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Yesterday afternoon Kitty had her ear amputated due to terrible frostbite damage she aquired as a stray outdoors. It has been a full year that she has been in my care and we have finally decided that we had lost the battle to save her ear at all. It was a constant open wound on her ear and needless to say I knew it needed to be removed. She has what I think is around 30% of her ear left, and at the moment, the ear is a bit puffy and swollen. She also had 4 teeth pulled out, so it was quite the big day for Kitty. It looks 100% better in my opinion as it regards the vets wonderful job, although she does look a bit strange with the fur shaved off above her eye area close to her ear and around the ear. It kindof gives the ear a more of a "hole" kinda look, which I know will look a little more normal once the fur grows back in a few months. The vet gave her a 3 day pain injection as well as a 2 week antibiotic injection. She was supposed to come home with a cast on her ear but the vet said the cat was in shear panic mode so they removed it. They said she wasn't scratching at her head at all, but I am to keep an eye on her if she is to be without the "cone". I put the cone on her when I went to bed and my husband told me she was trying to get out of it this morning and had almost pulled it over her little ear. I woke up to take it off and give her a break from it for the day. She was as high as a kite last night and she was so restless. She would stare at the reflection of herself in this plastic bin I have for several hours. She was hungry too all night even after she ate a full days worth of food. She was purring non stop, and I took it that she was either purring from the pain or because she was really high. I also notice that her throat sounds a little weird when she purrs alot and when she grooms herself, kindof like she might have a rough throat from the tube they put in at surgery. I am waiting for the vets call in regards to that as well as a few other questions I have. She is resting more today, even slept on my lap for a little while. Her pupils look a little more normal too. She has got diarhea though but I have some meds here for her for that. The vet said that in about 7-10 days she should be healed up for the most part. I am looking forward to that, as its been so long that she had lived with an open wound on her head, which keeps us from ever giving her head a real good scratch! We have alot to look forward to! I will post some pictures soon on how it looks in my next post, but please be advised it does look a little scary at the moment.
 

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Poor baby! But she will be feeling better soon & will look better once the fur grows back. I'm sure you and Kitty are both glad the surgery is over and she's back home!
 

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One of my cats had to have his entire ear pinna amputated due to skin cancer. Once the incision healed, he never missed it, and he was so much more comfortable without that cancerous, open lesion festering on his ear. He did look a little asymmetrical with only one pinna, but he was still one handsome dude.

Your girl will be much happier with a healthy ear.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay so as promised I have some pictures of what Kitty's ear looked like before the amutation. Please be advised the images are a bit graphic and may disturb some people.


This is what her ear looked like before amputation.In this photo it would seem like the ear is okay but the scab had just fallen off exposing the funny looking flesh you see in the picture. Unfortanatly a huge scab would cover the entire area and continue to fall off and re-scab on a freaquent basis. In the following picture you will see the end result of her battle with this ear.


So this is how she looks now when you look at her pretty much dead on. The ear is really puffy right now, and with all the hair shaved she looks even more odd. I still think she looks beautiful! :luv


This is how it looks... I think that the vet did a nice job trying to maintain an ear shape of some kind for her. I can see that it will look great once the swelling comes down.


The lack of hair really throws off the look! But she is doing really good today, even resting more and seems for the most part quite content, which is good. I will continue to post on her progress as well as add pictures of the healing process.
 

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poor thing! But better to lose part of the ear than suffer. I had a kitty with a crinkled ear once (from an infection after he got in a fight with another cat). It was part of his charm.
 

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She is a beautiful kitty and I can tell she is so loved! To be honest, she looks better now that it's taken care of. Once it's healed it won't be as noticeable! My kitties are missing little pieces of their ears and hardly anyone notices. It just makes them extra special!
 

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She is still a very beautiful kitty. and when the furr will grow back i dont think the difference will be so big. fingers cross for her recovery! The worst is behind her!
 

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It concerns me that the section of your girl's ear that developed the unhealing lesion was white. White ears, esp. in cats who have spent a lot of time outdoors, are susceptible to developing skin cancer. That's exactly what happened with Billy's ear, as well. For a couple of years, Billy's lesion would scab over and fall off, revealing flat, pink skin underneath but never completely healing. My vet diagnosed it as allergies. Unfortunately, it was actually skin cancer. After a couple of years, the lesions increased both in size and number, and they became lumpy and bloody. At that point, I sought out a second opinion from a vet who said the entire pinna would have to be removed in order to remove all of the cancerous cells.

