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October 18th 06, 09:33 PM
I took my cat, Willie in to see why he is licking and chewing his belly
excessively. They did blood work and an echocardiogram because the vet
heard a heart murmur. Heart murmur was mild but blood work shows
hyperthyroidism. His levels are 12.5 ug/dl and the normal range for this
lab is 1.5 to 4.5 ug/dl.
The cat is 9 years old and seems to be in good health otherwise. The vet is
recommending iodine radiation which will for better word, kill the thyroid.
The other only reasonable option is the drug Tapisol. He's on that right
now, she says start with 2 - 5 mg pills daily. I only started today and
started on one pill, half daily for a little while. I read on the internet
that it is good to start slow. With this drug, it requires frequent blood
tests and I was told it's not good for a cat to be on Tapisol for years.
Has anyone had any experience with hyperthyroidism in their cats or are
there any veterinarians here who could chime in? Is there anything I should
know before going the radiation route? Really, I am interested in any help.
Thanks.
Jean

cybercat
October 18th 06, 10:15 PM
> wrote in message
...
>I took my cat, Willie in to see why he is licking and chewing his belly
> excessively. They did blood work and an echocardiogram because the vet
> heard a heart murmur. Heart murmur was mild but blood work shows
> hyperthyroidism. His levels are 12.5 ug/dl and the normal range for this
> lab is 1.5 to 4.5 ug/dl.
> The cat is 9 years old and seems to be in good health otherwise. The vet
> is
> recommending iodine radiation which will for better word, kill the
> thyroid.
> The other only reasonable option is the drug Tapisol. He's on that right
> now, she says start with 2 - 5 mg pills daily. I only started today and
> started on one pill, half daily for a little while. I read on the
> internet
> that it is good to start slow. With this drug, it requires frequent blood
> tests and I was told it's not good for a cat to be on Tapisol for years.
> Has anyone had any experience with hyperthyroidism in their cats or are
> there any veterinarians here who could chime in? Is there anything I
> should
> know before going the radiation route? Really, I am interested in any
> help.

Jean, I went through this with my 12-year-old two years ago.

You can search for "hyperthyroid" (in Google for this group) to get the
details, but
after a LOT of research and discussion, I opted for the pills and I am
really glad
I did. The surgery is risky as it is hard to ablate the thyroid while
leaving another
gland in place that is needed--parathyroid?--I don't recall, but my vet told
me that.
Plus, it is $800 and the animal must be put under, which really makes me
nervous.

The radioactive iodine is known as the only true cure, HOWEVER there are
reports
of cats coming out of it hyPOthyroid and having to be on pills every day
ANYWAY,
so why not do the Tapazole? (I mean, if it really does cure, then great, but
it cost
$1,200 last I checked. For this I want to have to pill my cat twice a day
anyway?)

I opted for the pills--she takes 5 mgs twice a day. I feed her canned food
every
12 hours, and pop the pill into her mouth after her first few bites, when
she is
more willing to swallow and not fight, just so she can get to her food! lol

She is healthy and happy. Very frisky.

P.S. I do not think the fur loss is related to the thyroid condition. I have
another
cat with that, and she just needed stressor reduced. I did it and now she
has a
full body, belly included, of fur!

Good luck.

Buddy's Mom
October 18th 06, 10:41 PM
Before you do anything severe - I would have the blood test done again.
I personally think 9 years is young for this to be out of wack this
much. And you didn't say that your kitty was loosing weight - actually
you aren't saying that he is showing any of the signs of
hyperthyroidism - excessive thirst, wanting to eat constantly, weight
loss. Redo the blood test first.

I had an 18 year old cat diagnosed several years ago. I thought he was
too old to do anything but the pills. The pills can make them anemic,
so you do need to have frequent blood tests. IF your cat is truely
hyperthyroid, I think I would look into the iodine radiation. Yes, you
will have to medicate him afterwards, but your kitty is so young to be
on Tapisol. Mine lived to be 20 years and 3 months, but he never
gained weight, was always thirsty, always wanted to eat. The pills
didn't seem to control any of his symptoms.

