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Diagnosis & Decision

Hi Tripawd mums & dads! πŸ˜€

I just wanted to introduce myself and say thank you so much for this forum! My boy Vinny went in for his amputation this morning and his doctor recommended I do some reading here on this site. I am so glad he did! I’ve spent all day reading it, while I wait to be reunited with my fur baby. After spending some time here, I feel extremely encouraged and more confident in his recovery. I just wanted to share a bit of our story, since I feel so inspired by everyone else’s.

We’ve had ongoing testing for about 2 months now with a tumour that presented itself on his hind leg around his lymph node. We started with two needle aspirate biopsies (a few weeks apart), X-rays and bloodwork with no definitive answers at all. But the tumour kept growing. Now, I know cats are good at hiding pain, but Vinny’s attitude and habits didn’t change at all – he was eating, drinking cuddling and using his litter box fine. Until one day last week the tumour seemed to have doubled in size over a period of two days and all of a sudden he was dragging his leg. πŸ™

I immediately took him to emergency and they observed him overnight and did a series of punch biopsies. While we waited for results, he started some pain meds, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics. The tumour didn’t do anything over the next few days, but he seemed to feel better and was walking around normal again and back to regular habits (which was encouraging). However… results from the biopsies came back yesterday as a hemangiosarcoma – an extremely aggressive malignant tumour. It is more common in dogs, but accounts for less than 2% of all cancers in cats. The recommendation (which we had already discussed) was full amputation of the leg. The doctor got me in super quick, and I dropped Vinny off this morning at 7am. The doctor called me back at 3pm to say the surgery went very well – and also the CT scan did not show any signs that the cancer had spread. (Yay!) It seemed fairly localized, so we’re looking good for now. Vinny will be there overnight tonight, and hopefully he can come home tomorrow, but maybe one more night.

Apparently a hemangiosarcoma diagnosis in dogs is quite grave, and often symptoms don’t present themselves until it’s too late. But according to the doctor, and what I’ve been reading, the prognosis in cats can actually be quite good. There is very little research, because it’s so uncommon in cats, but there was a small study done that showed very promising results, when the the proper treatment is done. Β Vinny’s doctor told me that while he’s only personally seen a few cases in cats – their outcomes were all very positive. At first, I was concerned it would all be too much to put him through. But the doctor was very confident that the treatment would be worth it for Vinny and his circumstances. He has also been so helpful in answering every question I have and updating me about everything along the way. πŸ™‚ As well, since I had zero prior knowledge about all this, after reading about how well cats do with amputations – and also with chemotherapy – it has really helped boost my outlook too!

So, I expect he will recover quite well. He’s had a few health issues before and he’s always been very resilient and tolerates surgeries and medications all very well. I just can’t wait to see him and hug and kiss him again. I was hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. I’m just so happy that he will be coming home. I’ve got his cozy hideout all set up for him in my walk-in closest, where he already loves to nap. He’ll be in recovery for a couple weeks, then he will start a few treatments of chemotherapy, which will discourage any more growth of the cancer.

Here’s a couple photos of my boy… He’s 7 years old, about 19 lbs (he’s already working on losing a couple), but he’s mostly just a big fluff ball, with a bit of maine coon in him. He’s definitely a big gentle giant. He loves cuddling and being around people. He also loves to play fetch – haha!

Thanks everyone so much for sharing your stories, and thank you for reading mine. It’s already been very therapeutic and helpful to both read and share. Β πŸ™‚ xoxo <3

Vinny – Pre-surgery, just hanging out. πŸ™‚

And here he is with his bro (my other boy) Milo:

And here he is with his bro (my other boy) Milo πŸ™‚

8 Responses to “Diagnosis & Decision”

  1. mamatomj says:

    Awww, sending positive energy your way for a good outcome and quick recovery. When I saw Vinny’s photo, I could swear I was looking at a photo of our cat, Murphy, who lived a long, fulfilling life. Here’s to you and yours. Better days are ahead.

  2. benny55 says:

    VINNY!!! VINNY!! One look at you and the whole tripawd community just fell in love with you! AND your precious pal Milo too!! Your paws are bigger than Milo!

    I hope one of our resident tripawd kitty heroes, Jill, checks in. I think she will fall in love also! She’ll inspire you and show you how happyy tripawd kitties can be!

    Your human has really done great research and has become very well informed. Good job human! πŸ™‚

    Recovery is a little rought for a week or two, but Vinny’ sparkle will come back and he will be free of that awful pain! Vinny sounds like a tough fighter who will make up his own rules and be victorious!

    Thanks for sharing Vinny with us and we look forward to hearing about all his successes AND more pictures! We love pictures around here!!

    Hugs to Milo and Vinny and you too!!

    Sally and Happy Hannah and My Pal Myrtle

  3. VinnyBoy says:

    Awww thanks so much to both of you!! πŸ™‚ I was crying for the last few days because I was sad, but now after the encouraging news from Vinny’s doctor, I’ve been crying of happiness all day today from reading all the amazing things on this site. πŸ™‚

    I originally posted in the forums, (before it was suggested I start a blog) and indeed Jill checked in with me and Vinny over there. She rocks! I’ve also been reading her blog intensely all day πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait to see Vinny again and hug him and chat with him (he’s very chatty) πŸ™‚ …he might not be in the mood to chat right away, but he’s not getting away without a hug and kiss at least!

    Thanks again for the support! I’ll post again when Vinny is home and settled. With pics too, I promise!

  4. bartsmom says:

    Give Vinny a big hug and kiss from us in Georgia!!

    This site is incredible for support and information.

    Welcome to the Tripawd Family!

    Hope Vinny has an uneventful homecoming!!

    Darcy & Bart

  5. jerry says:

    Welcome Vinny! It makes me leap for joy to see you’ve started a blog! You have a very unusual and pawesome story, it will help others on their own journey as well.

    Can’t wait to follow along, you are ADORABLE!

  6. leland4 says:

    OMG…Vinny is one handsome boy!!! The pic of him and Milo is too cute!

    I’m sure Vinny will do fine and will be a happier kitty without all the pain associated with cancer. I can’t offer much advice on how to cope when he comes home from the surgery (not sure of the differences between a cat recovery and a dog recovery) but I will definitely send positive thoughts Vinny’s way for a safe and speedy recovery!!

    Sahana and her Angel Leland

  7. sebastian says:

    Welcome Vinny! What an adorable fluffball! My tripawd is also a kitty. His name is Sebastian and he’s doing GREAT 4 months post surgery. I wish you the best in recovery!

    Jenn and Sebastian

  8. KJ & Vinny says:

    Thanks so much everyone! πŸ™‚ So far so good! xox <3

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