Friday, November 7, 2014

Cat concerns

We have a problem. Our oldest kitty, Padme, was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. We tried felimazole crushed into her food and she took it for a few weeks with great results. Padme was playing again and perked up and her weight and coat were looking wonderful too. Then, she quit eating. I refuse to shove the pills down her throat because 1) they're dangerous to those of us with healthy thyroids and 2) she's a sensitive soul. So, we did some research and called the vet back and asked for alternatives that they would recommend.

One of those was putting meds in her ear. I was wary of this with good reason. She's a smart girl and doesn't like being forced to do anything. I was right. After the first treatment last night, she's already avoiding me. This makes me terribly sad, because she's very sweet but also timid to start. Giving her a reason to be more timid is heart-breaking. I like her cuddling with us and seeking attention when she's happy. Meds aren't going to work for us, which was why I didn't want to force her to take whole pills.

There are other alternatives, but the one we're considering involves being without our old girl for a few weeks. However, in the long term, it would be worthwhile. I've read positive results about the radioactive iodine treatment of I-131. The closest facility that does this is the University of Minnesota. The main campus is a good eight hours from us. That's a long trip for a sick cat who hates being in a car for 5 minutes to the local vet, and it would involve returning after 2-3 weeks, but she's worth the trouble. And it would most likely eliminate the needs for meds (95% positive results) to carry through with the treatment. The only negatives are the costs short-term and the chance that she would require a second treatment or thyroid meds if the thyroid doesn't stabilize (small chances). In the long run, however, the costs are less than life-long meds, which also have consequences to the rest of her body and risks to us. She's only eleven years old and could live another ten years in good health.

If anyone has any input about this procedure, please comment here. I'd like to hear from those who have had hyperthyroid cats. I'd especially like to hear from those who have had this treatment done of their feline friends and the details of your experiences.

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