Sunday, April 21, 2013

Let the Kitty Kissing Commence

When I woke up Saturday morning, Vante's 10 day post-treatment restrictions were lifted!  So you know what that means... she was smoothered with kisses Saturday, all day.  I'm not sure she appreciated the intense kitty cuddling, but I sure did!

It was also nice to not have to wash my hands after I pet her every time.  I had to invest heavily in hand lotion to survive.

I'm also VERY happy to report that Vante isn't limping anymore.  So whew!  No trip to the vet over a hurt hip/knee/ankle. 

It's been very nice not to worry about giving her pills every morning and night.  I'm completely enjoying that and I know she is also. 

I was sick this week with a pretty bad neck and back ache.  So she and I got our quilt on.  Here she is offering up her opinion on a quilt lay-out.  I took her sitting upon the corner, as the equivalent of a kitty thumbs-up. 
Vantedecided that this quilt needed some work.  It did not meet her exacting standards.  So I pulled some blocks and it's still in progress.  Hopefully she'll approve of the next iteration. 

She also watched a little TV with me and 'helped' me surf the web.

The folks at the Feline Hyperthyroid Treatment Center gave Vante an adorable pink mousie as a parting gift.  She enjoyed playing with it immensely.  We may have a new favorite mousie toy!

Vante says thank-you for the mousie Bobbi.  She loves it! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Update

Overall Vante is doing very well.  She's being her normal sweet, ornery self.

 I am keeping a close eye on her for several reasons.  She sneezed the entire first day she was home, but hasn't really since then.  (Although I wasn't home much of yesterday.)  She also seems to be favoring her back left leg and a bit less sure-footed than normal.  I'm guessing those last two are related.

As far as post-treatment care has gone I've learned a few things.
1-Hand Sanitizer is not the same as washing your hands.  I MUST wash my hands (even though hand sanitizer is SOOO much easier.)

2-Don't pull too hard on the gloves, they rip.

3-Use only clumping cat litter.  You can't clean the non-clumping kind well enough & you'll end up throwing it all away.

4-Don't be lazy.  If you throw away all the non-clumping litter, immediately put litter back in the box.  (Apparently the empty litter box pissed Vante off and she clearly expressed her anger quite literally.  Luckily it was on a bag on the linoleum.)

5-I touch Vante way more frequently than I thought and my hands are getting quite dry from all the hand washing. 

This video was taken Thursday, just a few minutes after we got home.  Vante sprawled on the floor as big as she could get and enjoyed some serious back scratching.

Ya'll have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Vante's back home!

I picked up Vante this morning and she's is her gorgeous, ornery self.  She was so talkative at the clinic this morning.  I could hear her talking to Bobbi as she was pulled out of her cage and put back into her carrier.  She was just full of opinions!

They treated four cats this week and it sounds like that was more than normal for them.  So they were quite busy.  Also, two or three of the cats (Vante included) were talkers.  One would start meowing, then the others would chime in.  I guess they had a little chorus going at times.

Vante ate and drank well yesterday, but hadn't eaten much this morning.  She's eaten a little bit in the 2+ hours we've been home, so I'll monitor that but I think she'll be fine.  

I spoke with Bobbi and she told me that I had incorrectly referred to the radioactive iodine treatment as R131, when it's actually I131.  So I've gone back and fixed all my incorrect blog postings.  Thanks for setting me straight Bobbi!

I also found out that the bilateral thyroid adenoma just means that her thyroid was overactive on both sides, which I guess is normal.  If you look at the below image from the gamma camera you'll see that Vante's left thyroid is more overactive than her right thyroid.  (I think this is so neat!)

When Vante got home she checked out her water pitcher, made her rounds of her downstairs domain and then promptly laid on the floor and stretched out as much as she possibly could.  I think she was so happy to be home and stretch out on carpet.  Bless her heart, I spent probably an hour just hanging out, scratching her when she wanted it, tossing toys to her and making sure she was all set up and comfy.

