Sunday, October 12, 2008

Furball Update

We were without internet all yesterday, otherwise I would have posted then. We heard back from the vet and got some results. FB#1's kidneys are just fine and it looks like he has "a little bit of early cardiac disease" - they need to do another thyroid test tomorrow because he's "in the gray zone for hyperthyroidism" which could be affecting the heart. An over-active thyroid would also explain the weight loss. So, it looks like we caught it way early and that we can very likely take care of the thyroid problem with medication and slow down any progression of the heart problem.

Whew! I'm SO glad - he's been his same-old self the past couple of days - appetite is just fine (which makes me blame the thyroid for the weightloss rather than a lack of appetite).

Has anyone's kitty ever had any thyroid problems? Thanks also for the lovely comments!! And Furball #1 thanks you too and asks that you send turkey and ham from now on instead of intangibles like blog comments...he's such a diva.


heu mihi said...

My family had a cat with a thyroid problem; I was not the primary cat-caretaker at the time (it was during my college years and beyond), so I may misremember the details. I think that we basically just had to give him a pill every day or something. When he died, it *may* have had something to do with his thyroid--possibly kidney failure? I really can't remember--but he was 16 and had been living with the thyroid problem for years, with no troubles. (Also, he was rather a stout cat, so that may have shortened his life a bit--but 16 ain't young in any case.)

It might also be consoling to know that he was never in any discomfort at all. Right up until his death, he was a perfectly comfortable, lovely kitty. He was anything but a sickly cat--quite hearty and happy and, as I said, stout!

Oh, he was a good old cat. He's been dead seven years but I do miss him sometimes! So glad to hear that FB's diagnosis isn't at all dire.

New Kid on the Hallway said...

I wondered if hyperthyroidism was in the picture! (and my apologies for being so behind with my sympathies!)

Eldest Cat has hyperthyroidism, and has had it for probably at least 4 years now. (He's 17.) It is pretty easily controlled with medication - first we had some stuff that was absorbed through the skin and could be rubbed in front of his ears, but that didn't seem to work right, and the we figured out it was because Youngest Cat had developed the habit of licking it off of Eldest Cat's head (augh!), so now we have a liquid that we squirt down his throat 2x a day (it's theoretically tuna-flavored, but that doesn't seem to make him like it any better). Or you can do pills, too (we do that when we run out of the liquid, because the pills come from the vet and the liquid gets mailed from a pharmacy in California. Do NOT ask me why!). There's even this crazy treatment you can do where they kill the thyroid gland with radiation and that stops the problem forever, but that entails quarantining the cat for a few weeks and costs like $1500, so we stick with the medication!

We found out because like FB#1, Eldest Cat dropped a lot of weight, and when they examined him they found he had a heart murmur, but it was thyroid-related because that appears to have gone away now that he's medicated. And he has had related kidney/liver problems (I forget which), which sometimes he's been on medication for specifically, and sometimes they prefer to control with the thyroid medication (variations are from moving over the course of this diagnosis).

Anyway, he's pretty much absolutely fine - I will confess to having been a bad cat mommy and having missed dosing him sometimes if we run out of medication (I'm not good at planning ahead with Rxs - I do the same thing to myself), but as long as he gets his medication regularly, he seems fine. (Okay, he's kind of dopey and confused and we think he's going deaf, but that's probably because of being 17 more than anything else!) He's perfectly happy to eat and sleep and yell at us when he doesn't think there's food in his dish. So I'm sure that Furball #1 will be perfectly fine!

T.E. said...

No useful experience here, but I just wanted to say Whew! with you at the not-so-serious diagnosis.

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

I've had two with thyroid problems. The first was a long time ago, & his thyroid was removed surgically; after that he was fine. Apparently nobody wants to do surgery anymore now that the radioactive iodine treatment is available. Because I don't like the idea of having a radioactive cat around the house, we tried treating the second with drugs for about year. She had trouble with side effects and didn't seem to get to a stable point, so we finally did the treatment, and boarded her for the 3 weeks. But you don't have to board them. Apparently the main thing is using special cat litter for 3 weeks. My brother has done this with a couple of cats. The amount of radiation needed to zap a cat's thyroid is pretty small compared to the amount that damages a human. I'm just squeamish---should probably see "Repo Man" again & take it to heart. :-)

Hilaire said...

I don't have any experience, but I'm SOOO glad that it's not to serious! Yay!

Earnest English said...

Mr. Tabby, who is sitting next to the computer and is telling me to write this, has hyperthyroidism. Because of other somewhat associated problems (the earliest signs of renal failure and high blood pressure), we couldn't do the surgery or radioactive stuff. So he takes some stuff in his ear twice a day to control his thyroid. And even though my fabulous veterinarian was cautious in her optimism about how he would be going off to Adventure City, where veterinary medicine is a bit behind, here he is a full year later -- even managing to get along with Ms. Tortoise. So hyperthyroidism is pretty easy to manage, but remember that since the thyroid is tied to other systems that when you tweak one too far in one direction, you can expect some trouble in other areas (high blood pressure if the thyroidism isn't treated enough, renal problems if the thyroid is overtreated -- it's a delicate balance). But Mr. Tabby is still with us -- in fact he has moved to standing next to his dish and staring at it, which is my cue to fill it. Gotta go. His Highness awaits.

sexy said...