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mrknits
Chatty Knitter

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2006 :  09:08:20 AM  Show Profile Send mrknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A friend is considering this treatment for her hyperthyroid cat. Anyone out there have any experience or knowledge of this expensive treatment? Searches I've done are primarily full of advertisements for the service. Would like some real info as to whether this treatment is worthwhile.

Thanks, Miriam

YarnGoddess
Permanent Resident

USA
2460 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2006 :  11:50:17 AM  Show Profile Send YarnGoddess a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Miriam

I've been there and done that. In 1999 my 16 year Zippy was diagnosed with Feline Hyperthyroidism. I did the research myself and found RadioCat, with a location in the Atlanta area. I-131 or radioactive iodine treatment is the only cure for HT. Yes, it's expensive, but the medications that are usually prescribed for treating the symptoms of HT do far more damage. I did a cost analysis of I-131 vs. medicating and monthly tests to monitor T3 and T4 levels. It was cheaper to do I-131. Zippy was also impossible to pill. Taking her to Atlanta for a week was far less traumatic and stressful for us both than daily meds.

I found the folks at Radiocat to be very helpful, informative, compassionate and understanding. I've recommended them more than once to friends and strangers alike and I'd use them again in a heartbeat.

I've also discovered over the past 2 years how important diet is for maintaining a cat's health. There is a school of thought among a small but growing group of veterinarians and pet owners that the carb-laden commercial dry diets have a lot to do with the increased incidences of HT, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity and other ills experienced by many cats (and dogs). A species appropriate diet goes a long way to keeping a cat (or dog) healthy for a long time. There are 2 sites pertaining to feline diet in my signature. Pass them along to your friend. I'll be more than happy to discuss further with him/her. Changing the diet of my current cats from dry kibble to raw literally saved their lives.

Two other sites you should pass to your friend: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hypertoptions/ a great source of information about HT

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Holisticat/ another source for information on feline health, diet, etc.


Elizabeth
Zipper & Diva

A sense of humor can help you tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, overlook the unattractive and smile through the unbearable.

To learn more about healthy nutrition for your cat, go here: http://www.catnutrition.org and here: http://www.catinfo.org/
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2006 :  11:56:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I lost my most precious, beloved friend/cat to thyroid problems. I honestly believe it wasn't the thyroid that killed her, but the treatment - which was the pill. She was given (I found out too late) twice what is often given for cats of her size, and she died a horrible messy death from liver failure. I would do anything and everything to have her back, but instead I'm going to spend the rest of my life wondering what I could have done to find out about the liver damage sooner. I had reduced her medication but it was too late. It was two and a half years ago and I still miss her every day.

I wish someone had told me about the radiation then... ironically, almost the same exact treatment saved my life this year - also thyroid problems!

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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Kipster
Seriously Hooked

738 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2006 :  1:35:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit Kipster's Homepage Send Kipster a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My 14 year old cat had the radioactive iodine treatment last spring. He is next to impossible to pill, so giving him a pill everyday was not an option. Since the treatment, he's gained back his weight, his T levels are fine and he's even more sweet and lovable than ever. I live in NYC and he had the treatement at the Animal Medical Center with Dr. Mark Peterson. Dr. Peterson is the vet who first used the radioidine on hyperthyroid cats. His website: hypurrcat.com has a wealth of information about the condition and treatment.
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YarnGoddess
Permanent Resident

USA
2460 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2006 :  1:36:19 PM  Show Profile Send YarnGoddess a Private Message  Reply with Quote
RoseByAny, I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Liver damage is very much a dangerous side effect to the oral meds that are prescribed for Feline HT. Shame on your vet for their malpractice, which is exactly what it amounts to.

I discovered the radiation treatment on my own. When I mentioned it to the vet, he said he knew about it but was hesitant to bring it up to any of his patients because of the general reaction to the word "radiation". He did tell me the same procedure was offered at Auburn Univ. and checked into the cost of taking my cat there. It was a bit cheaper, but she'd have to stay longer. So DH and I chose Radiocat.

On a side note, one thing I did learn about I-131: in humans, the procedure destroys the thyroid, in cats it destroys the tumor, in dogs it has absolutely no effect. Which goes to show the differences in physiology. It also means you should NEVER let your vet treat your cat as if it were a small dog. They're too different and respond in very different ways to the same meds.

Don't spend your life regretting and wondering. You did the best you could at the time with the information you had. I made a LOT of mistakes with my first 2 cats. I can't change any of that but I CAN learn from those mistakes and not make them with the 2 beasties I have now. Had I known about proper diet then, I could have saved those 2 a world of hurt and suffering, and myself a small fortune in carpet cleaning bills.

Elizabeth
Zipper & Diva

A sense of humor can help you tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, overlook the unattractive and smile through the unbearable.

To learn more about healthy nutrition for your cat, go here: http://www.catnutrition.org and here: http://www.catinfo.org/
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achrisvet
Permanent Resident

USA
5986 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2006 :  4:35:29 PM  Show Profile Send achrisvet a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It depends on the age and general condition of the cat. If the cat is 18 and not likely to live much longer anyway for toher reasons, then it might be best to go with the pill. If the cat is 10 and otherwise healthy, the I131 treatment is preferred. Cats can be a pain to pill forever, and with all the monitoring it can be cheaper than medicating and monitoring for years. You do want to make sure the cat's kidney function is good. You can give the pill for a while to help the cat while you make a decision. There is a withdrawal period before the iodine treatment, but it is short.



Anita
My completed projects

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mrknits
Chatty Knitter

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2006 :  4:50:45 PM  Show Profile Send mrknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks to all for your responses I have forwarded a link to this page to my friend and I am sure she'll be glad to read your comments.

Miriam
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