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JJ the Bengal cat's journey from 4 to 3

JJ developed a growth in his shoulder called Osteochondroma

JJ the Bengal cat's journey from 4 to 3

Day 3 – after vets visit

April 6th, 2017 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

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Well I’m now feeling much better.. not sure JJ is as he hates the vets but we tried to keep him calm and he behaved very well. So proud of him.

Thank you all so much for your support and advice. It helps so much to know we are not alone and reassuring that it is all normal at this stage.

The vet checked his wound and says it’s healing perfectly. He’s not concerned in any way and said as long as he moves to eat, drink and use the toilet this is fine. I asked about the weird swelling – he says this is normal and just a collection of fluid which will be reabsorbed. So that is one thing off my mind.

I told him about the episodes as I warned him to be careful getting him out. He said with some strong confidence this isn’t phantom limb as it would develop later (not sure I trust that) and it’s unlikely to be pain. He said its more likely to be a reaction to the drugs making him a bit crazy. Only time will tell. I didn’t ask about gabepentin …. can’t spell it. But will next time or if it continues to seem like and issue in the next day or so. I know it is used for nerve pain as my partner takes it for his nerve damage after a failed spinal fusion. He was very happy with JJ and has booked him in for next Thursday to have his stitches out.

So in response to some comments rather than replying I thought I’d put the updates here.

Eating – he’s getting up to eat after some encouragement which is great to see.

Drinking – he wasn’t drinking, so I switched out his water bowl for his fountain as this is what he usually drink from. He hasn’t been drinking from it. This is a worry so I’ve switched out his preferred food (biscuits) for wet food to make sure he doesn’t get dehydrated. I’ve also used a syringe to give him some water.. he seemed to like this! He has me wrapped around his little finger.


JJ is using the litter tray but he isn’t doing too well with it.

Number 1’s … he usually stands up on the side of the litter tray but can’t do this in the one he has as it’s low sided. I did originally have his usual one for him but he was struggling to get in and out so I’ve swapped it for a low sided cardboard box. I felt like s genius as I recycled an old jigsaw box lid! What happens now though is he stands and just sits in it. Ends up covered in cat litter and I have to clean him up. Any tips on best cat litter for recovery? I started with Sillica because that’s what he usually has and it’s soft but he fell face first into it and I didn’t want him ingesting any so I swapped. All I had was clay clumping kind but it’s not much better, he ends up caked in clay because he sits in it. I though maybe a newspaper one would be better.

No.2s – he has managed these but only three tiny ones and it’s as though they pop out without him knowing. First was on the way home from vets day after surgery, and once each day. Only one made it into litter box. They are tiny and like rock’s. Sorry.. I can’t believe I’m talking about his toilet habits to the whole world. I’m sorry JJ.. its a good job he cant read! Anyway he is very obviously constipated. I know this will be his pain meds so not over concerned.

Pain Meds

He’s on Buprecare which I believe is Buprenorphine – a 0.4ml dosage every 8 hours. This works well as it means he’s covered all day and night.

He’s also on Metacam which is an anti inflammatory. He has this once per day and it must be taken with food. It’s a 0.5ml dose … it was 0.6 before the op so I assume he has lost weight… obviously his leg! He weighed 6kg before surgery as he is a very large cat, not fat, just muscular.

I am however mindful we need to watch his weight going forwards so it doesn’t put strain on his remaining 3 legs. I’ve even thought of a cat wheel, but no idea if he would ever be able to do this. It’s a long way off anyway.

I think that was all the questions. We are home now. He’s sleeping. Let’s hope for a peaceful, pain free night.



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Day 3 – JJ doesn’t want to move

April 6th, 2017 · 10 Comments · Uncategorized

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Another night of no sleep, spent snuggled up with JJ. He seemed extremely miserable and I was worried so we got him out of his create and onto his enourmous cat bed so that I could lay with him and comfort him. He quickly moved closer to me and snuggled up with his head resting on my arm. This equalled – no sleep for me on the hard floor but a happy JJ so it was totally worth it. I’ve had to take some extra days off work as clearly he’s not handling this as well as we had hoped.

This morning JJ is acting like he has given up on the world. He has retreated to his bed inside the cage and is just sleeping. He has eaten but only because I put the food right up to his bed so he didn’t need to move. I am getting super worried. I keep telling myself that it’s all the pain meds but he just seems to have gone backwards. Some of me thinks that he has scared himself because a couple of times when he has moved he seems to have had the episodes of phantom limb pain and this might have knocked his confidence. Or maybe he’s hitting depression stage.

Clearly something is making him this way and it has me worried sick. We are booked into the vets this afternoon so hopefully I will get some reassurance and JJ will get a full check. I just keep thinking, what if something has gone wrong, have I don’t something wrong, what can I do to help him, is he going to be like this forever? The guilt is killing me, maybe I shouldn’t have put him through this, maybe I should have let him live with his growth and just given him palatine care. I was trying to save his life, and now I feel like I’ve just made it worse. I’m so sorry JJ.


Day 2 – it’s not getting easier

April 6th, 2017 · No Comments · Uncategorized

So after yesterday, we witnessed JJ have multiple episodes of what the vet had thought might be caused by his pain meds. Upon leaving the hospital they suggested to stop the opoid pain med and just keep him on metacam and observe how if these episodes stopped, if they didn’t to start up the pain mess again as it wasn’t what was causing it.

They didn’t stop, if anything they were worse, it happened about 7 times on his first day home. From observing these episodes, I think they are more of a panic attack or phantom limb pain. He screams in pain and roles over onto his back. They last just a couple of seconds and then he quickly retreats to his bed. It is turkey terrifying for both him and us. I think he was being too active, because we had stopped the strong pain killer and kind of over doing it.

