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  • Northern Illawarra Veterinary Hospital

Hyperthyroidism in Cats!

Updated: May 20, 2020

This month we will talk about another Daisy, this time a dear 18 year old cat who has lead a long and adventurous life until her owners noticed she was acting strangely. She was becoming ravenously hungry, meowing constantly and keeping everyone awake at night with her restlessness. Despite her ravenous appetite, Daisy was losing weight, her coat was getting poor and she was becoming a very thin old pussy cat.

Understandably Daisy’s owners were thinking things were going very wrong in one very old pussy cat and this could mean the end of a very long innings. Given her condition and age, they were not considering heroic treatment but they were keen to do a blood test to see what was wrong. The results showed a very high level of thyroid hormone consistent with hyperthyroidism. This was good news for old Daisy as this illness can be easily treated and managed. Hyperthyroidism is a common disease in older cats and can be diagnosed with a blood test. Hyperthyroidism is caused by an increase in production of thyroid hormones, mostly from a benign enlargement of the thyroid gland in a cat’s neck. There are four treatment options for feline hyperthyroidism; medication, radioactive iodine therapy, surgery and dietary therapy.

Due to Daisy’s age, we elected to try her on a prescription diet that is specifically formulated to help with her disease. This is such an easy and affordable option for the right cat. There are no invasive procedures, no daily medications or extended hospital stays. A repeat blood test one month after starting her new diet shows that her thyroid level is almost completely back to normal. She is much happier in herself and has begun putting on weight again. She seems to love her new food and although this is the only thing she is allowed to eat, she seems to be purrfectly satisfied.

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