Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Feline Post-Op Lessons Learned

The items listed  below in this post are all essential or at least quite helpful, if you have a pet and you need to take it to have surgery.  they mostly apply to cats, but some of it is applicable to dogs as well.

Buprenex[TM] (Kitty Pain Killers) - works on contact with the gum tissue, in seconds, and in convenient hypodermic applicators to pop it into an angry, in pain, & reluctant old feline's mouth.

Metacam[TM] (Kitty Anti Inflammatory) - works a little slower than the Buprenex, but it does help to relieve inflammation, swelling, pain, and calms down the cat a few minutes later.

Epi-Otic Ear Cleaner - when applying this liquid, you need to wear old clothes, and have a towel, paper towels, and safety glasses, as cats do not like to have liquids applied to their ears, and they shake their heads rapidly, sending droplets in a wide dispersal spray pattern.

Otomax[TM] Ointment - has to be rubbed into the infected ear, twice a day.   Dr Desert Flower - who is convinced that if she had not married me she'd have become the 'crazy old cat lady' someday - had ear ointment application and cleaning duty each night after I went to bed, and each morning before getting dressed for work while I was on the phone with India.

All-Four-Paws Soft Collar[TM] - sure, the vet will send you home with a hard plastic cone collar in an effort to keep your pet from scratching or biting it's surgical area.  And if you have a pet who is not feisty, and who tolerates such complete intrusions to one's mobility, ability to bathe one's self, ability to use a litter box, or eat from a cat dish or drink from a water bowl, then that hard & thin plastic collar will do just fine.  But if your octogenarian pet hates such a restriction, she may try to pry it off with her forearm and remove all the skin there...  or lose all interest in eating, bathing, life in general, and just "give up" in misery.  If your cat or tiny dog is not very strong, then the soft collar will be too heavy, and is probably not an option for you.

Earthbath[TM] hypoallergenic cat wipes - to wipe off cat hair, drooled medicine, ear discharge, etc.  Dr Desert Flower actually purchased these "Earth Friendly / Organic / Green" cat wipes a few years ago and I scoffed at them as superfluous at the time.   They came in quite handy last month, to aid in cat clean-up. [Always trust DDF]

Puppy Training Pads - keeps cat urine from running down the sides and  under the litter boxes when old cats in big cat collars "miss the box".  Incidentally, these fifty cent a piece generic absorbent pads are identical in size and shape and appearance to the "lab grade" absorbent pads that many biological research labs use.  Hmmmm....

Leather Gloves - marked "Dad" as my son (when he was a tween, and a teen) had a habit of absconding with my work gloves from time to time. Leather gloves help to keep cat claws and teeth from breaking human skin.

Not shown here:
- Covered litter box with cover removed, since a cat in an Elizabethan Collar cannot enter the narrow opening of a covered litter box

- lots of kitty litter, litter box liners, and Chlorox[TM] sanitary wipes,  since an old pissed off cat will "miss" the litter box (intentionally?), resulting in lots of clean up, several times daily

- $950 (total cost) to cover a surgery the vet estimated at $250

- (2) eye dropper sized bottles of cat antibiotics, administered twice daily, most of which is drooled / spit out / shaken from head, due to unpalatable flavor to old grumpy cats.

- Cat collar with a bell on it.   The bell rings when the cat tries to scratch it's head / neck / healing ear, creating a Pavlovian response by the Human owner/'Cat-attending-staff' to LOOK and see if claws are headed for healing ear, or merely scratching an itchy neck, and then to attempt to STOP feline from scratching by a sharp word, or reaching over and grabbing the reflexive hind leg.

- Lots of patience

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