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Author Topic: Am I doing the right thing?  (Read 5173 times)
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macush
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« on: March 29, 2012, 07:11:23 AM »

After reading the list of symptons for Hyper T, I realized that my cat, Annie, has all of them and they are advanced.  The problem is that Annie is 18/19 years old.  She is very much a scaredy cat and the thought of bringing her to the vet is just beyond me.  I don't think I can put her through the treatment likely required as it would be torture for her.  She's not in pain but I do know she is going downhill. Her quality of life at this point is ok but I do see the changes in her.  Is it wrong of me to just keep her and love her and not get medical treatment?  Of course, if I see pain or her quality of life goes really downhill, I won't let her suffer.

Is this a bad decision?   
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mikken
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 07:39:21 AM »

You have to do what's right for her.  In some cases, that means not treating a condition.  You know her best.

Treating hyperT can be as simple as applying a topical med to the ear twice a day.  Or it can involve trying to get a pill into the cat.  Once you get the med levels right, blood work doesn't have to be done too often unless something changes in the cat's attitude/wellness.

Thing is, with advanced hyperT symptoms and at her age, you're very likely to be dealing with some degree of renal failure, too...and once you start treating the hyperT, the renal failure symptoms can get worse (because the hyperT increases blood pressure/flow through the kidneys - it damages the kidneys, but ironically, also helps bolster their function once they are damaged).  So once you start meds, you need to monitor kidney function...and deal with that as well.

So if regular vet visits would negatively affect her quality of life, that's something you need to factor in.

It's a tough call, treat or not treat.  But if the decision you make is in the best interest of the animal, then it's the right one.


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Meowli
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 09:33:15 AM »

There are a few vets in MA who make house calls...stressful but not as much as a car trip.. maybe one can come and take a blood sample to send to the lab besides checking her over?
I have a vet-visit phobic cat too, except his problem would need to be done (teeth) in the hospital or else I'd be using the house call.

Sending many prayers for little Annie. I agree with you that not stressing her out with a car ride/strange vet office is a good thing at her age. I only suggest the house call so maybe you would know for sure what Annie's problem is,
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 09:46:54 AM by Meowli » Logged
catbird
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 09:50:03 AM »

This is a tough issue, yes, but I have to say, my cat Isis, although several years younger, has done amazingly well with the ear gel medication.  It is unbelieveably easy to apply, and this very skittish cat is doing better with the whole scenario than I ever dreamed possible.  I held off what was probably too long on having Isis checked because of the trauma of vet visits for her, but I'm now very, very glad I did finally do it.

Blood samples are necessary every 3-4 weeks in the beginning while the medication is being regulated, but those can be done by a vet who comes to your home and sends the samples to the lab, if it's transport that is the issue.

I think it is at least worth a try to check and treat with medication if hyperT is found, because it will make her remaining days much more comfortable to her.  If there is significant hyperT, I can tell you Annie is feeling pretty awful.  I highly recommend the ear gel because it avoids the digestive symptoms that some cats have with oral meds and avoids the stress of pilling as well.  It is also easier to give small doses in that form, which might be what Annie would need.

I would recommend that you join the Yahoo HyperT group.  These people know more than just about anyone out there on the subject, and are an amazing resource.  And run any vet recommendations by them before implementing.  Most vets seem not to be up-to-date on the current med recommendations, and start cats at far too high a dose, which causes a lot of problems.  I think we have several cats on the list in Annie's age range who are being treated successfully.

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/feline-hyperT/

Keeping you and Annie in my thoughts.  Many {{{hugs}}}
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 12:14:01 PM by catbird » Logged

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BW
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 10:03:50 AM »

Macush, I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.  You have been given some really good advice.  If you can have a vet come to the house to do the test that would be wonderful.  I wish I had that option here in NJ.  Then you would know what you are dealing with, without stressing Annie.
AND if it is necessary, the ear gel that Catbird recommends sounds like a great choice.  And you want to make her remaining days more comfortable.
I myself am struggling with something similar on a day to day basis with my Snoopy, so I very well  understand how you feel, as do so many of the Itchmos here who are advising you.   I am glad that Annie is still  comfortable.     Both you and Annie are in my prayers.


If Annie is 18 or 19 years old, you certainly have taken great care of her so far.
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macush
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 10:58:04 AM »

Thank you all so much.  I will check out a home visit vet -- I think there might be some around and perhaps I can get some idea.  I just want to do the right thing for Annie -- I love her so very much.  She has become so close to me since my sister (we lived together) died last year -- in fact, all my cats have.  My sister and I had discussed this possibility of Annie becoming ill earlier as she aged -- and decided that given Annie's fears and anxieties that we would keep her at home but with my sister gone, it's made it very difficult to keep to this decision.  The idea of losing her is just so painful and my Dunkin is about the same age but at least the vet doesn't bother him. But I know my days are running short with my family.  But I will check out the home vet and see if I have any options.  Again, thank you so much.   
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lesliek
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 03:35:23 PM »

I totally understand and am dealing with a similar situation. Punkin is my former feral about to be 24. He is hyperT & is on the ear gel which is helping. Because he hates vet visits & had a bad reaction to the meds, we do the 1.25 mg twice daily when possible & once daily when he reacts badly.  It isn't a high enough dose to keep his T4 low enough, but he can't take a high enough dose. It is enough to improve his overall health & quality of life, so we are doing it & monitoring his side effects & temp. I suggest joining the yahoo group [even if you just read & aren't active] & talking to your vet about how to test & treat with minimal upset for Annie. As far as the renal disease, it can get worse when the hyperT is treated, but either disease could shorten her life. If you do a consult visit with just you 1st, hopefully the vet can come up with a plan involving minimal testing & visits. Doing the ear gel & ear cleaning at home is very easy & you may find the pills work for Annie too. Please make sure your vet if up on the current "start slow & low" treatment, using too high a dose at 1st or upping it too quickly can be worse than no treatment.
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Soo
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 05:17:47 PM »

Sorry that I have no experience in Hyper T, but agree with others that if you can get home visit, it will be less traumatic for Annie.  Prayers and hugs for you and Annie.
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Mandycat
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 07:27:00 PM »

Many cats have been successfully treated at age 18-19.  You will most likely improve the quality of her life by treating the hyper-T.  You at least should do the necessary testing to see if she is indeed hyper-T and what her current kidney values are.  Some of the symptoms that are listed for hyper-t can be caused by other things.  The only way you will know for sure is to test.  Not treating hyper-T will eventually be fatal, and it isn't pleasant. Treatment is so simple with the transdermal gel if you don't want to pill.  There have even been cats that age who have had the radioiodine treatment because they did not appear to have any underlying kidney disease.  You won't know Annie's situation until you get some tests done.  I know you are familiar with the disease, and that Dunkin had the I131 treatment, so this would not be entirely new for you.  The choice, of course, is yours.  Take the first steps by testing, then you will have a better foundation with which to make a decision.  

{{hugs}} to you.  Head scritches to Annie and Dunkin.  I hope he is doing well.  Smiley

ETA:  We have had cats of all ages on the Yahoo hyper-T forum whose owners insisted that they would be scaredy cats and would never be able to be away from home for a few days for the I131.  However, it turned out that the people had more issues with it than the cats when they finally did have it done!  That is not to say that Annie should have the treatment, but it can still be a consideration perhaps if you would want to choose that.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 07:30:30 PM by Mandycat » Logged
Mandycat
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 09:33:17 PM »

macushla,

I posted this link in bug's thread and I am posting it here also for your information.  This is  very comprehensive information about hyperthyroidism in cats.

    http://animalendocrine.blogspot.com/2011/09/hyperthyroid-in-cats-table-of-contents.html
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macush
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 08:49:09 AM »

Thanks everyone so very much.  You're all wonderful and I will check out a home visit vet.  Mandycat, yes, despite his advanced age, Dunkin is doing well.  He spends most of his timing sleeping and is a bit grumpy (especially toward younger Macushla -- this morning he bit his tail!)  But every night he grabs my hand and I sleep with my hand under his body. 

But you folks are right -- if I don't get Annie checked by a home vet, I would look back and regret that I didn't.  I will check out all the sites.

You guys are so wonderful and it's great to be able to come here and know you'll all understand.  Bless you all.
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merrihart
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 12:14:45 PM »

macush, don't forget to call the local animal hospital and ask which of their vets provide a home visit.  sometimes this is the only way to find one in your area.
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catwoods
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2012, 01:25:16 PM »

Sorry to read that Annie may be Hyper-T, macush. Thoughts and hopes and prayers going out for you, as you work out the best course of action for your kitty.
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macush
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2012, 09:43:53 AM »

Well, after a lot of searching, I found a very good mobile vet.  She's very gentle and came with her technician and while Annie was nervous, she was not as panicked and out of control as she would have been in the vets office.  She is definitely hyperthyroid (I didn't get the numbers as I was so nervous) but her kidney and glucose numbers are normal.  Of course, Machushla was in the middle of everything watching intently and acting as if he was the supervisor (he wasn't that brave when he was in the vet's office a couple of weeks ago).  We discussed the gel but we have decided to start with a low dose of methimazole in the treat form.  If I tried gel on Annie's ear, and she didn't want it, despite her 19 years if she doesn't want to be caught she flies like the wind and I don't stand a chance (and would lose a lot of blood if I caught her.  So we start with the treats and retest in a few weeks.  I feel so much better about this and plan to take it a day at a time.  Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts. Smiley

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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2012, 11:22:21 AM »

I'm glad you've sorted things out for Annie. I hope she feels better very soon after she starts the meds.
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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
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