Let us know what you decide and how it goes.

wrote:
> I took my cat, Willie in to see why he is licking and chewing his belly
> excessively. They did blood work and an echocardiogram because the vet
> heard a heart murmur. Heart murmur was mild but blood work shows
> hyperthyroidism. His levels are 12.5 ug/dl and the normal range for this
> lab is 1.5 to 4.5 ug/dl.
> The cat is 9 years old and seems to be in good health otherwise. The vet is
> recommending iodine radiation which will for better word, kill the thyroid.
> The other only reasonable option is the drug Tapisol. He's on that right
> now, she says start with 2 - 5 mg pills daily. I only started today and
> started on one pill, half daily for a little while. I read on the internet
> that it is good to start slow. With this drug, it requires frequent blood
> tests and I was told it's not good for a cat to be on Tapisol for years.
> Has anyone had any experience with hyperthyroidism in their cats or are
> there any veterinarians here who could chime in? Is there anything I should
> know before going the radiation route? Really, I am interested in any help.
> Thanks.
> Jean

October 18th 06, 11:12 PM
I have been thinking it would be a good idea to have the blood test again.
Willie is fat as a butterball, he has lost about 1.5 pounds in the last 3
months but I think that is because I've been trying to make him. He is
thirstly all the time and drinks a lot of water, of course, he eats a lot
too and is unusually nervous.
The thing about taking the Tabisol is that he will have to have blood tests
often, I am told at least every 3 months. The vet did say that he is young
to have this and might have to be on medication for years since it will be a
life long thing. I just want what is best for Willie and will get him
re-tested. I did start the Tabisol today so I'm sure I need to get it done
quickly.
From what I understood, he wouldn't have to be on meds if the radiation was
done so I had better get more details.
Thank you both for your replies, I'll keep you informed.
Jean

cybercat
October 18th 06, 11:38 PM
> wrote in message
...
>I have been thinking it would be a good idea to have the blood test again.
> Willie is fat as a butterball, he has lost about 1.5 pounds in the last 3
> months but I think that is because I've been trying to make him.

Your cat does not have to be thin to be hyperthyroid.

My cat was obese when she was diagnosed, with a heart rate
over 300 beats per minute.

The dead giveaway that it was hyperthyroid is the heart rate. A cat's normal
heart rate is about 180, it might be 200-220 when they are frightened.

Hyperthyroid cats also exhibit a "hypervigilant" demeanor.

Buddy's Mom
October 19th 06, 01:33 AM
Well, now it does sound like he has the symptoms of being hyperthyroid.
But another blood test certainly would be in order. And if that
proves to be the same, I would further investigate the iodine radiation
treatment since your kitty is so young. Now it was my understanding
that the kitty has to stay there for a while, since it will be
"radioactive" for a period of time - which is why I did not do it for
my 18 year old kitty.

I think I had blood work done every couple of months with mine on
Tapisol.

Hopefully someone like Phil will come in on this topic and help you.

wrote:
> I have been thinking it would be a good idea to have the blood test again.
> Willie is fat as a butterball, he has lost about 1.5 pounds in the last 3
> months but I think that is because I've been trying to make him. He is
> thirstly all the time and drinks a lot of water, of course, he eats a lot
> too and is unusually nervous.
> The thing about taking the Tabisol is that he will have to have blood tests
> often, I am told at least every 3 months. The vet did say that he is young
> to have this and might have to be on medication for years since it will be a
> life long thing. I just want what is best for Willie and will get him
> re-tested. I did start the Tabisol today so I'm sure I need to get it done
> quickly.
> From what I understood, he wouldn't have to be on meds if the radiation was
> done so I had better get more details.
> Thank you both for your replies, I'll keep you informed.
> Jean

October 19th 06, 01:41 AM
OH MY GOSH! Is Phil still there? Hello Phil! In case you don't recognize
me, you helped me tremendously with my cat Spot when he was diagnosed with
cardiomyopathy and he's still doing great at age 9. Willie is Spot's litter
mate brother. I was afraid that Willie had developed the same thing but he
only has a mild heart murmur with no signs of cardiomyopathy. This
condition doesn't sound like a piece of cake and I really want to do what is
best for the kitty so all help is appreciated.
We are thankful to Phil every day for taking time to find us a doctor in
Alabama, give me advice and comfort on many occasions.
Jean

