We’ll never know how poor Oliver ended up in dry, dusty, field covered in foxtails. He was one lucky boy, as a kind couple found him and took him in. He was super thin, really dirty and almost hairless! The couple took him to their vet to be checked out. The vet drew blood and found Oliver had a very serious thyroid condition causing his metabolism to be very fast! The couple was unable to keep him due to their own particular situation and a week later they took him to the San Jose Shelter. The shelter contacted PPCR to see if we would be interested in taking on this special boy. We had the space and took him in, knowing in most cases that the condition is very manageable.
We got him on the needed daily medication; the same drug is used for humans with the condition, methimazole. The first week with us he ate anything and everything we gave him. The scale however still showed him losing weight. Our vet doubled the dose of the medication and told us to come back in 3 weeks. Again he ate like a little vacuum cleaner, anything and everything we gave him, but alas, he still lost weight. The vet then increased the dosage by ½ again and finally he began to gain weight and actually feel better and act like the wonderful cat he is! We tested his thyroid again and the value was well within the limits! Yeah for Oliver! We thought we were out of the woods with his health.
Well, we were wrong.
After a few weeks of the high dosage, he started scratching at his already thin fur and now actually scratching until he bled. We learned that 4% of thyroid kitties are allergic to methimazole. This allergy takes the form of uncontrollable itching, particularly around the head area. Heavy sigh; poor Oliver, would it never end?
We put Oliver in an “E collar” to thwart his scratching. You can see the photo of Oliver in the donut collar which protects his head. He does not like it at all and he tolerates the other kinds of protective collars even less. We know, we tried almost all of them! Oliver was a true trooper though and put up with it. What a special boy he is. He so very urgently needed to take his medication every day yet if he takes it he shreds his skin! He is between the well-known “rock and hard place”.
Amazingly enough there is very viable alternative treatment for Oliver. He can have a radioactive iodine injection. This is a special one-time thyroid treatment that ends the kitty’s thyroid problem forever. (This is also done in humans) This is the best possible solution for Oliver so he can have the life he deserves. He would need no thyroid medication, so there would be no itching!
The vet indicated he had rarely seen a cat have so many serious issues due to their Thyroid. His thyroid level was checked againabout a week ago. Despite the fact he was still getting the oral medication, that had been working a few weeks ago, his level was now 10 and creeping up, normal is 4.7. He had stopped gaining weight. He was getting worse so rapidly that we could not wait… Oliver had his radioactive iodine injection on July 10th. At this point in time he is doing extremely well. We will need additional blood work done but things are looking a lot brighter for this special boy.
There is always a downside to a treatment like this, and of course that is the cost for 1 injection. With everything we have already done for Oliver, we need about another $1800 to cover everything including the special one-time treatment we had done on July 10th. This will also include x-rays, blood panels, etc. after the treatment. We spoke with the San Jose Shelter and they kindly offered Oliver a gift of $500 from their Guardian Angel Program, which is a great start!
What have we learned about Oliver through this journey? Oliver is a confident man-about-town kitty. Oliver is also an affectionate, loving guy. We are guessing he is about 7 years old, give or take a year. He is the kind of cat who will meet you at the door every night and inquire about your day. He will follow you around the house as you do your chores, playing with you. He has a large outgoing personality, showing he is both good-natured and also very intelligent.
Oliver was probably abandoned to die in that field. The kindness of strangers, and the San Jose Shelter, contacting us to take on this boy, has given him a chance at a good life where he will be loved and treasured. To accomplish that, we need your help to get Oliver out of his current predicament. We take on these special cases because you, our supporters, are always there for us. You help us get Oliver, and cats like him the help they desperately need…so they can live a happy and healthy life. We thank you, as does Oliver, for any help you can provide for his medical costs.