Just a quick post to record the results of Tasha’s exam and blood test from last Friday. The test was the final post-procedure followup for Tasha regarding her Iodine-131 treatment for hyperthyroidism. Our cat weighed in at a healthy 8.4 pounds, her longstanding tummy troubles (once diagnosed as inflammatory bowel disease) seem to have ended, her oral health appears better, and her coat is full and thick as it once was. Her thyroid hormone level tested at 2.7 with the normal range being 1.9 to 4.8 — excellent! Dr. B., phoning us with the blood results, said “Tasha’s hunky-dory!” We agree.
Tasha visited Dr. B today for her 30-day, post Iodine-131 exam and blood test. She weighed in at a healthy 7.4 pounds (just before treatment she’d dipped to a scary 5.8 lbs.) and her “Doctor’s Office” heart rate was about 120 which was way down for the 200+ BPM prior to her thyroid treatment. She’s eating well and much calmer these days. In fact, we may need to start watching her food intake since she could be in danger of becoming fat! It will be a few days before all of the blood work is back but it looks like kitty has a new lease on life and we’re glad to have her with us, “Hyper Cat” no longer.
UPDATE: Blood work came in and Tasha’s thyroid level is 1.7 (normal is 1.9 to 4.8). Her white cell count is a bit low but likely to rebound, says Dr. B. — Aug. 1.
Our cat Tasha was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism a couple of months ago. She’d probably had it for quite some time before diagnosis but we’ll likely never know that for sure. At any rate we tried the usual medical treatment –methimazole– with some success but giving two tablets a day to a cat isn’t fun for anyone. So we tried a trans-dermal gel compound which, while effective, may or may not have led to a sudden case of vestibular “dizzy cat” syndrome. So we switched back to tablets. Soon after switching back to tablets poor Tasha’s irritable stomach began acting up and she couldn’t keep food down. What to do? Dr. B. recommended treatment with Iodine 131 and referred us to The Cat Company — a place where staff have the training and confinement facilities to deal with radioactive isotope treatment. Tasha was admitted for treatment today, in good health but for her hyperthyroidism starting to show up again: racing heart, increased appetite, weight loss, hyperactivity. Dr. Mann, there, said she’s a pretty typical case and, as he observed her behavior in the examination room, thought she had a “very good attitude.” She’ll have received her single small dose of radioiodine by now and should be resting in interesting, soothing surroundings where she’ll spend the next few days. We may well miss Tasha more than she misses us. She is now, also, radioactive! I suppose we shouldn’t expect her to emerge from treatment with super-powers, like a spider-bitten Peter Parker, or a radiation-exposed lizard from one of those ’50s monster movies. Given feline habits, armament, and inclinations, it’s probably best Tasha not have super-powers. So we eagerly await the return of our mildly-radioactive kitty and look forward to her being cured of hyperthyroidism — no pills, no gels needed. Super-powers aside, perhaps we’ll nickname her Hyper Cat!
I’d taken the day off in order to deliver Tasha to animal hospital for iodine 131 treatment … a cure for hyperthyroidism. Yesterday I received a call from the hospital informing me of their need to postpone admission. It seems there is a shortage of iodine 131. Without the treatment, and because of her apparent sensitivity to methimazole, Tasha would remain untreated until the rescheduled date for the procedure; her thyroid levels might return to their formerly dangerous highs. So I decided to take advantage of my scheduled day off. I would pick up a prescription of methimazole gel for trans-dermal dosing (less trouble for Tasha) at the compounding pharmacy which has very limited mid-afternoon hours. My morning was open so I headed to Hinckley Lake for the first time this season or even this year. It was a comfortable but hazy morning with thin to moderate overcast as I began my little hike along the lake. On the walk “out” I saw no large wading birds at all –unusual, I think– but was content to look around at the quiet beauty of the area. Low rumbles of thunder began but seemed to be to the north and west of me. As the skies darkened I felt I’d better turn around and so began a somewhat faster walk back around the lake. As I approached one of my favorite spots for finding herons I did, indeed, spy one. It was wading slowly through the shallows, apparently looking to spook a fish and find a meal; that’s just what happened. The Great Blue Heron struck lightning-fast and hauled a writhing fish from the muddy waters. The big bird had speared the fish with its lower beak. It held its prey aloft for a bit, lowered it into the water briefly, and repositioned the fish so it was head-first in its mouth. Then it lifted its head high and in a few gulps swallowed the fish. In less than a minute it was all over. The fish was gone and the heron was again wading slowly through the muddy waters, seeking another meal. It’s the way of nature: life and death, death and life.