22brix
October 19th 06, 06:50 AM
"cybercat" > wrote in message
...
>
> Jean, I went through this with my 12-year-old two years ago.
>
> You can search for "hyperthyroid" (in Google for this group) to get the
> details, but
> after a LOT of research and discussion, I opted for the pills and I am
> really glad
> I did. The surgery is risky as it is hard to ablate the thyroid while
> leaving another
> gland in place that is needed--parathyroid?--I don't recall, but my vet
> told me that.
> Plus, it is $800 and the animal must be put under, which really makes me
> nervous.
>
Yeah, if the parathyroid is nicked during surgery you can have some major
problems with calcium levels and the parathyroid glands are really tiny and
hard to find sometimes. I did have one cat that we opted to have the
surgery--she didn't tolerate the Tapizole very well--nauseated, vomitting
etc. She did okay during the surgery but I was a nervous wreck!
> The radioactive iodine is known as the only true cure, HOWEVER there are
> reports
> of cats coming out of it hyPOthyroid and having to be on pills every day
> ANYWAY,
> so why not do the Tapazole? (I mean, if it really does cure, then great,
> but it cost
> $1,200 last I checked. For this I want to have to pill my cat twice a day
> anyway?)
>
> I opted for the pills--she takes 5 mgs twice a day. I feed her canned food
> every
> 12 hours, and pop the pill into her mouth after her first few bites, when
> she is
> more willing to swallow and not fight, just so she can get to her food!
> lol
>
> She is healthy and happy. Very frisky.

I have another cat that has been taking thyroid medication for two or three
years now and is doing well. He was about 8 or 9 when he was diagnosed.
He's still on 5 mgs once a day and has been very stable so I've been happy
about that. He takes his pill in a bite of wet cat food--he thinks it's a
treat!
>
> P.S. I do not think the fur loss is related to the thyroid condition. I
> have another
> cat with that, and she just needed stressor reduced. I did it and now she
> has a
> full body, belly included, of fur!
>
> Good luck.
>

Phil P.
October 19th 06, 11:39 AM
> wrote in message
...
> OH MY GOSH! Is Phil still there? Hello Phil! In case you don't
recognize
> me, you helped me tremendously with my cat Spot when he was diagnosed with
> cardiomyopathy and he's still doing great at age 9. Willie is Spot's
litter
> mate brother. I was afraid that Willie had developed the same thing but
he
> only has a mild heart murmur with no signs of cardiomyopathy. This
> condition doesn't sound like a piece of cake and I really want to do what
is
> best for the kitty so all help is appreciated.
> We are thankful to Phil every day for taking time to find us a doctor in
> Alabama, give me advice and comfort on many occasions.
> Jean

Hiya Jean!

Its great to hear from you! Its been a long time! How've you been? Of
course I remember Spot! I can't tell you how happy I am that he's doing
great! That's really fantastic news! It sure made my day! Please give him
a scritch for me and tell him I said Hi.

I'm sorry to learn about Willie- Try not to worry too much, hyperthyroidism
is fairly easy to treat and manage. The beginning of therapy can get a
little hectic until you find the right dose. After that its a breeze.

The initial therapy should always be Tapazole- unless he has a problem with
the drug. If he's hard to pill you can have Tapazole (methimazole)
compounded into a flavored suspension (liquid) or a transdermal gel that is
applied to the inside of his earflap (pinna).

The reason for starting with Tapazole is so you can evaluate his kidney
function after his thyroid levels are normal. Hyperthyroidism can mask
chronic renal failure because it speeds up the blood flow through the
kidneys and makes the kidneys seem like they're in better condition than
they really are. If his kidney function remains stable when his thyroid
levels return to normal on Tapazole, you can really think about radioiodine
treatment (I-131). If his kidney function deteriorates while on Tapazole,
then radioiodine wouldn't be an option. In that case, you would adjust his
Tapazole dose until you strike a balance between an "acceptable" level of
hyperthyroidism and an "acceptable" level of azotemia.

My 13 year old was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last September but she
couldn't tolerate Tapazole in any form. So I opted for radioiodine this
past May and she's doing great. Most of the stories about cats becoming
hypOthyroid after I-131 tx aren't entirely accurate. The hypOthyroidism is
almost always transient. The reason for this is because the
hyperfunctioning thyroid tissue suppresses the normal thyroid tissue. After
the hyperfunctioning is destroyed it takes a few weeks to a few months for
the normal thyroid tissue to begin functioning again. Unless the cat
received an excessively high dose of I-131, most cats never need thyroid
hormone supplements. My cat was hypOthyroid for about 3 months before her
thyroid levels returned to normal.