Here are my take-home instructions until Friday, April 19:
1. Keep cat indoors
2. A small amount of radioactivity is being excreted in her urine and feces.  Use a plastic liner for the litterbox.  Wear gloves to clean the litterbox.  When cleaning the box put it in a plastic bag and immediately take it out of the house.  Put the gloves in the bag to be thrown away too.  Wash hands.
3. If she vomits or anything else outside the litterbox, clean it up ASAP while wearing gloves and immediately throw it away outside the house.  Put the gloves in the bag to be thrown away too.
4. Anybody under 18, pregnant or trying to get pregnant shouldn't be around the cat.
5. Close contact is discouraged.  Avoid face-to-face contact and contact with your cat's saliva.  Wear gloves if you have to pill your cat.  Don't let the cat sleep in the bed with you.  You can hold and pet your cat for short periods of time, but wash your hands immediately afterwards.
6. If your cat walks on the counters, use a cutting board for food preparation or thoroughly clean all food preparation surfaces before use.
7. If your cat becomes ill, take them to your normal veterinarian but immediately tell the front desk that she has had I131 treatment (for the protection of staff under 18, pregnant or trying to get pregnant).

Approximately one month after discharge Vante's thyroid needs to be rechecked by our normal veterinarian.  

So, as you can see I'm going to have my hands a litter fuller than normal keeping up with Vante.  Right now her radioactivity is less than .1, and it will, over the course of 60 days, go down to zero.  People get sent home every day after drinking this, so I'm not worried.  I'm keeping the hand sanitizer close by though. 
 I want to extend a big thank-you to the staff at the Feline Hyperthyroid Treatment Center.  They took excellent care of Vante for me.  Thanks Bobbi and Dr. Lynch!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vante's doing great

I just spoke to Bobbi and Vante is doing great.  She's been eating and drinking well.  She's even been behaving herself.  So I'm picking her up first thing tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.   YEAH!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Vante got her I131 treatment today

Vante is doing great!

Before we left the house.  She was not a happy camper because I interrupted her morning sun-nap.
I just got off the phone with Bobbi from the hospital where Vante is getting her treatment.  Bobbi will be looking after Vante while she's there.  Bobbi said, while laughing, that Vante is a big talker but behaved well for the treatment.  Apparently she meowed the entire time and showed off her elaborate personality.

Here is what they did today:
-Injected some liquid under her skin that will cling to her thyroid.
Arrived at the hospital early, so we cuddled in the car for 15 minutes.
-They sat Vante on a gamma camera for several minutes with her front paws stretched out.  This took a photo of her thyroid & any other things in the area that the injected liquid clings to, like cancer.  Vante doesn't have cancer but she did have bilateral thyroid adenoma on both sides, which isn't cancer, but just of note.  (I didn't get details but will try to figure out what it means.)

-The doctor studied her thyroid level results, the gamma photo of her & calculated up the correct dosage of radioactive iodine to give Vante.  This is the same stuff that they give humans (except humans just drink it out of a glass).

-The radioactive iodine was given as an injection under the skin (like a vaccination) between the shoulder blades.  The medicine gravitates to the thyroid & whatever it was they injected earlier. 

Waiting in the exam room for the veterinarian.
The second they put Vante in her temporary home apparently she had her face in the food dish and was eating like a champ.  Which is good, because if she eats & drinks well then she'll be able to go home on Thursday.  Her temporary home is nice and quiet, she can't see other cats, and will be able to watch a cat video of birds, butterflies, and the ocean. 

They already know that my second hyperthyroid cat, Amelia, will be coming for the same treatment in 2 weeks.  They showed me around; it's a nice, clean and large facility.  I was impressed and quite pleased with the amount of time they spent showing me around and answering all my questions.  I truly appreciated that. 

Tomorrow they will call after they scan her to find out her radiation levels.  Then they can determine if she can go home early in the morning or later in the day.  They also said they would send a photo of Vante for her blog.  YEAH!

So Vante is doing great & she's in good hands. (I can't wait until she comes back home.  I miss her already!)

