cool now rather then warm and how smart is he!;) I didn’t think of the cool being comforting to him. I saw the cooling beds on tripawds gear and that it was beneficial for joints and aches. I ordered him a cooling pad on Amazon, and he loves it. I put it on the sofa during the day and bring it to our bed at night.

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As soon as it came out of the box and once the cooling part was in;)

●Purrkins fur is not entirely grown back in yet but almost, Its fuzzy and cute. It will be nice to have him fully clothed again, and we can keep on hopping on! I suspect next month he will have his full coat back. (total of 6 months from bald to full coat. Just in time for winter;)

We are working on both of the guy’s weight now. There was A LOT of complaining at first, and there still is, but it is getting better. We calculated what their daily calorie intake should be. We slowly cut back on portion size, we write down everything they have eaten and tally the total calories for the day.

Its essential in cats to not lose weight too quickly, they can develop hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease, both can potentially be fatal.

We use a digital pet scale, we put a cardboard box on it and zero out the scale then put them in the box to weigh them. We weigh them both weekly, and we are slowly making progress. After all, the complaining its rewarding to see the scale move in the right direction!

 

The scale is too small for our cats- we add a box and then add them:) ZIEIS | 30 Lb. Capacity | Digital Pet Scale | Z30P-DURA | 11.5″ X 9.3″ BigTop Dura Platform | 0.1 Ounce Accuracy

ZIEIS | 30 Lb. Capacity | Digital Pet Scale | Z30P-DURA | 11.5″ X 9.3″ BigTop Dura Platform | 0.1 Ounce Accuracy

Add a box and zero out the scale then we put the guys in the box

Saxton demonstrating how it is done

We do core strengthening with Purrkins every day a couple of times a day. He is getting really good at standing on his back two legs;) We do them on this balance pad. He now swats his toys standing on his back two feet;)

I just started to put his food bowl on the balance pad, and he now eats on it. That took some time and coaxing at first, but the food is motivating 😉

Saxton is also strengthening his core; we don’t exclude him, they get rewarded with bonito flakes or freeze dried treats.

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Purrkins on his balance pad

Saxton is doing his core exercises. He is reaching for treats;)

The boys being brothers enjoying an Indian Summer day! Notice the arms. Saxton really couldn’t be a better brother to him he is so courteous to him!

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Saxton watches Purrkins more closely then he used to and allows Purrkins to hop in front of him and lead the way, he always stays back a little for Purrkins to go first. We do make sure to give Saxton just as much love and attention as we have before and give them both equal care and love. Saxton just doesn’t have his own blog, and I am obviously not a blogger 😉 We just wanted to share Purrkins experience hoping his Tripawd journey might help another kitty or kitty parent someday!

We will update again in or around our 5 or 6 months hopefully more time will appear when the snow does.👀

Until then we hope everyone’s fur and non-fur families are doing well. 😘😽

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Purrkins 2 Months Ampuversary

September 21st, 2016 · 2 Comments · Post Amputation

Todays is Purrkins 2 month ampuversary. He is doing great!

He had his 3rd Acupressure treatment the end of last month.

Dr. Matt said he is doing so well he didn’t need to see him back for a month! 🎉

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Purrkins is playing in his new ripple rug.  They both love it!

Purrkins tired out after playing.

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I thought I would also post this video on how gets along with his hop.  I took this a couple of weeks ago.

Not much to report Purrkins is just being his sweet self with one less limb. He gets around great, plays the same, hunts the chipmunks at the screen door. All with more gusto then he had before!

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One Month Post Amp.

August 24th, 2016 · 6 Comments · Post Amputation

Today is our one-month ampuversary. Hard to imagine it has been a month already! We couldn’t be happier to post Purrkins is doing fantastic!

There isn’t anything he can’t do on his 3 legs. He is acting like a kitten again! That shows us how much that leg was bothering him.

Purrkins had his 2nd Acupuncture treatment last Wednesday, and he actually jumped up on Dr. Matt’s cushion ready for his treatment! Dr. Matt used the laser again, Purrkin’s stayed still and enjoyed the treatment!  He Never ceases to amaze me! Did I mention our Dr. Matt is an hour away? Purrkins enjoys the ride:)

He came home and played with his favorite toy (a homemade candy cane). He carries it around the house meowing! That was the first time since before the surgery we got to hear that happy sound!  He feels a great difference with the acupuncture! Both times he has come home and played and has more energy!

