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Thread: Tex and his thyroid.....does anyone know...

  1. #1
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    Tex and his thyroid.....does anyone know...

    If you recall, Tex is 11, a chronic vomiter, and has most recently been dx hyperthyroid. There doesn't seem to be any connection between the vomiting and the thyroid. He has been on meds for 45 days, and we go for a recheck next week (shhhh, don't tell him about the white coats.) I have done some research, and am interested in the radioactive iodine, the T131 injection. There are sites across the country, including one in Indiana, which is pretty close. Does anyone know anything about this treatment? Had it done? Known someone that had it done? Rest assured, while this is seemingly medically sound, I intend to get the latest and greatest scoop on it, in full, before subjecting my baby to it.

    Any info would be appreciated! Many thanks.
    Johanna

  2. #2
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    Not on a cat... My dad had a chemical mixture that reduced his hyperactive (?) thyroid about 10 years ago and has been taking medicine since to replace what is now low, but I don't remember if that was the compound he had. Would you like me to ask him?
    I'm sometimes asked "Why do you spend so much of your time and money talking about kindness to animals when there is so much cruelty to men?" I answer: "I am working at the roots." -George T. Angell, reformer (1823-1909)



    Thank you, Popcornbird for creating this tribute to Summer starring Livvy and Cassy

    Livvy: 11 April 99 - 5 July 09
    Cassy: 11 July 99 - 8 April 11

    If you would like to visit my BeautiConsultant page --
    http://www.beautipage.com/serene_angel_hm_spa/

  3. #3
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    If it wouldn't be too personal/upsetting, I would really be grateful! I know that the treatment is really similar for animals/humans, so it might prove to be of some benefit. Thanks!!!

  4. #4
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    Interesting! Bless Tex's little heart. Actually, thyroid treatment was one of the topics discussed in this month's CatWatch from Cornell Univ of Vet Medicine newsletter that I receive in the mail.

    I recall it saying something like it is one of the safest treatments you can give your cat and it is a one time only treatment, but there is a quarantine time after the treatment because of the Iodine 131 being radioactive(somewhere usually around 9 days).

    I think I recall the article also mentioning that vomiting is a symptom of hyperthyroid. If you would like, I could re-read the article and sum it up here for you
    Give Tex some scritchies for me
    **hugs**
    Karen

  5. #5
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    Karen,
    That would be great!!! I am going to look into it more, but, it seems pretty effective, with no long term effects. I would probably send the rest of the herd over to Lillycat's until he was ok. I read that radioactive iodine 131 has a half life of 8 days, so, with the three or so days in the hospital/clinic, I think he would be ok to the others soon, but, I certainly wouldn't want to risk it. How is your kitty doing? Is your mom still in IN?
    Johanna

  6. #6
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    Poor Tex!

    I don't have any advice to offer, but know he's in my thoughts. This treatment sounds positive though...

    Take care, give Tex some kissies for me.
    ...RIP, our sweet Gini...

  7. #7
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    I had I-131 15 years ago. Other than not bein able to kiss my mate there were no adverse effects. Because the relative dosage is higher for cats, it actually makes them slightly radioactive. That is the reason for the quarantine. I've seen up to 3 weeks to reduce the radiation by 1/8th. The upside of I-131 treatment is that it's a one shot and doesn't require surgery. The downside, at least in humans, as that thyroid replacement may eventually be needed. I'm not sure if cats end up having to take synthroid; I think this treatment is relatively new in cats.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Overall, I too think it would be worth a shot (uh...pardon the pun! LOL) I went and re-read that article and smokey the elder is right about there being a possible downside of developing hypothyroid condition after treatment, but that only affects about 1% of the kitty patients.
    However, I do think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Here are a few more points that I found:

    How does radioiodine therapy work?

    Iodine is an element required for normal health. In the body, it is used primarily by the thyroid gland (located in the neck) to produce the thyroid hormones (T4 and T3 are the two major thyroid hormones).

    Radioiodine I-131 is a form of iodine that has been made radioactive. In it's radioactive state, it undergoes a natural process (decay) in which it gives off radiation. The radiation given off consists of three types: alpha, beta and gamma. The half-life of I-131 is eight days; in other words, one-half of the radioiodine goes through this process every eight days.

