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Poor Hal

Poor Hal

I don’t talk much about Hal on the blog but last week she got sick and started throwing up multiple times a day.  It’s not unusual for her to be sick but after the second day or so of her throwing up multiple times, Matt and I decided it was time to take her to the vet.  I dropped her off Friday morning and waited for the vet to call.  Around lunch she called and told me Hal had lost a considerable amount of weight since 2012.  Like the equivalent of a human losing 90 lbs.  She was concerned.  {I should say, Matt and I realized Hal had lost weight but we didn’t really know how much.  We attributed her weight lose to Julio but the vet said even that wouldn’t equal this kind of weight lose.  I should also add, she is still a smidge overweight.}

The vet wanted to order some blood work.  She said she heard a grade 3 heart murmur but that it could be caused by hyperthyroidism.  I guess Hal was right in “the grey area” last time her thyroid was checked.  After doing some research, it would seem she has a lot of symptoms for hyperthyroidism.

  • Weight Loss – The most common complaint that takes hyperthyroid cats to the vet is weight loss. These cats remind me of the pink panther – they are lean in the extreme. Perceptive owners notice that although their cats are losing weight, their appetite is normal or increased. This is because the pet’s metabolic rate has accelerated and it is using up food calories just as fast as it can consume them.
  • Increased appetite – Most hyperthyroid cats are eating more to meet their increased need for calories. You will hear them munching more and complaining when their food dish is empty. However, when they have reached the late stages of this disease, their general health deteriorates to the point that they don’t have much appetite.
  • Poor hair coat – Many hyperthyroid cats appear unkempt. Some no longer groom themselves the way they used to while others over-groom themselves to the point where their hair coat is thin or ragged.
  • Fast heart rate – It is very common for hyperthyroid cats to have an abnormally fast heart beat. Your cat’s normal relaxed heart rate at home should be 140 to 200 beats per minute. It will often be faster at the animal hospital due to fear. Many cats with hyperthyroidism have heart rates of over 200 even when they are relaxed at home.
  • Increased drinking and Increased Urination – This is also common occurrence in hyperthyroidism. Your cat’s increased thirst is due to the increased thyroxine in its system. It’s increased urine production is due to its increased water intake.
  • Vomiting – We do not know why some cats with hyperthyroidism vomit. It occurs in hyperthyroid humans as well. Perhaps it is due to the increased amounts of food they eat, or perhaps to the direct effects of their high thyroxine levels on stomach motility and portions of the brain.

The vet also mentioned Pancreatitis.  I haven’t really researched this option since I hope it is less likely the reason.  Her labs were supposed to be back today so I’m just waiting to hear from the vet.  If she does have hyperthyroidism it should be treatable with an inexpensive daily pill.

I’m ready to have an answer because this happened about 2 years ago and we had her teeth cleaned because the vet thought she might have an abscess.  We then switched her to a chicken-free diet since the vet told us some cats can develop an allergy to chicken.  Now we are back to square one, only things seem to be a bit worse.  Hal was sick 3x last night.  As well as being sick Saturday night.

Poor girl.  I get frustrated with her for bothering me in the night when she’s sick but I can’t help but feel sorry for her these past few days.  I’m sure she doesn’t want to throw up all the time.  :/



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