Help CJ kitty get treatment

For: Kathi McKinley's kitty CJ
Shawnee, KS
Organizer: Kathi McKinley
Help CJ kitty get treatment (Kathi McKinley's kitty CJ)
$912
of $1,100 goal.
Raised by 35 donors
82% Complete

The Story

My kitty CJ needs medical treatment that I can't afford to provide him. Any help would be appreciated. Here's a little history about CJ:

I adopted CJ on Dec 26, 2001 from PetSmart. He is the best Christmas present ever! (I adopted him with a gift certificate I was given for Christmas that year). In 2012, CJ survived our devastating fire. I lost everything that night including my other kitty Cosmo. I would have lost CJ that night too if it weren't for a neighbor finding him and doing CPR on him. I wasn't home when the fire broke out. My neighbor saved his life and I will always be grateful! The story about the fire and CJ's rescue can be found here.

Last Thursday (February 11, 2016) CJ stopped eating and refused to drink milk (which he loves). I got him in to the VET and after many tests were run it was determined that he has hyperthyroidism. His T4 was 10.2 which is well above the normal range (0.8-4.0) and his free T4 was so high it wouldn't register. There are a couple different treatment options for hyperthyroidism:  medication (for the remainder of kitty's life), surgery to remove thyroid (not done much anymore), radioactive iodine (I-131) or a recent diet therapy from Hill's called y/d (a diet deficient in iodine - canned and dry). The radioactive iodine treatment is considered the 'gold standard' of the four treatment options.  This treatment involves an injection of a very small dose of radioactive iodine that is placed just under the skin.  Because the thyroid gland heavily concentrates iodine, the thyroid tumor will be selectively destroyed. This treatment is very effective with a 95% success rate. 

I am really looking at just two options: medication or radioactive iodine treatment. Since CJ has not yet started the anti-thyroid medication and all his other lab work is good, if I can come up with the funds quickly, CJ could have the radioactive iodine treatment as early as next week and not ever start on the anti-thyroid medication. That would be best case scenario. If I can't come up with the funds quickly then the second best option would be to start CJ on the medications until the funds can be raised. He would then have to go off the meds for 2 weeks before he could have the radioactive iodine treatment. His vet refers to Blue Pearl so that's where I will take CJ for the radioactive iodine treatment. 

Why choose the radioactive iodine treatment over the other options? That's a good question. After much research and discussion with CJ's vet, it was determined the radioactive iodine treatment is the best option for CJ. He suffered a lot of trauma from the fire. Not all wounds heal. CJ has hair coat & skin abnormalities from the burns suffered in the fire and he has experienced behavior changes. Possible side effects from taking the anti-thyroid medications include: nausea, vomiting, and severe allergic/itchy facial skin reactions and, less frequently, life-threatening liver dysfunction, kidney dysfunction, bone marrow disease, and bleeding problems. Based on his injuries from the fire, it would be best to not subject him to the medication long term and that's why I would like to get him the radioactive iodine treatment. 

Thank you for all the love and support provided to CJ. If you can spare a few dollars so that CJ can get the radioactive iodine treatment it would be appreciated!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 12, 2016

Posted on April 12, 2016

Hi everyone, I just wanted to provide an update. CJ isn't feeling well. Blood work has confirmed the I-131 treatment did not work. Blue Pearl nor CJs vet know why it didn't work. One of the reasons why it doesn't work is if the tumor is malignant. CJs tumor was benign so cancer isn't the concern. Given his thyroid value is very high and did not improve with the treatment we have 2 options. The first option is to wait a couple of weeks and retest his thyroid. Sometimes it takes more than the anticipated 4 weeks to lower the thyroid levels. If the thyroid levels remain high, we can try the I-131 treatment again. The second option is to start CJ back on the thyroid meds, along with a steroid and antibiotic to help with his sneezing, and re-evaluate in a few months. Because CJ is not eating and is sneezing quite a bit, I have opted for the 2nd treatment plan. I have started him on meds and hope that he will start to feel better. He responded well the first time we tried the thyroid medication so the hope is to get him healthy and then in a few months decide if we want to try the I-131 treatment again. Thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers for CJ! Please keep them coming. I want CJ to feel better soon! He's such a special kitty. 

Posted on March 14, 2016

Posted on March 14, 2016

Tomorrow is the day! Thank you so much for the support. Between CJ's vet bills ($500 so far and that doesn't include the RAI treatment) and a recent medical issue of my own, it's been daunting. I couldn't get CJ the RAI  treatment if it wasn't for all the help I have received. Thanks for all the positive thoughts as well! 

Posted on March 7, 2016

Posted on March 7, 2016

CJ went in for follow up lab work last week to verify there was no hidden kidney disease that could be masked by the high thyroid levels. I am happy to report he gained 1.5lbs and his lab work looked good. He is good to go for his RAI treatment next Tuesday. He is probably happy that I don't have to give him meds anymore but unfortunately he is already seeing effects of coming off the thyroid meds. His appetite has decreased and he is picking at his fur. He can't be on the thyroid meds prior to the treatment so this week might be a rough week. Tuesday can't come soon enough. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to his fund. I couldn't afford to get him the Radioactive Iodine Treatment without your help! 

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