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sangtarah

Elder cat and thyroid/kidney

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My 14 year old cat just got bloodwork results. She had elevated thyroid and kidney markers. How elevated, I don’t know. During the exam last week, the vet couldn’t feel one of her kidneys, so it was a high suspicion. We went in because she is losing weight - 6.8 lbs after being over 7 for a couple years. I weighed her on our bathroom scale and she is 6.6 today (maybe not as accurate, I hope).  We are going to try thyroid meds and a special kidney diet. 

Realistically, how long do you think we have with her? She is still happy and active and loving! 

And any good tips on giving cats pills?

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I have had two elderly cats, one with renal issues and one with hyperthyroid. Both lived several years after their DX (cancer took out the hyperthyroid one-and she actually made it more than a year after the cancer DX as well). 

If she can’t do pills, a compounding pharmacy can put thyroid meds in a transdermal cream to put in her ear. 

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My 12yo cat (closer to 13 now) has been on thyroid meds for probably 6-8 months or so. He’s pretty much his usual self, which has always been a giant pain in my rear! 😛 

The only semi-reliable way for me to get pills into mine is to crush them and mix with a little wet cat food, which means I can only get non-coated pills. They also need to be non-coated because he’s often on dosages that aren’t manufactured.  The vet has offered me topical meds, but my cat would murder me for sure.  He took the pills wrapped in turkey or liver wurst a few times, but he’s never been very treat motivated, and turned them down after a while. So it’s crushing and mixing for life now.

It’s been crazy finding the right dose. We spent the first few weeks getting blood done every week, then we went to every 3 weeks, then we had a 3 month break.  Now we need another 3 week appt. to check the new dose. The levels for older cats are more narrow than those for younger ones.  I did start requesting the actual numbers from each visit because I was beginning to suspect that I was being had, but we do keep fluctuation *just below to *just above where he should be.  

He does get a little insane when we change dosage. There are usually 2-3 days when he’ll refuse to eat on time, and then decide 2am is just right.

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My 15 year old cat was diagnosed with early kidney failure a year ago.

The vet suggested more testing and giving her fluid therapy under her skin with a needle twice a week. That was going to cost $40 per week. Since kitty is old and not uncomfortable, we decided not to do that. Instead, to get her to take extra liquid, we mix her wet cat food with water until it is soupy, and she loves that.

She is still her same self so far, though more vocal. She yowls a lot for attention. I was not expecting her to live this long, but she acts fine and is happy.

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One of my cats who lived to be 18 was hyperthyroid for years.   We used pill pockets (soft treats) to give him pills for years, then a "pill popper" when he didn't want to eat the pill pockets.  Once he got used to the meds, it wasn't a big deal.   The thyroid medication was also very inexpensive.

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My cranky old lady kitty has been on thyroid meds for about 1 1/2 years. We use the gel that goes inside her ear & it is easy to do. She also has the beginning signs of kidney failure, so she is on a special diet. Since she went on her special diet, she has actually gained some weight (she was down before). She seems content and is even a little more active than she used to be.

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My cat actually lived about five years after being diagnosed with kidney issues at 14.  She died last October at 19.  

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Hugs.

With my cat who had kidney issues, we used the transdermal ear cream (in addition to a kidney-friendly diet). Much later (after a few years), I gave him IV fluids at home. He lived for quite a few more years after his initial diagnosis & still acted like his same old spunky, busy self the entire time to the very end.

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My cranky old girl lived for a good couple years after the thyroid and kidney diagnoses, and she was very active (and more vocal) right up until the end. She'd always been afraid of my younger boy cats, but toward the end she gave off a "don't mess with me, you whippersnappers" vibe and they left her alone. She looked a little rough and unkempt for the last month, and then died during a nap.

We gave her pills mixed with wet food. We turned down fluid therapy. I think she was on a special diet for a while, but hated the food and refused to eat it after a while, so we switched back.

Gosh, I miss her. It's been almost a year.

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We also got a water fountain that had circulating water to encourage my KD cat to drink more. 

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Thanks all!! You have given me hope that the end may be awhile off. 

So far, the royal canin renal support food is not a hit. We got a sample pack of 6. She has tried 3. She kinda sorta likes the dry food. 

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4 hours ago, sangtarah said:Thanks all!! You have given me hope that the end may be awhile off. So far, the royal canin renal support food is not a hit. We got a sample pack of 6. She has tried 3. She kinda sorta likes the dry food. 

There are three different Royal Canin dry foods for kidney disease. My girl refused the wet food, and one of the dry foods a little bit, but not much. We changed her to the savory dry kidney food and she likes that. & has even put on some weight with it. So, maybe trying a different variety of dry food would work better.

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I've got a 17 year old cat with high-end-of-normal kidney values; he's been in our family since he was 6 months old.  He was 12.5 pounds as a prime-aged adult, then dropped to10.5 pounds, then to 8.5 pounds.  Vet says if he drops anymore, they want to start a special kidney diet, and then added "most cats don't like the food on that diet."  Well, I'll be!  Giving a cat who is losing weight food they don't like?  I decided I would not do that and that I would let the cat go peacefully when he needed to.  In the meantime, I got him kitten food, which he loves, so he has put a 1/2 pound back on.  As mine has aged, he also yowls more for attention, just like Storygirl mentioned above.

Edited by Reefgazer

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