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Radioactive Therapy For Hyperthyroidism

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by Graceful-Lily, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Graceful-Lily

    Graceful-Lily Thread Starter *Alien* Top Cat

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    I was thinking about radioactive therapy for Felix's hyperthyroidism. Does anyone know anything about this? I don't mind giving him his pills twice a day but I'm afraid this terrible thing has robbed us of more years together. How long should I expect him to live if he's only taking tapazole for his hyperthyroidism?

    He was diagnosed about 6 months ago and I don't know how I feel continuing with the tapazole long term.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018

  2. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I have not seen a negative response on here about the radioactive therapy. Now, there may be some, but I, personally, haven't run across one. Every cat is different, but so far the responses I've seen about this have been overwhelmingly positive.
     

  3. Graceful-Lily

    Graceful-Lily Thread Starter *Alien* Top Cat

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    Thank you. His second batch of tapazole is almost finished and I've been calling around but the veterinarians are charging so much just to place the medication in my hand. I also don't think this will work for him long term because of our lifestyle and his previous medical history. I'd like to have this cured. I heard they don't live too long on medication alone (approximately 24 months - 5 years). The tapazole is also still making him sick. I called an emergency clinic and they quoted me $185 for consultation only. If the entire treatment is anymore than $2,155, I won't be able to afford it because that's all I have left.
     
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  4. Aieko

    Aieko TCS Member Adult Cat

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    I haven't seen any bad reviews on radioactive therapy, all the reviews on radioactive therapy have been extremely positive, there are, of course, a few risks to doing this treatment but all in all, I've only seen positive results.
     
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  5. Graceful-Lily

    Graceful-Lily Thread Starter *Alien* Top Cat

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    I just called the clinic that diagnosed him. He needs to have a check up anyway so I'll see if I can get a referral to the emergency clinic and take it from there. I live in Ontario so I'm not sure what the cost would be. Seems like it would be expensive but definitely worth it in the end. He's only 8 years old. It would be a shame if his life was cut short because of his thyroid.

    Update: I called the vet that diagnosed him and he said he'll call the emergency clinic and send a referral for me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
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  6. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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  7. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I've only read bad things about the pills to be honest. The owners wished they had done radioactive therapy earlier on because even with pills the disease did some irreparable damage. If my cats end up with the disease I'm definitely going the radioactive route.
     
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  8. Antonio65

    Antonio65 TCS Member Top Cat

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    My opinion is to have your cat treated with radio-iodine as soon as possible, and to stop methimazole as soon as possible.

    Methimazole is not a cure for hyperthyroidism, is a way to keep the side effects of this disease under control.
    Methimazole's function is to keep thyroid hormones level down, but the thyroid is getting worse and worse every day, and in order to keep the hormones at bay you need to adjust/increase the dosage periodically.
    That's why you need to re-check the thyroid every 4-6 weeks. This is the time needed for the drug to have an effect on the disease.

    Unfortunately hyperthyroidism also affects a cat's heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas, and methimazole can't do anything to avoid it. Furthermore, the methimazole is also causing irreparable damages to liver and stomach.
    That's why in some cases the eargel form is preferred over the pills.
    Many many vets do not agree on the damages from methimazole. My cat had severe and irreversible damages to her liver. Another member of this forum had the same situation with her cat. So, vets are wrong.

    The only effective and definitive cure for HT is the radio-iodine.
    It is a one-off injection. After a few days the cat can be taken home and everything will be fine from that moment on.
     

  9. Graceful-Lily

    Graceful-Lily Thread Starter *Alien* Top Cat

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    Thank you for this. I talked to my mother and we are definitely going to have this done. Hopefully soon. I'm waiting for the clinic to call back. Vet should have sent the referral last night. He said they should call me with an appointment but it can't be changed.

    I agree 100%. The pills are so expensive and no one ever mentioned alternative treatments to me so I thought pills were the only way. He's only been on Methimazole for 6 months but he's been sick for much longer. I really hope too much damage hasn't been done.
     