They only drawback to I-131 tx is that the cat must stay in the facility
until his radiation levels drop to a "safe" level. My State requires cats
to stay in the facility for 96 hours unless the separation causes
complications. My cat stopped eating on the third day so I was able to take
her home early. The facility will give you instructions on how to dispose
of his waste. Usually, you have to store it in a container away from people
and other pets for a few weeks before throwing it away. Its not as bad as
it sounds. Just remember- anything you leave with him- bedding, toys,
articles with your scent, you won't get back because they will be
contaminated.

You can make pilling much easier if you cut the pill in half and put both
halves in a #4 gelcap so he doesn't taste the drug. Most cats that become a
problem to pill do so because the drug tastes so bad. Follow the capsule
with about 5 or 6 ml of water- or tuna water or even normal saline to make
sure the pill doesn't get stuck in his esophagus and start to dissolve
there. You always follow any pill with water or canned food. If you can't
get #4 gelcaps, email me with a mailing address and I'll send you some. I
have thousands (literally)- I use them in my cats and all the rescue and
shelter cats I treat.

I hope I didn't hit you with too much all at once. I just wanted to make
sure you got the whole story. If I missed anything please let me know.
I'll try answer you questions as best I can.

You try to relax a bit, ok?

Phil

Phil P.
October 19th 06, 12:03 PM
> wrote in message
...
> OH MY GOSH! Is Phil still there? Hello Phil! In case you don't
recognize
> me, you helped me tremendously with my cat Spot when he was diagnosed with
> cardiomyopathy and he's still doing great at age 9. Willie is Spot's
litter
> mate brother. I was afraid that Willie had developed the same thing but
he
> only has a mild heart murmur with no signs of cardiomyopathy. This
> condition doesn't sound like a piece of cake and I really want to do what
is
> best for the kitty so all help is appreciated.
> We are thankful to Phil every day for taking time to find us a doctor in
> Alabama, give me advice and comfort on many occasions.
> Jean

Jean, it was my pleasure. I'm just so happy that he's doing well.

Phil

cybercat
October 19th 06, 04:49 PM
"22brix" > wrote

> Yeah, if the parathyroid is nicked during surgery you can have some major
> problems with calcium levels and the parathyroid glands are really tiny
> and hard to find sometimes. I did have one cat that we opted to have the
> surgery--she didn't tolerate the Tapizole very well--nauseated, vomitting
> etc. She did okay during the surgery but I was a nervous wreck!

My vet, who had done the surgery successfully to his own cat, admitted
that it was really easy to damage the parathyroid.


> I have another cat that has been taking thyroid medication for two or
> three years now and is doing well. He was about 8 or 9 when he was
> diagnosed. He's still on 5 mgs once a day and has been very stable so I've
> been happy about that. He takes his pill in a bite of wet cat food--he
> thinks it's a treat!

Lucky you. :) My Boo walked away from everything I put it in including
pill pockets. But she is learning that it is easier on everyone if she just
swallows it--particularly since, if she does not, the taste is so bitter. It
really helps that she is a chow hound, so that she will do whatever it takes
to get back to that dish of canned food, lol
>>



--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

October 20th 06, 02:12 AM
Thank you for all the information. I'm taking Willie in for a second blood
test on Monday afternoon just to make sure.... I'm pretty sure the tests is
right but I need to know for sure.
Great idea about the gel caps! I didn't know that I should give him
something to drink afterward either. I checked ebay but didn't find #4's
I'll keep looking around a bit and if I can't find them, I'll take you up on
the generous offer.
I was told that he would have to stay isolated for 5 to 7 days with the
I-131 and that will be hard! I'm glad to know that your kitty is doing well
after the procedure.
Thank you! I will try and relax. I'm sure I will have more questions
eventually but the information is very helpful and not too much.
Jean
ps Spot gave me 20 nose kisses for you.......he's just too cute!

Phil P.
October 20th 06, 02:30 PM
> wrote in message
...
> Thank you for all the information. I'm taking Willie in for a second
blood
> test on Monday afternoon just to make sure.... I'm pretty sure the tests
is
> right but I need to know for sure.

Hi Jean,

T4 levels can fluctuate throughout the day- but not that much. A
confirmatory test is a good idea. This way you won't have any doubts.


