Feline Hyperthyroidism

Feline hyperthyroidism is a commonly diagnosed disease particularly in senior cats. The disease results in excess levels of thyroid hormone being produced in the thyroid gland and circulated through the affected cat’s blood stream.

This excess thyroid hormone has several effects on your cat’s body and common symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • An increased appetite
  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Restlessness/hyperactivity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Besides these symptoms several other complications can arise in cats suffering from hyperthyroidism. The toxic effect of the circulating of the thyroid hormones can result in heart disease. High blood pressure (hypertension) can also become a potential complication. Kidney disease is commonly diagnosed concurrent with hyperthyroidism in cats. Cats suffering from both diseases may need treatment for both and the diagnosis of kidney disease in a cat with hyperthyroidism can affect the cat’s prognosis.

There are several options for treatments of cats with hyperthyroidism:

  • Radio-iodine treatment uses radioactive iodine to kill the diseased tissue in the thyroid gland. Most cats undergoing this treatment are cured of the disease, however, these cats must be monitored for hypothyroidism after treatment.
  • Surgical removal of the diseased thyroid gland is another potential treatment. Surgical treatment is curative but cats must be monitored for hypothyroidism after treatment.
  • Medical treatment with methimazole is probably the most common treatment choice. This medication can be administered by mouth or can be formulated into a transdermal gel which can be applied to your cat’s ear. Methimazole is effective in controlling symptoms of the disease but it does not cure hyperthyroidism. If this treatment option is selected, the cat would need to remain on medication throughout its life.

Bioscint Engineering supports our local veterinarians with Thyroxine and Cholesterol testing which can be used on our Zoetis Vetscan VS2 chemistry analyzer. Our rotor panel for Thyroxine testing provides a fast, effective result within minutes to help with diagnosing hyperthyroidism.


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