    When taken into the body, a large percentage of radioiodine accumulates in the thyroid gland. The remainder of the I-131 is excreted in the urine and feces. Once the radioiodine is taken up by the thyroid gland (or thyroid tumor in a hyperthyroid cat), the gamma rays and beta particles are released. The beta particles are particularly lethal to the thyroid cells. The beta particles travel a maximum of 2-5 mm in tissue; therefore, beta-particles are locally destructive but spare adjacent hypoplastic thyroid tissue, parathyroid glands, and other cervical structures. The radiation destroys the thyroid tumor cells and thus treats the hyperthyroid condition.

    How is the therapy given?

    The radioiodine is given as a single dose on the first hospital day. After the treatment is administered, your cat is placed in isolation. In this case, isolation means keeping your cat in a separate "facility", away from other animals not receiving this treatment. Your cat is then monitored over the next seven days until the cat's radioactivity level is low enough to permit his or her return to you.

    How long is the hospitalization period?

    The half-life of the iodine used is eight days. The iodine is excreted primarily in the cat's urine. The usual period is seven days.

    How do I check on my cat's condition during treatment? Is visiting allowed?

    Due to the nature of the treatment, visitation is not permitted. The cats are fed and monitored two to three times daily by a full-time veterinary technician during their stay. If you wish, you can call us to check on the status of your cat.

    Are there any side effects or risks of therapy?

    Since the iodine is specific in its site of action, there is no hair loss or increase in skin pigmentation, as may be seen with other forms of radiation therapy (cobalt radiation). Some cats seem to experience mild discomfort of the thyroid region (thyroiditis) at the beginning of therapy, but this resolves itself spontaneously and does not cause a problem.

    Occasionally a cat will develop hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid gland) after treatment with radioiodine. This is easily controlled with supplementation and may not be permanent. Overall, side effects are extremely rare.

    What happens after the isolation is over?

    Upon discharge your cat will still be minimally radioactive. Even though the level of radioactivity is very low (much lower than the level at which human patients are discharged from the hospital), you should still exercise caution during this period.

    All of the remaining radioactivity in your cat will gradually disappear over the next two to four weeks (through radioactive decay and excretion into the urine). Until this is complete, your cat will emit low levels of radiation. Because of this, we require that you also isolate your cat at home for one week further. This isolation can be any spare room in your home.

    Much of the residual radioactivity will be eliminated through your cat's urine and feces. Therefore, we recommend that your cat be provided with a litter box that has a liner and is emptied daily. After changing the litter, your hands should be washed thoroughly.

    What aftercare will my cat need?

    The vast majority of cats require no specific aftercare. Your veterinarian should perform a complete blood analysis after the two week isolation, then monitor the thyroid function three months after, and then on a six month basis as a part of their on-going health care plan for your pet.

    Does the radioiodine treatment always work to cure the hyperthyroidism?

    Our studies have shown that a single dose of radioiodine is effective in curing hyperthyroidism in over 97% of cats that are treated. Even those cats that are not completely cured after one treatment, however, show some lowering in their circulation thyroid hormone concentrations and improve clinically.

    If hyperthyroidism persists for longer than three to six months after treatment, re-treatment with radioiodine is generally recommended to cure the disorder. Virtually all cats that remain hyperthyroid after the first treatment are cured by the second treatment.

    Can the hyperthyroidism ever reoccur?

    Yes, although it is very uncommon (less than 3% of cats treated). In addition, such reoccurrences usually develop three years or longer after the hyperthyroidism was first treated. Therefore, such relapses may indicate the development of a new thyroid tumor causing hyperthyroidism, rather than relapse from the first tumor that was treated with radioiodine.

    What do I do on the day of treatment?

    Please bring your cat to the hospital at the scheduled time. You should feed your cat on the day of admission to the hospital (fasting is not necessary). Your veterinarian should have done all or the majority of tests necessary before treatment; if further tests are required, they can be performed by us but treatment may then have to be postponed. If your cat has been on methimazole (Tapazole), this drug must be discontinued for at least two weeks prior to treatment.

    Should I bring anything for my cat?

    If your cat eats a particular kind of food, we suggest that you bring a few cans so that we know exactly what you want your cat to eat during the time of hospitalization. Personal items (a sock or toy) to place in your cat's cage are not allowed due to contamination.

