Here are the questions I ask myself to determine whether and how long to treat. How Does My Veterinarian Make a Diagnosis? It may be worthwhile to get a second opinion. If the diagnosis is not obvious by blood tests, a nuclear medicine scan of the thyroid glands can be performed at certain specialty veterinary practices. However, once the underlying hyperthyroidism has been controlled, the cardiac changes will often improve or may even resolve completely. If you decide to euthanize, deciding when to euthanize can also be a very difficult and painful decision. And they do. Cats can get chemotherapy, radiation therapy, an assortment of advanced and high-tech surgeries, dialysis, blood transfusions, and even kidney transplants. The average age of cats with hyperthyroidism is 13 years of age; only about 5 % of hyperthyroid cats are younger than 10 years of age. In my 12 years of veterinary practice, I have never had a single owner tell me that they wished they had waited longer to euthanize, but countless people have said that they wished they would have stepped in sooner.
While behavioral changes like these are more subtle than, for instance, an unwillingness to eat, they are just as important. Radioactive iodine will also accumulate in ectopic thyroid tissue. Some cats may experience side effects from medication, however, including vomiting, anorexia, fever, anemia, and lethargy. If thyroid disease is a possibility, your veterinarian will likely order a blood chemistry panel and an analysis of thyroid hormone levels. The most common question I hear from owners as they are reaching the end of their pet’s life is, "How will I know when it’s time?" When my beloved Dahlia developed cancer, I chose to treat palliatively until I got a diagnosis. These signs usually resolve without stopping the medication. Most cats with hyperthyroidism have elevated levels of the thyroid hormone T4 in their bloodstream, but a small percentage of cats with hyperthyroidism have T4 levels within the normal range. It’s a question of ethics worth asking. Can you deal with changing dressings on gruesome wounds? We were faced with the decision to put to sleep our 16.5 year old cat a few years ago. If your cat has kidney disease, you can save money by learning how to give subcutaneous fluids at home — but are you able to overcome your instinctive cringe reaction about poking needles into your furry friend?
The average age of cats with hyperthyroidism is 13 years of age; only about 5 % of hyperthyroid cats are younger than 10 years of age. The treatment a cat receives for hyperthyroidism will depend on specific circumstances, including the patient’s overall health status, the owner’s ability and willingness to medicate the cat regularly, and financial considerations. She is still interactive with our family and wants to be fed all the time but doesn't eat much. The Feline Quality of Life Scale Helps You Determine If It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Your Cat. If Princess is 5-8 years old as you have stated in the form then it is really unusual to have hyperthyroidism. You have to see for yourself how he's doing day to day, and weigh up your love for him and fear of losing him against whether he's in a lot of pain. Get tips and exclusive deals. When is the right time?? I’ve seen people treat their cats for longer than is kind or humane because of their own fears and issues around death. Thyroid hormone affects the function of most organs in the body, so the signs of hyperthyroidism are quite variable.
Stay informed! Now, your vet has tools at her disposal ranging from the standard X-rays and fecal tests all the way to in-house blood tests, ultrasounds, and EKGs. In some cases, complications involving other organs may worsen this prognosis. These are red flags. I tell people to monitor five categories: eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, and joy in life.
The coat of affected cats may appear unkempt, matted, or greasy (see Figure 1). Because of strict treatment guidelines, most facilities will not allow visitors during this quarantine period. He cannot take the medications - he hides,throws up, etc.
I could do chemotherapy if I wanted, she told me, but it might not get Dahlia more than a month and she would be suffering the entire time. There are four treatment options for feline hyperthyroidism: medication, radioactive iodine therapy, surgery, and dietary therapy. If you’re willing to do your emotional work and examine your own hang-ups about death and dying, you’ll not only be able to help your cat with a clearer head and heart, you’ll be more prepared to deal with future losses.
A veterinarian who suspects a cat has a thyroid problem will conduct a physical examination and palpate the cat’s neck area to check for an enlarged thyroid gland (see Figure 2). TheCatSite.com is a community of cat lovers dedicated to quality cat care and cat welfare.
The Cornell Feline Health Center is closely monitoring the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Secondary Problems Since hyperthyroidism can predispose a cat to other conditions, it is important to evaluate general health, with particular focus on the heart and kidneys. Because of the important role the thyroid gland plays in the body, some cats with hyperthyroidism develop secondary problems, including heart disease and high blood pressure. Advertise. We are in the same boat right now with our 13 year old. Whether or not you decide to euthanize your cat is always a personal decision. There are 2 thyroid glands located in the neck. If left untreated and unmanaged, these changes may eventually compromise the normal function of the heart and can even lead to heart failure. Although the cause of feline hyperthyroidism is no… If this is accompanied by clinical signs such as lethargy, obesity, and poor hair coat, then thyroid hormone supplementation may be required. Clinical Signs A nuclear medicine scan of the thyroid glands.
My answer: "There is no 'right' time.".
The radioactivity carries no significant risk for the cat, but precautionary protective measures are required for people who come into close contact with the cat. Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, PO Box 647010Washington State UniversityPullman, WA 99164-7010, College Phone: (509) 335-9515College Office: Bustad Hall, Room 110, Center for the Study of Animal Well-Being, Symposium: Improving Learning Environments, India Lane Clinical Teaching Workshop: Feedback, Clinical Reasoning and Curriculum Integration, Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience, Northwest Bovine Veterinary Experience Program, Humane Society Alliance Education Program, Examining and Medicating the Ears of Your Cat, Examining and Medicating the Eyes of Your Cat, Examining and Medicating the Ears of Your Dog, Examining and Medicating the Eyes of Your Dog. How Do You Cope With Your Cat’s Mortality?
Caught on Video: Cats Who Wear Clothes — And Hate It, I chose to get radioactive iodine therapy. Discuss these issues with your veterinarian when considering dietary iodine restriction as a treatment for hyperthyroidism in cats. Surgical removal of the thyroid gland(s) can usually be performed without complications. Dog Tendon or Ligament Injury? I'm struggling with when the right time is because I don't want her to suffer or come home and have one of my children find her dead. When I chose to get radioactive iodine therapy to treat my 17-year-old cat’s hyperthyroidism, I did so after getting a reality check about Siouxsie’s quality of life from my vet and from my best friend, who’s not afraid to tell me things I may not want to hear. In cases where radioactive iodine therapy is not successful, the treatment can be repeated. A blood panel and urinalysis are also performed to screen for abnormalities in other organs such as liver and kidney that may be present due to the advanced age of the animal. Vet clinics used to have very few options for figuring out what was wrong with your cat. Surgery
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