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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23797
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My cat passed yesterday, she was a Tonkinese and almost 16

Customer Question

My cat passed yesterday, she was a Tonkinese and almost 16 years old. I had taken her to my vet 8 weeks ago and she was diagnosed with hypertension and slightly elevated BNP (210). At that time, my vet said that her T4 was 8.5 and she would monitor it and put her on vitamins/herbs, enzymes and probiotic-also I gave her a little glucosomine daily for her stiff walking. I had 3 follow ups during this 8 weeks whereby my vet took her blood pressure-listened to her heart and said all is ok and we would follow up in 8 weeks and redo the bloodwork. My cat had trouble walking and her appetite was good -her stool/urine normal, she got around the house and didn't appear to be sick, but she was frail and walked gingerly-I thought it was mostly due to age but now I'm thinking was it the hyperthyroidism?-. She threw up maybe twice in the 8 weeks-but when she passed I was shocked. She made no noise that I know of-it was while I was sleeping but there was no disturbance. She actually looked as though she simply was sleeping-no sign of trauma, no fluids, no expression of trauma-however now I feel as though I should have put her on medication immediately-that maybe this is what took her life. The night before she passed she did stumble (as I had stairs for her) but she simply got u and kept walking-at the time I thought it odd but didn't give much thought to it as again she seemed ok. Medically, can you please provide your insight. Thank you.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

My condolences for your loss of your Tonkinese. I must admit that not treating a cat with a T4 of 8.5 is curious, indeed. While I might keep a hyperthyroid cat mildly hyperthyroid which has a renoprotective (protective of the kidney) effect, a T4 of 8.5 is not mildly hyperthyroid but, instead, likely to result in hypertension, cardiac thyrotoxicosis (a "poisoning" of the heart due to excess thyroid hormone), and thromboembolism (blood clots). I'm not going to quibble about the use of vitamins/herbs, enzymes and probiotic but their use should have been supplementary to methimazole therapy for her hyperthyroidism - not replacing it.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin