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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Henry and I Have Some Health Decisions to Make

 

On Monday morning Henry and I  drove to the vet's office because he was due for his annual check up. 

The other reason why we were going was because he has been randomly throwing up for the past two weeks and I suspected his hyperthyroid numbers were either too high.


As Henry glanced towards the exam room I was was convinced he knew exactly why I brought him into the office because 


he's been hungry all the time and when he finishes licking my bowl (this picture was taken just now) of yogurt he meows for more and consequently doesn't gain weight. He's been hovering around 7 pounds since he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism a year ago. 

As it turned out, Henry was right. His vet told me his vomiting was a non-specific sign of underlying problems so she:

- listened to his heart beat and noticed that it had a gallop rhythm 
- felt his belly and found he had a mass or thickened intestines in his lower belly

After she checked him out she said she couldn't give him any of his shots because he was so ill and recommended either (or all) of the following:

- a Senior Screen to evaluate his organ function including his thyroid
- X-rays to check out his belly
- an echocardiogram consult with a cardiac consult

I thought I was going to be told he needed the usual blood panel to check his thyroid levels and there I was faced with three expensive choices. Overwhelmed, I chose to make an appointment for tomorrow afternoon for a 2nd opinion from his regular vet and then I will go from there. 


As we drove home Henry and I did some deep thinking. What test or tests should we do? What is the better choice? In the meantime we thought we would ask you, our readers, what you would do in this situation. Has your dog or cat gone through this very situation? Please send us your advice. We would appreciate your help! 

Thank you, 

Henry and April







13 comments:

  1. Yes, I have gone throught this same situation almost exactly, with my cat Tiamat. I would go for an Xray first. See what that mass they feel is. In Tiamat's case, it was discovered that she had a tumor growing in her intestines that was blocking food from going all the way through. Hence the throwing up. From the Xrays, we were able to make the best decisions that we could, going forward. Tiamat did not have thyroid issues, so that is the only difference between Henry and Tiamat that I can see.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story about Tiamat and I am so sorry she has a tumor. I never would've thought throwing up would be a clue that a tumor was the reason for it. I hope your kitty is doing better now!

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  2. I am going through similiar situations with my cat Gracie. Gracie has in all probability lymphoma. She had to be rushed to the ER for breathing difficulties.But I've gone through lots of $$ on tests. She is worse now than before. So do what is the most gentle and least stressful for your kitty. You know your cat better than anyone.

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  3. From previous experience, I would also say have the x-ray done first.

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    1. Thanks, Pam, for your advice! If Henry's thyroid levels are "off" then I will put the x-ray option at the top of the list.

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  4. I also agree about having the xrays done first and I also agree with Abby about "what is the most gentle and least stressful for your kitty"

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    1. Wow! You are the 3rd reader to recommend x-rays and because of that I will continue to put that option at the top of the list. I hope it doesn't come to that though, obviously. Thanks for your concern.

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  5. Dear sweet friend. I am so sorry you have to go through this. We are going through this too. When I adopt my pets, I usually get the old guys that I want to live a happy life before they die. I give them love and we become the best of friends forever and ever. I know that adopting an older dog can come with some problems, but recently the problems have been a few thousand dollars. I don't have that kind of money. So, I was given choices. So I cried. Cried to the Dr. cried to my family. just cried. prayed. Had to make a choice. You will be given choices and you will make the best one you can make for you and your bestest friend. Please, I repeat, do not let anyone make you feel guilty for choosing a way that does not cost as much as the "best" way. We give them a good life and we love them - and they love us unconditionally. I just hold him - even though he is huge, and we talk and cuddle. Life's simple joys. Make your choice. Not someone else's. love you miss you wish i had my running buddy here with me ;)

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    1. I'm so sorry, Deb, that you are having to or had to make one of the toughest decisions a person could ever make. It is so heart wrenching to think about the inevitable with all pets as they get older.
      Because I know you personally I know you are a caring person and that shows even more so because you adopted an older dog who would've been passed over due to his/her age.
      I understand what it is like to not be able to afford high vet bills and it certainly makes things terribly tough on both you and your dog.
      I will take your advice to heart. Thank you.

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  6. In this case I think your vet was on the right track with their initial recommendations. We sometimes also consider ultrasound of the heart (for the rhythm) or of the belly (for the mass).

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    1. How comforting to get an opinion from a vet! Thank you for your advice! If you read my recent post you will see that Henry's regular vet didn't disagree with the newly hired vet and if Henry's thyroid level is "off" I will consider your suggestion.

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  7. A blockage in the belly can be urgent.... I would also start there. The heart is important too so I would begin with those 2 items if your budget can manage it. No idea of the costs but I can't imagine it's cheap.
    Poor guy, I hope he's not uncomfortable. :(

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    1. Thank you for your advice. For some reason his regular vet didn't comment much about Henry's belly. Now that I've gotten a 2nd opinion I will take your advice under serious consideration.

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