    What happens on the day of admission?

    A full explanation of hyperthyroidism and I-131 treatment will be gone over with you. If all of the other routine blood tests have been done by your veterinarian, we will treat your cat on the day of admission.

  9. #9
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    Thanks so much for the information! Tomorrow is Tex's (and Georgia's) vet visit. Tex's levels will be retested, and I intend to talk to the vet about the procedure. I will report back tomorrow. Let's hope all goes well! Tails, paws and fingers crossed, please.

  10. #10
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    Fingers, paws and whiskers crossed here for tomorrow. Good luck! Good luck! Good luck! (one for each of you )
    Nicole, Mini, Jasmine, Pickles, Tabasco, Schnaggles and Buffy

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Miss Meow
    Fingers, paws and whiskers crossed here for tomorrow. Good luck! Good luck! Good luck! (one for each of you )
    I couldn't say it better! Will be praying for the three of you. Do keep us posted, please.
    I'm sometimes asked "Why do you spend so much of your time and money talking about kindness to animals when there is so much cruelty to men?" I answer: "I am working at the roots." -George T. Angell, reformer (1823-1909)



    Thank you, Popcornbird for creating this tribute to Summer starring Livvy and Cassy

    Livvy: 11 April 99 - 5 July 09
    Cassy: 11 July 99 - 8 April 11

    If you would like to visit my BeautiConsultant page --
    http://www.beautipage.com/serene_angel_hm_spa/

  12. #12
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    Yes, do let us know what the vet says!! Good luck and warm wishes are coming your way from me and my boys too!

    **hugs**
    Karen

  13. #13
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    Well, this is an incomplete report- since I won't have his labs back until tomorrow...but, the GREAT news is Tex gained 4 oz in a month!!!!! Yippee!!! Tex now tips the scales at 8.8 lbs. I would LOVE for him to weigh 9.5 pounds...so, we are moving in the right direction. Tex hasn't put on weight in YEARS. It has always been a drop. So, I am thrilled about this. I talked briefly with the white coat about the T131 procedure. He wasn't very familiar with it, and didn't have any patients that had underwent it. He did tell me that Ohio State U has it, so, I will contact them.

    As for Georgia, she tipped the scales at 10.6! She went to be tested for the Felk, since the herd was exposed to it with the kitty Arizona (RB) that I fostered briefly ( ). I had them both tested, and will know tomorrow the results. Since the herd has all been vaccinated against it, and the exposure was minimal, I feel the overall risk is low. But, with Tex's condition, I felt it was best to test. I don't think I would test the remaining ones if these two come back neg.

    Georgia and Tex both behaved like champs at the vets. Apparently, Georgie felt she 'deserved' a treat or something, cause as soon as we came home, she ranned out of the porta prison, up the steps, into the kitchen, and up on to the counter where Tex's 'special' food is kept, and picked up a bulldozer mouthful, and started chompin!

    More tomorrow...

  14. #14
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    Yay for Tex and his weight gain! That is great news!!

    Yes, it will definitely be important to find a clinic that has treated animals in the T131 procedure.

    Here are some resources that you may want to contact:
    Ohio

    The Veterinary Referral Clinic
    5035 Richmond Rd.
    Cleveland, OH 44146
    (216) 831-6789

    The Ohio State University
    Columbus, OH 43210
    (614) 253-1040

    MedVet
    5747 Cleveland Ave.
    Columbus, OH 43231
    (614) 891-2070

    **hugs** for both Georgia and Tex for being so good at the white coats. Do let us know the test results and your plans on the thyroid treatment!

    All paws, whiskers and fingers crossed here too!

  15. #15
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    What GOOD fur-babies at the white coats! I'm proud of them. {{{snugglies}}}
    I'm sometimes asked "Why do you spend so much of your time and money talking about kindness to animals when there is so much cruelty to men?" I answer: "I am working at the roots." -George T. Angell, reformer (1823-1909)



    Thank you, Popcornbird for creating this tribute to Summer starring Livvy and Cassy

    Livvy: 11 April 99 - 5 July 09
    Cassy: 11 July 99 - 8 April 11

    If you would like to visit my BeautiConsultant page --
    http://www.beautipage.com/serene_angel_hm_spa/

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