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You can treat kidney failure in cats to extend a cat’s life, but, unfortunately, a time will come when you have to let your cat go..

Removal of the thyroid glands, called surgical thyroidectomy, is a relatively straightforward surgical procedure that has a good success rate. This is an ethical question I’ve faced more times than I’d like, and I’ve had plenty of time to think about this subject. Low potassium levels, high phosphorus levels, and very high urea and creatinine levels, Hiding, acting differently, mental confusion.

When we believe our cats are full-fledged family members who deserve the best possible care we can give them, we’re going to expect our vets to provide that. 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. Caught on Video: Cats Who Wear Clothes — And Hate It, I chose to get radioactive iodine therapy. Since hyperthyroidism can predispose a cat to other conditions, it is important to evaluate general health, with particular focus on the heart and kidneys. Also called thyrotoxicosis, hyperthyroidism is caused by an increase in production of thyroid hormones (known as T3 and T4) from an enlarged thyroid gland in a cat’s neck. © 2019 TheCatSite.com. Clinical Signs Hyperthyroidism is the overproduction of thyroid hormone by the thyroid glands. We were faced with the decision to put to sleep our 16.5 year old cat a few years ago.


Hyperthyroidism can actually improve kidney function by increasing blood flow to the kidneys. The heart disease will reverse in many cats after successful treatment of hyperthyroidism.

All rights reserved. Can you restrain your cat safely in order to give him medication? If thyroid disease is a possibility, your veterinarian will likely order a blood chemistry panel and an analysis of thyroid hormone levels. But as painful as this time can be, it can be an amazing experience, too. Whether or not you decide to euthanize your cat is always a personal decision.

These are red flags.

If she no longer has the energy to walk to the front door, it is time to assess her situation. There are four treatment options for feline hyperthyroidism: medication, radioactive iodine therapy, surgery, and dietary therapy.

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.

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? A more serious side effect is the development of low blood cell counts which are more likely to develop during the first 3 months of treatment. As quality of life deteriorates we get used to a new normal, and it can be hard to remember what a pet’s life used to be like.

Whether or not you decide to euthanize your cat is always a personal decision.

Discuss the 3 options with your veterinarian. Enlarged thyroid glands can be surgically removed.

High levels of thyroid hormone may cause heart disease. We bring this about by providing shelter from predators and the environment, and with nutritional support and medical care.

He cannot take the medications - he hides,throws up, etc.

Vet clinics used to have very few options for figuring out what was wrong with your cat. A friend of mine, when thinking about the euthanasia of her cats, turns to another quote, from Jeff Foster, “Simply let go of the illusion that it could have been any different.” If you can’t stop the torrent of thoughts, that’s okay, too. What did you end up doing?

These signs usually resolve without stopping the medication. It’s a question of ethics worth asking.

Advertise. Treatment of these cats is a delicate balancing act. We do this all out of love. We all do the best we can, with the resources we have, in each moment.

There are 2 thyroid glands located in the neck. Cat Forums |

Specialty clinics have access to CT and MRI scanners, too.

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. The iodine, which is required for the production of both T3 and T4, is taken up by the thyroid gland and the emitted radiation destroys the abnormal thyroid tissue without damaging the surrounding tissues or the parathyroid glands.

These are red flags. That's the hardest decision to make, and a very personal one. Involvement of both glands is more common than involvement of one gland. The Decision to Euthanize: When is it Time?

You must log in or register to reply here. Damage to the voice box causes a change in voice.

So, when rechecking your cat’s thyroid level, … All we can do is monitor quality of life, and when we see signs of significant decline with no reasonable expectation for meaningful improvement, euthanasia is warranted from that point on. Medication The first thing to remember is that by deciding to euthanize your cat, you are not killing her, or playing God. Companion Animal Hospital in Ithaca, NY for cats, dogs, exotics, and wildlife, Equine and Nemo Farm Animal Hospitals in Ithaca, NY for horses and farm animals, Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists, on Long Island for every horse, Ambulatory and Production Medicine for service on farms within 30 miles of Ithaca, NY, Animal Health Diagnostic Center New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Ithaca, New York 14853-6401. What I Learned from My Senior Cat in His Final Months.

Blood thyroid hormone levels should be measured once or twice a year. Meet Wali - my adopted seven year-old blind gentleman! 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 …

The cats do not have to be placed under anesthesia for the procedure.

She has responded well to medication for 3 years but now the thyroid tumor has enlarged significantly and she has lost 2 pounds in 2 months.

For this reason, some cats with hyperthyroidism may require additional treatment to control secondary heart disease. Hyperthyroidism occurs most commonly in older cats and is rare in dogs.

I tell people to monitor five categories: eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, and joy in life.

There is more than one medication to treat hyperthyroid cats, it might be worth seeing if a change will help.

You may make an appointment for euthanasia, only to have your cat rally and have a good morning. In cases where radioactive iodine therapy is not successful, the treatment can be repeated. Supporting Cat Health with Information and Health Studies.

Some owners (and their cats) find it difficult to give pills daily and may decide, after starting anti-thyroid pills, to later have their cat treated with radioactive iodine or surgery. Try TCVM Tendon Ligament Formula! To this I reply, "Better a week too early than an hour too late." The advantages of medication are that the drugs are readily available and relatively inexpensive. 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. I tell people to monitor five categories: eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, and joy in life. Methimazole may be used to reduce thyroid hormone levels to normal before surgically removing the thyroid gland(s). Don't feel guilty about making the right decision. Log in, How to Use Harmonize Joint Supplement to Alleviate Dog Joint Pain, Suo Quan Wan: A TCVM Herbal Remedy for Dog Urinary Incontinence.

I have a 17.5 year old cat who is truly my best friend. This is where the red flags are most useful.

However, once the underlying hyperthyroidism has been controlled, the cardiac changes will often improve or may even resolve completely. If your cat’s health is on an irrevocable downward spiral, it may prefer to die with dignity.

If you and your veterinarian decide that surgery is the best treatment option for your cat, a nuclear medicine scan (described in the diagnosis section) could be performed at a specialty veterinary practice before surgery to see if your cat has ectopic thyroid tissue. I did my best to keep the suffering to a minimum by giving her medications and having fluid drained out of her chest to make her breathing as easy as possible. Occasionally complications may develop including damage to the parathyroid glands, which are closely attached to the thyroid gland, damage to nerves close to the thyroid gland or damage to the voice box. Cats can get chemotherapy, radiation therapy, an assortment of advanced and high-tech surgeries, dialysis, blood transfusions, and even kidney transplants.

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