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Post spay stress

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
I went to pick up the girls at 4pm and they took a while to bring them out - turns out that when they went to put them in their basket, one of the nurses noticed that Bella had already taken out a stitch!!! Rather than put another stitch in, they decided to staple it instead

Anyway, the girls were quiet on the way home but as soon as I got them into the kitchen, they became restless so I let them out - but not before shutting the kitchen door so that they were restricted to the kitchen and utility room only. Anyway, within minutes, they were going crazy - rushing around and crashing into things because they were both wearing buster collars and then they proceeded to roll onto their backs and use all their paws to try and get the collars off! Bella almost succeeded but the buster collar got caught between her mouth and she wasn't able to shift it or close her mouth. I helped extricate it but got a bit worried and called the surgery. The buster collar is a clip on one and to secure it some more, they had threaded a bandage through it but the bandage is so stretchy that I don't think it will last the night. Anyway, they suggested that I replace the bandage with a cat collar to make it more secure so I've done this with both girls.

I'm a bit stressed out at the moment because the girls haven't calmed down and are now leaping from floor to sofa, from sofa to footstool, from footstool to the second platform of their activity centre!! I'm absolutely terrified that they are going to tear their stitches

Does anyone know what I can do help them calm down? Is this normal?? Also, I would like to get some opinions on the after care advice I was given...

The girls should be restricted to a smaller space for the next 10 days - preferably somewhere calm and quiet so they can recover and the collars must stay on until the stitches are removed. I've got to take them for a check-up on Monday and then 7 days later, they go back to have their stitches removed

Now, as I've already mentioned, they are in a calm and quiet area but they are absolutely hyper! I'm also worried that they are going to go crazy if they are stuck in the kitchen for the next 10 days. We have a huge kitchen so it's not exactly cramped but you know how cats like to have a good old wander and I'm concerned about how unhappy they may get. What should I do?

I've managed to examine both of their tummies - Cindy's scar is small, clean and very neat. Bella's is a bit bigger, jagged and angry red - I suspect this is due to the fact that she managed to tear her stitches out

Also, and this is the last thing - promise!! What's the best way to feed them whilst they have these buster collars on? I've already put some wet food down for them in their small bowls but it's really obvious that they are having difficulty getting to the food - I know the main reason is because they haven't quite gotten the hang of the collars yet but I don't want them to starve. As a precaution, I've gotten 2 higher bowls and filled them to the brim with dry food - I know a lot of it will be wasted but at least with the dry food, I can pile it up high enough so that they can reach it to eat. Is there anything else I can do to help them eat?

The next 10 days are going to be the longest of my life Or am I just being a worry wort? I keep telling myself that cats are intelligent and my girls will figure out a way to manage but I just can't help worrying

Oh, and I've just been asked by my husband to ask you guys something else. The girls have stopped running around and are now trying to groom themselves - obviously, it isn't working and all they are doing is licking the inside of the buster collar! What should we do??
post #2 of 54
You can take the collars off to let them eat. Just stay with them, to make sure they don't work on their stitches, and put the collars back on once they've eaten. One of the reasons they're probably so hyper is that they're hungry. They also have to get used to the collars.
If they're going in for a check-up on Monday, you could ask your vet if the collars could be replaced with cut-off sweatshirt sleeves, or, if your kits are small enough, socks with the toes cut off. You could look for soft e-collars, also.
The anesthesia and excitement will probably catch up with them soon, and they'll sleep though the night. Don't worry about them licking inside the collars - they'll tire of that soon enough.
Good luck!
post #3 of 54
Thread Starter 
How do the cut-off sweatshirt sleeves or socks work?
post #4 of 54
Thread Starter 
I've just googled e-collars to see what they look like - they are what my girls are wearing except my vet called them buster collars.
post #5 of 54
You put them on the cats as "belly bands", so that the incisions are covered and can't be licked or chewed. Some cats manage to pull them right off, but others will leave them on, and then just lick the sweatshirt material, rather than their incisions. Turn the fleecy side out. If you don't want to put the tube over their heads and work their front legs through, you can cut the sleeve open, and then secure the edges (along the cat's back), with cloth surgical tape, i.e., the tape should hold the edges of the cloth together, not tape the cloth to the cat.
post #6 of 54
Originally Posted by Pui Hang
I've just googled e-collars to see what they look like - they are what my girls are wearing except my vet called them buster collars.
Are they the soft cloth ones, with wire inside the outer edge, or the hard plastic "cones"? The cats seem to do better with the soft ones.
post #7 of 54
Are they like these?. If you want me to ring you for a chat let me know because i should be on here for a while.

post #8 of 54
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rosiemac
Are they like these?. If you want me to ring you for a chat let me know because i should be on here for a while.

