Grizabella, or "Grizzy" as she is called by family and friends, is a 10 year old domestic medium hair with brown and orange tabby markings. Grizzy has been generally healthy and has enjoyed a charmed life as an indoor kitty, spoiled by her owners, Kim and Jason, who take meticulous care of all of their "kitty kids".
Almost one year ago, Grizzy came in to Noah's Ark because her appetite and energy had decreased and she was vomiting fluid. The doctor did a blood chemistry to check liver and kidney function and with the exception of one slightly elevated kidney enzyme, Grizzy's panel was normal. Radiographs were also taken in an effort to figure out what was going on with Grizzy but no definitive diagnosis could be found. The symptoms seemed to resolve themselves after a little over one week and Grizzy seemed better, however she had lost weight in the course of her illness.
In June of this year, Grizzy's "mom" brought her to see Dr. Jones for an annual check-up and vaccines. Kim also wanted to repeat a blood chemistry to check Grizzy's kidney and liver function. Upon conducting a physical exam, Dr. Jones palpated a mass in Grizzy's neck which she suspected to be the thyroid gland. Based on this lump and the facts that Grizzy had not regained the weight she had lost a few months earlier and had an abnormally high heart rate (all of which can be symptoms of hyperthyroidism) Dr. Jones recommended we test Grizzy's thyroid levels. Sure enough, Grizzy's thyroid level was high and she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, a condition not uncommon in felines and not to be mistaken with hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, which is more common in canines. This condition also could have been responsible for Grizzy's mysterious illness a few months prior.
There are three ways hyperthyroidism is commonly dealt with 1) daily medication, 2) thyroidectomy, or removal of the thyroid gland, 3) radioactive iodine treatment. Grizzy's owners opted to have her thyroid gland removed. There are risks and possible post surgery complications with any surgical procedure, and surgery to remove the thyroid gland is no exception. Fortunately, Grizzy recovered extremely well and is back to her old feisty self! Look out - Grizabella is back! 8)