So this blog post is a couple of days late, but it’s for good reason (see title).
What is “radioactive kitty,” you might ask? Is it a band name? No (but it would be a good one). Some crazy new kids’ game? Nope (but, oh the possibilities!).
Here is a radioactive kitty:
Yes, that’s Moose, our big, lovable tomcat (an old pic but my favorite one). And, yes, he really is radioactive. Here’s why:
In the past year and a half or so, Moose has started becoming less and less Moose-like in terms of size. He was never overweight, but he’s a big guy. A few weeks ago, we noticed that he was looking pretty thin. We took him to the vet, and he’d lost almost 4 lbs. 😕 They ran some tests, and it turns out Moose has hyperthyroidism (i.e. overactive thyroid). This is actually a fairly common occurrence in cats his age.
There are a few options for treatment:
1. Special food, and he could eat nothing but that.
2. Pills twice a day (no, thank you)
3. Radioactive iodine treatment
1 & 2 don’t actually fix the issue. They just keep him from losing weight. 3 actually takes care of the overactive tissue without harming the parathyroid tissue, which controls his metabolism. Basically, a one and done treatment. He can eat normally and shouldn’t have any more issues. The best part is that the treatment itself is non-invasive – it’s either a shot or a pill that they administer once, and that’s it. That being said, it’s not for every cat, but because Moose is so healthy otherwise, it’s the best option for him.
Sigh….here’s the not-so-awesome part. After the treatment, they kept him a couple days, but when he came home, there’s an isolation period for 2 weeks from the treatment date. We can only pet him at arm’s length and only 20 min/day 😢 All of this is actually precautionary for us because he’s still a bit radioactive. It is torture, though, for both us and him, since he’s little Mr. Socialpants.
We currently have him in our upstairs bathroom with all of the conveniences he’s used to, including toys. But, it’s obvious he just wants to be with us. A friend recommended putting clothes in there that smell like us, and that has helped tremendously.
Despite all of our best efforts, poor Moose-man had a small setback on Sunday (which is why I haven’t posted). He had some gastrointestinal issues and then stopped eating. So we took him to the emergency vet. They were WONDERFUL, by the way…so caring, calm, and gentle. They gave him some subcutaneous fluids, an antibiotic, and something to calm his tummy, and then sent him home to see how he responded. (P.S. if you’ve never had an animal that needed subcutaneous fluids, it’s weird…he looked like he had a lopsided camel hump on his back, which they warned us about). Anyway, the emergency vet thought that it was probably a combination of the treatment and just the stress of it all. Well, let me tell you…the things they did worked almost instantly. When we got home, I couldn’t get his food open fast enough. And, he’s been back to normal ever since. He’s still hating being locked up, but at least he’s all better otherwise.
And, now we are at T minus 5 days until he’s out of isolation, and I can hold him again.
He will still be a bit of a radioactive kitty, but he will be safe for us to be around. William and I just look at it as Moose is finally getting the superpowers he was always meant to have 😉