Yes - it is exactly like the one Sophie had. Yes please. Will send you my number via PM
post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 
Susan and Jamie,

Thank you for your support and advice tonight

Jamie, the girls are wearing hard plastic collars but I do like your sweater suggestion so I will ask my vet when I see him on Monday

Susan, have a look at these pictures - I think the collars are too big for the girls and will be cutting them down to help the girls eat and groom and get about. Apologies for the terrible picture quality - they were taken by my husband using his camera phone but he forgot to put it in night mode! I'll take some proper pictures tomorrow

Cindy looking surprised

Bella trying to do an extreme close-up

The white square on Cindy's leg is actually her silvery underside

post #10 of 54
I guess each vet has their preference as to spayed cats having to wear these collars. I just had My Lilly spayed today.And my vet never mentioned her having to have one of these on. They said a little lapping at the area is normal.Lilly has lapped abit but not alot. She so far seems fine about not bothering the stitches. The vet did say if she does seem to be eccesively licking at the stitches. To just cover the area.10 days seems like along time to have to put up with the collars. I would ask the vet if its ok to let them go without them on and see how they are about leaving the stitches alone.You can always put them back on if they are lapping to much..
post #11 of 54
i have never had a cat need to use one of these collars either.
i would suggest using a sleeve too.
also, a calm quiet room ideal for recovering spayed kitties would not be a room with a sofa and stool and etc. try a bathroom or a room without anything to jump on.
post #12 of 54
Thread Starter 
Well, we went downstairs this morning and were greeted by 2 very perky girls We took the collars off so that they could eat properly - whilst I was removing Cinders' collar, I noticed that Bella had actually gotten the hang of eating with her collar on but I thought it would be nice for them to have a break from it anyway

Once the girls had eaten and drunk their fill, I watched them closely as they started to groom - whenever they tried to groom the tummy area, I gently redirected them elsewhere. After about 5 minutes, Bella started to try and have a go at the staples so we decided to put her collar back on Cinders had a little lick over the wound area but didn't seem to be having a go but we put her collar back on as well just to be safe

I'm going to see how they get on til about lunchtime and then I might let them into the lounge with me but it all depends on how they are getting on. They seem to have gotten the hang of their collars overnight and are no longer walking backwards which is a bonus

Susan, I had a closer look at the collar whilst it was off - it's 4 inches deep with 2 securing tabs - if I am to cut it, it will have to be just below the first tab so the collar will only be held together by one tab - it looks like it will still be deep enough to stop them from having a go at the stitches but I'm not 100% certain because the resultant collar is quite small. I might get a spare collar first just in case I completely balls up the job!

Jen, re my quiet room - there is no room in my house where there isn't something for the girls to jump on, be it a window ledge or a shelf. My bathroom would be the last place I would put them because they love nothing more than to jump in and out of the bathtub, the toilet and the sink The kitchen really is the most quiet room in the house!
post #13 of 54
It's so difficult to see them in their collars, isn't it?

As I mentioned, Molly pulled her stitches out too! When Molly was spayed, I was given the collar as a precaution and she didn't have to wear it! I just resorted to it once she got a vested interest in her stitches! However, she did keep taking it off anyway!!

When I was bringing her home, my vet didn't mention having to keep her in a quiet room or that she should be there for 10 days! I think if you just keep and eye on them while they are wandering, they should be fine! I didn't even have to keep Molly separated from Tibby, just had to check that he wasn't grooming the area!

If you do cut the collar just below the first tab, you could put a little tape on it just to keep it together!

I'm sure that they can have free reign of your house, just keep an eye on them - make sure they aren't damaging the stitched area and such.

Good luck with them and sending lots of speedy healing }}}VIBES{{{ their way and many calming }}}VIBES{{{ to you too!
post #14 of 54
That size looks to be ok and 4" was the same as Rosie and Sophies.

I'm pleased their are a lot brighter today, but don't they look sweet with their collars on That one of Cindy is so cute

Their a pain the collars but if it means they keep off their stitches then it's worth the few days, plus like i said on the phone yesterday, after 3 days the incision was healing perfectly which i'm sure will be the case with your girls
post #15 of 54
i have always made mine wear collars!! They were allowed breaks for food and I would let them have an hour without it in the evening, but very closely supervised - I would rather that for a few days than them pull a stitch out and have to be put back under to sort it out. It apparently 'gels' on the inside after about 4 days, so you might be able to risk it after then.
post #16 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice guys

We took the collars off and tried them with belly bands made from an old sweater - Bella got hers off in a matter of minutes so we then tried again with an old sock - within an hour, the sock was shredded so we cut the plastic collar by just under 2 inches and put it back on her. The collar seems a bit small to me now but having watched her closely whilst she was grooming, I was satisfied that the collar was still big enough to prevent her from getting at the stitches. Cindy kept her sock on for 4 or 5 hours before it started to look a bit raggedy. The other thing I noticed was that she tried to groom Bella's tummy - I stopped her a couple of times and then decided to cut her collar too and put that back on.