On April 11, 2013 this post was edited to correct a mistake.  The radioactive iodine treatment is called I131, not R131.  Thanks Billi for catching my mistake! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

14 hours to I131

I had a chat with Vante this afternoon about her I131 treatment tomorrow.  I told her what she should expect and that she would have to stay at the hospital for 2 nights and 3 days.  She was unimpressed.  So I suspect that I'll be more bothered by the whole thing than she will be.

I've got her medical records, a CD with her x-rays on it, and a bag of food properly labeled with her name & what type it is.  I'm currently washing a blanket she likes, and if they have to throw it away afterwards that is perfectly fine with me.  I'm also sending Vante with an extra "Happy Brush" in the hopes that somebody will brush her while she's there b/c I know she would truly enjoy that.

I have a ton of questions to ask tomorrow morning when I drop her off.  I'll post all the information they pass along to me tomorrow.

As a side note, one of my other cats, Amelia, just tested positive for hyperthyroidism last week.  Since I'm trying to get away from pilling my cats twice a day,  Amelia will be going in for I131 treatment in two weeks.  They didn't have any more room to squeeze her in tomorrow.

For those folks who Googled this treatment and found Vante's Blog.  I hope all this information helps you learn more about the procedure and decide if it is right for you and your kitty.  If you have any questions, leave a note in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer them for you. 

On April 11, 2013 this post was edited to correct a mistake.  The radioactive iodine treatment is called I131, not R131.  Thanks Billi for catching my mistake!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Vante Chillaxaing

It's 4 days until Vante's treatment.  She hasn't had any hyperthyroid medicine since Tuesday morning; it's been nice not having to worry about her medicine twice a day.  I think she appreciates not having to take it also. 

Here are a few photos of Vante being her ornery, cute self.  Enjoy & have a great weekend!
Everybody loves a good box!

Auntie Marie came to visit & couldn't resist putting toys all over Vante.  (My husband does this to all our cats quite often.)  Vante just laid there and let Marie do this.  She was quite content and happy.

This is Vante's morning nap spot.  The tunnel gets good sun exposure.

Vante is waiting at the top of the stairs for my husband to come home. 

I was reading a new quilting book and Vante decided to read it with me.

Ain't she a cutie pie!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

6 Days Until I131

I got a call yesterday from the vet tech at the I131 clinic.  Vante is approved for treatment on Tuesday, April 9th.  The doctor wasn't able to look at her file until this week and he has to approve every single cat for the treatment before they will schedule them.

So Vante is approved and we have stopped all thyroid medicine.

When I bring her in Tuesday morning I have to take all her medical paperwork and the CD with her x-rays in it.

They'll call me the day after treatment to give me an update and let me know if they anticipate Vante going home on Thursday or having to stay until Friday.  The tech said that she has only ever seen 1 cat have to stay until Friday.  If I understood correctly, then they have to make sure that enough contaminated waste has come out of the cat to let it go home.  I guess they weigh the litterboxes, I'm not really sure on that point & will get some clarification.

Once Vante gets home, then for 10 days she can't:
-go outside
-be around anybody who is pregnant or wanting to get pregnant
-be around anybody under 18
-sleep with humans
-I must wear gloves to clean her litterbox, which I must clean every time I see that she has used it & dispose of it outside the house.
-When I pet her, I have to wash my hands before I drink, eat, or put my hands around my face/mouth.
-If she throws up, I have to put on gloves and clean & dispose of it immediately outside the house.
-I have to thoroughly clean the counters before cooking since she has been getting on the kitchen counters lately.

I'll be getting a whole handout on what to do & not do following treatment.  She just hurriedly told me all this over the phone but reassured me we would cover it more thoroughly next Thursday.

Also, 30 days after treatment I'll have to take her to my regular vet to get her thyroid re-tested to ensure success.
Vante's Double-Rainbow!

On April 11, 2013 this post was edited to correct a mistake.  The radioactive iodine treatment is called I131, not R131.  Thanks Billi for catching my mistake!