Yesterday I took Lucy (dog) and Merry (cat) to see Dr. Alberto at Healing Paws Veterinary Care. What a great experience! Merry had meowed the whole way there… and he can be crotchety if he doesn’t like what you’re doing to him, but he behaved very well for Dr. Alberto and the clinic staff. Lucy, of course, would do anything for a treat, so no problem there!
I asked Dr. Alberto to do a thorough checkup and take blood samples (he even got a urine sample from Merry!). All Lucy’s tests came back perfect, but she does need to lose a couple of pounds. But Merry’s thyroid was high normal, so we are doing a further test of his blood to look at the Free T4 (FT4) levels. All his other tests were great and his heart rate at the clinic was 200 beats/minute which is high normal and certainly not excessive for a cat under stress (Merry was not happy going to the vet!). A higher than normal heart rate is one symptom of hyperthyroidism.
They are both scheduled for teeth cleaning in August, but we might need to deal with Merry’s thyroid first as hyperthyroidism can cause heart damage. Let’s hope everything goes well… even if Merry has to go away for radiation therapy! My cat Diesel was treated for hyperthyroidism with radiation at the University of Saskatchewan Veterinary Teaching Hospital… it saved his life and turned him from a thin cat with a poor coat into a plump, thick-furred, plush toy! But most likely Merry’s thyroid levels will just need monitoring for the foreseeable future. If it becomes necessary, I will opt for the safe and effective radiation treatment over life-long medication that has some nasty side-effects… or a restrictive, unpalatable low-iodine diet (which Veterinary Endocrinologist Dr. Mark E. Peterson doesn’t believe is the solution anyway).
[UPDATE: The Free T4 test was normal, so Merry is okay! We will simply monitor his thyroid over the next few years. Plus, I found out from Dr. Ina that there’s a clinic here in Vancouver that does the radiation treatment for hypothyroidism, so Merry wouldn’t have to be subject to the stress of being flown to Saskatchewan. Yay!]