It's possible that your girl's ear damage was caused by both frostbite and by skin cancer, so I urge you to keep a very close eye on the remainder of that ear and the other ear to make sure no lesions resurface. Check your girl's ears when they are backlit by a window or lamp and see if you see any dark lines running down the interiors of the ears. That's something that also showed up in Billy's cancerous ear.

It's too bad that your vet didn't send the amputated pinna to a pathology lab for testing. Then you'd know for sure whether frostbite was her only problem. Regardless, if you do see anything suspicious arise on either ear, you'll know to take her right back to your vet for a biopsy and pathology.

Here are pics of Billy immediately after, immediately before, and several years after his pinna amputation.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for the nice words! :p And wow to Billy's ear, poor little guy lost alot of it. I never noticed any dark lines in Kitty's ear only normal pinkish ones. She popped a stitch though this afternoon right after I was done talking on the phone with the vet of all things. That is a bit scary. I trimmed back one of her cones that could be altered so she can now wear it on a regular basis till this is over. I don't need to take any chances! The stitching is still in the ear so I don't know if the vet can tie it back up or not. I am again waiting for her call and I must say I feel kind of silly calling the vet all the time! Kitty hates the cone but it's for her own good.
 

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Kitty is doing pretty good today, her ear looks less swollen but her other healthy ear is looking a little more red than usual. I am not to sure why and I was thinking that maybe it was caused by the cone she has to wear or stress or even possibly raidiating pain from the other ear maybe. It also feels warm to the touch and I have no clue as to why this maybe. Her diet is the same and nothing has changed that way, but she has been having some diarhea since the surgery which I am giving meds for. I have to call the vet tomorrow for a progress report so I will make sure to ask about the reddening of her ear. Hope everything is okay with her. She is eating well and seems happy purring every time I am around her and has been more cuddly since surgery, I am sure she is enjoying all the extra attention that she has been getting lately. She hasn't been expressing any signs of pain so this is good, however she is still on that pain injection which is supposed to be worn off as of tomorrow. Her stitches seem itchy and she wants ro rub or scratch them, which is another good reason to have her cone on. I wonder if the cone is bothering her good ear or maybe causing an allergic reaction or something. I will find out tomorrow. I figure I will post more pics for day 5 since not much has changed in the way it looks as of yet aside of some swelling that has gone down.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Today is day 5 since Kitty's surgery. Things seem to be going well and the swelling has come down quite a bit. I did notice a lump though under the stitch that popped that concerns me a bit. The stitches are disolvable and I am not sure if she is having a reaction to them or something. I have made a call to the vet tonight and hope to see the vet tomorrow at some point just to make sure all is going well. She is still wearing her cone and she is getting use to it now. Her stitches seem itchy to her as she always wants to give them a scratch. Good thing she has the cone on! I really hope that we get a good report on the progress of her ear as this was quite expensive and of course likely painful on the cat and I hope that the worse is behind us. Anyone have any ideas on what the lump under the stitches could be from?
 

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:wink Good news, I took Kitty in for a check-up since her surgery and the vet said she is healing up quite nicely. Turns out the bump on her ear was normal too and was nothing to worry over. Kitty will be cone free on Friday afternoon! I am sure she will be happy about that too. I will post some pics of her ear on Friday after the stitches come out. :p
 

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I am very happy to hear that. I was worried about that lump. I have a white cat, and the cancer thing crossed my mind too...

Is Kitty behaving normally? I wonder if he can understand part of his ear is missing.

Hugs!!
 

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Funny thing is I don't think Kitty notices the ear is missing, and is acting quite normally. It must feel better too I figure without having a huge open sore on it anymore. She paws at it to groom and seemed very comfortable while doing so, but her cone is on for now to keep her from going at it too much. The worst is finally behind her and she can go on living a more normal and comfortable life now. After the problem part of her ear was removed, she hardly even seemed to notice the pain of it all. I think because she is so used to having pain on her ear. It must be strange to not have that pain anymore for her. I am just glad it is over and she is doing really well! :D
 

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Oh my in her pics she looks peeved. Lol. Glad to hear she is doing better. Best thing you could have done for her. I think a treat or a favorite toy is in order here ;)
 
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