Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

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Bean
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Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

Post by Bean »

Ok Hi all, i have been reading this forum for all symptoms of hyperthyroidism and the posts have been invaluable but my cat is behaving strangely and I wonder if any one else's cat had the same type of behaviour.

Firstly she is 17 years old and at the end of January we took her to the vet to have her assessed as she had started attacking our other 4 cats quite aggressively, more so than usual. We though it behavioural. Bloods were taken and it seemed they were off the scale and hyperthyroidism was diagnosed. Thryronorm was prescribed but within a couple of days of being on it she became completely unresponsive, lost all ability to walk, climb, everything. Was just laying on her bed totally unresponsive, so scary. Contacted the vet, took her back in, changed her medication to tablets, vidalta.
This wasn't much better, she would fall off the bed, was very unsteady on her feet, walking around the house etc...

Vets said it sounded more like a brain issue/tumour or stroke. we had to take her off her medication for a week and see what happened.
so we did, and she improved sort of, she got aggressive again with the cats but was moving ok and we got a second opinion from another vet who felt that she had no neurological issues as far as she would tell (without MRI)

So back to original vets, another change of medication, 1.25 felimazole twice a day. These seem to agree with her better however,
She hasn't been on these for a full week yet - but she's not sleeping at all - paces all night - cant climb up the stairs - can't use a litter tray anymore -
will just "go" to the toilet wherever she is standing - eats well and drinks well - is completely non-vocal - no miaows, no purring - stares at objects before moving on.

Im at a loss to know what's normal anymore - is this another symptom of hyperthyroidism or something more sinister.
did anyone else's cat show any like symptoms of this kind of behaviour.
in 2 weeks time she will have her bloods assessed again
I'm really hoping for some good news....
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Kay
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Re: Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

Post by Kay »

it sounds to me as if you haven't yet got the dosage of the felimazole quite right yet - 2.5 in two doses is quite a low dose, and it is right to start low, but it may be it needs increasing a bit

I would say hang on in there for a bit longer, as she may well settle - hormonal imbalances can cause all sorts of problems, but most people find they get a good outcome eventually with felimazole - I speak from experience, although I did opt for the radioactive iodine treatement eventually (but my cat was only 11)
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fjm
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Re: Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

Post by fjm »

I think Kay is right - getting the medication right is key at this stage. I would ask your vet what the safe dosage range is, how safe it would be to adjust it up or down from where she is now, and how long she needs to be on a particular dosage to evaluate the effects. The blood tests will help, of course, but I saw quite rapid changes in Pippin when he started Thyronorm - less ravenous, weight gain, coat improvement, generally more relaxed - even before the improvement was confirmed by test results.

Have you had her blood pressure and eyesight checked? And the hyperthyroidism could, of course, have been masking kidney issues, which are extremely common in older cats, which could explain the toilet issues.
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Mollycat
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Re: Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

Post by Mollycat »

Same here, sounds like for some reason maybe she is oversensitive to the meds, or maybe she has been hyper for so long that coming back down towards normal feels alien. It can take cats months to get used to being normal after a curative treatment, I don't know about the meds as my girl was never on them.

There is one other option which is relatively new if you prefer to avoid surgery and radioactive iodine and meds are causing issues, and that is a diet food. I don't know if it's suitable for severe cases but it certainly worked for my girl while we were waiting for treatment. It's made by Hills and called y/d and it's so low iodine that there isn't enough iodine to feed the tumour. You do have to be strict with it and it only comes in two versions, a dry and a pate/mousse style can. No treats, though they do give you recipes if you ask Hills for making treats out of the food. Might be worth asking.
Bean
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Re: Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

Post by Bean »

Thank so much for replies, it's heartful to hear other experiences of this awful disease.

We fully intend to continue with treatment, I expect that we will need to increase the dosage of the felimazole next vet visit (about 2 weeks)
though I'm hoping for some improvement before then. Her bloods were off the scale according to the vet last time, though I don't know what they were or even what they are supposed to be (completely new to this Hyperthyroidism) But learning fast!

We do have a vet training university in Dublin that offers the radioiodine treatment and we have asked to be referred to them - but I believe she needs to be a lot more stable before they will take her and we absolutely need to be sure that she hasn't had a 'brain' event - without an MRI we won't know for sure regarding that unless she returns to 'normal' behaviour. So we'll see how we get on regarding that road.

We'll keep going -
Thanks Again!!
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Mollycat
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Re: Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

Post by Mollycat »

there are quite a few of us who have been through the radioiodine at different places, and each of the centres has great online client info. Mine went to Langford in south-west England, one of the most expensive but arguably most (or maybe too?) thorough in the pre-treatment testing.

One thing worth knowing that should be reassuring - 98% of thyroid tumours are benign, the 2% that are cancerous do not respond to meds but can equally be cured by radioiodine, it's just a much larger and much more expensive dose. My girl responded very quickly to the food and my vet said that's how we know it's benign.

It is overwhelming but don't worry we're all here and I'm sure between us we've been through most of it so don't be afraid to ask no matter how odd or trivial it may seem.
Bean
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Re: Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal? RIP

Post by Bean »

HI there, just thought I'd give an update on Lilo, well we took her to be assessed at the Vet hospital on Thursday just gone and because our vets had mentioned the possibility of neurological issues, the Professor at this teaching clinic took her to do a full neurological assessment on her, the news was not good, it was determined that indeed Lilo had a legion on the right side of her brain, and her prognosis was not good.
She was put to sleep that day, it was the kindest thing we could do for her. She was completely unaware at this stage of anything.

This last week was just awful with her, she never slept, not for 5 minutes, she paced and paced and paced continuously, she was most likely blind at this stage and couldn't right herself if she got into difficulties, she had to be swaddled like a baby in order to force her to rest, couldn't climb, and had stopped using the litter tray - we were hoping against hope that it really was just the hyperT but I think anyone who would have seen her would have thought us mad, but we were in denial, I see that now.

This gorgeous 17 year old fur baby, in late January, was still climbing up the side of the fridge to sit on top of it and peer down on us. We will miss her madly.
Thanks to this forum though, I learned so much about hyperthyroidism and we have four other cats so perhaps in the future I'll be scouring the posts again for all sorts of information.
Thank you!
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Mollycat
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Re: Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

Post by Mollycat »

So sorry to read this Bean, rest in peace little Lilo. Even if the last couple of weeks were so challenging, now she is at peace.

Completely understand the denial and admire your courage admitting it out loud. I think many of us have suffered from this at least once in our pet owning career. Take good care of you and the whole family, human and furry.
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Re: Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

Post by booktigger »

I'm sorry to hear the outcome of this, RIP Lilo, I think we need an answer to be able to realise that letting them go is the right thing to do.
mustafa811
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Re: Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

Post by mustafa811 »

The story is heartbreaking , so sorry for lilo , R.I.P hero .
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fjm
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Re: Hyperthyroidism behaviour - is this normal?

Post by fjm »

I am so sorry. Diagnosis can be difficult when there are several things going on at once, and I think we all know that desperate hope that the symptoms are treatable. You did all you could for her, including the kindest gift of letting her go when life was no longer worth living. Sleep well, Lilo, and have fun chasing the star mice.
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