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Need your help please.

1055 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  chrisch68
I took my cat, Mink, to get neutered yesterday morning and I could use some help with what to look out for and your thoughts on some other things. I dropped him off at 8:30 and he was so scared to say the least. They were going to take some blood or whatever in order to check his thyroid while he was under. At least I hope he was asleep for that. The reason for checking his thyroid being he had been licking his fur off on his sides and his back legs. I will try to make this as short as I can. Well, I was called around 11:00 and told he came through his surgery just fine and could pick him up at 5:00. On the ride home he was so groggy and out of it, just wobbling around in his crate. Got him home and of course he was the same way and looking around like he couldn't see. I guess he was just completely out of it. Where he had his surgery looked really really gnarly, in a bad way of course. It has really worried me.
He finally started coming to his senses early this morning, say around 4:30, which seemed like an awful long time to me. He seems to be doing better but still can't get around to good, at least for the moment. I guess I am very concerned because when I took my other cat, BG, to get neutered he was back on his feet immediately, as soon as I got him home and opened his crate he walked right out, no problem whatsoever, and where he had his surgery looked almost like he had nothing at all done. Mink and BG's procedures were done at two different vet clinics.
I suppose the difference may be due to the fact that Mink is a few years older, I know I should have gotten it done long ago and I am kicking myself for not doing it much, much sooner. Mink has lived indoors all the time since he first showed up as a kitten at my house several years ago and BG, who I rescued and brought home, stays outside until nightfall when I put him inside his house, a storage room attached to the garage, with all his toys and litterbox. I feel so awful for not getting Mink fixed when he was much younger. Mink is also much heavier, too heavy I am afraid (I will be addressing that problem also). I love Mink very much and am concerned with how the area he had his surgery looks. Maybe I just need to give it more time.
Also, when BG had his surgery his umm... testicles were relatively small whereas Mink's were huge, swollen looking. Probably that has something to do with it.What all do I need to be looking for to prevent any potential problems? Anyone have any experience with their cat having a thyroid problem? His test results should be in tomorrow.
Thanks for reading all this and for your help and concern.
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you didn't say how old mink is, i'm assuming he's several years old since you say he should have been neutered a long time ago.

i've only had one cat neutered myself, the others were already done. i did it too late with him, but he was only 11 months old. it probably should have been done when he was 6 months but we didn't really have major problems because of it.

i thought where it was done looked terrible but having never seen a new one before, figured that's probably how they all look. you aren't supposed to let him lick, and if he does, wrap it with an ace bandage. or i guess you could get one of those elizabethan collars, whatever works.

my cat was out of it for at least a day. they sent him home with pain meds and told me to leave him in his carrier at least 24 hours. he wouldn't be needing much food and only a little water. i gave him some but he tipped it over and laughed. okay not laughed but the cat equivalent to saying, "dude. i'm soooooooooo high." i think they use ketamine, i don't really remember and don't think i asked. but a whole day to recover doesn't seem excessive. i had a six-month old kitten spayed, and they kept her overnight but when i picked her up, she was all ready to go so i have no idea what she like immediately following.

she's now 15 and spiked an overactive thyroid about 18 months ago. a normal thyroid level for a cat is .8 to 4.0. i never heard about the licking fur problem, just a bigger appetite but weight loss, hyper or manic activity which is unusual (a sudden increase or variation from how they've been acting), and/or vomiting.

if his is abnormal, you have a few choices. one, get a radioactive iodine implant for $1300. it isn't surgery, and it's a one-time thing that will solve the thyroid issue. they only do it in certain areas of the country though. i'm in denver and they do it in monument, co. i don't know if it's available where you live or if you'd even want to spend that much.

two, surgical removal of the thyroid gland. depending on his age, that's a possibility but i like to put an older cat under anaesthetic as little as possible.

