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Sick (old!) kitty help, please! Thyroid...

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Generally I prefer natural methods, but this is way beyond my experience!


My kitty is 17 1/2 years old, and recently had a raging kidney infection. She hadn't been sick in years and years! While in the process of discovering and treating the kidney infection, they discovered her thyroid was severely out of whack.


The truth is, since I lost my other cat, who was 14 and her biological baby, she just hasn't been quite the same. She's been slowing down, which to me seemed to be expected at her age of 15.


My vet does seem to be on top of things as far as the medical issue goes, but I was just wondering if anyone here had their own first hand experience with this and could offer some extra help.


They did tell my the thyroid medication could cause her to become depressed, but I feel like that cat was already slightly depressed in the first place! But really, what does a depressed cat look like???


Plus, the cat will hardly eat. I really feel like I need to encourage her to eat about every two hours or so. I've purchased some top notch canned food (EVO), plus a good deal of fresh salmon, and even some organic grass fed beef and truly free range organic chicken in hopes of enticing her. She's still not all that interested.


I'm sorry if this is kind of rambly. I hoped that if I said several different things that someone would be able to offer some kind of advice on something.


As poorly as she is doing, I just don't feel like she's really ready to go yet. That said, I don't know how to help her.


What say you?





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Hi Lisa,

If your kitty was just diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, it does take a few weeks on methimazole (tapazole) to get the thyroid hormone levels back down to more normal levels. The kidneys were probably secondary to the thyroid issue, at least that is how it usually works, even though the thyroid was discovered later. Both conditions are unfortunately very common in an elderly cat. Your cat's appetite may not be more normal until his hormone levels are more normal. In the mean time you are definitely doing a good job at providing a smorgasbord for him. It is critical that he begins to eat something, even good old commercial canned cat food or canned tuna. If he is not eating well his liver will start to mobilize fat for energy and you will end up with a cat with hepatic lipidosis on top of everything else. Please keep trying different things and if necessary force feed him with a syringe. I've had many clients make a thin gruel out of canned cat food or Hill's a/d and get some calories into their cats.

Hope he does alright with the thyroid issue, again, it does take awhile for the adjustment and I'm sure your vet will be monitoring his levels.


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adding water to some canned food and making it a soupy consistency. I work at a shelter and a lot of the older cats prefer it this way. I am also amazed at how picky some of them are; once you find out their favorite foods, it is much easier to get them to eat.


I hope your kitty starts doing better soon!

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Every vet I've ever had has recommended chicken baby food for cats with diarrhea, and they all love it, no matter how sick they are--I would try that. Also, a broth that is really good for them is one where you take a good piece of beef, cook it in water for a long time until the water goes down a good bit, and use that water (cooled, of course)--you can freeze it in an ice cube tray, so it won't get bad, and thaw it each day. But I would try the baby food first--I had 14 cats at one point, and they would all go for it.


I grew up with two cats, about 6 months apart. When one went, the other mourned it terribly, was never the same. I'm sure that is effecting this one. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job, though.


Best of luck!

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Yes, we seem to be going to the vet every two weeks for an evaluation, but it just seems that I can never remember the quantity of information she keeps giving me.


I can and will try the syringe method. Maybe I should have mentioned before that I have a pukey cat. Her whole life she has had a sensitive tummy, so I feel like I need to be careful in force feeding.


How much would you recommed, and how often?


Thanks for offering your wealth of knowledge!!!



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My 12 year old cat lost a huge amount of weight after my eldest cat passed away last year (he was 12 at the time himself). At first I thought she was just depressed over losing her male companion. As it turned out, she had a thyroid problem too.


Now she has been on Tapazole for several months. She gained back 4 pounds (she was down to 4 pounds, so now she is up to 8). She never had a problem eating, but now the food actually sticks to her ribs! She isn't very active, because she is 12 and does seem rather sad. Mine also is a "pukey cat", but not so much now.


But the Tapazole keeps her healthy, she is on it for life, and we have no issues with her bodily functions. At her follow-up, the vet said she was doing very well. The medication was a life saver for her.

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