> Great idea about the gel caps! I didn't know that I should give him
> something to drink afterward either.


Pills can become entrapped in the esophagus for as long as 5 minutes- or
even longer and can cause medication-induced esophagitis . Some drugs,
especially doxycycline, can even cause esophageal strictures. So following
the pills with water or canned food is always a good idea.


I checked ebay but didn't find #4's
> I'll keep looking around a bit and if I can't find them, I'll take you up
on
> the generous offer.

Its not that generous- ;) I buy 'em in large bulk, so, the gelcaps don't
cost me very much-- lest than 1 cent apeice.



> I was told that he would have to stay isolated for 5 to 7 days with the
> I-131 and that will be hard!


Check directly with the facility about the required isolation time to make
sure. I think a lot of States have reduced the isolation period because
long stays were too hard on many cats. My cat stopped eating after 3 days-
so I was allowed to bring her home a day early. As soon as she got home she
immediately proceeded gorge herself!



I'm glad to know that your kitty is doing well
> after the procedure.


Thanks. She's a former feral I trapped in the Bronx 13 years ago. She's
such a mush that no one believes she was a feral. Here's a picture of her on
the scale waiting for a treat: http://maxshouse.com/album/Titi-on-scale.jpg
She only weighs about 5.9 lbs- that's her normal weight- not her
hyperthyroid weight.


> Thank you! I will try and relax. I'm sure I will have more questions
> eventually but the information is very helpful and not too much.
> Jean
> ps Spot gave me 20 nose kisses for you.......he's just too cute!

Send me a picture of him (topcatATmaxshouseDOTcom), I'll add him to our
Gallery of Sponsors http://maxshouse.com./Gallery%20of%20Sponsors.htm Send
a picture of Willie, too.

Best of luck, Jean

Phil

October 24th 06, 02:17 AM
I had Willie's blood work done again and just got the results back. Guess
what? It came back normal. So, now the Dr. says she doesn't know if this
is a fluke or what. He's going back on Nov. 2nd. to have it done again. If
the 2nd. in house thyroid blood test is normal, then it will be sent out for
2nd lab blood profile. I wonder if the lab switched his blood work with
another cat and nothing is right. Well, guess I'll just wait and see.
Needless to say, I am confused and afraid to be relieved.
In the mean time, he is still chewing and licking holes in his belly. It is
worse than it was. The vet wants me to change his diet to a canned food
that she sells, of course it's expensive. I don't want to that because I
don't think that's the problem. Humm, maybe I should have posted this on
the belly licking thread.
Phil, I tried sending you an email but it bounced.
Jean
jean at cis-broadband dot com

October 24th 06, 08:40 PM
This message may be a repeat but I'm not sure. I posted a message and
shortly after, the news reader said it was no longer available.
I got Willie's thryoid blood test results back last night. It was normal
with no signs of hyperthyroidism. I'm not sure what is going on. The
doctor wants to do another test in her office on Nov 2nd. If it is normal,
she's going to have the blood profile done again by the same lab as before.
We are both concerned that this first blood profile might belong to another
cat but who knows.
Jean

Phil P.
October 24th 06, 09:20 PM
> wrote in message
...
> This message may be a repeat but I'm not sure. I posted a message and
> shortly after, the news reader said it was no longer available.
> I got Willie's thryoid blood test results back last night. It was normal
> with no signs of hyperthyroidism. I'm not sure what is going on. The
> doctor wants to do another test in her office on Nov 2nd. If it is
normal,
> she's going to have the blood profile done again by the same lab as
before.
> We are both concerned that this first blood profile might belong to
another
> cat but who knows.
> Jean

Sorry for not getting back to you soon, Jean, I've been really busy with a
dog cruelty case.

When you go back to your vet for Willie's T4 retest, tell your vet to send
an additional blood sample to the lab for a Free T4 by equilibrium dialysis
(fT4ED) assay. Its the most accurate way to measure fT4 in cats- especially
when T4 might be falsely depressed by something else. The fT4ED isn't
affected very much by other conditions or processes in the body or by
altered protein levels because the blood sample is dialyzed before it
assayed. Cornell only charges about $25 for the test, so a private lab
shouldn't charge much more or maybe even less.

Don't be alarmed by the word "dialysis"! It only refers to the blood sample-
The cat isn't even there for the test. ;-)

Phil