My Irradiated Maisy

Yesterday I let Maisy out in the backyard while I puttered around on the deck and she camped out in her very favorite spot under the purple cone flowers. Hopefully she can recall her blissful afternoon, rolling around in the catmint and lazing in the sun, while she spends this week in a veterinary specialty clinic being treated for hyperthyroidism. The treatment? An injection of radioactive iodine. Don’t ask how much it’s going to cost.

About a month ago, we noticed Maisy seemed to have lost weight and indeed the vet said she’d lost half a pound in six months, quite a lot when you’re only twelve pounds to begin with. A blood test determined she had a hyper-active thyroid and the other symptoms fell into place: her rabid appetite, ratty coat, litter box issues and a new, uncharacteristic aggressiveness.

We opted for the one-time radioactive iodine treatment as opposed to the life-long daily medication and attentive blood draws that would have been more of a hassle and not nearly as effective. Of course it’s a gamble, pay more up front or in the long run, but since Maisy is healthy and active otherwise and has more than a few good years left, the glow-in-the-dark treatment seemed the best option.

On Friday I’ll pick her up and bring her home and then the real fun begins. For two weeks, close contact will be limited and her used litter can’t be thrown in the trash. Apparently it will be too radioactive and would set the sensors off in the garbage truck. (Did you know there were radioactive sensors in trash trucks?!) Flushing it down the toilet is apparently okay. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

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