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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20161
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience.
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My 11 year old cat was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last

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My 11 year old cat was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last year. She was initially tried on the tablets but she refused to take them and the distress in forcing them became an issue due to her heart murmur, so vet suggested y/d food, she started ok with this but for the last few months have refused to eat it. So we have had to go on to the old cat biscuits to get her to eat. She now eats constantly or drinks, has become extremely thin and regularly throws up (sometimes just froth) she has also had very loose stools for some time and is not going in the litter tray anymore, and her breathing has become very heavy. We can't consider either surgery or iodine treatment as they would require a stay over at vets and my other cat simply will not let her back in the house. He already attacks her on an increasing aggressive way and she spends most of her time under the table or in a box if she finds one laying around.
Is there anything i can do or am i just prolonging her life unnecessarily?
Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 13 years. Thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear about this situation with Elizabeth and her hyperthyroidism. One of the options that I'd present to you at this time is the methimazole (what the tablets she was on before) being compounded into a topical formulation that can be placed on the inner ear for medicating her. Those cats that don't take the oral medication and aren't an option for surgery or for iodine therapy can benefit from the use of the methimazole as a topical. The key here is to find a compounding pharmacist that can get this compounded. Here in the US, this is pretty easily obtained. I'm not sure what the availability is there in the UK. I would ask your vet to see if they can track down this option.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your answer, the only issue with this is i am currently three months pregnant and cannot be exposed to methimazole due to death of the baby, we also have a baby in the house who can not come in contact. The chances of this happening in this form is a lot higher as cat is able to wipe off solution around house.

I am also concerned that she is further along as we never had an issue with the loose stools before initial diagnosis

That risk then makes the use of topical methimazole not worth it. The loose stools are actually pretty common with hyperthyroid cats. It is due to the increased metabolism not letting the stools get processed normally. The loose stools are a part of the disease. I wouldn't say having loose stools causes any great discomfort, but it can be messy and unpleasant for owners. As long as she's still enjoying life, then I wouldn't say you're prolonging things in a bad way. If she wasn't being social, not eating, seeming to be very dumpy and depressed - then a quality of life issue would be at hand.
Elizabeth, can you let me know what I'm not addressing. I want to do way better than provide a poor service at this time for you and your little one.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Pretty much told to leave as is and i dont really find that a satisfactory answer. Nothing i can really take to my vet as an alternative

Ok. Are you most concerned about options for treating the hyperthyroidism or options to help control the other cat bothering / attacking her? I'm going to be honest and say that the options for the hyperthyroidism are exhausted. If you can't do the surgery, the oral methimazole, the topical methimazole, the y/d diet or the iodine therapy - then options are at an end there. Your vet has done an excellent job here of going over those options and unfortunately there aren't other options.
As far as the behavioral issue with the other cat, the best thing to try here is a plug in feline specific calming pheromone diffuser called Feliway. It can be obtained and used in the house to see if it can help to ease the tension that is present. Here is a link on it.
This is meant to be a back and forth discussion so please let me know what I am missing.
Dr. Bruce and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That is a more satifsfactory answer, I am aware of feliway and unfortunately does nothing, I was more concerned about the treatment for my poorly cat as I don't feel she is enjoying her life at the moment and wanted something else to take to my vet but if there isn't anything else then I need to discuss what my options are with making her comfortable going forward or what else.
Thank you