three you can give daily meds. pilling twice a day would be too hard for me, so i use methimazole transdermal gel in her ears twice a day. it's $34 a month, and you just use latex gloves because it will go through your skin and i don't want to lower my thyroid activity. :) my cat is completely used to it because i give her a treat right after. the inside of the ear is really the only place there's no hair so that's why you give it there. it's bitter (or smells that way anyway, kind of like a marker) so i assume that oral wouldn't work. i take her every 3-6 months to get her level checked because it can be increased if need be. she's completely stable but i do have to make sure i give her a little extra food because it's hard to keep weight on her. i added 6 oz. this time from 6.2 to 6.8. she's not underweight but doesn't have an oz. to lose.

they don't need to put a cat under to test thyroid level. it's just a blood panel so they draw blood. that's what they do to her when i take her in. she squawks a little and this time she got all drama llama and peed a little lol but it's nothing.
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Every cat reacts differently and a kitten usually bounces back much quicker than an adult. A large (overly large from what you say) cat needs more anesthesia, which would take longer to clear his system. So there are a few factors here to explain why he was groggy longer. The fact that it seems to have passed in less than 24 hours says there was nothing extremely wrong.

As for the surgical site...older cat, larger testicles...lots of excess skin left when the testicles are popped out of there. Unless you see weeping, pus, redness etc. I think it will clear up fine. The dog I just got was neutered 7-8 weeks ago at nearly age 3...his surgical site is still obvious and not nearly as neat as my male cat that was neutered at 6 months.

Several of us here (myself included) have had cats with hyperthyroid, although you could be dealing with something different here, unless Mink is much old than I gather from your post. Hyper-t is usually associated with older cats...age 8+ with an average onset age of about 12.
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Honestly, if the vet was concerned about hyperthyroidism, he should have been checked for that and cleared before undergoing surgery! A compromised animal should never be anesthetized. Pre-op bloodwork is a good idea in any animal but any older cat undergoing anesthesia should have a CBC and blood chemistry (as well as T4 if that's a worry) done BEFORE the anesthesia (either on same day if the vet has in-house machines that can do it quickly or a few days to a week ahead of time if not. There is simply no other way to know if the kidneys and liver can handle the anesthesia.

Given that this was NOT done, there is really no way to know what's going on. Do you know what type of anesthesia was used? Most modern vets use one of the "flurane" gas anesthetics--the older ones, as well as most injectables, take forever to wear off, whereas sevoflurane, isoflurane, etc. wear off quickly. I would say that it is abnormal for a cat to be that groggy for that long, yes--unless the vet used one of the older inhalants, in which case you need a new vet with a more modern clinic.

I would say that if Mink isn't acting pretty much like himself by now you should take him in for a recheck. There is also no reason for the surgical site to look "gnarly." I would consider taking him to a different clinic for this checkup. And I would get a CBC and chemistry run to make sure his kidneys and liver aren't compromised.
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I really appreciate ya'lls concern and advice, I really do. I did have them do the recommended blood work prior to his surgery. As for checking his thyroid, I had taken Mink to get a checkup, his shots, etc. this past Friday and the doc wanted to stick a needle into his neck to draw blood or whatever and naturally Mink was having none of that. Doc said he would wait until I brought him in the following Monday (yesterday) to get neutered and he would do it when Mink was under anesthesia.

I am not sure what kind of anesthesia they used but when I picked him up the first thing I noticed when I saw him was what looked like black marks under his eyes next to his nose. My first thought was that was where a mask must have been, I don't know, but that is what I figured it must be.

While I hope there is nothing wrong with his thyroid, it is comforting to know so many people have had to deal with this issue and there are several options available to treat it.

I hope that by getting fixed Mink will be a much happier cat, healthier also. Maybe it was the stress of not being fixed and having no where to go that caused him to lick his fur off. I really hope he will be happier now that that is behind us.

He seems to be feeling better, yet not near back to his old self. It has been less than 36 hours so I guess he just needs more time. I just hate seeing him like this. Knowing I could have prevented him feeling this way by having it done much much sooner in his life is killing me, it breaks my heart.

Thank ya'll once again for caring enough to take the time to help us out. God Bless.
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