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Any vets here tonight? I think my MIL cat is hyperthyroid

(11 Posts)
LucyEllensmummy Thu 01-Jan-09 23:13:13

We visited the ILs tonight and i took a look at her cat. It has lost weight and coat condition. It looks now like an old cat, but apparently only about nine (was a rescue). I thought i would feel for its thyroid and what i think was its thyroid was huge (about the size of a bouncy ball or large marble}. I also felt its heart which was fit to burst out of its ribcage. I used to work in a vets but i am rusty - the "thyroid" was where i would expect it to be, although ive never managed to feel them before and ive had two hyperthyroid cats. So, im a bit concerned that either, im completely wrong, or it is something even more sinister. The cat has the look of a hyperthyroid cat and its heart rate was fast and "hard". MIL says she sleeps alot, but cats do and she isn't agitated or skittish. Her coat is dull but not stary.

Any vets out there? I told MIL that i THINK it might be hyperthyroid and that she should take it to the vets - she was reticent though because "She doesn't like it, and i can't get her in the basket"hmm. If it is, would surgery be the only option and is it safe for mil to watch and wait. I didnt want to push it, because i didnt want to scare them and also im not sure. They did say the cat seems off colour.

MegBusset Thu 01-Jan-09 23:15:26

Surgery is not the only option -- it can be managed (usually very successfully) with medication. But time IS of the essence -- my cat had it but sadly we didn't catch it in time and about 6 months after diagnosis she had heart failure and had to be put to sleep. So yes, the cat does need to go to the vets.

LucyEllensmummy Fri 02-Jan-09 13:07:39

bump

countingto10 Fri 02-Jan-09 14:59:56

Is it drinking a lot ? My elderly cat lost a lot of weight and was drinking a lot, turns out he was diabetic which can be common in older cats. Now controlled with insulin injections. It really needs to go to the vet for blood tests etc.

MarmadukeScarlet Fri 02-Jan-09 15:04:21

My cat was on daily medication for this, with the plan to operate when stable.

BUT once thyroid levels were normal she wasn't so hungry so getting meds down her was imposs. I wish I'd pressed for the op and she died.

She was a lovely cat sad

beautifulgirls Fri 02-Jan-09 16:16:48

LEM - Hyperthyroid problems cam be managed in one of several ways if the blood tests come back positive
- tablets and occasional blood tests to prove the dose is sufficient to manage the level of problem
- surgery to remove one or both thyroids. This has some risk to it especially if both sides are removed, but in good hands is usually a very sucessful procedure and it is unusual that any medications will be needed to supplement the thyroid hormone afterwards, though not always the case
- radioactive iodine therapy - that would be carried out at a specialist centre and is generally curative of the problem. The down sides to this treatment are costs and hospitalisation time for the cat as they usually need at least 3 weeks in an isolation unit away from home until the radioactivity levels settle down.

Yes, your MIL should take the cat to a vet as left untreated as previous posters have said, the cat will continue to deteriorate and particularly the heart can suffer and the liver too. It is not urgent to rush it in today as such, but within a few days ideally. Bloods will be needed to check for several problems including the thyroid level and how the kidneys are doing too. If the disease has not been going on for too long then the heart and liver have a reasonable chance once treatment is started.

Good luck - sounds like the hardest bit is persuading MIL to take the cat to the vet! Oh and yes may not be hyperthyroid of course so vet needs to have a good look and check/test anything suspected. It does sound strongly suspicious from what you say though.

LucyEllensmummy Fri 02-Jan-09 22:21:15

Thanks BG, and everyone else - I will get DP to phone his mum and tell her im worried about the cat. She is quite an attentive owner so im sure she will take her, I think she is a stick ones head in the sand type though. Better safe than sorry. As i said, i have had two cats, well my mum did, that were hyperthyroid and they looked much the same. The vets where i worked tended to favour the whip em out approach, although i think they are tending to manage medically more now. I think MIL will take to PDSA in first instance.

LaundryFairy Fri 02-Jan-09 22:36:47

Just another note to let you know that our 13 year old cat has now recovered nicely after having surgery to remove one thyroid. She had to be on medication for about a month (which is not without possible side effects), but is now fine with good weight gain.

Hope everything goes as well with your MIL's cat!

LucyEllensmummy Sat 03-Jan-09 09:32:20

laundry - im glad your cat is doing well. Both of my mums cats did really well after having both sides removed, without any meds - they are gone now, but they lived long healthy lives. I'm not worried about surgery for the cat, but i think my MIL is. TBH i can't really understand her reticence to take her to the vets. When i said she might need medication, she said, "well, i can't give her tablets, she doesn't like them" hmm Thats because her method of administering tablets to a cat is to hold the tablet in front of it like a bloody sweet FGS!!!!

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 03-Jan-09 09:36:01

Agree with beautifulgirls- it's a common condition and can be easily diagnosed and managed, but the sooner the better. The tablets are fairly small, and I've found most owners can manage the daily dosing fairly easily. I always start with medical management in the first instance, with surgery as an option for cats that don't respond or where owners just cannot get the tablets in. Good luck!

LucyEllensmummy Mon 05-Jan-09 19:31:19

I got DP to ring MIL last night after BG and JJs posts, he told her to get the cat to the vets sooner rather than later, so we did our bit

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