Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

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geckodiva
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Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by geckodiva » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:17 pm

Tat is nearly 18 years old. She suffered Hyperthyroidism 4 - 5 years ago. It took a while for her to be diagnosed as the test results only ever came back as high end normal. She was given Vidalta tablets but didn't cope very well on them. The vets at the time said she would have to stay on them for the rest of her life. Thankfully we decided to go for a second opinion. The new vets took one look [feel] and said they could take the enlarged gland out. The op was successful.

Tat's recent test results show that it has returned. At the moment no swelling can be felt on the other gland so she has been given Vidalta again. This is working in that the test results have been lowered, but she is losing weight because the pills either make her lose her appetite or upset her stomach. We are currently trying one day on one day off to see if she will adjust to the meds. We give her zantac and anti pepsin for her stomach and steroids to encourage her appetite. We are finding it difficult to understand her needs so are keeping a diary to try to track when she needs the additional meds. We are also concerned about another operation and if it will be successful. It has been explained that the growths may be in her chest. She is not insured and so referrals could get expensive. All this comes at a stressful time as we are due to move house soon and the car has just died (the vets is half hour car journey away and on 60mph roads). The money side isn't really the issue we are just feeling really down beat.

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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by booktigger » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:22 pm

One of my neighbours cats has recently been diagnosed with hyper-t and can't tolerate felimazole or vidalta (sickness and loss of appetite on both), and the vet has sourced the felimazole gel for her, there is only one place in the UK that does it and 10 days in, no side effects. I think it is £50 for 2 months supply

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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by Kay » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:53 pm

I would suggest you try her on Felimazole, which many cats do better on that Vidalta - given her age she should start off on a low dose, and see how she goes

a lot of vets in the UK are rather behind the times when it comes to HyperT - not only in continuing to prescribe the now mostly outdated Vidalta, but more dangerously in starting cats off with too high an ininitial dose, which risks making them Hypothyroid, and risks the kidneys crashing

the gel booktigger is using is applied to the ears, which bypasses the digestive system, and can be very useful for hard to medicate cats - having said that I successfully dosed my Trigger for 2 months twice a day by hiding Felimazole in pieces of Webbox - he never missed a dose nor had any side effects

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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by geckodiva » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:55 pm

Our vet was reluctant to try felimazole tablets as the dose of vidalta was right. She mentioned the gel but had no experience of it. It sounds like it is definitely worth a try. We will ask for this when this lot of vidalta pills runs out. Tat has suffered from tummy problems since her first bout of hyper-t. So anything that will reduce the strain on her tum is worth a try. Once we are settled in the new house we will then consider surgery or other treatments if needed.

Thanks for the info.
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booktigger
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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by booktigger » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:15 am

Kay, I'd be interested to see some links about Vidalta being outdated, my understanding is that felimazole was designed to be short term until the op, so there is more risk of side effects if kept on lomg term, unlike Vidalta. The active ingredient in Vidalta is the same as in human thyroid meds

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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by Camdengirl » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:20 am

Coming late to this...my little lady is on Vidalta, and the first fortnight was really tough, she struggled to eat much and was sick a lot. Over the next few weeks those symptoms slowly subsided and she seemed to get used to the meds. She's had the dose upped a couple of times since and I was really worried about the problems returning, but she coped fine.

Fingers crossed things settle for your girl, how long has she been on the tablets? It was really worrying seeing Pip (who was skinny anyway) picking at her food and clearly feeling rotten, but once she got over it she did really well, and more than two years on she's still going strong.

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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by MarkB » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:49 am

Desley, the info on Felimazole says either for use prior to surgery, or long-term. Laz has been on it for over 3 years now. It was before I adopted him, but they said that Vidalta didn't agree with him. I understand the new gel you can rub on the ears has the same ingredient as Felimazole. Apparently it can do something to white blood cells but it is extremely rare. (I would imagine you have to be extra careful with handwashing after using gel)

I have Laz booked into today for a T4 (he is also backed up with his megacolon so needs a clearout) he is showing signs of being hypothyroid despite being on the lowest dose (1.25mg twice a day)

PS - I agree with Kay re starting on a low dose. They have recently introduced 1.25mg ones , which make it easy to start low. Even if they say to start on 2.5mg, it is better to give 1.25mg approx 12 hours apart (I do that on vet's advise)

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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by Carol-loves-cats » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:55 pm

I have had several hyperthyroid elderly cats, one of my cat had the operation at 16 after op she started to fit! Which was caused by zero levels of calcium in the blood. After she was given calcium & vit d. She was fine. Then several months after went on flemazol she lived until she was 23. The second time with another time had the other type and did well also, so gave them lots more years.

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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by lilynmitz » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:02 am

My Lily is on Vidalta. She had both glands removed about 4 years ago after getting her back on track with Vidalta for several months (which she was fine on). Then about 9 months ago I noticed she was losing weight and going a bit bonkers again, and she has grown new thyroid tissue in her chest cavity which is inoperable, so she's back on the vidalta again and doing well. I give it to her in Webbox treats, so she doesn't even realise she's on pills.

However, in your case have you spoken to your vet about whether there could be any other underlying medical conditions? If her T4 levels aren't that far off normal, I'm surprised her appetite is so poor, and wonder whether there could be something else going on causing the symptoms you describe.

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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by geckodiva » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:43 am

First time around Tat's T4 results were considered to be within the normal band at the top end. She did have one swollen gland so the diagnosis fit. This time the new vets have a baseline as she has been tested approx every 6 months for the past 4 years. The test just before Christmas just gone was raised and the test 6 weeks ago was outside the top end. Her behaviour is also like the first time around.

Tat has been on vidalta for 4 weeks now. She has only been sick a couple of times. The main problem is that it puts her off her food so she isn't eating enough and is still losing weight. The one day on one day off seems to be a bit better for her. After reading various posts and articles I think felimazole at the lower dose would have been better. We will ask to try this instead when she goes back for another T4 test next week.

Tat has always been a picky eater so sometimes she won't eat because she doesn't 'like' what is put out. Trouble is she dislikes more than she likes and soon changes her mind about what she does like. I probably throw away 50% of the food. At one time her sister would hoover up after her but in her old age she doesn't eat as much now.

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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by lilynmitz » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:15 am

When Lily first had her glands removed (both at once, as they were 4x and 6x normal size), she went hypothyroid (opposite of hyper) and her appetite went for a long while. I had to hand feed her, and usually warmed the food for 10-20 secs in the microwave so that the smell stimulated her appetite.

It could be that as Tat's levels are only just on the high side of normal, the vidalta is just too strong for her, and that's killing her appetite. I think (not certain) that felimazole can be given in smaller doses. Is Tat on 10 or 15mg of vidalta? The 15mg was too much for Lily to start off with as she's only tiny, and she did better on 10mg.

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Re: Hyperthyroidism in elderly girl.

Post by geckodiva » Tue May 06, 2014 8:28 pm

Tat didn't improve on the Vidalta tablets (10mg). She had a few days with a lot of sickness and weight loss so we decided to go back to the vet sooner rather than later. She is now on the Methimazole transdermal gel which goes in the ear (5mg), applied once a day. It's only been a few days but her appetite is still poor, she mainly just licks the gravy / sauce / jelly off and only eats actual chunks occasionally. We have tried the pate type she liked before but with mixed results, even tried some [human] baby food but that was a no go. Today after a few doses of tummy medicine she improved and ate more. Her weight has been stable the last few days.

She is a bit miffed by us fiddling with her ears :?

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