Warning: If you’re squeamish at all, you might want to skip this first bit, and come back in two or three paragraphs.
At one week post-op, Shadow looks as if he’ll survive the whole ordeal. It was not an easy week mind you. Aside from the “normal” recovery issues like meds three times daily, almost constant observation, and little sleep for either one of us, Thursday night he woke me up from a sound sleep and tried to jump off the bed. I barely caught him before he went, since I thought jumping off of my rather high bed might be pushing it a bit on only day three after surgery. His flying leap turned into a somewhat controlled tumble with my help, and then he proceeded to throw up blood all over the bedroom floor. And I do mean all over.
I think I must have lost two years of my life right there. Just barely awake, all I could think of was that he was just one step away from death since he was vomiting huge amounts of blood, so I called the vet in a panic at 3 a.m. It turned out to be old blood, really dark in color, probably left over from the surgery. If I’d been a little more alert, I might have realized at least that much on my own and not panicked so badly. The vet said not to worry too much, if he was otherwise acting okay and didn’t continue vomiting. Um, was he okay? Heck, I didn’t even know at that point. I looked around, and sure enough, he was acting pretty darn fine considering the state I was in. He probably felt a lot better after getting all of that out of his stomach. On the other hand, I needed a drink. Or a Prozac.
I let the vet go back to bed, and cleaned up the mess. I’ve never been sooo glad not to have carpet in my life. He also managed not to hit anything important, like upholstered antique chairs, bedskirts and the like, and the only thing I had to wash was a throw rug, so the only casualty was a good night’s rest and my peace of mind. Oh, and the two years of my life that are now gone from the fright.
Even though the vet said he was probably not going to die any time soon, I took him back to the clinic on Friday since he hadn’t started eating yet after the surgery, and his wound was still leaking a bit of fluid as it had been all week. I thought it would be best to let the vet look him over before the weekend, in case there was anything else we needed to do. He still wouldn’t eat, and was terribly thin though he was acting normal otherwise, and he even started purring that morning while he was in my lap. I came home from the clinic with even more meds for this cat than I did right after the surgery.
The vet was concerned that if he didn’t start eating soon his liver would shut down, and then he really would have big problems, so he gave us a liquid medicine to coat the stomach to cut down on irritation, as well as two different recovery diet type liquid food things, and instructions to force feed him those if he wouldn’t eat anything else. I was also to give him the anti-acid tablets again that he was on before the surgery.
He turned up his nose at both the liquid diets just like I knew he would, and still wouldn’t eat his regular canned food, though he might have eaten the normal dry food that he wasn’t allowed to have. I finally resorted to canned Albacore tuna mashed up with lots of water, which he ate pretty happily and then licked the bowl clean. The tuna was the turning point, though I did give him a couple of syringes full of each of the liquid diets since he was surely in need of the calories and nutrients at that point.
Shadow was much improved even by Saturday evening. He actually brought his favorite toy to me and wanted me to play fetch with him just like a normal day. I didn’t throw it very far, though he looked rather put out about that, like I wasn’t putting enough effort into the game. He looked pretty funny with his cone around his head and his toy in his mouth:
At this point, he’s eating normally and putting some weight back on already, and acting like his usual self mostly, except that he still has the collar around his neck and it’s driving him nuts not to be able to wash and scratch normally. The collar comes off on Monday when the stitches come out. I truly didn’t expect him to be so well recovered by now, and I don’t think the vet did either, since he told me it would be a week or two after the stitches were removed before he would be running around and jumping on furniture, but here he is, doing just that. He’s obviously not ready for the Kitty 500 just yet, but I doubt his convalescence will save my Christmas tree from harm this year.