Cat health problem: Thyroid condition. Advice?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thomas Reagan, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Thomas Reagan

    Thomas Reagan Stunt Coordinator

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    I feel a bit strange posting this question in HTF, but there do seem to be quite a few cat owners amongst us.

    I have a 12 year old cat named Bruce who has developed a thyroid condition of which I am told is pretty common in older cats. The result of the overactive thyroid is an increased heart rate and loss of muscle mass. The further result is a very emaciated looking kitty.

    I had him on a drug called Tapezole which was a temporary fix (prolonged use can damage the kidneys). My vet was trying to convince me to have Bruce go through a procedure where he is injected with radioactive iodine, which should eliminate the thyroid condition.

    Have any of you encountered this problem with your cat(s)? What action did you take? I really can't afford the $1200-$1500 price tag for the treatment. Isn't there something else I can give him daily which might be cheaper in the short run?

    Any advice is sincerely appreciated.

    Thos.
     
  2. Bruce N

    Bruce N Second Unit

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    We recently had our 13 year old cat, Anastasia, treated with the radioactive iodine treatment. Yes it is expensive, $1200 for us, but we figured we would spend that in just a few years in medications and blood tests. Cheaper in the long run and our cat is so much happier not having to take medication daily, I'm happy that I don't have to give it to her too.

    We had the treatment performed by Radiocat and they were absolutely wonderful. Very caring and gentle. It is a one time treatment and the hyperthyroid condition is gone, permanently. I know it is expensive but I would absolutely, whole-heartedly, 100% recommend this treatment.

    Bruce
     
  3. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Treatment choices: (in no particular order)
    1- daily oral Tapazole
    2- thyroidectomy (not recommended)
    3- I-131 (Radiocat)

    That's the complete list.

    J. Reville, DVM
     
  4. David Brown Eyes

    David Brown Eyes Second Unit

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    Our 16 year old cat Chaucer has the same condition.

    after two thyroidectamy's both of wich failed. So with him it is tapazole every two days. Along with subcutanious fluid, some sort of potassium liquid every day, and yet another pill.

    To do this we crush the pills up in a very small amount of butter and use a stick of soft material to put it down his mouth.

    It seems to work, he is more active and happier, if not exactly happy.

    As long as old Chaucer AKA "skinny kitty" wants to be with us we will do all we can.

    Good luck
     
  5. Thomas Reagan

    Thomas Reagan Stunt Coordinator

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    It really kills me not to help him. Maybe I'll get lucky with our tax return this year.... [​IMG]

    Thos.
     
  6. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    You really have to determine if the cat has that much longer to live, and if after treatment his quality of life will return to normal levels. My old neighbors had a cat with the same problem, and even after treatments, the cat was never the same and ended up dying anyway.

    As a cat owner my entire life, I would personally never spend 1200-1500 dollars on treatments for a pet. When you take on the responsibility of caring for a pet, you need to realize that these animals do indeed have finite lives. With a cat expect 10 to 20 years of life and nothing more. Once they get to 10 years everything after that is a bonus in my mind. Many times I see owners put their cats through intense treatments for selfish reasons, when all it does is prolong the animals suffering. Think about the cats well being and not just your own emotions.

    J
     
  7. Thomas Reagan

    Thomas Reagan Stunt Coordinator

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    Yep, that's my dilemma, Justin. I have a family with a 13 month old son. Tough to justify the expense given how old Bruce is.
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Dr. Reville, please correct me if I am wrong, but Justin's assertion that anything after ten years is "bonus" time doesn't ring true, given the lifespan of today's cats. Most texts I read cite the average lifespan as sixteen to twenty years.

    Also, if you love the cat and his/her condition is treatable (and allows for a good quality of life), then expenses be damned. Surely the doctor can working something out for you financially, Thomas. At least ask.
     
  9. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    http://www.vetmedcenter.com/consumer...FL1EW.xml&dt=A


    Partial quote:
    ...An indoor cats lifespan averages 12 to 14 years, while cats that go outside often succumb to hazards such as accidents, fights, and poisons by their fourth birthday....

    I searched my VIN database to no avail, and the problem with finding an answer is there is too much variability: breeds, indoor/outdoor, climatic, healthcare, etc.

    Based on my experience, a 10 year old cat is old; however, just this week I treated the following cats (among many others):
    - a 17 year old outdoor cat with bite abscesses (doing well)
    - a 12 year old indoor cat with megacolon (exploratory laparotomy, (prognosis is only fair)
    - a 10 year old Persian with necrotizing stomatitis (euthanized after 10 days hospitalization due to extreme weight loss)
     

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