Archive for February 2014

Sammy's Sick

When we took Sammy in for her last checkup, we received news that she has hyperthyroidism. It's pretty common in cats and is typically treated with medication. I felt like a terrible cat mom because I hadn't realized that she had lost almost 1.25 pounds. Kind of a big deal when you only weigh 9 pounds to begin with.  I had attributed it to getting older and brushed it off. Big mistake!

For those unfamiliar with hyperthyroidism in cats, there is a tumor growing on the thyroid causing an increase in the T4 hormone. If it goes untreated, it could lead to heart failure. You can read up more about it here.

We tried the medication route for a almost a month, but Sammy wanted nothing to do with it twice a day. It had gotten to the point that whenever Keith and I were home together she would hide under the bed. If by chance she let her guard down and allowed us to pick her up, she shook like a leaf and you could feel her little heart racing.

Seeing that the medication approach was not a good fit for our Sammy, I went into full on research mode to learn more about hyperthyroidism in cats and what the various treatments options are. We started with a homeopathic approach to treatment. Basically, the claim is that cats can develop an allergic reaction to soy, which is prevalent in commercial cat food. As a result I now cook chicken breasts every weekend and then proceed to tear it up into tiny Sammy bite-size pieces. If she’s really lucky, Keith will share some of his salmon fillet with her. 

My hopes were raised when she gained weight back, only to the learn her T4 levels had increased. The vet recommended we continue the medication, but I didn’t find that as the best answer for Sammy. From my research I learned about an option for a radioactive iodine shot, which is a blast of radiation that will destroy the tumor.

Tomorrow morning we're taking our little purr baby down to Radio Cat, where she will receive a tailored radioactive iodine shot. After receiving the call confirming our appointment last Thursday, I’m really anxious about our visit. There is a 98.6% success rate and that’s what led me to believe this was the best option. She’s also relatively young, which also helps. I made the mistake of getting as much information as I could and read of the sad stories that resulted. I need to remind myself that was their situation and that we have yet to have our own. I’ve asked all the questions to ensure I’ve avoided any of the risks. 

Regardless, I wish there was a way to tell my sweet Sammy that she will be staying at the hospital for three days and then I’ll return to pick her up. She’ll be radioactive so we won’t be able to cuddle with her as much as we would like for the first 10 days she is home. I just hope she knows how much we love her and only want the best for her.  Now to just keep calm and nothing but happy thoughts for our Sammy Doodle.

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