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The Cat's Meow => Cat Care Corner => Topic started by: AleTron on February 09, 2012, 12:48:59 PM

Title: Cat & Cat vs Dog & Dog
Post by: AleTron on February 09, 2012, 12:48:59 PM
(I do hope that I am posting this in the right section of the right board. It's relating to cats and dogs, but mostly the behavioral problems of the cat I will mention and explain below. And I apologize for the long, ranting post I just need to explain what happened in order to get the best information possible.)

Cat & Cat vs Dog & Dog

Scooter - 11 year old male tabby cat with a thyroid problem - currently on meds from the vet.
Dakota - 15+ year old female tabby cat - with no health problems.

Dottie - 11 year old female rat terrier x chihuahua - no health problems.
Angel - 7 year old female mutt - no health problems.

*All animals are up to date on their shots as well*

Recently, I moved back in with my mom, bringing my dog Dottie and my cat Dakota with me. When I lived at the house it was Scooter, Dottie and Dakota, who never had a problem with one another. So upon moving in I thought that the two dogs would have a problem with one another, but no they are getting along just famously. Both dogs are food aggressive at times, so we always keep them in separate rooms when feeding, so there is not a single problem between the dogs. But it seems that the two cats have a problem with my little dog Dottie.

The other night Scooter and Dakota had tagged team my dog Dottie, which was broken up quickly. After getting myself bitten to pry them apart since two cats is not much of a match against a 9lb dog.

But... This morning it was like the Animal World War in my bedroom. First Dottie went to jump off the bed, and suddenly Scooter lunged himself at the dog. Out of no where Dakota got involved, I think because of Scooter starting it. She does not have a problem with Dottie unless Scooter starts the fight first. So then out of no where, my moms dog Angel came barreling through the bedroom and pinned down Dakota, not really harming her but just pinned her to the ground. I believe this was because Dakota was threatening Dottie and Angel sensed that. So Angel quickly left the cat alone and the cat; Dakota went running. But Scooter was still mauling my dog Dottie, so I brushed him away with my boot and he lunged himself at the back of my leg, leaving pretty nasty scratch marks.

So my question is, what the heck can I do to stop these random outbreaks from happening? I am wondering if the meds that Scooter is on for his thyroid problem can be making him angry. Now normally Scooter loves being outside, at least for a few hours, even in the dead of winter. But he doesn't even bother running for the door anymore. I know that he is getting up there in age as well, could that pose as a factor? I know that the two cats did not live in Scooters home for at least two years, but the two cats get along just fine. I watch them and the dog doesn't seem to be making 'eyes' at the cat or what not. So I am curious what I could do to prevent this from happening. It's kind of impossible to lock them all in separate rooms without them howling to get out. I could put my dog Dottie in her cage, but again she will scream and cry to be let out.

Any information would be wonderful, thanks in advance.

Title: Re: Cat & Cat vs Dog & Dog
Post by: Marybelle on February 09, 2012, 12:53:42 PM
It is very possible the thyroid meds are causing an emotional reaction in Scooter.  My cat who is on methimazole for his thyroid seems to have more of a temper now then he ever had before the diagnosis and treatment.  We're getting ready to do the I-131 treatment with him soon partially because of that shift in attitude.  It's certainly something I would bring up with his vet, to see if you can make some adjustments to his meds, possibly?
Title: Re: Cat & Cat vs Dog & Dog
Post by: AleTron on February 09, 2012, 01:05:10 PM
Thanks, that is what I was trying to explain to my mother. Its a hormone, correct? Therefore it can effect animals different and I am thinking its making him more irritable and aggressive when he normally would not be like that. Thanks for the information.
Title: Re: Cat & Cat vs Dog & Dog
Post by: Marybelle on February 09, 2012, 02:01:50 PM
The thing to understand is that the thyroid gland affects the entire body.  That's why it's so dangerous to let hyperthyroidism go untreated.  It speeds up the metabolism and can ruin all the other organs.  Usually, an overactive thyroid is caused by a benign tumor on the gland itself.  Add to this the fact that sometimes, abnormal thyroid tissue goes wandering around the body, and it's a tough nut to crack.  The methimazole prohibits the hormones the thyroid secretes from being turned into a form the body can use, which effectively stops the symptoms, but the underlying problem is still there.  Add to this a lovely list of symptoms your cat can't tell you is there: 

skin rash
abnormal hair loss
upset stomach
loss of taste
abnormal sensations (tingling, prickling, burning, tightness, and pulling)
joint and muscle pain
decreased white blood cells
decreased platelet

And it's a perfect storm for an irritable cat.  ;)  It doesn't affect every cat this way, and some go for a very long time and do well on it.  I've been "lucky" in that my two have both had adverse reactions.  Our girl had liver failure.  Thankfully, we were able to get her fixed up and do the I-131 treatment that cured her.  Our boy has IBD, and the methimazole is making it worse, so he's not keeping weight on even though he's eating more than enough.  We're doing the treatment for him in less than 2 weeks.  It's expensive, but we figured out that just in the meds alone (not counting the maintenance blood work and any possible issues), it pays for itself in 3 years.  Our cats are young enough that they'll almost certainly outlive that, so it's worth it to us to do, and it's made for a happier Isis (our girl) and will hopefully make for a happier Beaker (one of our boys).  I'm really hoping it will put an end to the fights between Murphy and Beaker, since Beaker will be less aggressive off the meds.   *fingers crossed* 

I've said all that to say this.  It's very possible that the meds are messing with Scooter in multiple ways, and just made him generally grumpy and resistant to change.