Cat Stories

Huggie – Hyperthyroid, Hypertensive and Only 1 Eye!

Huggie has hyperthyroidism

In my life there’s not much more important than Huggie, my 11 year old cat.

Huggie started to show symptoms of hyperthyroidism in 2013, he lost a significant amount of weight even though he was eating far more than he had done previously. Upon visiting the vets it was discovered Huggie was hyperthyroid and was prescribed Felimazole. After a few months the vet had established the correct dosage and the condition was controlled.

Having always struggled to remember to take any medication needed for myself I was disillusioned with the idea of having the administer tablets on a regular basis to Huggie for the remainder of his life. Hiding tablets in bits of meat and cheese worked but only for so long before he developed the skill of separating them from the food in which they were hidden.

Discussion with my vet lead me to two options, remove the thyroid glands through two operations or dealing with the thyroid using radioiodine, each an alternative to the drugs. In the 10 years Huggie has been with me there hasn’t been a single night he’s not stayed at home, with this in mind I was a little unsure that I’d wish him to be away from him for the two weeks as was necessary with the radioiodine treatment, however the vet warned me of the issues with dealing with the hyperthyroidism through removal via operation.

After giving the issue thought I made tentative steps towards contacting Andrew at the Hyperthyroid Cat Centre. Any reservations I had regarding sending Huggie for treatment vanished almost immediately after my initial conversation. While Andrew came across as knowledgeable (as you’d hope) I also got the impression that he had a real devotion to his work. The time spent going through the procedure, its risks (or lack of them) and its high success rate really put me at ease. A date for treatment was booked and all paperwork I needed to complete was forwarded. Having Huggie insured was obviously beneficial in this case, having Victoria contact them on my behalf made the process even easier.

Huggie arrived at the clinic for treatment and was given an examination before being taken into the care of the Centre. During this visit I spent time with Andrew going over the procedure ensuring I was knowledgeable of all steps in the process. Leaving Huggie in their care was not as difficult as I’d expected, the Centre had done much to ensure Huggie’s visit would be as comfortable as possible.

Unfortunately Andrew contacted me later that day with an unwelcome update. It appeared Huggie was suffering from high blood pressure, a condition he is likely to have had for some time. I was advised that treatment should be delayed to avoid complications, being already blind in one eye there was a significant risk that if a haemorrhage occurred it could affect his remaining sight; Huggie’s blood pressure needed lowering. Collecting Huggie, I was given suitable medication and was back to administering this hidden in food!

A couple of weeks later Huggie’s blood pressure was measured, the medication had worked and I had a cat with a near normal blood pressure. We travelled back to the Centre and treatment commenced. Welcome updates came on a daily basis from Joanne and Andrew, as to Huggie’s progress. It seemed like my boy was leaving an impression! I collected Huggie 10 days later; tests showed success and thyroid levels were looking great. Andrew was obviously happy with both the results and the radiation levels emitted from Huggie to let him be discharged. The final results would be seen in the next six months determined through three final blood tests.

Huggie was glad to be home, isolating him was not as difficult as expected. After a brief period of adjustment to only being allowed in one room he soon settled down. Had this been an issue Andrew reassured me that he would welcome him back to reside at the clinic for an additional period.

Huggie is now back to his usual old self, he appears to have put on some weight and seems very happy. He’s still on medication for his blood pressure and may be for his entire life. While the thought of having to administer this is not something I particularly cherish the medication is given less often and is a little smaller than the hyperthyroid drugs so it’s less of a burden. Had I not taken the radioiodine route it is likely that the condition of his blood pressure may not have been discovered, with likelihood that it may have resulted in premature death. If that alone was the only benefit of the treatment given I’d be happy but it wasn’t. The care and work of all at the Hyperthyroid Cat Centre has returned Huggie to his good old self, I’m extremely thankful to one and all for the dedication they have shown. I’d certainly not hesitate in recommending this treatment at the Hyperthyroid Cat Centre to anyone with a cat with hyperthyroidism.

The care and work of all at the Hyperthyroid Cat Centre has returned Huggie to his good old self, I’m extremely thankful to one and all for the dedication they have shown.