Pet of the Month: Whiskers

Allow me to introduce Whiskers! She’s a very sweet little girl who loves nothing more than to sleep in her basket and watch the day go by. Mom and Dad report that even at the ripe age of 21 ( as of June 15th), she is still very active and enjoys roaming around the property 2-3 times a day.

Whiskers was adopted from a family member at about 4 months of age. She was lucky enough to be adopted into another loving family that has cared for her and seen her through some rough patches.

In 2002, Whiskers was hit by a car and was brought to our hospital to treat her injuries. She suffered from shock as well as a broken canine tooth. Although shock can be a very serious condition, Whiskers fully recovered from her injuries!

Whiskers the cat sitting on a chair

About 7 years ago, Whiskers was brought to the hospital to run some tests as she was not her “normal” self. Since mom and dad both work at the hospital, they knew something was going on. Bloodwork and a Urinalysis showed that Whiskers had Renal Disease. This didn’t stop Whiskers! She was switched to a Renal Diet (Royal Canin Medical), put on a few supplements to help support kidney function, stress was minimized in the household, easy access to fresh water at all times as well as easy access to her litter box (she drinks a lot of water because of her disease and in turn, will urinate a lot more frequently). 7 years later, Whiskers still has a tremendous quality of life! All recommendations were followed by the book and today she is still leading a very healthy life. This just goes to show how important a good quality diet and a few daily supplements are for cats diagnosed with kidney disease.

2 large studies show that cats that have been diagnosed with kidney disease and given proper treatment ( dietary/supplements…) live about 2 years longer than cats that are not diagnosed ( left untreated). This is great news! Veterinary Professionals believed that this disease was untreatable in the past. Now we know that by following some pretty simple recommendations, cats can live longer and with a better quality of life. Whiskers is still going strong 7 years after her diagnosis!

4 years ago Whiskers again was brought into the hospital as she was not herself. Bloodwork and a Urinalysis was run and showed that she now had a condition called Hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that is most common in our feline companions. It is basically a thyroid gland tumour that makes the thyroid work overtime. Owners will report their pets losing weight/muscle mass but yet they are still eating with ferocious appetites. They may also observe that their senior cat has started acting “kitten like”again. There are a few treatments for hyperthyroidism: oral or transdermal medication and or a special diet created by Royal Canin Medical called Y/D. There is also another specialized treatment called Radio Iodine Treatment (I-131). This treatment is offered at the Riverview Animal Hospital and has seen tremendous success in eliminating the thyroid gland tumour.

Whiskers underwent Radio Iodine treatment 4 years ago and has had normal thyroid levels ever since! No medication or therapeutic diet needed!

After a life full of ups and downs, Mom ( Louise Arsenault) and Dad (Dr. Francis Arsenault) say that Whiskers still loves to go to the cottage during the summer time to get away from the rest of her fur siblings. Whiskers has 2 dog brothers Charlie and Levi, and 2 other cat sisters, Sistah and Ma Chatte. Apart from having slowed down a little from some arthritis, Dr. Arsenault says that Whiskers has a great quality of life as well as jumps up on the table every morning for breakfast … even though she’s not supposed to 😉 Louise tells him “when you are 105 years old I’ll let you jump on the table too!” Whiskers still brings them lots of love and joy every day and both mom and dad say that they are very happy to have her in their lives. Whiskers you hit the jackpot when you were adopted by these two!

Thank you, Dr Arsenault and Louise, for allowing me to write a blog about Whiskers and for doing all you do for our clients!

Back view of three cats looking out of a screen door

For more information about Radio Iodine therapy or any other treatments discussed in this blog please visit our website or call us at 387-4015.

Written by Monique, RVT