Wellness Exam Leads to Hyperthyroid Discovery
Minxx is one of the original P&P feline Mascots, just shy of her 17th birthday. She is in excellent health for a cat her age with exception to a recent diagnosis of Feline Hyperthyroidism. Fortunately we caught the disease in its very early stages due to her preventive wellness exams, and it's a treatable/manageable condition. We felt it was important to share her story to emphasize the importance of routine wellness exams for your pets, especially for animals aged 7yrs or older. Minxx's lab work was normal in April 2012, and abnormal in November 2012-- within just six months, we were faced with the need to treat her for a primary diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism with underlying Hypertension, Heart Murmur, possible Kidney Disease, and more-- as a result of the new diagnosis. Since dogs and cats age so much faster than humans, it's important to understand that how quickly disease and chronic health conditions can become on-set and oftentimes by the time they are discovered, it becomes more difficult and more complicated to treat.
Hyperthyroidism- What you need to know
Hyperthyroidism is one of the most common diseases of the middle-aged and older cat that effects the endocrine system-- much more common in fact, since the 1970s when first discovered in cats. It is a multi-system disorder caused by an increase in the amount of thyroid hormones produced by an enlarged thyroid gland. The enlargement is most often caused by a non-cancerous tumor. There seems to be a general lack of knowledge by the veterinary community or enough research available to understood what exactly causes the tumors and why the incidence continues to grow, however from all the information we've been able to gather, it seems likely that a combination of environmental factors could be responsible.
Typical treatment consists of anti-thyroid medication, surgery, or radioiodine (I-131) treatment. Alternatively, treatment with acupuncture and herbs can help to bring the body back into its own balance naturally over time. Surgery and the I-131 treatment are most immediate and effective at curing the disease. Based upon Minxx's age and assessment, she was a good candidate to receive the I-131 treatment and we are fortunate to have one of the nations's foremost experts of radioiodine in the Los Angeles area-- Dr Broome of Advanced Veterinary Medical Imaging.
A Balanced Approach
We chose to treat Minxx with a more comprehensive approach that includes both standard and alternative therapies to not only treat the symptoms with the I-131 (Western approach), but also treat the underlying cause/ imbalance with herbs to support the body before/after the radioiodine treatment, and now by adding the acupuncture to support her continued healing (Eastern approach), we believe she will make a full recovery. We think its important to have as much information and professional opinions as possible to help guide a pet caregiver into making the best decision for their pets. Our team of professionals included DTLAvets Drs Flores and Castaneda, Healing Touch Vets Dr Audra MacCorkle, and Dr Broome at AVMI. Each offered their best veterinary recommendation, and we chose a balanced approach for what was best for Minxx.
Schedule your pets for a wellness exam at least once a year, and twice a year if they are older. Having consistent lab reports run will give you a historical timeline of sorts so that when/if something does change for the worse, you have something to compare. Did you know that by the time trouble with the kidneys appear on lab work, 75% of their function is decreased and it is non-reversible? The best thing you can do as your pets caregiver is be aware and proactively monitor their health and wellness...Meow!
February is Responsible Pet Owner/Animal Guardian Month so it's the perfect time to spotlight pet care with the DTLA vets Wellness Clinics, now available 2x/month for your convenience. Check our events calendar for dates and call to book an appointment.
And for more pet care info on Pet Dental Month, importance of Spay/Neuter, and more.. read on!