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Hyperthyroid Senior Cat

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I need your Advice My Regular Vet is On vacation & The One im Stuck with is Treating Us like were Stupid.
My Cat Friskie is 20 & was Getting Skinny & had 4 Seziure's in 2 week's, So we took her to the Vet Sat(22nd).
They Did a Full Bloodwork. We got the results Yesterday, She has a Hyperthyroid & her Heart is Racing Causing the Seziure's They said her Liver & kidneys are Great.
So We go today to find out more info & the "vet" Tell's us there No Reason we even need to see the Number's of the result's We wont know how to read it anyway.
We got a Copy for the receptionist & i Wanted you guy's to see it.

They Gave us Methimaz 5 Mg

Alkaline Phosphafase 115 (High)
ALT (SGPT) 249 (High)
Sodium 159 (high)
Platelet count 65 (LOW)
T4 11.9 (high)

She pretty Much didnt want to tell us Anything Just wanted us to Leave, Oh & she's on Atenolol for her Heart.
They want us to go back in 3 weeks for more Bloodwork
Please Give me some info
Is she in pain?
what do i look for?
When is it to Much for an old cat ?
is it worth putting her threw this & in a few weeks to months she dieing for liver or kidney damage from the pill's.
& How bad is Her thyroid & Anything else you guys want to add.
Thank's so much.
post #2 of 5
First, if your usual vet is going to be away for an extended period of time, please find a different vet than the one you've ended up with...
Any vet who doesn't want to show you the lab results because "you wouldn't know how to read it anyway" has a poor attitude and I wouldn't want that person giving medical treatment to my precious cat.

Of course you don't know what the numbers mean on the test result - it's the vet's job to explain it to you, and it's not complicated. This vet just didn't want to be bothered to do it.

The med you were given for the thyroid is commonly used. You need to watch for side effects, which the vet should have explained. Side effects don't often happen, but you have an older kitty with other health problems, so you need to be careful with all aspects of her treatment.

I don't see any kidney values in what you've listed, so I'll take the vet's word that the kidneys are "great". If her kidneys are normal, they shouldn't be damaged by the meds. It's leaving the thyroid untreated that could cause damage. However, there are two elevated liver values, the AlkPhos, which at 115 is not terribly elevated - (below 100 is considered normal), and the ALT at 249 which is elevated (also below 100 is normal). I'm not sure I'd call the liver "great" with the ALT at 249. Though certainly not life-threatening, it does show that something, possibly medication or something else your cat has ingested, caused some trouble for the liver.
Liver values change slowly, so you don't need them checked again for about 6 weeks unless there's another problem before that.

Her thyroid level is high, but the problem can be controlled with the meds as long as Friskie tolerates taking them and doesn't have a reaction to them. There's also another way of dealing with the thyroid which actually cures it as opposed to just controlling it with meds. That's called I-131 therapy - it's very simple and non-invasive since it's only an injection, but it's expensive. At this point, I don't think you need to consider that just yet.

I think it's important to get some clarity on what Friskie's heart problem is about, since the vet seems to think the seizures were related to that. Try to find a feline cardiologist who can ultrasound Friskie's heart. Ultrasound is not inexpensive, but it's the best way to determine what the heart problem might be, and it's not painful for Friskie. You need someone who has lots of experience doing ultrasounds because the test is only as good as the person doing it. Getting a good look at Friskie's heart will give you the answers you need about her treatment and prognosis.

I don't think Friskie's in pain, but you know your cat best and can tell when she's not feeling right. Hopefully she's eating and drinking, and using the litterbox normally. Because of her age and the fact that there are several serious health issues, try to get her to a cardiologist or feline specialist ASAP.

You've obviously taken very good care of your little girl to get her to 20. All good thoughts going out to you and your precious Friskie
post #3 of 5
I've known of a few 20+ cats who had hyperthyroidism, so it all depends on how your cat tolerates the medication and how the rest of their body is doing. I think it's certainly worth the try.

When a cat is hyperthyroid, their organs are getting signals to work harder and faster. Without treatment, this can cause organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys to fail. The medication reduces the amount of thyroid hormone in the cat's body, so their organs work at a more normal rate. When their body is racing, it can be uncomfortable. I'm not sure whether it's painful as I've never had hyperthyroidism myself. My Spot's thyroid level once reached 44 (when normal would have been between 0.8 and 4), and he definitely didn't feel well. When he went back on the medication, he was able to return to normal, and he even gained back the weight he had lost.

There are some cats who don't tolerate the medication well, so you'll want to monitor closely for reactions, like itching, and have the bloodwork repeated in a few weeks. Also, you are entitled to copies of blood tests your vet performs, so insist on them and don't let them tell you otherwise. You paid for that information. If you can see your regular vet next time, that would be great because this vet sounds like an idiot. The liver values include ALT and ALP, and both are listed as high. This is probably because hyperthyroid cats are metabolizing their body fat and eventually their muscle to get enough energy to live on. At the same time, this metabolism of their own body fat can make them feel less hungry, so they eat less. Please watch your cat's food intake carefully--make sure she eats plenty of food. If she doesn't, bring her back to the vet and see if they can offer an appetite stimulant. With liver values already high, you'll need to watch her carefully to ensure she doesn't get hepatic lipidosis (which is the result of not eating and the body metabolizing too much body fat).
post #4 of 5
I agree, if this temp vet isn't sharing numbers because you won't understand, well s/he needs to work on his/her customer service. I would find another second vet as a backup.

Both posts are correct in what hyperthyroid can do. We're going through this with Beauty right now, she's 14 and hyperthyroid. Her levels went from 5.0 March 07 to 9.5 October 07 (yes our vet gave us the number). The vet said that 9.5 is considered "high". T4 level being at 11.9 should be taken care of...was any medication to slow down the hyperthyroid prescribed/purchased?

When will your regular vet be back? I would definitely schedule a follow up appointment with her on these results. Also if this temp vet is in the same office as her, definitely report to her how you were treated.
post #5 of 5
My cat is 12 now, but when she was 9, was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. For a year, I tried giving her the medication, but eventually took her to get the Radioactive Iodine Treatment. Her T3/T4 levels finally dropped several months after the procedure and she's good now and I no longer have to give her medication. She no longer gets really fast heart beats or panting.

I would recommend the radioactive iodine procedure, if you are willing. It is a tad expensive. It's about $1000.

http://www.catthyroid.com/ <- That's where our cat was treated. Great place.

More information here: www.radiocat.com
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