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September 16th, 2010

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12:57 am - Feline & Partner Worries
Two weeks ago, we took teaotter's cat Buddy into the vet because he looked like he was losing weight. He'd lost a considerably quantity of weight (2 out of 12 pounds in 2 months), due to his thyroid levels being too high. Two months before, his levels were unchanged (he's already on thyroid medicine), so we increased the dosage, and he was rechecked today. He'd lost more weight, and we'll find out if his thyroid levels remain too high (which seems likely, since everything else looks fine). The vet suggests surgery, which in addition to being quite expensive (at least for our rather minimal finances), is definitely worrisome for a 16 year old cat. We'll find out more tomorrow.

I'm worried about Buddy, but I'm even more worried about Becca. As someone who did not grow up with cats, she handled Batty and DJ's deaths quite badly, and was significantly depressed for several months. She's even closer to Buddy. Becca just finished her novel and I'm finally getting to see more of her that I have for months, and am really stressed by the idea of Becca ending up depressed and upset for several months if we can't manage to get Buddy's weight stabilized. I wish there was more that I could do, but mostly we wait to see what the vet says tomorrow and then give it a try.

This has been an exceedingly difficult year - wretched finances for both Alice and I (including two separate instances of Alice getting large amounts of money stolen from her bank account or credit card (one instance of each)), feline death, and much of this has hit Becca hardest of all. However, in the midst of this, Becca wrote a truly amazing novel, work is finally picking up, and there are some other events that look very promising indeed, so I suspect that 2011 will be a very good year, but 2010 has been extremely hard (and from what I've been seeing here, I'm very far from alone in that). I'm impressed at how loving and stable my relationships with my partners have remained through all of this and even the worst stress and upset causes at most minor and short fights that are fully and rapidly resolved. However, stress in almost every other part of my life makes me want to hide until 2011.
Current Mood: worriedworried
Current Music: This Year - The Mountain Goats

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 16th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
How was someone able to steal money from Alice's accounts? Was it identity theft? Was she able to get the money back?
[User Picture]
Date:September 16th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
The first time, someone in Mississippi got her credit card number and stole the money. She got it all back within 2 weeks. This time, someone stole her wallet, and she's in the process of working to get her money back.
[User Picture]
Date:September 16th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
Hyperthyroidism doesn't require surgery in cats, generally. If the drugs don't work (which they don't in a lot of cats, and about 15% of cats -- including our Beltane -- are allergic to them), there is radioactive ablation, which is MUCH less stress on the cat than surgery. In cats, apparently, when some piece of thyroid tissue decides to go into overdrive, the rest of the thyroid just shuts down. Radioactive iodine is administered, and it nukes the overactive piece of tissue, leaving the rest of the normal thyroid tissue intact. There's a few days of lag, and then the normal thyroid picks up where it left off.

We used Radiocat, but they don't seem to have a center in Oregon, alas. Radiocat charged us $1500 for the therapy and 3 days of boarding (while she was too radioactive for human contact), and for a week after that, we had to flush Beltane's used litter, because we couldn't compost it or put it out with the garbage (too radioactive). (Also, she could be retreated for half the rate within 6 months if the ablation didn't knock everything out.) This was 3 or 4 years ago, and she's still quite healthy (knock wood) -- the worst part was the separation! But there was no complicated wound care, no antibiotics, and, really, no fuss. I expect a little research might find a similar business to Radiocat in Portland. I know it's expensive and your financial situation may not allow it, but I really recommend it over surgery, if it's at all possible.
[User Picture]
Date:September 16th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
Also, I feel for you all and Becca most -- I don't deal with animal death at all well (ironic for someone who once was obsessed with becoming a vet). She may be having what one of my writer friends describes as "postpartum depression" in the wake of completing her novel, too.

Hang in there. I'm hoping that Samhain will mark the beginning of a good new year.
[User Picture]
Date:September 17th, 2010 08:24 am (UTC)
Thank you for mentioning this. I'd heard of it, but I'd always dismissed it as too expensive. We don't really have the money for it now, either, but your comment helped me think about how I could go about getting the money for it -- and I feel very hopeful that we will.
[User Picture]
Date:September 17th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! I hope that the money comes together, and that you have as good an experience of the ablation as we did. Beltane is happy and healthy and purry at 14.5 years of age now.

They'll probably tell you not to cuddle your cat for more than 20 minutes a day. We laughed at them and explained that Beltane slept on us, often on our bellies or legs. The tech looked at us both dubiously and asked, "Are either of you pregnant or trying to get pregnant?" and looked very relieved when we said no. :) It was just as well, because she was STUCK to us like GLUE for at least a week after we got her back.
Date:September 16th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Good wishes for things going as well as possible.
[User Picture]
Date:September 16th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. :/ What is it with stuff getting stolen this year, anyway? We had those break-ins, too...

Maybe things will start fixing now, though. I know someone who has a cat with hyperthyroidism and she's lived for many years with it.
[User Picture]
Date:September 17th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
My sympathies to you all. I hope your kitty is feeling better soon, and I'm glad to hear there's promising news, too.

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