- Wednesday, 03 May 2017 13:19
- Dr. Smith
- Hits: 868
I get asked that question almost daily when talking to owners about a medical problem with their cats. I've been blessed so far in that I've been fortunate enough to avoid most of the medical issues that can be avoided with my kitties. They've been a healthy bunch for me all my life, with the exception of one as a child who died of feline leukemia.
Well, a few weeks ago, I diagnosed my husband's furbaby, Jelly Bean, with hyperthyroidism. This is a disease that is commonly developed mid to late life in cats as a benign growth on the thyroid gland, making it over-produce thyroid hormones. This begins to cause an acceleration in metabolism, weight loss, increased hunger, and other signs. If left untreated, it puts the body basically into overdrive and can lead to multiple organ failures, wasting, and eventually death.
There are a few treatment options out there for hyperthyroidism. There is a food which, when fed EXCLUSIVELY, can control the thyroid hormone levels. There is daily drug, methimazole, which blocks the hormone production so that the thyroid tumor can't accelerate the metabolism. The first 2 options weren't an option for Jelly Bean since she is one of 2 cats, and she is a bit persnickety when it comes to people doing things to her that she doesn't want done (and we'd have to do them daily for the rest of her life). She has a food allergy (we don't know to what) so the food wasn't a good choice, and she is an excellent food thief. The thyroid food would also not be appropriate for the other cat in the house. Jelly Bean is also otherwise in remarkably good health for a 12 1/2 year old cat. These first 2 options are also only treatment for a continually evolving, progressing thyroid nodule. We haven't solved the problem, only addressed the symptoms with these treatments.
A surgery to remove all or part of the thyroid gland is another treatment option. There are certain risks and complications involved with a surgical solution that I did not want to potentially deal with, so I quickly dismissed this as a treatment option.
For that reason, my husband and I chose to put her through a radioactive iodine treatment. My husband dropped off Jelly Bean this morning at a hospital in Wilmington where she will receive a dose of iodine 131. We expect to be able to pick her up late Friday. We expect that she will be cured and go on to live the rest of her life as a very independent, headstrong, healthy kitty, medication-free. What would you do if it was YOUR cat, Dr. Smith? I chose the cure with iodine 131. It is more expensive up front, but it is a CURE. This treatment option may not have been possible for me if Jelly Bean was not otherwise healthy or if I was not financially able to swing it.
- Friday, 10 February 2017 15:09
- Dr. Smith
- Hits: 3635
Does your cat yowl and pace in the night? Does (s)he constantly pester and nag for food? Does (s)he have a weight issue? These can be signs of health issues indeed, but they can also just be symptoms of a very bored cat. One great way to enrich your cat's environment is through food puzzles. No, they aren't just for dogs! Cat trees, scratching posts, and other things like that are also great things for your cat's happiness and mental health.
This site has everything you probably want to know about food puzzles, from the fancy store-bought variety to simple things you can make at home for free.
- Tuesday, 28 March 2017 16:57
- Dr. Smith
- Hits: 1934
At Coastal Cat Clinic, we care exclusively for the pet cats of Jacksonville and surrounding areas. But we don't see Savannahs and other hybrid cats (the Bengal is the only exception). Why? Well, we are a small, lightly staffed clinic dedicated to routine procedures such as vaccines and spays/neuters, dentistries, and taking care of our patients when they develop common illnesses. Our facilities are small and our hospital cages are cat-sized. Many of the hybrid cats are quite large (and just wouldn't fit comfortably in a hospital cage if needed), and their behavior is often unpredictable, especially in stressful situations (vet visit), especially with the earlier crosses. Yes, they are beautiful, but many times they just do not demonstrate behaviors that make them safe to work with on a day-to-day basis. Personnel safety is a big issue here. We want to keep you AND your cat AND the staff safe.
We agree wholeheartedly with the American Association of Feline Practicitoners' postition statement on hybrid cats, available to view at this link. If you click on the "Download - 2017 position statement on hybrid cats" link, you will get a very well written and informative document about hybrid cats. I even learned a few things myself! :)
Many people don't realize as well that most of the vaccines that would normally be given to domestic cats are not actually licensed for use in non-domestic cats. That means that in some cases, you can't even legally give a rabies vaccine to a hybrid cat. In some cases, vaccination may be permitted, but if the hybrid were to bite or scratch someone, it would still be treated as an unvaccinated animal and the state or local authorities can demand euthanasia and rabies testing of the animal because no time for rabies shedding periods is known for the hybrid cats.
Again, hybrid cats are beautiful, but they come with a lot of responsibility and unpredictable behaviors that most owners aren't really aware of and most are unprepared to deal with.
- Friday, 03 February 2017 08:23
- Dr. Smith
- Hits: 3585
Kitten season is in its conception phase right now (insert obligatory spay/neuter cheer here), so when you may be in a situation of trying to care for orphaned kittens, this web site has excellent information on care and feeding and expected behaviors at each age stage. We highly recommend it for experienced and inexperienced foster kitty parents.