Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Radioactive Sprocket is Home From the Vet Hospital

We just got home a few moments ago. It was an interesting trip in the White Whale Work Truck to go get him in West LA. On the way home, I took some short videos of Sprockey in his carrier and I'll upload those as soon as I can.

I did not go to court today. I had lots to get caught up around the house and besides, today was the day Sprocket came home, and I didn't think I could get home from the courthouse in time for the trip over the hill.

Here are the instructions from the vet:

Sprocket has been treated with 4.0 millicuries of radioactive iodine (I-131).

No special radiation safety precautions are necessary AFTER August 17th, 2009.

Until then:
1. Persons over 45 years of age should stay three feet or further away from Sprocket, except for brief periods of necessary care.

2. Persons under 45 years of age should stay six feet or further away from Sprocket, except for brief periods of necessary care.

3. Children under 18 and pregnant women should not have any contact with Sprocket.

4. You must keep Sprocket strictly confined to your premises during this period.

The radioactive iodine which Sprocket has received is beneficial to him, but it is desirable that other persons not be unnecessarily exposed to radiation. To keep such exposure as low as possible:

a) You should minimize close contact with Sprocket including arranging to have Sprocket sleep in a separate room.

b) Sprocket is still excreting radioactive iodine. Do not dispose of Sprocket's waste in the trash. Use a flushable litter box filler and dispose of Sprocket's waste by flushing it down the toilet. Radioactive waste that is detected at a landfill can be traced back to your address and would become your responsibility to retrieve.

c) Wash your hands carefully after handling Sprocket, his food dishes, or litter box.

Please remember to return Sprocket to the initial treating vet approximately one month following his discharge from your hospital to allow Sprocket's thyroid to be rechecked.

Sprocket's radio graphic films were returned to me. I have a jpeg of those and I'll try to upload those, too.

We get one hour per day of close contact with him. The total treatment cost for Sprocket's one week stay was $1,158.25. When you think about the other options (surgery= risks; medication= for life) this was the best option and in the long run, the least expensive way to treat his hyperthyroid condition and the best option for him to have (hopefully) many more good years with us. Radiation has a greater than 95% success rate in treating this common condition.

Sprockey was pretty vocal on the trip home and the first thing he did was chow down. He will have to receive 200 milliliters of lactated ringers + potassium under the skin every other day for ten days. This is because his kidneys were functioning just outside the range of where they would like them to be.

The vet says that his blood pressure should come down pretty quickly and his heart rate go back to normal in about another week. It will take longer for the other symptoms (dull coat, constant vocal cries and voracious appetite) to dissipate but he is on the road to a full recovery now. We are so happy to have him home.


ritanita said...

Welcome home Sprocket Kitty! I'm sure it feels good to be back with your family and in familiar surroundings!

Good luck and a speedy recovery.

Yoda and Nasdaq

Anonymous said...

I have one question. Why is it OK to flush the radioactivity down the sewer system rather than put it in the landfill. It's still readioactive.

Sprocket said...

People who come home from the hospital that have been treated with radiation have the same radioactive waste go down the toilet.

Sewage waste goes through an extensive treatment process at a processing plant. Landfill waste does not.

Anakerie said...

Aww... So glad the furry Sprocket is back home... Here's hoping that furry Sprocket has a full and speedy recovery!

shari said...

I'm so glad to hear you have Sprockey home again. I am assuming he isn't allowed to play with other kitties either??????? Sounds like you have your hands full on this. I hope he does well and feels better soon (mom and dad too)I am still enjoying your blog....even without the Spector trial. Toodles and best wishes from here in Orlando.

Sprocket said...

Sprockey has never really "played" with his siblings. (Scout and Jumpy play together and often sleep beside each other.)

Sprockey has been a one kitty ruler of the roost for most of his life and he was not a happy campter when we first adopted brother and sister pair Katie and Jumpy over six years ago. (Katie died suddenly two years ago.)

Sprockey has mostly a "get out of my way" attitude with Scout and Jumpy.

You know, get out of my spot on the back of the sofa because I want to sit there, get away from my food bowl because that's mine and, I want to receive pets now so move away from the hand. And,
if my humans decide to play with any toys with you guys, I will but in and take over.

Anonymous said...

So glad he's home Betsy. I know you and Mr. Sprocket will give him all the tender loving care he needs to fully recover.

I don't know why, got a chuckle about the message from the vet saying that if there is radio-active poop detected in the landfill that it can be traced back to YOUR address, and that you will be responsible for retreiving it! I know you told us that before - and about the $3000 fine, and while I know you are going to dispose of it in the proper way, I still keep giggling to myself about the poop patrol! I have this mental vision of some imaginary guy who is undercover watching every step you make with that poop!

Anyway, I'm so glad you have your baby back home! Can't wait to see the video of him. Thanks for keeping us updated!

cake fairy said...

I'm totally fascinated by tracing the radioactive pee thing. I'd really like to see that done.


Patient Advocate said...

It's probably a good thing Sprokey DOESN'T know he is radioactive!

Perhaps they put a small code on the radiation and that sticks to the poop and that is how they trace it back to kitty! LOL...

Hope he is feeling better soon!

Anonymous said...

As hard as it is to dispose of the litter from just one radioactive kitty, how do you suppose the vet center does it with multiples? I cannot see them paying someone to spend an entire day breaking down pee clods to flush them in tiny quantities! They must have some kind of special disposal sytem to keep their plumbing working and the landfill protected

Tezi said...

I am glad Sprocket Kitty is home with his mommy! Although my granddaughter will miss visiting him online at the hospital!