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Overactive thyroid - any advice?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I was wondering if I can call on the wealth of experience that seems to be floating around this board?

One of our cats (Shelley - approx 6yrs old) has got quite thin recently and we took her to the vet who thinks she has an over-active thyroid. We're waiting for the result of the blood test to confirm it but she seems to have lots of the associated symptoms so I guess it's pretty likely to be confirmed.

What I am wondering about are the treatment options... it seems she can either have a pill every day forever, an operation to remove it or radio-therapy.

Radiotherapy would mean being quarantined for 3 weeks and a trip to London, which I think would be too stressful for her, so I've kind of ruled that out. I'm not all that keen on giving her medication every day as she gets upset if you try to force things on her so I think that would also be not nice for her.

On balance I feel that it would be better to have it removed but am wondering if anyone has any experience of this operation and how successful it's likely to be? Obviously I guess that will be traumatic for her too, but I feel maybe a 'one-off' event might be better than daily pill wrestling.

When we get the results I'll have to talk to the vet but at the time I think I was a bit freaked out by the whole thing.

Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated. Also any ideas as to how we can fatten up our poor girl as she is looking very thin at the mo.

Many thanks

Rosie
post #2 of 16
My Molly had this. We opted to go with the medication in liquid form. She tolerated that much better than a pill. She eventually got used to us giving it to her and didn't put up a fight.

I know that there are a few members here that opted for the radiation and will be able to tell you a little more about it.
post #3 of 16
post #4 of 16
Even if the thyroid is removed, daily medication will probably be necessary, but at a lower dosage than without surgery. However, the pills are so tiny that they can easily be hidden in a morsel of wet food or coated with liverwurst, etc..
I don't have any experience with the radiotherapy, but know that your cat's litter would more or less have to be disposed of as "nuclear waste" for about three weeks, which might be more trouble than giving her a little pill.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your responses, I think from what people have said the radio therapy is now 100% out and I will maybe have a talk to the vet as to whether the surgery is better than the pills.

Rosie
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom
My Molly had this. We opted to go with the medication in liquid form. She tolerated that much better than a pill. She eventually got used to us giving it to her and didn't put up a fight.

I know that there are a few members here that opted for the radiation and will be able to tell you a little more about it.
hi... my cat reg also has an over-active thyroid and we went for the medication route too... i'm very interested in the "liquid" form medication you spoke about... do you know if this is available in the UK?

thanks

sarah
post #7 of 16
Jazz had an overactive thyroid last year. We tried the pills which she tolerated for about 2 1/2 weeks then started throwing up all over the house!
I ended up getting her the radioactive iodine shot. She went into the hospital Monday morning and I picked her up Friday morning for a total of 5 days. She had to stay indoors for 81 days, that is the amount of time it takes for the iodine to leave her system. And now Jazz is good as new.
I will certainly keep you and your kitty in my prayers and send healthy vibes to you.

Good Luck
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahcunny
hi... my cat reg also has an over-active thyroid and we went for the medication route too... i'm very interested in the "liquid" form medication you spoke about... do you know if this is available in the UK?

thanks

sarah
It was methimozole. I'm not sure if it is available in the Uk, but it wouldn't hurt to call your vet and ask
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom
It was methimozole. I'm not sure if it is available in the Uk, but it wouldn't hurt to call your vet and ask
thanks! i will...
post #10 of 16
My friend's boy Moose had this and they open for medicating transdermaly - a gel that gets applied to the fleshy part of the inner ear and absorbed through the skin. This worked well for him.

Might want to check into this.. and good luck!
post #11 of 16
Our Sophie is on methimozole tabs, and has been for about 10 months. Our vet advised against surgery because of her age (16), and he doesn't perform the iodine treatment (we would have had to take her 3 hours away to have it done). I thought pilling Sophie on a daily basis would be extremely difficult, as she's always been a fighter when it comes to meds. But, as Abbysmom said regarding her cat, they pretty much become used to it.
Considering Shelley's age, I might lean toward the surgery option. However, if you would still have to medicate her daily, I don't think I'd put her thru the operation. You need clear-cut answers from your vet.
Good luck.
post #12 of 16
Rosie- My 11 year old cat had the radio-iodine therapy, or I-131 as it's known, several months ago. It was phenomenal!!! A true medical miracle, as the iodine only targets the thyroid gland and causes no damage to other organs or any adverse side effects. It's a simple injection - that's it!

My vets didn't even entertain the thought of surgery - one went as far as to say "it should be outlawed", since it is not always effective and is an extremely delicate surgery since the para-thyroid gland could easily be damaged causing more serious health problems. In addition, you are doing an invasive procedure, which requires anesthesia, a potential risk to your cat. Their reasoning is this: why would you do a dangerous and quite possibly ineffective surgery, when the I-131 is safe and effective?

Disposing of the litter was no big deal - we just double bagged it and kept it in a can in the garage until the 3 week period was over. The few extra minutes required to do this on a temporary basis were certainly worth it for the huge benefit to my cat's health. Different locations will have varying requirements as to how long the cat needs to be quarantined (my cat stayed at the vet for 4 days - they provided double -sized, 2 story cages to make the stay more pleasant!)

My cat has regained her weight, is active and happy, and her thyroid is back to normal. If you can afford it (and a lifetime of pills will end up costing more than the I-131), I would highly recommend this treatment.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the info.

I will definitely have a talk to the vet as the original cost for the operation has gone from £200 to £600 so this might not be much less than having the radiotherapy. The only downside would be that Shelley would be away for 4 weeks and have to go to London for the treatment (probably an hour in the car which she hates).

I really appreciate all the feedback and advice.

Rosie
x
post #14 of 16
Rosie -
I agree, being separated from Shelley for 4 weeks is certainly a downside to the radioiodine therapy. It's a shame that the requirement is for such a long period of time in your area. What a difference from mine - 4 days!!!

Still, the benefit is so great to your cat, it is worth considering, and I'm glad you are giving it thought.

Though I doubt they would let you visit Shelley you can inquire about it. You should also be able to provide some of her toys, a favorite blanket or kitty bed, and her preferred food to make her stay more comfortable.

Though the 4 weeks will be a little tough, it's an investment in Shelley's good health for the rest of her life.
post #15 of 16
I am considering radioactive iodine myself for my 12 year old. My Vet says that there is a chance that the other gland may become that way also. So , if I do that now then later if the other one acts up, I am in the same position. So I guess I will wait and see. I dont know if I could leave my cat for the 4 or 5 days. I would feel so bad. I dont think they pet them or anything due to them being radioactive. They just give them food and water and measure their levels. I could be wrong about this. So far my cat has tolerated the pills well.
post #16 of 16
Some clinics have things for the kitty to watch to keep them entertained. The place I took Spot had an atrium, so the cats could watch birds all day (they also had cat-cams, so the owners could watch our cats all day). Most kitties tolerate being away for a few days without problems, though they are very affectionate and happy to be home when they return!
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