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Sweet Pea – Soft tissue sarcoma at 16

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On 8/23/17 we had our consult with Oncology at the vet specialists office. After viewing the x-rays she felt that trying to remove the mass while saving the leg could not guarantee complete removal of the mass (which would then mean other things), but confirmed that amputation would be the best course of action. The surgeon examined Sweet Pea as well during the consult and felt he could get the whole mass if we opted for amputation. It was now starting to sink in that our sweet senior girl might lose her leg (big frown).

We were still very concerned about her lack of appetite and weight loss (as was the oncology vet) as she really hadn’t been eating much at all over the past weeks. I was beginning to fear that by the time we did decide to go ahead with amputation and get it scheduled she might not be a candidate. The vet felt sure that the mass was causing Sweet Pea pain which in turn was affecting her desire to eat, but we just wanted to make sure we weren’t missing something else. So before we made a final decision (amputation is definitely a big deal and there’s no turning back) we had the vet specialist do an ultrasound (she called it a sonogram) to see if there wasn’t something else going on. Thankfully there wasn’t so we were sent home with a few meds for a few days to see if Sweet Pea would start eating, but unfortunately, save for one sitting, her appetite/interest just wasn’t there. At this point we knew there was no other choice, we had to schedule the surgery and get the source of her pain removed before we would see any kind of other improvement. The surgery was set for 8/29/17.

I must say that I struggled with the thought of amputation. We’ve had Sweet Pea (ALL of her) for all of her 16 years and to think that a part of her would now be gone, it just saddened me. I know, probably sounds silly to a lot of people, and that’s ok, I get it. And of course there was the struggle of “do we put her through this at 16” and then knowing that because of her age certain risks were higher. But we kept going back to a few things/facts: she has always been a healthy/hearty cat, at her checkup on the 12th the vet said her heart was strong, the x-rays and ultrasound were clear, and the prognosis for her recovery from amputation was very good given all of this. So we had to give her a chance!

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August 31st, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

On 8/15/17 we dropped Sweet Pea off at the vet’s office for her x-rays to see if there were any other masses and the vet was going to try to aspirate the mass to see if he could get any fluid from it to view/have tested. The good news is that we learned nothing of┬áconcern was found on the x-rays (no other masses), but the not-so-good news was that the vet suspected spindle cell sarcoma from what he could see under the microscope…..{sigh}…..The next step was a consult with Oncology at the vet specialists office to see what our options were, and by this point ‘amputation being the best option’ had been mentioned. This was concerning to me, but equally as concerning was the fact that Sweet Pea’s appetite had, and continued to decrease…..significantly.

August 31st, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Sweet Pea, our “first born” as we affectionately refer to her. She’s always been our “hearty” cat. Never a vet visit needed outside of her routine/annual check-ups……until now that is. Several weeks ago I noticed Sweet Pea had a bit of a limp in her front left leg. She had a limp about 6-8 months ago (maybe longer and I can’t recall which leg it was, but I do know it was a front leg) that I chalked up to a bad landing from a jump. Surely at 15+ years there could be these little mishaps, or maybe a bit of arthritis was setting in? Of course I kept an eye on it then and as I had hoped, after a week or so it seemed to have healed… more limp.

Fast forward to mid-July(ish) and I notice Sweet Pea has a limp again, and again it’s in a front leg, the left one. I figured she probably had another bad landing, and again I kept an eye on it. It was about a week (give or take) after discovering this limp that I also began to notice a few other things one by one. For example, she’d be sitting nearby with the others either waiting to be given a snack, or waiting for dinner to be served, and the next time I looked she’d be laying down with her left leg extended out straight. Somewhere around this time I also noticed that she really wasn’t eating much of her meals, she was laying around more than usual (always with the left leg extended out straight), and although she had slacked in her grooming over the last few years, I realized now that she had stopped grooming herself altogether. My ‘RED FLAGS’ alarm went off in my head and I knew this might be something more than just a bad landing that would heal on its own. It was time for a trip to the vet!

Her routine annual was back in Feb. at which time she weighed 11.8 lbs. Her weight had been decreasing with each of her last couple of routine annual check-ups, most likely due to aging and slowing down. On Saturday 8/12/17 Sweet Pea was checked over by our vet where her weight was now down to 10.4 lbs. A mass was also found during the exam above her elbow on her left leg. This was the reason for her leg staying extended out when she’d lay down, the range of motion was being restricted. Our vet was able to schedule Sweet Pea for an x-ray the following Tuesday and he was also going to try aspirating the mass to see if he could get any fluid out to have viewed/tested.

August 30th, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink