Cat dying from hyperthyroidism - not sure what to do..

kato27

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I have a 17.5 year old cat who is truly my best friend. He was diagnosed with hyperthyroidudm this winter and we started him on the oral medication. He had adverse side effects - wouldn't eat, gagging, dizzy, spacey. Just looking at food made him gag and this is typically a cat who loves to eat anything and everything. We took him off the pills and feel he's too frail for the other treatments. We would prefer he lives out his life enjoying food when he can and feeling disoriented.

Over the past 2 months he has dropped even more weight from his already skinny frame. He wheezes when he breathes, drinks and eats. He asks for food and the barely eats. We have to try 5-7 cans each time to see if one of those flavors will appeal to him. When he does finally eat, it's not much and it appears to be some effort on his behalf. We have tried baby food, kitten food, high calorie supplements, you name it. He also just threw tonight too.

He sleeps all day and just drinks in between naps. We don't know if it's the right time to put him down or not. How do you know if it is? He is my childhood cat and I'm heartbroken. I just want to do what is best for him. Is he in pain? Should we put him down or should we just try to keep making him as comfortable as possible? If he dies on his own from this, will it be painful and scary for him?

Any advice? I'd really appreciate it!!!!

-AA
 

pushylady

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That's the hardest decision to make, and a very personal one. You have to see for yourself how he's doing day to day, and weigh up your love for him and fear of losing him against whether he's in a lot of pain.

We were faced with the decision to put to sleep our 16.5 year old cat a few years ago. She was in a fairly bad condition and only going downhill so that seemed the kindest thing to do, even though she would have lived a few more weeks or a month if we hadn't.

It's an awfully tough thing to decide. I think what you have to prioritize is the well being of your cat and ask yourself honestly if you're keeping him alive for your sake or his. :hugs:
 

orientalslave

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There is more than one medication to treat hyperthyroid cats, it might be worth seeing if a change will help.

Unfortunately the side effects you describe also seem to occur when the cat is under-treated - my old cat ate far better when I was on top of his pilling.  It was obvious when to get him put to sleep - he suddenly went downhill one weekend.  Also, he died from liver tumours not the hyperthyroid itself.

There's a Yahoo! group for hyperthyroid cat owners:

http://pets.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/feline-hyperT/?v=1&t=directory&ch=web&pub=groups&sec=dir&slk=10
 

linusandlucy

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What did you end up doing?  We are in the same boat right now with our 13 year old.  She has responded well to medication for 3 years but now the thyroid tumor has enlarged significantly and she has lost 2 pounds in 2 months.  Down to 7lbs and all the same signs you point to.  She is still interactive with our family and wants to be fed all the time but doesn't eat much.  I'm struggling with when the right time is because I don't want her to suffer or come home and have one of my children find her dead.  The vet says she isn't suffering now - probably just in some discomfort.  When is the right time??
 

stephenq

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I have a 17.5 year old cat who is truly my best friend. He was diagnosed with hyperthyroidudm this winter and we started him on the oral medication. He had adverse side effects - wouldn't eat, gagging, dizzy, spacey. Just looking at food made him gag and this is typically a cat who loves to eat anything and everything. We took him off the pills and feel he's too frail for the other treatments. We would prefer he lives out his life enjoying food when he can and feeling disoriented.

Over the past 2 months he has dropped even more weight from his already skinny frame. He wheezes when he breathes, drinks and eats. He asks for food and the barely eats. We have to try 5-7 cans each time to see if one of those flavors will appeal to him. When he does finally eat, it's not much and it appears to be some effort on his behalf. We have tried baby food, kitten food, high calorie supplements, you name it. He also just threw tonight too.

He sleeps all day and just drinks in between naps. We don't know if it's the right time to put him down or not. How do you know if it is? He is my childhood cat and I'm heartbroken. I just want to do what is best for him. Is he in pain? Should we put him down or should we just try to keep making him as comfortable as possible? If he dies on his own from this, will it be painful and scary for him?

Any advice? I'd really appreciate it!!!!

-AA
There is a prescription food that treats hyperthyroidism when they can't take meds, hill's Y/D.  Talk to your vet about it.
 
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