It is just bigger than a freckle. However, Earl Gray, my cat can find the tiny pill buried in his food. He can lick his bowl to where it sparkles–and leave behind the meds.
The pill is cut in half, and it is my job to make sure he gets one half in the a.m. and the other half at night. We found out that Earl has an overactive thyroid. I suspected that because he was ravenous. He has always been fit and trim. Now he is a mere six pounds.
My son, Jordon, and I took him to our vet a few days ago. I was hoping he didn’t have a kidney problem. That is always bad news. Thryoid is something I’m familiar with; I have an under active one.
Hyperthyroidism in Cats
Veterinarians estimate that about two percent of cats over the age of 10 will develop an over active thyroid. The good news is that it is treated with a tiny pill called methimazole or the brand name Tapazole. If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to heart or kidney failure.
Earl had several symptoms. He was constantly leading me to the refrigerator and the cupboard where his food is kept. He was demanding more food. When I put food down, he would gobble it up. Despite eating more than normal, he was losing weight. He was also drinking more water, hacking up his food, and missing his litter box.
In all of his 14 years in this house (we found him at age 4), he never missed the litter box. I put on a pair of shoes in the master bedroom closet and found some vomit in there. I shrieked, and Jordon thought it was funny seeing me jump up and immediately put my foot in the sink to clean it.
While it was gross, I was very worried about Earl. I was also concerned about getting Earl to swallow his pill. My husband, Steven, who is oh so wise, gave Earl a tiny piece of American cheese. (I hate American cheese, and Earl loves it.) Then he took a second tiny piece of American cheese and pressed the pill into it in such a way that Earl couldn’t detect the pill. All he could see is a small round piece of American cheese, which he gobbled down.
So, while dairy isn’t the best food for a cat (too much can cause diarrhea), I am giving him about a thumbnail portion of American cheese twice a day. It’s the easiest way to get him to ingest this pill without his knowledge.
We go back to the vet in three weeks for more bloodwork. Hopefully, Earl will be on this medication for life and will live a long long time.
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