Both girls seem to be managing a lot better with the collar reduced and are able to eat and drink relatively well so I'm happy. I also gave them free run of the house at lunchtime - they didn't go too far - just into the lounge where they promptly cuddled up together in the radiator bed

We went out with friends tonight and left the girls the whole house to roam. We got back about 20 minutes ago, checked their stitches and everything is intact so we're going to let them sleep with us tonight

Once again, thanks for all your help - I don't know what I would have done without you!!
post #17 of 54
I'm giggling here just picturing them determined to get the sock off
They sound like their getting used to the collar now so thats one thing you can relax about

Let us know how their check up goes tomorrow
post #18 of 54
I'm still surprised about the collars, as it's not usual here or in the U.S.. Are their incisions on the side, or in the middle of their stomachs?
post #19 of 54
Thread Starter 
The incisions are just off centre of their stomachs.
post #20 of 54
I have never had a cat be given a collar after spaying either. My vet here uses body bandages, with holes for the legs and tail, and they don't seem to mind it too much. The are like elastic net sweaters, and you can slip a dressing underneath if necessary.
post #21 of 54
I did ask my vet why we did our incisions on the side and i can't remember what she said now?, but something about it being easier sticks in my head?!.
post #22 of 54
Thread Starter 
I'll ask my vet about the incision on the side vs middle of the stomach when I take the girls for their check-up tomorrow. To be honest, I didn't realise until last night that the incision could be made on the side. When my friends came over and saw where the stitches were, they were surprised because they thought spaying was always done on the side...

I have to say, I much prefer the idea of body bandages over e-collars - the girls are used to them now but they have been very different little girls since they got back from the op. They are sleeping a lot and don't really seem inclined to play. I'm not too worried at the moment because I want them to rest as much as possible and therefore hopefully will make a much speedier recovery

Whilst I think I could trust Cindy not to play with her stitches if I were to remove her collar, there is no way I can remove Bella's because she would be at them at the first opportunity

I've also noticed that the girls need some sort of pillow in order to sleep comfortably whilst they have the collars on - I've had their heads in my lap most of today and last night, I had Cindy sleeping with her head on my stomach and Bella with her head on my shoulder
post #23 of 54
Oh, I hadn't realised that they had their surgery on their tummies! From what I have heard, when the surgery is done on the stomach it is regular surgery. Molly had hers on the side through keyhole surgery, so she only had two stitches and a tiny scar!

Good luck with the check up today! I'm sure it'll all go brilliantly and Bella and Cinders will be back to their playful selves in no time!

I bet they'll be so pleased to have their ecollars off too!!
post #24 of 54
Originally Posted by Pui Hang
the girls are used to them now but they have been very different little girls since they got back from the op. They are sleeping a lot and don't really seem inclined to play.
Don't worry my two weren't as playful either, but i think that was because the collar was restricting them, but as soon as they had it removed it didn't take them long to run riot again!!!
post #25 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sarah Cindy has 3 stitches and they look to be healing very well. Bella has 3 stitches and a staple but her scar is a little bit longer - whether this is as a result of her yanking out a stitch as soon as she came round I don't know. It looks like it is healing welll too but not as well as Cindy due to having removed a stitch

I'm hoping that the vet says that they can remove their e-collars after the check-up but I guess that will depend on how well they are healing in his opinion
post #26 of 54
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by rosiemac
Don't worry my two weren't as playful either, but i think that was because the collar was restricting them, but as soon as they had it removed it didn't take them long to run riot again!!!
Yes, I suspect that to be the reason too! Today, Bella is the quiet and calm one and acting more like how Cindy normally is and Cindy is acting more like how Bella normally is! She's tried removing her collar with all her paws (to no avail), she hasn't stopped talking to me and is following me around! It's quite funny to watch and I have to admit, it's been lovely seeing the change and knowing that Bella is capable of being calm and quiet and Cindy boisterous and noisy

I can't wait til 6pm - that's when they are having their check-up
post #27 of 54
Sophies was only going to have a couple of stitches in, but because they had problems removing her "bits" the had to cut a little further which is why she had 4 stitches.

Don't be upset if they still have to wear their collars tonight though, because they told me to leave Sophies on until she went back to have the stitches removed, which was probably because she pulled one out
post #28 of 54
Thread Starter 
I was told they had to wear their collars until the stitches were removed and I think this will definitely be the case with Bella!

If they have to wear them for the full 10 days, then so be it. I rather that than have something happen in the interim which causes recovery to take longer. I just noticed that Bella's scar seems to be a bit raised whereas Cindy's is flat. It isn't hot to the touch but I'll ask the vet about it anyway. I might also need to get a new collar for Bella - she's worked out how to lick the scar even with the collar on Trust me to have a contortionist kitten!
post #29 of 54
She's a little tryer i'll give her that much, and sounds just like Sophie!

I wouldn't worry too much about the raised area, especially if it's not hot to touch. Sophie had a little lump on hers but it went after a few weeks.

Once they've been tonight for their first check up you'll feel a lot better
post #30 of 54
Thread Starter 
Well, the vet said that they were both healing very nicely They have to keep their collars on til the stitches are removed on Sunday but that's not a huge deal.

It turns out that they both have "saggy" bits on their scars but as Susan said, they are nothing to worry about. Apparently, once the operation is done, they put in a layer of skin followed by a layer of fat followed by another layer of skin and this is the cause of the bumps.

He said the wounds are pretty much closed up now so even if they managed to get to their stitches, it wouldn't be huge deal now. I am so relieved!

I know I've said this before but I'm going to say it again anyway...

I couldn't have gotten through the past few days without your help and support
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