Friday, August 03, 2012

Merlin's Femoral Head Ostectomy - AKA surgery

A couple weeks ago, I noticed Merlin (our male cat) was behaving a bit differently. A couple days later, I noticed he was limping. Off to the vet we went and Merlin, our nice, calm, cool, collected kitty turned into this demonic, man eating lion in seconds once the vet touched his hind quarters. She tried and tried and wasn't able to examine him fully. I at one point had to remove myself from the room as it was making me too upset... he just wasn't the Merlin I love. The vet gave us some pain meds and asked us to perhaps watch him for a couple days for improvement and if he didn't bring him back and we would knock him out to examine him.

A few days passed and Merlin was still limping so we went back to the vet (we as in Derek, Merlin and Audrey). Merlin was given "Kitty Percocet" as I call it, but basically it was something to make him sleepy and calm. He got x-rays and quickly we could see that he had a broken leg. Apparently what sometimes (in rare instances) when a male cat is neutered young, they don't develop properly. Their hormones are out of wack and the growth plate between the head of the femur bone and the neck of the femur bone can disintegrate. This is what happened to Merlin. What does this mean??? Kitty surgery. A Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)-  http://www.ambulatoryveterinarysurgery.com/hipdisease/fho.html
Merlin's xray - check out the gap between the bone and his body on the left hand side. 

So...we signed our 1.5 year old boy kitty up for surgery. What they will be doing is cutting through the right hind muscle and shaving the bone so it is smooth. They will also take out the head of the bone from the socket. Feline bodies have the ability to create a false joint with the scar tissue that will develop. Here's hoping.

Surgery was yesterday. We googled, read, researched and talked about what it would be like, how he would feel after... I was just so worried. He did wonderfully in surgery - not that he needed to participate, but you know what I mean. Everything went well. He was groggy and confused and smelled medicinal (which is STILL freaking Audrey, his sister, out as she is hissing at him and avoiding him) but he is here and it is done and there is nothing to do but move forward. I really noticed that he was spooked by loud sounds and big, fast movements, but other than that, he did fine. We tried to contain him to the living room, but he was hungry and jumped the barricade we created to go for the food. Crazy kitty! There were times where he tried to walk and tried to use his limp leg and fell on the ground - it was heart breaking to watch.
Merlin coming home after surgery
Today he is doing better. He slept in our room, we locked him in and put all of the necessities a kitty needs in our closet. I didn't sleep well, but I think he did. This afternoon, he has been hanging with Derek in the living room, snoozing and roaming and escaping our poor attempts at containing him. Audrey still hasn't stopped hissing at him, but he is eating and walking a little and doesn't seem to be in pain at all. I am not sure if his 'functions' are functioning yet, but I am sure everything is on track and will be fine. He seems to be a bit more of himself today - which is nice to see... I sure do miss my little boy! It should take about 2 weeks for him to be mostly mobil. We will need to make sure we do some stretches with him and he can't do stairs for 10 days (that's going to be hard as our new house is ALL stairs... yikes). But, we will get through it and he will be fine. I am better now that the surgery is done - as long as everything goes well from this point on! :) I will keep you all posted!
Merlin's afternoon snooze - Day 1 post-op