Urgent advice needed

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
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issiandarchie+68
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Urgent advice needed

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:26 pm

Here's the thing guys, I say 'urgent' because the rehoming of an elderly sick cat depends on how much information I can glean from this forum. No pressure then! As regular members are aware, on the demise of my cats and a lifetime of various pets, we decided no more animals in the house. What's that old saying? "If you want to give God a right good laugh.. tell him of your plans for the future!" We were asked and agreed to take in, on a purely temporary basis, a 16yr old cat with Hyperthyroidism and other ailments. We think that's why he was handed in. It's been all consuming as the lad has been puking up bile on a regular basis, a dozen times over 2 days and nights, always on the rugs of course, never on the polished floor. He has been drinking loads but eating little. With the Shelters knowledge and at our own expense, (£242 and rising), we took him to see Lovely Vet. He was given anti sickness and steroid injections, blood tests and a thorough medical. He was as good as gold, such a lovely old fluff bum. Sadly, the results showed his thyroid level had spiked from 20 to 79 since last October. Even more sadly, on hearing this, his prospective adoptive parents disappeared in the ether. We have been asked (begged and who can blame them) to foster him long term. We are not going to abandon him but before we can consider fostering, I need to know: what does 20 to 79 mean: will the dosage and cost of his Felimazole keep rising, already dosage has been increased from 2.5mg twice a day to 5mg twice a day: what is the prognosis for life expectancy at his age? I did Google, never again, who writes that stuff? By the way, he was a Cat Doe when handed in so we have named him Christopher Brodie.

Thanks in advance guys and good to be back...temporarily of course. :}

Issi

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Re: Urgent advice needed

Post by booktigger » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:47 pm

He is clearly destined to be with you! Out of curiosity, if you are fostering him, aren't the rescue covering his medical Bill's? Unfortunately it isn't really possible to say if his dosage will go up or his life expectancy. He may stabilise quickly, he may need lots of adjusting. 79 doesn't seem high enough to be causing that level of sickness, was it a full blood panel?

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fjm
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Re: Urgent advice needed

Post by fjm » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:39 pm

One thing I found when Pip was hyperthyroid was that small snacks through the day and late at night helped with the hunger pukes - may be worth trying.

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Re: Urgent advice needed

Post by Mollycat » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:56 pm

People may think I am harsh but it keeps me grounded. A cat's natural life expectancy without vets but with decent nutrition and activity might be about 12 years. With our help that can reasonably be 15 years. I mean a fair run, not the 20+ we all hope for and a few achieve. Those aren't fixed numbers in my head, just ball-park ideas of whenabouts I might adjust the balance of how much to put them through for what benefit. It depends on the cat of course, but no matter how much I would do for that individual, it gets downgraded or at least reviewed around those two age markers.

Molly's hyperthyroidism was discovered by chance and her T4 was around 70 with no symptoms. Diet controlled this came down to 30. Back on normal food for 2 weeks to prep for radioactive iodine, she was back up to 70. Post treatment back down to 30 and then at 6 month check down to 15 which is the very bottom of the normal range. I seem to remember T4 normal is 15 to 50 or 55.

Be aware that it's rare but cats can have a bad reaction to thyroid medication. I was reading about one such tragedy on here a few weeks ago where the vet just refused to believe the drug was making the cat so ill and the poor love eventually died. 79 does seem high to be so sick, but all I can compare to is how unsick mine was at 70. However, endocrine malfunctions can cause other things to happen and some of them are really weird and even a specialist vet might be surprised sometimes. Like glucose, some individuals tolerate very high T4 without clinical signs while others are very poorly with slightly elevated levels.

I say Molly was diagnosed by chance, that's not quite true. She crashed, yellow stuff out of both ends, about 20% body weight loss in a few days - I feared hepatic lipidosis - luckily as she is so hard to catch I said while we have her here let's run a full MOT and there it was in the bloods, a borderline obese cat, no symptoms, hyperthyroid. The crash was liver, but we don't know what or the cause and effect order.

I've no idea of the cost of the drugs, only that in a middle aged cat the chances are radioiodine at £2000+ works out cheaper than meds and regular retesting for life. I did ask about not treating at all. Molly was 11 and it wasn't an option as the raised blood pressure causes blindness and heart failure.

Hills y/d can be very effective if you are absolutely strict feeding that and nothing else (they provide you with a recipe booklet for making your own treats out of it) and it's no more expensive than any other Hills Prescription diet, really not bad at all if you get it from Vets UK or Pet Drugs Online. Despite the name it does not need a prescription. For a 16 year old that would be my preferred option, and despite not sticking to it religiously for Molly - I boosted her protein intake with raw and cooked meat, not commercial treats - her level still came down to well within the normal range. The idea is to restrict iodine so much that it can't feed the tumour. The nice lady at Hills told me even the salt in rainwater in a seaside area can wreck the diet ... as I said Molly's levels came down to normal despite real meat treats.

If you're fostering I agree the rescue ought to be funding long term medication, if you have to pay for everything then you're adopting not fostering, plus fostering implies they can take the cat off you at any time. In your position I'd be tempted to adopt, see how well he does on the diet without meds, and take it from there. At 16 even if he gets a year or two of relative health and a secure happy home, I'd say he's done well. Just my thoughts. What you don't want is to have him for 6 months and then they take him off you to move him to another home - especially if you have paid out to get him stable and relatively healthy.

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Re: Urgent advice needed

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sat Mar 07, 2020 4:54 pm

Thank you Booktigger, FJM and Mollycat for your quick responses, you are kind. In answer to your 'queries':

The Shelter was perfectly willing to pay but it is a small local charity and they struggle to make ends meet. As we make twice yearly donations of cash and a variety of food, (not boasting, just in explanation) we decided to spend it on Christopher Brodie instead. I am one of those people who, when returning something to a Charity shop, I don't ask for a refund but simply re-donate it. Silly I know, but hard to change that mindset.

He had the full blood panel, liver, kidneys, etc. A full medical of mouth, ears, heartbeat, not an inch left unexamined. In fact the racing heart is what alerted Lovely Vet to problem. As we both agreed, to simply glance at CB there appears to be nothing wrong with him.

I have put him on Royal Canin Gastrointestinal wet and dry food, both of which he has accepted although his appetite still not that great. I will try small regular snacks. He is drinking regularly and I'm going to try him with Chicken breast tonight. My main priority just now is to stop the nausea and frequent heaving up of bile that is making him so miserable. He had a very good night's sleep last night, a long lie- in wrapped around my head, and has had copious cuddles and naps today. No sickness as yet, he is content.

I understand your concerns about rehoming/adoption but we are not going to adopt him, although we will continue to shelter him until a solution is found. My last cat, Gandhi absolutely wore us out with his sickness and sleepless nights. In later years, we had no life, taking care of him becoming all consuming. So bad, that I posted several times on the forum looking for help. I honestly don't think we want or can do that again at our age.

For now, we will take it a day at a time, Christopher's wellbeing our top priority. I know that if I need further help, I have only to ask you.

Issi

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Re: Urgent advice needed

Post by Kay » Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:56 am

I too found multi small meals worked for an HT cat who kept bringing up bile - I had a couple of timed feeders to provide half sachet meals during the night, and it made a big difference

and you would save a lot of money if you get a prescription for Felimazole from your vet, and buy it on the net

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Re: Urgent advice needed

Post by booktigger » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:34 pm

I used to get Felimazole on prescription, just wait till you've got the right dosage

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