Hyperthyroidism in Cats

 

  • The thyroid controls your pet’s rate of metabolism.  At around 8 years of age and older, the thyroid gland becomes enlarged and produces excess thyroid hormone causing your cat’s metabolic rate to elevate significant
  • Symptoms include weight loss, increased appetite, increased water intake, increased urination, increased vocalization, increased heart rate, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • The increased metabolic rate of cats with hyperthyroidism causes the heart to pump faster and harder often resulting in high blood pressure. Extremely high blood pressure can cause irreversible kidney damage as well as sudden onset blindness caused by retinal hemorrhage or detachment. Additionally the increased cardiac output can result in enlargement and thickening of the heart. In some cases a heart murmur can arise as a result.
  • A blood test called a T4 is used to test the level of thyroxin in the blood.
  • Kidney disease is relatively common in aging cats and treating their hyperthyroidism will decrease their metabolism, thus decreasing the rate of blood being filtered through the kidneys. This will cause levels of toxins in the blood to increase and can result in increased symptoms of renal disease.
  • The most successful treatment option is radioactive iodine therapy.
  • Surgical removal of the thyroid gland is another older option for treating hyperthyroidism.
  • Most cats who develop hyperthyroidism are treated with an oral medication called Methimazole.
  • Methimazole works well in almost all cats but has been known to cause significant side effects in less than 20% of patients including itching, vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, fever, and liver damage. It is also important to note that although treatment with Methimazole is the most economical choice initially it is quite possible that your cat will live several years and the cost of the medication and blood monitoring will end up equaling the cost of radioactive iodine therapy.
  • The newest treatment for hyperthyroidism is actually a diet called y/d. This food is manufactured by Hills and is a prescription diet available in both a wet and dry form that is limited in iodine.  We offer this food at MVH.

If your cat has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism or you suspect your cat may have this conditon call Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital at 201-646-2008 to schedule an appointment.

By |November 4th, 2017|

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