Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Very Treatable Ailment - Hyperthyroidism in Cats


A Very Treatable Ailment - Hyperthyroidism in Cats

Although its cause is a mystery, most cats diagnosed with hyperthyroidism have an excellent prognosis. 

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM. 
Published in Cat Fancy, September 2014

When Mie S. brought her 15-year-old cat, Cookie, to my cats-only veterinary hospital, she was well aware that he had lost a substantial amount of weight. However, she was shocked when I announced the current reading on the scale. “Wow! Eight and a quarter pounds?” she exclaimed. “He used to weigh 16 pounds!” Knowing that the most common disorders that result in weight loss in geriatric cats are diabetes, hyperthyroidism and chronic kidney disease (CKD), I was already formulating my questions for her as I carried him back from the scale to the exam table.

Was he drinking a lot of water and urinating excessively? Yes, Mie said, he was. I wasn’t surprised, as all three of the illnesses mentioned above can present with excessive thirst and urination. How about his appetite? “Ravenous,” she said. Cats with CKD tend to have a decreased appetite, so kidney dysfunction moved a notch lower on my list. Cats with diabetes and hyperthyroidism tend to have good appetites. Not just good, though. Exceptionally good, like Cookie’s. While diabetes can occur in almost any age of cat, it classically hits cats in middle age, around 8 or 9 years old. Hyperthyroidism, however, is a geriatric cat disease, tending to affect cats around 13 or older. With Cookie being 15 years old, my mental list had hyperthyroidism first, diabetes second and kidney disease third.

Typically, you cannot feel the thyroid gland in a normal cat’s neck during a physical examination. In cats with hyperthyroidism, however, the gland enlarges and begins to drift downward on the neck. I carefully felt the groove between Cookie’s trachea and the jugular vein, and as I got a little lower … presto! I could easily feel an enlarged thyroid gland. Looks like Cookie read the textbook.

What Is T4?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Caring Words from Clients

Dear Dr. Plotnick and Gina,

I just want to say thank you so much to Dr. Plotnick and to Gina for coming to visit my cats Sherlock and Bartlett yesterday for a home exam. Even though they were terrified, my cats definitely were better off seeing a vet in their home than going outside into the scary world of Manhattan.
I was especially touched that while trying to calm my cat Sherlock, Gina gave him a kiss on his head. It really helped calm him down, because he actually loves getting kisses. I also was very pleased and relieved with the gentle way that Gina and Dr. Plotnick dealt with Bartlett's spiderman attempts to run off the table. 

I was also surprised that Dr. Plotnick really did call me the next morning with the blood test results for both cats. With human health care, you certainly don't get results so soon or have a doctor call when they say they will.

I was very relieved to hear that both cats are in excellent condition, and amused that somehow their blood test figures were remarkably close to each other. I have wondered if it is possible for cats to have fraternal or identical twins, and if my cats are an example of this? They have distinct personalities but are also very alike. 

Again, thank you so much for the excellent care and kind and gentle way that my cats were treated. I will be sure to request another home visit next year for their next exam!

Thanks,
Heidi, Bartlett, and Sherlock






INFO: Feline Veterinary House Calls with Dr. Plotnick

Friday, October 3, 2014

Photog Man Do in Puerto Vallarta

We had just gotten back from a ten day vacation to Morocco, so this seemed a little indulgent, but Mexico is inexpensive, and we hadn’t been to the beach in years.

After my Morocco trip and before this Mexico trip, I did take one more photography class, and the added instruction did make a difference.  So this blog post is more about photography than cats.

We arrived in Puerto Vallarta, and sadly, the Weather Channel was right about the gloom. I knew we would have three full days in Puerto Vallarta.

We headed into town to check things out.

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