So today we are back on with the strong pain mess and he had just two very minor episodes. The downside of this is that he has become very withdrawn and just wants to sleep. It’s a shock as yesterday he was all about wanting chin tickles and attention and happily hoping about in his cage for food and toilet. Today started the same, he had a little wander around outside his cage and was doing great, as the day has gone on (and I suppose as his doeses of pain mess have built up) it is a different story, he doesn’t want to move at all. He has retreated to his bed and only moves to eat and use the litter try but once there doesn’t want to move back to his bed. It is very concerning, but I figure he needs to rest and if the pain killers are making him do that, it’s a good thing.

We have a check up at the vets booked in for tomorrow so hopefully they can reassure us that all is well. If he wasn’t eating and using the litter tray I’d have been calling the vet and going in early but for now we will wait until tomorrow.


Day 1 – First Day Home

April 6th, 2017 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Well we picked up JJ from the vets at 5pm. We thought we had prepared mentally, we were all set up at home and just eager to get him home. I can honestly say all of that went out of the window! On top of yesterday being our first day getting JJ back we had been to a funeral for my partners Nan so emotionally we were not in a great place. The timing of the amputation couldn’t have been worse but we didn’t want to delay it.

So we collected him, the car journey home was nervous but uneventful. JJ slept the whole way home.

We walked in through the door and were greeted by one very excited Pixel (as he always does when we come home). This was the first mistake! They saw each other JJ freaked out and did a flip and howl inside the carrier, I screamed because it made me jump out of my skin and Pixel just hit the roof and started hissing. I quickly took JJ upstairs with Pixel hot on my heels. If I was to do this again, I’d have sent my partner into the house to shut Pixel in the lounge and just carried JJ up the stair without him realising.

I had a crate all set up, big enough for food bowls, littler and his bed. So he got in and got settled. Pixel sat outside the bedroom door crying to get in and investigate. So eventually we let him in. He wasn’t happy about not being able to get to JJ, and he was very concerned. This seemed to make JJ nervous so we took Pixel back out. We seemed to have been doing this all night long, there is no good way to do it. If he’s in the room he’s making JJ nervous by sticking his paw inside the cage, if he’s outside the room he’s crying continuously to get in and as any Bengal owners will know, they are loud, and never give up! He was also jumping at the handle as he knows he can open them!

Jj in his dog crate getting as close as possible to me for a chin tickle!

JJ and Pixel before his operation. They are best friends and inseparable!


The vets said they had put a cone in for JJ to wear but that he wasn’t bothered by his stitches. Upon arriving home we found… they had forgotten to give it to us. We managed without it for a while as he wasn’t bothered. Then it came to around 8pm aka usual bath time licking routine and he was trying to get at them. So I called the vets and arranged to make the 30 mile round trip to go and pick up the collar. Whilst I was there I also bought some feliway spray as I thought JJ’s episodes might have been partly due to the anxiety of everything.

I got home out on the collar and JJ was not impressed! He was struggling to eat from his bowls and looked truely miserable. I remembered reading about using a baby grow instead so I went to dig out one of my daughters baby ones that I’d saved. This worked a treat. JJ looked so much more comfortable and wasn’t trying to get at his stitches anymore.

The feliway spread seemed to help too. It calmed him down and also calmed Pixel down too. It was still a sleepless night as I lay on the floor next to his crate watching him sleep.


Day 0

April 4th, 2017 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

I thought this might be a good way to document and also let others know what we are what we are going through. It’s been a tough few weeks and we are only now at the start of the tripod journey.

This is our beautiful (maybe I’m biased) boy JJ. He’s a 2 year old brown spotted Bengal.

Our story begins at Christmas this year when JJ developed a slight limp. It was nothing major and we initially decided that he must have been playing with our other Bengal Pixel too roughly or had jusmped and landed funny. He was running in it and acting like normal so we decided to wait until the following day and see how he was.

The next day, it wasn’t better. So we took him to the vets. The vet checked him over and gave him some pain killers and sent us home saying it would resolve itself after a couple of weeks. 2 weeks went by… the limp didn’t go away (even on pain killers). The limp didn’t seem to get worse either. JJ was acting like his usual self but we took him back to the vets as something obviously wasn’t right.

He re-examined JJ and thought he could feel a slight movement issue and that it was something dogs get (can’t remember the name he used) and that it was something that could resolve itself. He sent us home and said to monitor him and to come back if his limp got worse and not to worry.

Following this 2 months pass and two more vets visits following what appeared to be JJ really hurting himself and needing pain killers. The second time we went in, we asked for further investigation.

The vet decided to admit him for x-rays. At this point I wasn’t concerned and in no way expected it to go the way it did.

I got the dreaded call from the vet… “The X-ray has discovered a sizeable mass, I have JJ under sedation and need your permission to take additional x-rays if his chest to ensure it hasn’t spread”…. instart fearing the worsT and I think I spent bursting out into tears every 30 seconds. Luckily the chest was clear but the mass was still present.

The vet suggested we waited to see how JJ got on, so we did. We then observed over the space of a couple of weeks that we could now see the mass, and it appeared to be growing quickly.

Jj was referred to a specialist hospital, where we had the option to amputate straight away or go for biopsy and additional X-rays. We went with the latter as we wanted to know what we were dealing with.

It took about 7 days for the results to come back. These revealed that JJ had a Tumor in his shoulder called Osteochondroma. Our only option.. amputation.