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Worried about leaving cat for three days

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My sweet Willow, age 12, has had hyperthyroidism for about 15 months. She's taken twice daily doses of tapazole since then, and this past spring, her levels had dropped enough to reduce the dosage, though the vet said she'd have to take it for all her life.

So, after careful discussion and consideration, I decided Willow can have the Iodine I-131 treatment. It's non-invasive and she stays awake for the treatment, which has a 99% success rate. Though I will pay $950, one year of her medicine costs $972, so overall, I'll save money. Willow will feel better with her thyroid finally back in balance. And, I've read that long-term tapazole usage can hurt her liver and kidneys, so I'll be happy to take her off of it.

The only problem I'm having is that Willow will have to stay at the clinic for three days, as she will be 'radioactive' and unsafe to be around. I can't even visit her. She's a very lovey cat, who likes being around me, although she usually spends the morning sleeping in another room. By afternoon, however, my life becomes very 'Willow-centered'. (I'm a teacher on summer vacation, so I'm home alot during the day.)

Will she be OK for three days? The lab tech people will of course feed her, keep her box clean, and can engage in limited play with her, but the thought of leaving her for three days, all alone is almost making me reconsider. I won't because I know that in the long run, her health will benefit, and in the scheme of things, three days is just a blip of time.

Have you had experience with this procedure? How did your cat take to being left alone? I need reassurance that my precious cat won't be permanently traumatized!

post #2 of 10
My cat was in the hospital for almost a week, not the same problem, but he had a UTI that was very severe, they finally had to do a P.U. operation, he had a heart murmur complication so he was there for about 6 days. When he came home he was fine. He even got more affectionate toward me. He was not a cat that was around a lot of people, he started out feral. He was none the worse for it. I think I took it worse them him.

Willow will be just fine. Good luck. Prayers and for Willow.
post #3 of 10
She wil be ok my Coco was in the Er Vet then in our Vet for a Week in 2001 and I did miss her. My Yoshi that died was in the Vet for a week also in 2006.
My Meeko was in the Er Vet then our Vet for a week also in 2000 when she was 3 months but she hates Vets now. Willow will be ok.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks!!! My biggest worry is that she'll think I'm abandoning her. The tech folks seem like caring people, but their contact with Willow post-procedure must be limited for their own safely.

Well, three days isn't much. You're right -- Willow will be OK.
post #5 of 10
Hoping Willow will be OK and feeling better soon.
post #6 of 10
I'm sure she'll be fine. My Spot went through it twice (he was the rare case where it didn't work) and he had no problems at the clinic. He ate heartily for them. The clinic he was at had kitty cams so the owners could watch their babies. They also had a big picture window with an aviary so the cats were entertained too. Three days isn't long, and she'll be home with you before you know it. Just one word of caution--monitor her eating when she gets home. Occasionally, some cats will become inappetant after the treatment, but careful monitoring will allow you to notice it early and respond to it.

The radioiodine treatment really is the best option, and you'll have her home quickly.
post #7 of 10
In the past when my kitties have had to have a vet stay it was suggested that I bring an article of my clothing that I had worn to be placed in the cage with the cat. That way your smell will be there with them. I used an old T-shirt that I slept in.

My cats were always very happy to see me when I came to get them.
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by AudioCat View Post
In the past when my kitties have had to have a vet stay it was suggested that I bring an article of my clothing that I had worn to be placed in the cage with the cat. That way your smell will be there with them. I used an old T-shirt that I slept in.
Also, if you have a small tape recorder or can pick one up, you could make a tape of you talking to her. I did that when my cat had surgery (when I couldn't think of anything else to say on the 1/2 hour tape, I sang songs) and ask them to play it for her. I honestly don't know if it comforted him at all, but I figured it couldn't hurt.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'll leave a shirt with her that I've worn, what a great idea! Thanx, Audio Cat! I know three days is nothing, really. Willow's pretty needy, though, so that's why I'm worried. Maybe bringing a favorite toy will help.

Like cloud_shade's kitty, Willow may need a second surgery. Her original testing showed extreme hyperthyroidism; the technician is recommending a retest 3-4 weeks after the treatment, instead of the usual 3 months. Hopefully, it will all get sorted out the first time around, but if not, at least the second treatment is half as expensive!

Thanks everyone!!
post #10 of 10
She will be ok.

But I have to ask why you can't visit her? The only thing "radioactive" is her urine.

I'm a nurse and have worked a great deal with patients who have had this same treatment, at a much higher dose because obviously a human gets more than a cat.

We don't wear any special clothing, just a badge that records radiation levels. The person is in their own room, but it's not a special room, just a plain hospital room.

People are allowed to go in and visit the person so long as they are wearing one of the radiation monitoring badges.

I don't understand why it's so different for a cat.
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