Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A little more about the surgery arrangments...

OK gang, another long post. Yesterday's post was a thumbnail of what occurred on Monday but, since you've all been so supportive, I figured if you wanted to know the details, I'd fill you in. If not, you can just skip this and I'll post tomorrow about Gus' return!!

First, let me back up a bit and tell you about the choices we needed to make before arriving at surgery. Putting Gus down was not considered. He's young and healthy, not to mention a sweet kitten. End of discussion.

Thursday, the ER doc said our options, then, were amputation of the limb (as he is young, he would be likely to adapt quickly to having three legs), or surgery to pin the leg. On Saturday, Doc Andrew recommended surgery and confirmed that casting the leg for this break was not an option. He confirmed amputation was a viable, and less costly, option. Since the idea of amputation didn't feel right, I decided to investigate the surgery for repairing the leg. Doc Andrew referred me to Doctor Hess and spoke very highly of him. Turns out Doc Hess doesn't have a "regular" practice, he only performs major surgery and he also teaches.

My phone call with Dr. Hess' office on Monday morning was fairly brief. If we could make it to the office for an exam that morning, the Doc could likely fit us in for surgery this week, if we decided surgery was the course of action we preferred. Without further ado, Gus and I piled in the car and headed to Bel Air.

Miss Janet met us and helped us quickly dispatch the paperwork. Before I go further, allow me to introduce one of Doc Hess' greeters!

Miss Alice was in the office when we arrived, which made us feel very, very welcome. She, in fact, was the only member of the practice who was not camera shy! ;-) I'm hoping we will be able to meet her co-greeter, Ralph, on our next visit.

Anyway, Miss Janet took our information and introduced us to Dr. Hess. He reviewed the xray we brought and he explained our options to us. There are two types of surgery appropriate for this kind of break, and the Doc explained the risks and benefits of each one, answering all (and there were a lot!) of my questions patiently and thoroughly. The teacher in him was very evident! It was the high probability of a successful surgery that convinced me I needed to do this.

Please understand, Doc Hess hasn't worked with us before and we are a private adoption group, so we are paying the going rate for this surgery. Doctor Hess does a lot of pro bono work for rescue groups. As he does for qualified rescue groups (not individuals), he offered to arrange for free spay/neuter and shots for Space Paws adoptees, in the future, through his teaching!! Yep, Doc Andrew said he was a good guy and was right! Thank you Doctor Hess, so very, very much!!

After the decision was made, I hugged Gus goodbye and he went with Doc Hess for a bit of rest and relaxation before getting ready for surgery. As I checked out, Miss Janet said to me, in a low voice, that the Doc pampers his patients lavishly. I can believe it. Since our visit I've heard from various sources that Doc Hess has very high standards and an excellent reputation. Plus, Gus really likes him! :-)

As you know, the surgery went well and Gus is resting easy. I'm on pins and needles and can't wait to pick our boy up tomorrow!!


  1. The cat rescue world is blessed with saints like Doc Hess. What a noble man!

    We are anxiously awaiting your post on Gus' homecoming!

  2. Oh, I think I like Dr. Hess quite a lot. Lucky Gus, to fall into the right hands and to be able to keep his leg!

  3. I think it should be a requirement for all veterinary people that they love animals a lot. I guess not all of them do.

  4. I'm so excited for Gus. The angels are looking after him, it seems. He's fallen into good hands, one after another, since he was hurt. Thank goodness for that. He sounds like a sweet boy, deserving of love and luck. Thanks for taking such good care of him, Space Paws.

  5. Angels in disguise....Dr. Hess is just wonderful. Please, please let me know if there is anything I can do to help


  6. That is wonderful mews!!! Dr. Hess sounds like a wonderfurl man (we can almost hear his angel wings!) We can't wait for the post-op report on dear Gus!!! Our purrayers and thoughts are being sent by the bushel to him!!! You too... :o)

  7. It's always great to hear about wonderful people who truly care and make a difference. Doctor Hess is definitely one of them! I can't wait to hear how Gus is doing!

  8. Thanks for the update on what was going on - it sounds like you found a great doctor for Gus, which isn't always easy. It sounds like Gus is lucky to have found you! Be sure to let us know if you need anything - those of us who aren't nearby will help out however we can! I can't wait to hear about his homecoming tomorrow!

  9. I'm so very, very, very, very glad this has worked out for the best and that Gus will keep his leg. I know some tripods, and they seem to have adjusted, yet some things - especially stairs - are more difficult for them.

    For some perverse reason, I can't wait to see photos of Gus with a shaved leg. Is that wrong?

  10. Hehe, Doodle Bean, I don't think anything is wrong with you, unless something is wrong with me too. I'm looking forward to that shaved leg too!

    Dr. Hess is truly an angel! Bless him for taking care of Gus and the future Space paws.

    Let me know if there anything I can do to help too!

  11. Wow, Dr. Hess sounds like a thoroughly awesome guy! Great to hear that he'll be helping out in future, as well as patching up Gus.

    And I'm surprised that no one else has commented yet on what a lovely lady Miss Alice the greeter-kitty is--what beautiful coloration and markings she has.



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