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Thread: The thyroid that won't die!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    The DC 'burbs on the Maryland side
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    The thyroid that won't die!

    I thought this was important to share with other cat people.

    I have an 18.5 year old kittly, Lucy, who has had a double thyroid-ectomy. Both times it was a great decision. Recovery was rapid, even though the 2nd 1/2 was removed when she was almost 15. We didn't have to traumatize her at each morning meal with pills, etc.

    Well, about 3 weeks ago Lucy started SCREAMING, demanding food. She's probably hard of hearing so those insistant screams almost had us twitching in place, trying to get food in front of her as quickly as we could. The problem is that she'd wake herself up with these awful, loud Merooooooowwwwww-squawks!

    I thought to myself, "Self? If I didn't know better, I'd think her thyroid was acting up!"

    When she began to lose weight, since she was already a small cat, I began to worry and into the vet she went. (The vet commented on her squawling and couldn't even get a heartbeat, she was yelling at them so loudly!)

    Anyway, we did bloodwork and threw in a thyroid level test just for kicks. Sure 'nuff, she's got elevated thyroid levels.

    It seems that even though the thyroid was removed, there can be thyroid tissue elsewhere in the body. Just like endometriosis!

    They don't do surgery anymore because the cost of the isotopes has come down. They specifically target the thyroid and the kitty pees it out. No invasive surgery, no danger of taking out the healthy tissue that actually causes them to eat regularly. No recovery period. So she'll have that in the beginning of February. In the meanwhile, pills it is.

    My point in this saga, is that if you have an older cat who shouldn't be acting like she's NEVER fed, demanding food at every turn and losing weight? Even if they've had thyroid surgery, don't rule it out. The radiologist said this was surprisingly common.

    We want to have Lucy live forever, so I'm glad she's not too old to have this procedure. In the meanwhile, we're feeding her all she wants. At 19, why not!
    Christine
    Proud & Lucky Mom of Shelby, Morgan, Bentley, Pauley, Tohsa, & Kharma, who misses Scorpio, Sunny, Winchester, Lucy, Hank, Pauley, Laddy & General

    "Where there is breath, there is hope."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Thanks for the info aStarSeeker! If you read back a few days, you'll see that I put out a post about thyroids because I thought my Peanut might have hyper-thyroidism. Turns out her thyroid is not a problem - yet - but I appreciate all the information I can get on this disease now since it's highly likely I'll have to deal with it at some point in the future.

    I would never have thought you could still have thyroid problems if you didn't have a thryoid. How odd is that!

    Good luck with your Lucy. Hopefully her problem will be solved once again and she'll live many many more years to come!
    Tubby
    Spring 1986 - Dec. 11, 2004
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    Fall 1988 - Jan. 24, 2007
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    Robin
    Fall 1997 - Oct. 6, 2012
    RIP Sweet Monkeyhead Girl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
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    11,466
    Hi aStarseeker! First off, great news about Lucy! May she live, healthily, for many more years to come.

    I, too, have a 'mature' kitty with thryoid, Tex. Tex is 12.5, a very slim boy, and takes meds 2x a day, plus, some other stuff to combat the probably liver (or is it kidney) damage that can happen.

    Would you mind sharing the sir jury story, here? I would investigate it for Tex. While he isn't a problem to pill, I don't like the side effects the one med has on his other organs.

    Thanks, and in case I haven't said it yet, Welcome to PT!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
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    7,170
    VERY interesting! This could info could come in very handy around here. Thank you for sharing because I would never have thought that could happen.
    Thanks for being such a wonderful meowmie to Lucy and I hope you have her for many years to come.
    Lucy, you are a very lucky girl!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Upper penninsula Michigan
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    Gee - Wow!


    Thanks for the siggy, Lexi_Lover!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The DC 'burbs on the Maryland side
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    49
    First, thank you for the welcome, although I've been around for several years. I just very seldom post.

    Second, that is the good news about this treatment. No more pills, no more fights, a one-time expense (Tapizol is going up, Up, UP!), and it's a one-time treatment.

    It IS expensive: Here it's $1200.00 plus bloodwork and X-rays.

    She stays with them for a couple of days so they can check her levels each day (bloodwork which is included in the $1200).

    If my 12, 14, 16, and yes, now my 19 year old cat had thyroid? Which she does? She'd be at the radiologist so fast her head would spin. It's a shot like a vaccination. That's all.

    Afterwards, for 2 weeks, you must use the corn-based litter because the government says that this extremely low-level radioactive urine must be flushed. I'm going to cage Lucy because I have so many cats and I dislike how stinky this litter gets.

    Radiation is not an issue. The vet tech told me it's not a threat in that she's in there petting them while she puts them into their cages after the shot. It's her job to keep them company and she's checked monthly. Don't think chemo. Think injection.

    Their behavior is not one of a sick cat, they just get better.

    Add up the medication costs, the blood tests you must get, the milage you use to take her there, the cost to your time, the trauma for shoving that darned pill down your little one's throat 2ce a day and (I suggest) start saving your money for the treatment.

    Around here, they don't even do the surgery anymore. At least so I'm told by 3 vets when I checked. Why, when the isotope treatment is about the same, not invasive with better success rates?

    The surgery also used to have a risk where they'd take out this complimentary tissue by mistake. Evidently it's housed with the thyroid and looks like it. It's the tissue that gives an animal its appetite. So the risk was that the cat would lose its appetite and never care about eating. (Can you imagine a healthy cat that didn't care about eating?) This risk is eliminated with this treatment.

    Here is the number for the surgery place: 800-553-6317. I talked with Kim, but I think she handles my area.

    Lucy goes in on February 9th. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Christine
    Christine
    Proud & Lucky Mom of Shelby, Morgan, Bentley, Pauley, Tohsa, & Kharma, who misses Scorpio, Sunny, Winchester, Lucy, Hank, Pauley, Laddy & General

    "Where there is breath, there is hope."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
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    11,466
    You are the first person I have 'talked' to that will be having the radiation therapy. I originally misunderstood. I have reread your post, and now get what you are talking about. Lucy HAD the sir jury, now she is having the radiation. Wow..I wish you all the luck in the world!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The DC 'burbs on the Maryland side
    Posts
    49
    Oh, good. Perhaps I wasn't clear, I was so excited!

    I'll definitely come back in February to let you know how it goes.
    In the meanwhile, you might want to discuss it with your own vet.
    Christine
    Christine
    Proud & Lucky Mom of Shelby, Morgan, Bentley, Pauley, Tohsa, & Kharma, who misses Scorpio, Sunny, Winchester, Lucy, Hank, Pauley, Laddy & General

    "Where there is breath, there is hope."

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