As posted yesterday, Maya went to the spay and neuter clinic yesterday morning. It was cold and rainy when we left; we covered Maya's carrier with a blanket and piece of plastic to keep her warm and dry. We got to the clinic just before opening, and with just one other animal ahead of us (that had been there since the day before), Maya got #2 position. We filled out the paperwork and were told to come back at noon to pick her up.
Just past 12 noon we were back at the clinic for our baby cat. Maya's cage was on the floor and she was pressed against the door. She was out, still under the influence of the anesthesia apparently.
One of the volunteers came by, and when I said who I was, I could tell by the look on her face that all was not 100% with Maya. I was told that they'd had some problems with her, that her temperature kept dropping and she'd been hard to wake up - they'd had to get Pepe to look at her.
I am a nurse. There is a common perception amongst medical people that nurses and their families are always more trouble than 'normal' people. Meaning we never have a smooth course, we always present a challenge. Apparently Maya was going to support this concept - rather than an uneventful surgery and recovery that probably most other animals experienced, Maya was going to be a worry.
The volunteer gave us the discharge instructions, told me that cats always take longer to come around, and left me with these comforting words - "I'm sure Maya will be fine, good luck".
When we got Maya home I took her out of her cage, wrapped her in a blanket and laid her on the couch beside me. She was cold, breathing shallowly, and still sleeping. I spent the afternoon stimulating her to breath deeper and trying to warm her up. She stirred a couple of times but went right back into a deep sleep.
Around 3 I tried to get Maya to take some water but she was not interested. I put her in her cage while I prepared chicken enchiladas for us. I think the smell of the chicken stimulated Maya and after we'd finished eating she walked out of the cage and went over to the food area of the kitchen. I gave her the softened cat kibbles and she ate a bit.
And so Maya was on the road to recovery. The discharge instructions say not to let the animal run, jump, or climb for a week. Ha! Once Maya recovered from the anesthesia she was all over the place. Gingerly walking at first, but then jumping up to the couch, and then down, and then up on the chair, and then down, and then up on the bed, and then down. I tried to stop her but she was unstoppable. I tried to put her in her cage but she created such a fuss it was probably causing more harm than just letting her do what she felt up to doing.
Last evening Maya discovered her incision. I was shocked to see her not only licking it, but pulling on it. I tried to push her head away and realized she had the skin in her teeth and was serious about getting whatever was there, out. I did not have one of those collars that are used to keep the animal's head from reaching the incision site, but I had a soft little Christmas leg ornament for Loco (a set of 4 that came with his little cap and scarf). The ornament fit around Maya's neck perfectly and gets in the way when she tries to lick that area.
So Maya and I slept in the downstairs bedroom, with a nightlight on so I could keep an eye on her when she jumped off the bed. But mostly she snuggled with me on the bed and we slept moderately well.
Today Maya is running, jumping, and climbing as if nothing happened to her. She has figured out how to get around the little collar and can get to her incision if she really wants to. There is no way I can stop her.
So, discharge instructions are great, but in this case, impossible to enforce. There should be a disclaimer on the bottom - "These instructions are the ideal recovery but...Good luck with that!".