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Samba The Brave: Our Kitty's Injection Site Sarcoma Story

cat goes through leg amputation after cancer

Samba The Brave: Our Kitty's Injection Site Sarcoma Story

Can’t keep this girl down! 5 days post amputation.

August 13th, 2018 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

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Thank you to all of you who have reached out in support of us. Samba had her left front leg amputation surgery for injection site sarcoma 5 days ago and everything is still very stable. We have had no problems whatsoever with the incision, or with med intake thanks to the irresistible morsels pictured below. Our days are fairly homogenous. I spend a lot of my time here in the guest room with her, reading and resting on a mattress on the floor. Samba rotates her naps among the mattress, which she can already climb up on, her little orthopedic pet bed, or the quilts on the ground. She will become alert for a little while for petting or for food. She is not falling quite as pitifully or drastically as before when she walks. She is happy to go back to sleep after a few minutes and purrs as I pat her head and ears. Her digestion process is fully intact after a few small sprinkles of Miralax. We have had almost no complaining from this girl! She fussed at me one time when I changed her shirt, but otherwise is all purrs. She seems even sweeter and more content than before her amputation, as she had gotten to be a bit of a grump. Now, she is back to her sweet self. I am loving all the time with her.
We have run out of buprenorphine and Onsior, but have gabapentin remaining. I hope it is okay to be on monotherapy now for pain control.

Coming up this week:
Will call surgeon on Tuesday as instructed, one week post-op, to see if pathology result is known. Will make suture removal appointment for Friday.

Word of caution:
Not all cats can tolerate kitten replacement milk! I offered this as a treat and it didn’t stay down in her stomach long! I woke to the tell-tale sound of hurling! We will stick to kitty bisque and canned food!


Just smush one of these yummy morsels around kitty’s pill, and she will swallow it whole!


My family and I went across the street to a pool party after I tucked Samba in for a spell. I have to say I was a little nervous to leave for those few hours, but she did fine (This was just yesterday).


While I was blogging, Samba decided to hide! I was halfway into a panic, waving my flashlight around looking for her, when I discovered that she was just trying out the space behind her bed.


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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Purrkins

    I am glad to hear Samba is doing GREAT! In my non-vet opinion, I do not think it is ok to go down to the just the gabapentin day five from our own experience we had to get more Buprenorphine when Purrkins came to the end of his script. He was in pain by stretching his buprenorphine out to 12 hours I called the vet, and it was no problem to get more. He was on the Bupr a total of 10 days and 14 days Gaba, and we still took Purrkins for Acupuncture to get off is pain meds without pain and heal. Here is to what to watch for

    Is Your Dog or Cat in Pain? Here’s How to Know the Signs.
    http://tripawds.com/2015/09/16/animal-amputee-pain/

    Purkins growled and hissed at me he would not let me near him that is never Purrkins Day 5. Did you get a chance to read or listen to the

    Tripawd Cats Pain Management Tips and Tricks http://tripawds.com/2018/08/08/tripawd-cats-pain-management-tips/ article I included in the previous post? We always say think of the amp the same way we would in humans in our animals.

    Cats are masters at hiding pain, and that impedes the healing process. When Purrkins showed me he was in pain. I can only imagine how much pain he was in it broke my heart. You can get more Onsior or Bup prescribed. Do not hesitate to call your to vet if you see any signs of pain. They send most cats home with too little meds and for not long enough. It is our job to advocate for them. I am not trying to scare you I could not stand seeing Purrkins suffer and so many kitties after him suffer. I would hate to hear Samba ends up being in pain as well.

    Great job on the Miralax that is the secret to the pain meds and poop!

    She is doing great getting to her food bowl WHOO HOO! Go Samba!! Adorable in her onesie!!

    We are saying prayers for the pathology results.

