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Old July 5th, 2007, 03:29 AM
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growler~GateKeeper growler~GateKeeper is offline
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Radioactive Iodine Therapy

Badger & Chico2 here is Duffy & my trip through Radioactive Iodine Treatment (RaId)

2 yrs ago I moved to new apt in the next city over so I changed vets - the new one was literally across the street . When I brought Duffy in for her annual vx I requested a geri panel & UA (she was 14y & I had lost Cally {12y} the year before and Mischief {14y} two years before that)
I wanted to make sure everyting was ok. Duffy's T4 results came in @ 45 which is mild hyperthyroidism. Normal at her age is 18-40 I was given this information re treatment options.
And this one re medication.

I opted to wait a month & have her re-tested before deciding, her tests still showed the same.

I decided to go with the RaId tx because the cure rate is 90-95% and side effects of meds was not appealing to me, Duffy also is very sneaky she will make it look like she has swallowed the pill then she spits it out (lil trick she learned from the Sibe I had growing up)

Most people think the thousand+ dollar RaId treatment is more expensive than meds but forget when comparing costs to factor in the cost of meds, Dr appts, re-testing for the rest of the life of the cat, it works out to be roughly the same if not cheaper. And I am serious about the one thousand three hundred dollars for treatment in BC I know some places are more expensive though. If you read my post in the poor families newspaper article thread you know I am not rich & borrowed the money for this treatment, I would do it again if I had to.

The clinic that does it in BC has a 100% guarantee if it doesn't work the 1st time they will re-treat @ no charge, they also will do payment plans upon approval.

I was worried about her state of mind going into tx, the only time away from home was when she was spayed- she needed to stay in clinic for 1 week. Clinic stay varies depending on level of radiation remaining after minimum one week.
I packed her food, a t-shirt I slept in the week before (so she smelled me), a catnip pillow & said a not too long c-u in a week. She was very brave did ok in clinic & discovered that she really liked feather toys, the cats had individual playtime out of the kennel everyday, she mostly sat like a :queen: in the kennel overlooking the lowly subjects around her 2 & 4 legged

The actual tx consisits of one injection of Radioactive Iodine & this only targets the cells that are cauing the hyperthyroid problem. The rest of the clinic stay is monitoring levels, providing time for the body to realign its good cells, expulsion of most radioactive waste in the litterbox as much is released that week, tx of any underlying problems that arise

I got daily updates on how she was feeling, eating, playing etc. Hard for me to sleep that week but the updates kept me going- she usually sleeps w/me.

After discharge because they are still slightly radioactive, they require close contact (ie less than 1') be kept to a minimum 30 min/day, no one is allowed to sleep w/cat for @ least 10 days, must clean litterbox, food & water bowls wearing disposible gloves & you must sign an agreement to this effect or they will refuse tx. Children under 12 & pregnant women are @ most risk for adverse reactions.

Well between you, me & the fence post she was sleeping with me after 2 days. Yes I know I put myself @ low level risk for radiation but keeping her
off the bed w/me just wasn't happening esp after a week away. I knew the all risks involved, made an informed desicion to allow the cat to sleep with me.

Since her levels were low they used a lower dosage on her than some of the other cats, the Dr mentioned how glad she was that I was treating her now rather than wait like some of the cats in that tx group were very very . Some of the cats also had been on meds & then decided to go for RaId when that wasn't helping anymore.

She was to go in for T4 re-testing one month after tx & every 2mths until her levels reached normal, because she wasn't very high to start with I was told of the possibility her levels could drop so low that she would need meds to bring it back up.

Her first re-test her levels read less than 6 almost non existant with both Drs advice & carefully monitoring of her physical state, she was feeling great, we decided to not treat with meds unless no improvement or unless she felt worse. Tested again in 2 mths her levels @ 10 making steady progress back to normal and she was feeling fine. 4 mths after tx re-test her level had dropped a little @ 8 but was not alarming nor unexpected - it happens, levels fluctuate. 6mths post tx levels up to 13 still low but the 2 Drs & I were comfortable with that & everything else was great. She had her annual vx 3mth later & we decided not to re-test her @ that time. One year after tx she was re-tested w/ full geri panel & ua everything was great incl liver & kidneys & her T4 levels reached 20 - back in normal range.

Every year now she will have the geri panel & ua with her annual vx as a precaution to check her kidney functions (Dr was pleasantly surprised for an old girl {she's 16} her levels tested very good) as well as her T4 levels. It is not uncommon for the Thyroid to spike high again, but unlikely in her case.

I know many cats are fine with meds & I will not judge the desicion for that route I just think RaId is the best possible tx please read the embeded articles and find what is right for you & your furbaby

All cats over the age of 12 should have a yearly geriatric panel & urinanaylsis it is a great way to find hidden medical issues and we all know cats aren't telling
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Old July 5th, 2007, 06:15 AM
mummummum's Avatar
mummummum mummummum is offline
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Excellent post Growler ~ I wonder if you might consider doing an article for the Encyclopedia ?
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