The View Up Here

Random scribblings about kites, photography, machining, and anything else

Amputee

Posted by Tom Benedict on 07/11/2013

Sorry, no pictures this time…

Ember has had a really rough recovery. Almost half a year ago he was hit by a car. The impact shattered his right rear femur into five pieces, tore his urethra, and ruptured his bladder. Over the course of several months he had numerous surgeries, came close to dying several times, and went through enough physical therapy to constitute torture. He came home from his last procedure a month ago.

Within days he became more and more sluggish, his spine began to twist off to one side, and he lost his ability to urinate or defecate. He was massively constipated. It took the vets two days to clear his colon, but eventually he came home for a second time, this time with medication. Within two weeks he was back at the vet having his colon evacuated a second time.

Constipation is a common side-effect with traumatic injuries in cats. But Ember’s problems were compounded by his crooked posture resulting from the injuries to his leg. His vet sent him home with us and asked us to observe him and consider one last option.

I spent last weekend watching him, holding him, petting him, and… yeah… cramming medicine down his throat three times a day. It’s clear he’s suffering from chronic pain. Likewise it’s clear he’s got permanent nerve damage in his leg. Some parts of it are ultrasensitive to touch. Others are completely numb to it. He rarely knows where it is, and several times it was trapped by chairs, couch cushions, or doorways. I helped him to free his leg every time I saw him get stuck, but I could tell he hated it.

Saturday night when it was time for his evening medication, I found him out in the front yard chasing a mouse. It was heart-warming to see him being a cat again, but during the hunt his bad leg flopped forward and wound up covering the mouse. He couldn’t feel it under him, and he couldn’t figure out where it had gone. It all but broke my heart. That night Rydra and I talked it over and came to the same decision the vet had last week.

This morning I dropped Ember off at the vet to have his leg amputated.

– Tom

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