    Keep healing Samba!
    Hugs and Scratches to Samba
    Holly & Purrkins❤️

    • gebrown

      Dear Holly,
      I really appreciate your concern and the effort you are going to to help keep other cats from feeling pain like Purrkins did. I am so sorry to hear that Purrkins felt so badly that he had to lash out. I know you were crushed by that and that you did everything you could to help him. I am taking your advice seriously, believe me! I have so appreciated reading each and every article and link you have shared and forgive me for not stating that! I went back and am re-reading/listening to them again though to make sure I am able to assess Samba enough to tell if she needs more pain meds. Judging by some of the scales, I think she is showing positive signs in that she is able to rest in a relaxed position, shows interest in her surroundings, responds in her usual way to being approached, is grooming herself calmly and is not frantic about any one area of her body, is eating and drinking well. So I guess I don’t know if I should pursue getting her more meds anyway, or just wait and see. I did call my local vet and the surgery clinic and they can provide us more if we want.
      I did get the pathology back today. There was residual tumor seen at the old excision site, proving that the amputation was necessary. The new margins from the amputation were clear, but only by 5 mm at one area. I sure hope that ends up being enough : /
      Samba is getting eager to get out of her room, but we still have one more week to go! She walks over to the door and meows to try to get out!
      I am so thankful to have you beside me on this difficult journey.
      Lots of affection to Purrkins, and hugs to you!
      Grace

    • gebrown

      Holly, I was thinking about the pain thing more and trying to imagine how I would feel if I were Samba. I have had two surgeries personally in which muscle was cut, and that muscle pain is the worst part, and you are right that it does last longer than 5 days. Well, if I can imagine Samba’s amputation surgery, I am sure there must have have been muscle injury, so I think I will get her buprenorphine re-filled but maybe at a slightly lower dose so she isn’t just “snowed” all the time like she had been. And at least do this for another week.

      • Purrkins

        I think it is a good idea to get the Buprenorphine refilled and I don’t think she will be as snowed on the Buprenorphine and Gaba you want her to be a little snowed lol that is what will keep her out of pain and resting. Our instructions were every 8-12 hours you can try every 10.5-11-hour that is where Purrkins did best at on day 4-5 I kept Purrkins on that schedule and finally to the every 12 before we finished. His Gaba was every 8 hours. Yep, they cut muscles, nerves, and bone we can only imagine. Dogs are sent home with weeks of pain meds and cats are no different in pain. Cats get the short end of the stick things are slowly changing. We would still be in the hospital. Our animals are amazing.

        Purrkins did the same thing he protested at the door. I did like Kerren suggested for you to do. I took Purrkins outside and held him on my lap.
        That is also when I started bringing things back into the room for Purrkins against my orders I might add;) I brought his steps and had him begin to learn how to use those on three. I put his window seat in the window with steps, and that made all the difference they get bored. If Samba has a favorite layabout spot bring that in for her, We did exercises for him to stand for treats to strengthen his core and toys to play with. You can get a food puzzle and let her dig for some treats or kibble to occupy her mind.

        That is what we want to hear clean margins! I’m sorry, the one side is 5mm. Prayers those margins are enough they are clean so PHEW! I am sure the onco will let you know their thoughts.

        Scratches to Samba
        Hugs!
        Holly & Purrkins❤️

  • kazann

    You and Samba are doing great! Phew, I think the worst is behind. May the wide-margin goddess bless sweet Samba so she can avoid further treatments. It’s a good sign she is out exploring behind the bed showing her curiousity is back.
    Hugs,
    Kerren, Eli MOna

    • gebrown

      Yes, I do think so too, that the worse is behind! I am glad that from your experience you agree! I heard back about the margins today. There was residual tumor still in her recent scar. The new margins were clear, but only by 5 millimeters. I hope that is enough : /
      Samba has been hanging out by the door of her little room, hoping to go out! She still has another week to go, so I hope she can be patient. She must be very bored, but I guess bored is good right now!
      Your friends,
      Grace and Samba

      • kazann

        I took Mona out of the room and held her at the patio door so she could look outside. Another time she sat beside me outside on a towel on the deck. She enjoyed the sun and seemed happy to stay beside me. Perhaps Samba could be well-supervised to enjoy some fresh air and sun.

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