Monday, January 19, 2009

Early Start

This was the view out our kitchen window this morning. I had been rushing around, getting ready to take our cat Cassie to a veterinary specialist for thyroid treatment. I had started the day in the dark. But I looked up to see this sky, over this winter landscape and I stopped to let it settle in on me.

Cassie will be receiving Radioactive Iodine Therapy (Iodine-131) to treat her hyperthyroidism. When we first adopted Cassie six years ago, along with her “sibling” Abby, they were both, well, a little on the heavy side. (Truth be told, they were both a couple of chunky monkeys!) And they were both very, very ill. Once we nursed them back to health, we got them on diets. In about a year, they were both slim and trim. But over the last year or so, Cassie began to look skinny, feel appreciably lighter and began vocalizing in a way she never had before. Their regular veterinarian has the girls on annual blood work and urinalysis. Cassie’s last test results confirmed the changes were due to an overactive thyroid.

We had three choices: medicine administered twice daily or surgery or the Radioactive Iodine Therapy. Because giving Cassie a pill twice a day, every day, for the rest of her life, would significantly shorten our lives due to blood loss from scratches, that one was out! The surgery didn’t have a high enough success rate and she might still need medication. That left treatment with Iodine-131, which has a success rate of 96% after only one treatment. It costs a small fortune, but we knew she was never going to go off to Harvard or Yale, so we raided her college fund!

Barring any complications, Cassie will be home Wednesday. Maybe we’ll frame the receipt from her therapy and get her a teeny, tiny mortarboard...

: : Update: 3:45 p.m. Tuesday
We just got a phone call from Cassie’s veterinary specialist. Cassie came through the procedure with flying colors! Yay!


dancingmorganmouse said...

fingers, toes and tails crossed for Cassie. They tested our Small for that last year, but it's just old age that's causing the changes in her.
A tip for pilling cats - grind up the pill, mix it with a little butter and rub it around the nose and whisker pads. Works a treat!

Sue said...

Good luck!! I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback with an underactive thyroid. She takes 8 1/2 tablets daily to treat the problem - it's very expensive!!! Fortunately, she loves food, so getting her to swallow her meds isn't too tricky. I just stuff the tablets into a chunk of cheese and toss it in the air for her twice a day - she loves it! I've tried putting her on a diet, but with 3 dogs in the house, she manages to scavenge food from other bowls, so it doesn't really help. She weighs about 50kgs, but doesn't look too bad!! She turned 8 last month and I know that the medicine must be wrecking havoc on her poor kidneys, but it's quality over quantity at this stage.

I don't believe that there's a price tag attached to our pets' health, they're part of the family!!

Hope Cassie's feeling better soon - send her cuddles from Jake (he adores cats, but I'm soooo allergic!)

Oh and let us know how the inauguration goes today! Thinking of you all - this is exciting stuff!

Sue x

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
That's a technique for pill administration I had never heard before! We know the trick of touching their noses to get them to lick and swallow, but that's a new one!

We've medicated cats and dogs over the years for a variety of maladies and conditions. We even had one cat on a daily dose of Interferon - one week on, one week - off for a couple of years.

Cassie is a very friendly, affectionate and easy going cat - except when it comes to medicine! Even the liquid Rxs are a challenge with her. So for her comfort as well as ours, this treatment made the most sense.
Thank you!
- Lee

Hi Sue -
Tell Jake thanks for the love. There will be lots of cuddles in Jake's name! Although because Cassie will still be slightly radioactive for a couple of weeks, they will have to be brief!

I love the description of you tossing the cheese with pills tucked inside it into the air! It makes me think of how we have given pills to our dogs over the years. We often used peanut butter. Sometimes we would take a bite-size pitted prune and tuck the pill inside that.

Multi-pet households are a challenge for controlling food consumption. But our favorite snacks for dogs were carrot sticks and apple slices!

I'm with you on the cost of caring for pets. They are absolutely part of the family. When you adopt a pet, you never know what lies ahead. But whatever comes you have to deal with it.

I will keep you posted on the inauguration. We are beside ourselves with excitement!!!
Thank you!
- Lee

Roo said...

Hope all is well, I know I will always pick a dog over a cat anyday, but everything is crossed for Cassie.

The pill tip is clever from Morgan, and I was going to say that having a dog, it's so easy to give them a pill ;o)

My mum has an overactive thyroid, and she's a nightmare at taking her meds.. I wonder if the butter will work .......

Pink Granite said...

Oh Roo -
Chuck and I both laughed out loud when we read your comment! Too funny!

Having lived with just cats and just dogs and both dogs and cats, cats are easier to live with because they are (generally) so low maintenance thanks to their litter boxes. But dogs are easier to live with for other reasons - including giving them medications! They each have their good points and their annoying bits. Gee, that's just like human beings!

Still chuckling...
- Lee
P.S. I almost forgot. Cats are really good at helping to "train" dogs!