Hyperthyroid Cat With Anorexia - Running Out Of Ideas... :-(
Sorry, long story...
Our two 13-year-old sister-cats were diagnosed with hyperthyroid last Spring (through bloodwork). At the time they showed NO symptoms of hyperthyroid, but the vet put them on Methimazole.
They both had very bad reactions to the med - horrible vomiting, diarrhea, stopped eating, lethargic and lying on the floor. Tried lowering the dose - stopping and starting it again - they just would not tolerate it.
Both had a life-threatening allergic reaction to nasal vaccine 4 years ago and are hyper-sensitive to all meds, so not a surprise that they reacted badly to the methimazole...
Next, the vet tried them on SP glandulars for hepatic and thyroid - these started to cause vomiting and diarrhea after a couple of weeks and had to be discontinued.
Before the meds they seemed OK, but since the meds they are now showing the symptoms of hyperthyroid - drinking lots of water, howling, hungry all the time but losing weight, occasional vomiting.
I am at wits end and the vet has become 'unresponsive' - probably has no other ideas either.
The main thing now is getting them to eat enough - they have lost a lot of weight.
They are eating, just not enough.
Because of the allergies, they are on a grain-free diet. I have tried all the tricks in the book to get food in them - opening different cans of food, warming the food, nutritional supplement gel (causes diarrhea)... They love tuna but that can only be a treat because it's bad for them on a regular basis.
They will no longer eat either of the two grain-free kibble varieties they loved, just their grain-free canned foods and some all-meat dried treats.
One of my girls is on a low dose (1.25mg) of prednisolone for itchiness (fur mowing) and 5mg famotidine (for nausea). She is also the thinnest - bony, really. She acts like she is starving, but sniffs the food and walks away, or just takes a few small bites - unless it's tuna... :-)
Stopping either of those meds makes things worse.
They are both indoor cats and have much love and attention. It is killing me to see the weight loss and not be able to do anything about it.
Oh poor you...you must be so distraught :frustrated: If they are eating the canned grain free are they not eating enough of it? The canned is better than kibble so that's already a good start I think. Have you tried buying some of the pre made raw foods they sell now in some pet supply stores? Maybe that would get them interested.
Maybe mix some tuna in with the canned just to get them eating something and get them started again. I am sorry I wish I could help but I have no idea...there are some kitty gurus on this site that I am sure will chime in shortly.
Thanks - they hated the raw diets - tried several approaches...
The 'food drama' is wearing me and them down to nubs...
They are eating - but the one little girl is not eating enough and is so bony, even though she acts hungry. If something appeals to her all of a sudden she will eat more of it but it is really sporadic...
Before the meds they seemed OK, but since the meds they are now showing the symptoms of hyperthyroid - drinking lots of water, howling, hungry all the time but losing weight, occasional vomiting.[/QUOTE]
Have they had any blood work as well as a urinalysis since the spring?
What about trying carbimazole in instead of methimazole to treat the hyperthyroidism? If you can get some weight back on your kitties, they may be good candidates for radioiodine therapy.
I'd also suggest finding another vet (maybe even a feline-only one) if at all possible. It's not a good sign that this one has just given up without even referring you to someone else who might have some fresh input on the situation.
Thanks - Their tests last Spring showed no other abnormal levels and urinalysis was negative. The tests ran over $200 each - which really set us back...
The closest radioiodine clinic is several hours away and would cost over $2000 each - not including travel and lodging. If clinics really want to save kitties, they need to make this treatment more affordable...
The vet told me carbimazole was 'the same as methimazole'. The vet we originally saw moved away and her associate who is clearly more dog-oriented, was not really happy to take over our case.
Finding a new vet - feline specialist - and getting them up to speed on our long history seems a bit daunting, but will have to do it...
Wish I could get a handle on the food issue tho...
[QUOTE=tweetzer;1049613]Thanks - Their tests last Spring showed no other abnormal levels and urinalysis was negative. The tests ran over $200 each - which really set us back...[/quote]
But things might have changed since then. I'm concerned about how the untreated hyperT is affecting the cats' organs and consequently, their appetites. I'm not sure it's so much an issue of having to find the right food for them, but more about helping them feel better. What dose of methimazole were the cats first prescribed? Was a lower dose tried? Vets often start with way too high a dose and that might have been the case here as well.
[QUOTE=tweetzer;1049613]The vet told me carbimazole was 'the same as methimazole'. [/QUOTE]
They're not exactly the same. Slightly different method of action. Would possibly be worth trying, or at least talking to another vet about, preferably one with more experience treating hyperT.
All the best to you and your kitties. Here's some more info that might be helpful:
Thanks for the links and info - we need to find a vet that specializes in cats...
Could you try cat sip? Maybe they would drink some cat milk if you offered it to them? They can not live on it but they would be able to at least get some nutrients from it.
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