Stitches out!

Maggie got her stitches out today! It’s slightly improved her mood, which is good. The surgeon said that she had tolerated the surgery and treatment well. He said she’s got a little ‘Elvis smile’.

She was weighed. She’s lost 700g, so she’s gone from 4.0kg to 3.3kg. The vet said that the weight we should aim to get her to is at least 3.5kg, so she needs to put on at least 200g. She is still eating moderately well, but they’ve issued her more antidepressants to stimulate her appetite so she’ll be on those until she’s eating a bit better still. We mentioned how picky she is, and the surgeon basically just said, “ah, so she’s a normal cat now.” She’s still not allowed any cat biscuits, treats, or other dry food yet as there’s a risk of a hole opening up between her mouth and nose and causing a fistula. Ironically, dry food is exactly what she’s craving right now. The vet said that we can soak some dry food in water and puree it, so Mum is going to do that for her tonight.

I do a couple of night art classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so I eat quite late. Last night I microwaved a thick piece of steak that Mum had half cooked for me before class, and brought it into the lounge in a bowl to eat with Maggie, who always has a small plate of wet cat food next to her on the couch arm in case she wants it. At that point, she aggressively turned her nose up at her food when I offered it. She has never been the sort of cat to scavenge or even show any interest at all in any human food you may be eating, but boy was she obsessed with the smell of the steak! I cut up a couple of pieces for her, around 5mm in size, and she ate them with gusto. We never know exactly what she may feel like eating on any one day, so when she shows interest in something like that, by God I’m going to give her some. This also means we have around 8 half full little tins of cat food in the fridge. After her steak, she decided she would actually have some of her own food, and curled up eating that while I had my dinner. She has started to go to the kitchen (where her food usually is) and eat food from there, but we do keep food in little nooks and crannies she likes to frequent, and we bring her food in bed whenever she wakes up. She accepts the offer of food around 50% of the times we offer. On a weekend, we try to feed her 6+ times a day. Sometimes it’s around 10 times. She eats tiny amounts often.

She also got her right ear cleaned out. When she had her surgery, they shaved the right side of her face and head, including all her whiskers and the fur inside her ear. This means that that ear has gotten very dirty, and the last couple of days it has been irritating her to no end. Thankfully, now it is no longer annoying her. We’ve been given some feline ear cleaning solution to use every morning for a while. It sounds relatively easy to use; you put a few drops into the ear, give the base of the ear a wee bit of a light massage to make sure the solution can get right down into the ear (not too rough or you can damage the ear drum), and then leave the cat to shake their head.

She yelled the whole way to Veterinary Specialist Group (VSG) and the whole way back home again. Dad took some business calls on the way home through the Bluetooth car kit, and she decided that that was the best time to start yelling loud. One woman even asked Dad if he had his cat with him. BUSTED.

She’s on a bunch of different medications now. She has:

  • Metacam (meloxicam): non-steroidal anti-inflammatory solution (NSAID) to reduce swelling. This was $78NZD for 15mL. The dose she’s meant to have is 1mL a time.
  • Palladia: tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) chemotherapy drug to slow cancerous cell regeneration and growth. We can’t get this one from our normal vet because it’s regulated, so will have to get it from VSG. We have to bring her to VSG every 2 weeks until they’re sure she’s tolerating it. Once they’re comfortable, we only need to bring her in every 6 months. She has to have this twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays. She was originally going to have three doses, but it was originally developed for dogs, so the doses are too big for her body weight, so the vet has lowered the frequency of doses. It cost us $57NZD for 6 of these pills, so they will last 3 weeks for Maggie.
  • Remeron (Mirtazapine):  atypical antidepressant with noradrenergic and specific serotonergic activity to stimulate her appetite. This was $13NZD.
  • Epi-Otic ear solution: to clean Maggie’s right ear and reduce itching. This was $39 for a 120mL bottle.

It’s always such a long day for her when we have to go to VSG. The poor thing wet herself on the way home, so she wasn’t too impressed having to sit in it.

Once we got home, we let her out of the cage and then started to head off for work. When Dad went down the stairs, she poked her head through the railing to see where he was going. When Mum and I went down, she followed us downstairs and tried to escape. Mum got out while she was a bit distracted. She then ran up the stairs and poked her head through the railing to see me again.

Overall, we’re still making small improvements every day.


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