Friday, May 1, 2009

Public Service Announcement

I wanted to pass along some information regarding my cat, just in case even one person is in a similar situation. Our Soot will be 16 this year. He was always a chubby cat, until the past couple or three years when he began losing weight. Because this has happened before when our cats got older, we didn't think a lot about it. Still, I began to worry when he became really skinny and bony. At his annual vet appointment, nothing unusual struck the vet's notice. He thought he was doing well for his age, and he really was in many ways. Still active, running up the stairs several times a day, and interested in the life around him.

However, he wanted to eat all the time. He would eat ravenously for a minute, and then stop, leaving the rest of the food. This happened five or six times a day. I thought maybe he had worms and was going to have him tested.

And then, Tom's co-worker mentioned that her older cat was on medication for a thyroid condition. As she listed the symptoms, Tom was amazed: skinny, hungry all the time, rushing around (we called Sooty 'Charlie Hustle'), while seemingly okay otherwise. The next day I called her vet. Sooty went in and had blood work done, and the results showed that he did indeed have this same ailment. He has been on medication twice a day for almost a month and is so much better. He wants to eat only a couple times a day. He can relax. He's not always running around seeming anxious. He's his old happy self again. One of life's little miracles.

20 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm glad you were able to discover the problem and get him some medication. Our cat Jack will be sixteen this year and has had diabetes for the last couple of years. The availability of meds to help keep our older kitties healthy is such a blessing!

    Lezlie

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  2. Good for Sooty. It is also good that you brought this to the attention of cat owners. Sometimes you have to be your cats health advocate.

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  3. I'm so glad you found out what was ailing Soot. I hope he is around for many more years!

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  4. Our cat, Lucy (age 15), has the same condition - she is amazingly bony and off her food, although she wants to eat all the time. So far we have only been giving her pills for a couple of weeks - back to the vet on Monday to see what happens next - she may have to have an operation.

    What a coincidence - our cats having the same thing!

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  5. Thanks for that tip Nan. My cat wants to eat all the time and only eats a little. But she is still calm. doesn't race around and seems well. But I will bear the thyroid thing in mind.

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  6. Oh I love this story with a happy ending! Good for you for taking such great care & concern for you furry little friend!

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  7. Glad to hear a happy outcome. I know of others whose cats have had the same thyroid issue...so wonderful that medical & veterinary science can help us help our 4-legged friends.

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  8. Thank you for each of your notes! Margaret what medicine is your cat on? Soot's is:
    methimazole 5 mg. He has half a tablet twice a day.

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  9. Happy to hear that your sweet Sooty is doing better and feeling calmer. He's lucky to have loving, concerned people looking out for him.

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  10. Our cat Ariel has the same condition. The meds really do help and she has a new lease of life. Sooty is gorgeous.

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  11. Mrs Pao, how old is your Ariel?

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  12. My kitty Maia is also hyperthyroid and is doing great on her twice daily medication. Thanks for posting this for other cat owners who may have missed the symptoms in their own cats.

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  13. Wendy, that's so encouraging. Sooty goes in next week for a followup blood test.

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  14. Lucy is on Vidalta 15mg tablets - one a day. This cannot be crushed or split. We're finding it very difficult to give her this as she won't eat any tablets with food. I couldn't give it to her on my own! So far (nearly 3 weeks) this hasn't made any difference to her condition. She has always been a small cat and now she only weighs 2.6kg. She is still lively, although yesterday she slept longer than normal.

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  15. Margaret, we've had cats in the past that were very tough to give pills to. One of us would have to hold the cat and the other put the pill in the mouth. Soot is much easier. I can just walk up to him, open his mouth, and pop in the pill. A trick I learned a long time ago is to gently rub the throat after administering to make sure the cat swallows. Sometimes putting the pill in a gob of butter makes the cat eat it on her own. Good luck! Sooty's pills (halves) are very, very small. Maybe the vet could give you a different size, or maybe even the stuff Soot is taking??

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  16. That's what we have to do do - I hold her & Dave pops the pill in and then massages her throat. But for such a little thing she is very strong and it's hard to open her mouth! We're going back to the vet next week, so I hope we can give her something else.

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  17. We go, too, on Friday for followup blood test.

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  18. I'm new here and late to this post but chiming in anyway: my 13-year-old needs thyroid meds twice a day and loves it. Two secrets:

    Don't hang on too tight. That just encourages the cat to struggle to get away. A loose confinement is best, like if you can get him/her to stand on your lap with your arm just draped loosely around.

    Also, reward the cat with lots of praise and something he/she LOVES immediately after the pill (a bite of tuna, a bit of cheese, a pinch of catnip, a drink from the sink, a brushing, whatever), and rotate the reward every day or so. My cat actually begs me to give her the pill.

    Yes, I can hardly believe it myself.

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  19. Thank you for coming by JG. I'll pass your note along to the woman who is having trouble giving pills to her cat. And I'll remember your advice if we do have a cat in future who hates pills. Sooty doesn't mind a bit.

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Now that I am a grandmother, it seems that I am often late in replying to your most-appreciated comments. But I read them as soon as they come in, and I will write as soon as I can. Please do come back and check. I love these blogging conversations. A little addendum - I've just spent quite a long time catching up with dear notes you left me months ago!! I do hope you can get back to read them. And I'm trying to be much more prompt now!

Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.