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Maggie's Radioactive Iodine Treatment

12945 Views 42 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  razzle
She went in today for the procedure. We had a tough weekend, she's been off her meds for 2 weeks and she was having a rough time keeping down food Sat and Sun. I was giving her lots of small meals and while she vomited some of it up, she was able to keep down close to a normal amount of food.

She dealt with the 45 minute car ride OK, a little meowing but not too much. She wasn't pleased with me when I was trying to say goodbye--retreated to the back of the carrier and turned her back on me. Good thing I'm not the sensitive type.

They just called a few minutes ago and said the procedure is done, she did well and everyone involved still has their fingers. Now she just needs to spend 3 days there until her radiation levels go down to acceptable range. I left her favorite foods and treats, along with an old towel that I slept with. Knowing Maggie she's going to back herself into a corner and hiss at anyone who walks by.

But it will all be worth more gyrations getting meds into her or lifetime of vet visits and blood tests. Fingers crossed that she's not one of the 2% that goes hypothyroid instead of hyper.
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That's great news! It will be hard to be away from her until her radiation levels go down but it will be so worth it. She's only going to be there for three more days? Everything I had read said 1-2 weeks, so that's good news. It makes it less stressful on her and you both. Good luck, keep us updated!
here is was three days if you signed a release about handling of the cat and litter, we had to keep emma in the large kennel, limit direct contact, put the used litter in a metal container for two weeks, emma wasn't too unhappy she was home and getting canned food, hope everything goes well for you and maggie..
Glad things went well. Must be a huge relief and will be even more so once she's home for good.
I'm so crossing my fingers that everything goes well for Maggie. I guess the silver lining about this separation is that as soon as she gets home, she won't even remember being away.
Awesome that no more treatment will be needed after this :)
The amount of time they need to spend there and the after care varies by state. In Mass. the radiation level they emit needs to come down to a certain level...which is typically achieved in 3 days. At home she can be free to roam the house, but I need to limit direct prolonged contact. Lap sitting, snuggling, etc need to be limited to 15 minute sessions 2-3 times per day. Maggie isn't much of a contact kitty...she'll sit next to me and lean against a leg and that's about it. And she never snuggles with Kobi and Holly. The worst part is that she does sleep right up against me at night, so she'll have to stay in the spare bedroom at night for 2 weeks.

Other than that, they want her litterbox output flushed for 2 weeks, so I'll be using World's Best litter. They said don't worry about the other cats using the same box, just scoop daily. The box and scoop need to be disposed of after it's done. Since I don't want to toss my big storage tote boxes, nor do I want to convert them over to World's Best...I'm going to put a box in the spare room with WB...I'll close the door on the room with the normal boxes during the day and all 3 can use the WB box. At night when Maggie is locked in the spare bedroom, the other 2 can use the regular boxes. Fortunately my crew isn't fussy about litter changes or location of the box.
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Wish you the best of luck. Just wondering do cats loose their hair like humans do?
I'm so glad things went well with Maggie. I'm envious of your ability to get this treatment for your girl. For a variety of reasons, I-131 isn't a viable option for my hyperT cats, and now it looks likely that I'll have a third cat diagnosed hyperT next week. Ugh. At this rate, it won't be long before my hyperT cats outnumber my CRF cats!

Hmm. They say you can buy anything on eBay. I wonder if I could buy my very own in-house vet. Going, going, SOLD to the Crazy Cat Lady with the exhausted look on her face!

Seriously, though, please keep us updated on Maggie's progress after she gets home. It'd be interesting to have a ring-side seat to her recovery.

Her vet tech called this morning and said she's doing great. Used the litterbox with no issue and remarked that she sure loves her chicken treats (Whole Life). She said she was nervous at first but has settled in OK. She's also eating her wet food well....that was one of my big concerns...that she'd stage a hunger strike. I sent yummy fishy stuff (Tiki Cat) with her. She loves it, but normally doesn't get it at home very often because of Holly's fish intolerance.

I missed her a lot at home last night, it was so weird not having her there to lay, purr and drool on my Kindle when I was reading in bed. Or only making up 2 food dishes. Kobi & Holly don't seem to notice her missing and they're probably loving that I just split Maggie's third of the canned food between them instead of refrigerating it.

So....1 day down....2 to go...

Wish you the best of luck. Just wondering do cats loose their hair like humans do?
Thanks! Not for this procedure's a very low dose of radiation designed to kill a benign tumor. Not the level of radiation given to humans with cancer.
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Sounds like things are going well! Hang in there! She will be home before you know it!
Today's update not much different than yesterday...still eating well and being a good girl. I pick her up around 2pm tomorrow. I'll update when we get home...
Yay! My little monkey is home. Amazingly...the other two accepted her back without a peep (or hiss). When I let Maggie out of the carrier she ran right up to Holly, touched noses and then Maggie rubbed her face on Holly's face. Both had tails straight in the air. Kobi hid in the dining room for a few minutes, then finally came out...went nose to nose with her and that was it. Now she's on the back of the couch on HER throw blanket taking a bath.

They said the tumor should be pretty well killed by now. Even though she vomited most of the weekend, they said she never brought anything up while she was there. So apparently it works really fast.

Now, other than the radiation precautions for the next two weeks, I just need to monitor her for symptoms to ensure she doesn't go in the opposite direction (hypothyroid). She gets blood work for her kidneys checked in a month and her thyroid T4 levels in 3 months.
Awwww, that's so sweet of Kobi and Holly!

Great news, fingers crossed for the next two weeks.
Poor little girl has been crashed out all night except for dinner...probably so relieved to be back home.
So we're 2 weeks post treatment and done with the precautions. She came through it great. She was such a good girl when isolated in the spare bedroom at night...never heard a peep out of her until my alarm went off in the morning. Vomiting is gone, her appetite is a little diminished but not significantly.

Maggie has always been a very inquisitive, active, downright crazy cat. Many of you probably remember some of the stories I've told about her. Her energy has been with her well into her teen years and with the hyperthyroid diagnosis I wondered just how much was attributable to the excess hormones in her system. I was concerned that my crazy girl was going to turn into an old lady overnight. Those fears seemed to be somewhat valid while she was on methimazole for a couple months. But I'm happy to say that the old Maggie is back. So I'm really thrilled that I decided to go for the iodine treatment rather than keep her on meds.

She goes in for a kidney check on April 5th. At this point there are no symptoms to indicate that the thyroid was masking any significant level of failure. Since she was isolated at night I was able to monitor her water intake and size of her pee clumps and everything has been perfectly normal. So I'm optimistic that her kidneys are still "not perfect but darn good for a 15 year old" as the vet said when she was tested while on the medication.

Will update again after the vet appt....
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Wonderful news! Paws crossed for purrfect kidneys!
Maggie went in for her one month post treatment kidney check and all is well. Her creatinine is the same as it was 3 years ago and her phosphorus is actually lower. We're doing the happy dance here!

She goes for a T4 check in June. Her weight is remaining steady at 8.75 lbs and that's good for her.

Next up...Kobi goes for a dental on Wed and I need to schedule one for Holly...
That's such wonderful news. Neck scratches to the healthy happy kitties.
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