Monday, June 20, 2016

Gonzo's Biopsy Follow Up

Hurry fur, grow back!

It was getting harder to keep Gonzo from picking at her stitches. We kept her confined to the living room and office all this time. I made an appointment for the afternoon of May 11 to have the stitches taken out and talk about the biopsy results. Dr. J and I had been emailing since it was hard to both be free to talk on the phone at the same time. Also during this time, I had jury duty which made my schedule even more difficult. Surprisingly, when I got home to get Gonzo, she was snoozing inside the cat carrier! All I had to do was close the door. On that day, Dr. J got stuck in surgery so we didn't get to talk. A vet tech took Gonzo to the back, took out the stitches, and had her back to me in 10 minutes.

We weren't able to talk about the biopsy results until May 14. I put Dr. J on speaker phone so my husband could listen in. He hadn't had a chance to talk to her yet. Some of the cells were inflammation and others were precancerous. The two options were amputation and radiation. I had reached out to some of my other pet people and a few had pets who had cancer and /or amputations. It sounded like radiation is very hard on an animal's health. Plus we would have to drive her to Baton Rouge to stay for the week for treatment. It also sounded like pets bounced back pretty quickly from amputation. We told Dr. J we'd discuss it and get back to her. Over the previous 2 weeks I had more or less come to peace with the possibility of amputation and after further discussion with Dr. J, that was our decision.

Dr. J wanted to do the surgery on a Friday, so Gonzo could stay over the weekend. We had made plans to go out of town for our anniversary the weekend of 21st so that seemed like a good time. In hind site it was an excellent idea. Had we'd been home while Gonzo was at the vet, I would probably have obsessed over it and stressed myself out. The trip was a nice distraction, and we got phone calls with updates on Gonzo twice a day.

The following Wednesday, May 25, we were bringing Gonzo home.  We talked with Dr. J about the surgery and follow-up care. She showed us photo of Gonzo so to minimize the shock of seeing her post-surgery. I'm glad she did because I was just imagining Gonzo as if her leg was removed by Photoshop. 1/4 of her hind quarter was shaved and there was a large, u-shaped incision with stitches. Her leg was sent to be tested.
This was a couple of weeks after surgery. The stitches had been taken out and the fur was growing back.

She was pretty out of it from the pain medication. But again she got very excited once we got home. We let her out of the carrier, keeping her in the living room. For some reason she decided to get under the couch and didn't touch the kitty cave. She would come out in the evening. I put a small stool next to the couch so she could hop on the stool on to the couch. It was surprising how well she was getting around. I slept on the couch with her at night.

Good morning Gonzo!

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