Recently a sister blogger posted that one of the family cats was suffering from a saddle thrombosis, which is a blood clot. I decided to learn more about this so I, of course, Googled it. What I found was enlightening and frightening. Here’s the site that I went to: http://www.web-dvm.net/saddlethrombus.html
Several years ago I lost 3 cats to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). First there was Cyd, a CARE cat that I had bailed out of animal services. She succumbed within days of showing any symptoms of illness and died at the vet’s office because of a blood clot. It was because of her that I decided to find out more about the saddle thrombosis, since I suspected that was what killed her. Cyril, another bailed out CARE cat was next. My regular vet was out of town for a holiday weekend and I feared Cyril would risk a painful death at home, so I chose to euthanize him. Next was China, who again got sick suddenly. I took her to the emergency clinic and the pain med injection ended up killing her. She died in my arms as I was waiting for my vet to come into the office to see her. I requested a necropsy and he determined that she, too, had HCM. Losing so many to the same disease caused me great concern, but I wasn’t able to find any causation online.
In the last year I have had two cats, Claudia and Colt, diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Again, I couldn’t find a cause – something I was doing wrong – to help me prevent this in my other cats. When Claudia went blind, the vet who treated her insisted it was unrelated. I found out online that blindness is a common side effect of hyperthyroidism as was the plaintive wailing she would make from time to time.
Hyperthyroidism can only be diagnosed through a blood test. Blood work generally costs between $70 and $120.00 per test per cat. Testing all of my cats would run into thousands of dollars. By comparison, medication is relatively inexpensive.
The article referenced above says that hyperthyroidism can lead to cardiac problems, which can lead to HCM, which can lead to a saddle thrombosis. By that time, it’s too late to help your cat. Not a single one of my vets (and there have been 3 now) ever told me any of this. Two of those vets are cat specialists. Wouldn’t it be logical, especially since I now have (or had) two cats with hyperthyroidism, to provide me with pertinent information about spotting it, what to look for, what other conditions might develop? This only reinforces my disregard for the veterinary profession in general. From the same site, here is more information about hyperthyroidism: http://www.web-dvm.net/hyperthyroidism.html. And here's another link: http://www.fabcats.org/owners/hyperthyroidism/info.html. And one final link: http://www.2ndchance.info/hyperthyroid.htm
The Web has been of great use to me in helping me diagnose and treat my cats over the years. I hope all my cat loving friends out there will, at the least, augment their knowledge through the internet. The more we know, the better care we can take of our cats and dogs.