He is back to being my shadow just a little louder shadow. He has a cute hopping sound. He is surprisingly very fast on 3!

His fur is growing back pretty fast. The poor guy had his belly shaved from the ultrasound, then the surgery site and his back leg.

We go back again for another acupuncture treatment next Wednesday.

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Purrkins texted his grandpa- Purrkins text was ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ///////////////////////Then shut the computer off lol.

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The boys are back to being sweet brothers!

They are begging to go outside.

They only get to go out with us, on a harness or in their tent. Will work on taking some videos and getting them posted 😉

 

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Tripawds Rule!

August 16th, 2016 · 2 Comments · Post Amputation

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A Special Thank you to All of Tripawds! You guys and gals are all very special people! Angels that all gather in one place, as I see it!

We are so thankful for all the help and information not to mention the support! You all made a huge difference in this!

As all tripawd parents know this is not a journey any of us wish to be on. However, thank God for Tripawds!

We are so grateful we didn’t have to go thru this alone!

Thank you, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Chels, Janice, Sara , Dr. Matt, Dr. Jones, Dr. Zarka , Dr. Vilar, Judy, Dr. Rubin, Chris Elmore (MSU Vet student who helped me everyday while Purrkins was there), he will make a excellent Vet one day and New York will be lucky to have you!

Thanks to All of our family. We are so blessed to have you all!

💞❌⭕❌⭕😽😽

 

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Purrkins going up and down log stairs.

August 15th, 2016 · 2 Comments · Post Amputation

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Purrkins uses the 4 step stairs to reach that window seat. The larger one has 6 steps he can reach the counters, and up the cupboards, it’s also the right height for our bed. We just move them as he does for now.

We have 3 sets of stairs for Purrkins. All of which are different heights. Just wanted to share these.

They are lightweight very easy to move, I put rubber shelf liner under the steps, and they don’t move at all.

Purrkins uses all of his stairs! We ordered one more set, and hopefully, we can cover all of his areas now. Total will be 4 sets. This helps him get up and down without such a strain on his 3 legs. It also helps his Mom and Dad worry less!😉

Going up basement stairs. 14 days post amp.

We live in a log home the stairs are not typical. We were very concerned how Purrkins would manage these stairs on 3 legs.  We put carpet on them before his surgery.  We thought it would help him get up and down with some traction.

Going up the log stairs

Going down our log steps.  He completely avoided the carpet on the way down? As you’ll see. 17 days post amp.

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This is the 3rd pair of steps.

Just posting this info on what we have done to help accommodate Purrkins to his new life on 3! We want him to be himself and do what he wants and do it safely!

Hope this may help others on the same journey some day.

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Back up on the kitchen cupboards.

August 13th, 2016 · No Comments · Post Amputation

Wanted to share Purrkins is back to getting around to all of his favorite places.  Much to our disbelief, he scared us to death!

Here he is back on top of the kitchen cupboards. With no help no steps! He has to jump to the countertops, up on top of the fridge, and then up to the cabinets.

Getting down, I did assist him in showing him the best route and moved his steps to the counter for him. He used that way no problem.

How would he have gotten down? I’d like to think he had a plan? This is good we are here to see what needs to be addressed and make those changes as they come about.

Purrkins had stopped climbing the cupboards after his biopsy surgery. It’s an excellent sign he is feeling better without that arm! As scary as it is for us. It’s not for him!

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He jumps in and out of his baskets no problem, Up and down the steps no issues.

It’s just over two weeks since his surgery, and we find him amazing!

Saxton and Purrkins are also back to being brothers! No more hissing. They are even back to a cleaning one another. 😍

Saxton still observes Purrkins, it is not a stalking behavior, definitely watching him close and staying close by him, have to wonder what he is thinking?

We go back for his 2nd Acupuncture treatment on Wednesday.  Will keep updating as we go.😽

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2 Weeks today! Purrkins is back

August 11th, 2016 · 2 Comments · Post Amputation

It has been two weeks today since Purrkins arm was amputated. Unreal it has been two weeks already.

Yesterday after his acupuncture treatment Purrkins played with his yeowww fish! He rolled and rolled he figured out how to hold the toy with his one arm.

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Purrkins went back today to MSU to get his stitches removed.

He quivered the entire time.  I felt terrible for him.

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The surgeon is pleased with how everything looked and said Purrkins is FREE – no more t-shirts or onesies!

He is allowed to go back to regular activity!

I attached his Pathology report below.

 

LOVE THE BOLD PRINT ON PAGE 2!

Regular activity became RUN and JUMP all over the house lol

He was ready Mom was not. He does so well I shouldn’t have been so worried.

He amazes us again! He wanted to go down to the basement Mark, and I thought we would be ready in case he needed us. Well, he RAN down before we could do anything! 👀

Mark and I were both in shock did you see that?! He investigated the entire house every room in fact! I thought he must be exhausted by now. No, he rested for a few minutes, and he was back up again.

What an amazing day! Purrkins is AMAZING. We are both in awe. His Grandma and Grandpa were able to watch all thru videos and pictures. They were also amazed.

Saxton just watched Purrkins go everywhere, they smelled each other, and that was ok for a short time. Saxton then gave him a big hiss  😒 Hopefully a little time we can get them back to being brothers.

Purrkins is back to himself today! We can certainly say we did what was best for Purrkins!

He is back to his happy, active self!  We also know his leg was bothering him more then he was showing us! He had slowed down and was sleeping more than usual before the surgery.

We will work on some more videos and get them uploaded of him getting around!

1/2 day of being a free man again and on 3 legs has been a joy to see!

We are so thankful we had a choice and were able to save Purrkins life!

I know cancer has no rules. But this is the greatest news we could get! Clean margins, cancer left with the leg!  We are running with that!

We are going to live and celebrate a long cancer-free life! 🙏

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Purrkins all time favorite hang out! He can watch the birds and chipmunks!

Thank you, everyone, for being here with us thru this terrifying time!  Yeah, Purrkins! 🎉🎉🎊🎈

Love to all XOXO

 

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Acupuncture appointment

August 9th, 2016 · No Comments · Post Amputation

Purrkins went for his acupuncture appointment today. He was not happy with the needle acupuncture he squirmed all around. I took a bag full of bonito flakes thinking that would help. Nope, not today.

Dr. Matt said this isn’t helping him and decided to try the laser acupuncture.

Purrkins didn’t mind that in fact, he started to purr.

In the photos, he still has some needles in. Most he squirmed right off. There were Lots of bonito flakes everywhere. 😉

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Dr. Matt would like him to have 2-4 sessions. We go again next week and will keep you posted on how this goes and what improvement we see.

*Purrkins pain medication and gabapentin will be done tomorrow. Hoping this will help him be off the meds without any pain.

He came home and ate supper and is now sleeping soundly.

Thank you, Dr. Matt!

 

*Edited

Purrkins meds & duration ended up being

  • 14 days Gabapentin 100 mg capsule – one capsule by mouth every 8 hours
  • 12 days Buprenorphine 0.3 mg 0.25 ml every 8-12 hours

Spaced the Gabapentin and Buprenorphine 1 hour apart per our instructions.

I opened the Gabapentin capsule into a little bowl (pestle)
I added a small amount of sardine water or tuna water, mixed the Gabapentin, used a syringe and sucked the mixture back up into the syringe to syringe to Purrkins.

 

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Getting stronger by the hour!

August 7th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Post Amputation

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Purrkins is back in his window seat and is thrilled. We are so happy he is doing great! Each day is better than before, and each day he wants to do more.

We just set up his window seat and the stairs on Saturday. We thought it was time for him to start doing more things. We stripped this room down to next to nothing for Purrkins to come home.

We took the bed off the box springs and just put the mattress on the floor. No way for him to get under the bed. We needed to have access to him for his meds. Also under the bed was not a safe place to be, if he would bump his incision.

We took out all the tables too. The room had the mattress, litter box, sleeping bag cushion for me and all cushioned floor exercise mats down for Purrkins learning process. We did not want him to hurt himself if he had some mishaps learning.

We will continue to bring more things back into the room this week. Our Purrkins is getting stronger every day and making this Tripawd living look easy!

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Purrkins going down the steps

August 7th, 2016 · 2 Comments · Post Amputation

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