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Thyroid problems

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi All!
This is my first visit, please be gentle

We recently lost our own cat due to a sudden illness and now we are thinking of adopting a 6? year old cat from our local animal charity but she has recently been diagnosed with a condition known as "Hyperthyroidism". They say it can be controlled by medication and regular blood tests and whilst we are happy to accept this we were wondering if anyone out there has any experience with this condition.

Would appreciate any advice.
post #2 of 13
Hi Welcome to TCS... I think it is a great thing that you are willing to adopt a kitty that is older and a special needs kitty as well Sorry I can't tell you anything about this but be on the look out for Hissy she can give you the very best and knowledgeable advice on kitties
post #3 of 13
Hi Peter, I am dealing with this with my 5 year old Mustang. I am working on an article about it, because Racer is so young, he doesn't fit the profile.

Hyperthyrodism in cats is quite serious. There are options of radiation therapy or an operation. The after home care is extensive if you opt for the radiation treatment as the waste cannot be put in the trash. You have to flush it down the toilet IF you are on a city septic system. If you opt for the surgery the cat will be on medication for the rest of his life- much like my horse will be. Blood tests are run initially at first every 6 months to check levels, and then it goes out to about once a year if your vet gives the okay.

Thankfully, the medicine that my horse takes is less expensive than what they give cats. It costs me $28.50 for the Thyrol L powder and it gets sprinkled on grain once a day. One container lasts me about 1.5 months. I don't have to worry about going through stressing out the animal to pill him every day, but you also have to carefully monitor what they eat, for I am told that Racer could founder at any given time and die if he gets into the really green grass or something else. So it really is a tense time for the owner.

I know I used my horse as an example, but like I said, I am battling that with him now, so it applies. In the research I have done, I am also reading up on this disease and what the cats have to deal with. I am left praying that Race will be the only animal under my care that gets this.
post #4 of 13
I have had three cats with this condition, none were diagnosed at as young an age as 6, and I think it's something to consider re what course to take.

With two of them, I chose to do medication (tapazole), and the first kitty did well on this for about 2 years, then developed and died from metasasized breast cancer - totally unrelated to the hypert (just too long a word to keep typing!).

The second kitty, has now been on tapazole for over 2 years, and his larger health issue is his IBD. Because when he was diagnosed, I knew he could not handle the separation necessary for radiation treatments, and because of other health issues we chose not to do surgery, this was the least invasive, most easily tolerated choice.

There can be problems with long term tapazole use (anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, for just a few, and it is not a cure). The treatments with a radioactive iodine would cure the problem (in 85-90% of kitties), however*** in some kitties, hypert is masking and helping to control in a sense, early chronic renal failure. I don't think that I personally will ever choose to do this tx on an old kitty, but on a youngster such as your 6 y.o., I sure would research this (it is not cheap) and consider it.

My information on per centage of success w/the tx using radioiodine and the side effects (a few of) of Tapazole, are from the literature given to me from the Feline Hyperthyroid Treatment Center, in WA state. This was given to me by my vets so I could decide whether or not to pursue this treatment. I would like to also add that they state " relapse following successful radioactive iodine therapy is very rare (approximately 1 in 200)." Not bad odds!

The comments re hypert masking chronic renal failure are anecdotal, from my readings on the crf list I belong to.

hth a bit, I'd probably go for the radioiodine, if all else is good with this kitty health wise.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Many Thanks for your replies.......much appreciated.

Will research your suggestions and maybe speak to our Vet. If all goes well our new cat should be enhancing our home from next weekend!.....will keep you posted.
post #6 of 13
Thank you for not turning this one away because of medical problems!
post #7 of 13
I would strongly encourage talking to your vet about it. Shelters don't always have the funding to fully research medical problems and you will want to be fully aware of what you need to do before you take this kitty in.

My hat is off to you for taking in this baby. I volunteer at a Humane society and those special needs babies are extremely difficult to find homes for. Most wind up in foster homes for the balance of their lives, or worse yet, simply put down.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thought you might like an update. Lucy has been with us now for 3 weeks and you could not wish for a more affectionate cat, she settled in very quickly, is very clean and has no interest in going outside. She does like lots of attention though and makes lots of noise until she gets it
Took her to the Vets today for a blood test, she is at present on 2 x 5mg Carbimazole tablets a day, and the Vet we saw who is new to the practice strongly recommended a thyroidectomy as he has performed this procedure before and suggests further treatment would not be required, (I suspect radioiodine therapy is not an option on the Isle of Man but may ask next time).
I Would be interested to hear from anyone with experiance of a thyroidectomy before we make a final decision, but so far it seems like the best option, for the cat as it eliminates the trauma of daily medication and regular blood test and for us as the most cost effective long term solution.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a succesfull New Year.
post #9 of 13
Peter: What a wonderful thing you have done by taking in this little soule!!!

Hugs and kisses to your new baby..
post #10 of 13
One more thing - now we need to see pics of you new addition and lot of them!
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for reply and here (if I have the file size right) is a Picture you asked for.......OK ........maybe more later!!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Another thing Helen........"A PURR IS MUSIC PLAYED BY THE HEART" ........I really do like that signature of yours
Thanks again,
post #13 of 13
Thanks Peter and she is just beautiful.
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