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  10. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    There is a prescription food for hyperthyroid cats, Hills Y/D. The ingredients are poor quality but it may be helpful to some cats who aren't candidates for other treatments.
     
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  11. Graceful-Lily

    Graceful-Lily Thread Starter *Alien* Top Cat

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    I've heard about this food. I will look into it. After doing more research, I want to get him off the pills as soon as possible. He only has about 7 days of medication left. Hopefully I get a consultation appointment before then.
     
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  12. Antonio65

    Antonio65 TCS Member Top Cat

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    My cat never liked that food... :(
     

  13. Antonio65

    Antonio65 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Keep in mind that the treatment with the radio-iodine isn't a straightforward thing.
    Be wary of a clinic that wants to do it in a hurry.

    The vets at that clinic should see all the blood works in the last months, then they should perform a scintigraphy of your cat.
    It is a scan using a radioactive injection (peretechnate) that binds with the thyroid, the salivary glands and any ectopic mass that might be elsewhere in a cat's body, namely the lungs.
    From the result of this scintigraphy, the vets will be able to tell if the cat is a candidate of the therapy. In the terrible case of some ectopic masses in other regions of the cat's body, it is likely that the therapy won't be done.
    The scintigraphy will also tell the vets how large is the thyroid mass to be treated, and this will allow them to use the right amount of radio-iodine.
    Too low a dose will make the treatment useless.
    Too high a dose could make the cat HYPO-thyroid with no chance of recovery.

    Several clinics perform the scintigraphy in house, generally on the same day of the radio-iodine injection.

    EDIT: My cat had her scintigraphy and the I-131 injection done on the same day, a Tuesday. She was released from the hospital on the next Friday.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018

  14. Graceful-Lily

    Graceful-Lily Thread Starter *Alien* Top Cat

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    That sounds expensive. Does anyone know what the rough estimate of all this will cost us?

    I think it would be best to get more tapazole in the mean time until they tell me what's going to happen. I don't think they'll treat him until about April? They only do so many cats a month and there is a waitlist with some.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  15. Antonio65

    Antonio65 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Mostly it depends on the geographic area where the clinic is.
    I'm Italian and live in Italy.

    Because there are no facilities in this third world country to perform the radio-iodine therapy, I had to go abroad, to Belgium. It was last year in August.
    I paid €950, including all exams, visits, ultrasound scans, x-ray, scintigraphy and the I-131 injection. Plus 4 days hospitalization.

    It was the same amount of money I would have spent for 12-14 months of methimazole and periodic blood works.

    Unfortunately I know that somewhere else it might be much more expensive.
     
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  16. Graceful-Lily

    Graceful-Lily Thread Starter *Alien* Top Cat

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    That's decent. I'm willing to spend whatever it cost. I love this cat more than I love myself. I live in Ontario so it's hard to find a solid price. There are only about 2 clinics I know of that do this treatment.
     
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  17. Antonio65

    Antonio65 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Hopefully in Canada the cost is lower than in US.
     
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  18. babiesmom5

    babiesmom5 TCS Member Super Cat

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    I agree with those here who advocate the I-131. My cat too had hyperthyroidism and at age 13 was treated with I-131. She was on Tapazole, but only short term until tests/arrangements could be made to do the I-131. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I only wish all cat diseases were this curable!

    In my case, the closest facility was in another state, but within driving distance.

    Are you anywhere near Windsor Canada? There is a I-131 facility near Pontiac, MI. It is a 1-131 facility in addition to being a full service vet hospital for cats.
    www.ecats.vet/radioiodine-131treatment.pml. The total cost for treatment, hospitalization etc is $1,400. This is reasonable for the U.S.

    Since facilities are limited there, you might want to explore options here just over the border.
     
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  19. Graceful-Lily

    Graceful-Lily Thread Starter *Alien* Top Cat

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    Windsor is too far. That's about a 5 hour drive. We couldn't afford such a trip. We don't have a good car. Mississauga Oakville will have to do for now.
     
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  20. FeralHearts

    FeralHearts TCS Member Alpha Cat

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