For reasons we don?t fully understand, feline hyperthyroidism are prone to old cats aged 12 and above. The thyroid produces hormones that help regulate the cat?s metabolism, and this condition causes the organ to produce too much thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
Feline Hyperthyroidism Signs You Should Watch Out For
6 Signs of Feline Hyperthyroid Disease
While these signs may point to other conditions, a cat that displays one or more of these changes could be suffering from thyroid issues. Only your veterinarian can diagnose the condition, but pet parents should seek the doctor?s help anytime there?s a sudden or long-lasting change.
1. Hungry All The Time
A cat with hyperthyroidism typically has a ravenous appetite. He?s always hungry and may go to extremes to beg for more food, or steal from other pets? bowls, or even your own plate.
Hyperthyroid cats are always hungry, but no matter how much he eats, he loses weight. That?s because his thyroid has revved up his metabolism so much, he?s burning more energy than he can take in.
While older cats more typically sleep a lot and their activity level decreases, a cat with thyroid disease often suffers from hyperactivity. He can?t seem to settle anywhere, acts agitated, and may pace a lot. When he does settle, he seeks out cool places to rest.
4. Behavior Changes
Hyperthyroid cats may become short-tempered with other pets or the people they love. Owners may notice an increase in aggression for no obvious reason.
5. Elimination Changes
Some cats have upset stomachs and vomit, and often the stool and urine volume increases with the stool usually being soft.
6. Coat And Claw Change
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Cats suffering from hyperthyroidism may develop an oily coat and typically exhibit very rapid nail growth. They may also suffer hair loss.
Causes Of Feline Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is considered the most commonly diagnosed disease of the endocrine system in cats. In some urban areas the disease is diagnosed in one of every 300 cats.
The double-lobed thyroid gland, located in the neck, secretes hormones that regulate the cat?s metabolism, or how quickly the body uses nutrients. In cats, one or both lobes of the gland simply enlarge, producing a toxic nodular goiter in the neck. The abnormal condition causes overproduction of hormones that shifts the metabolism into overdrive.
In most cases, feline hyperthyroidism is caused by a benign tumor (adenoma) of the thyroid gland. The remaining causes are due to thyroid carcinoma.
How Is Hyperthyroid Disease Diagnosed?
My poor baby,hes so skinny and doesnt gain any weight..i feed him everyday along with the other cats,and i even give him the biggest pieces. I think he may have feline hyperthyroidism, he has all the symtoms..but i cant afford to take him to the vet to get him tested for it. Hes otherwise healthy,but hes constantly hungry and wont gain any weight. Hes not emaciated but he is too thin..so I think im gonna start feeding him twice a day (i only feed the others once a day since they do well with it and i cant afford to feed all 9 of them and the dog twice a day) but i need to add weight on him somehow..if any raw feeders have any tips for which meats will add weight,please let me know..otherwise im gonna have to start giving him can cat food again in hopes to put some weight on him ?. Thanks in advance. #rawfedcat #rawfed #rawdiet #rawfeedingadvice #hyperthyroidism #felinehyperthyroidism #cats #advice #hyperthyroidismincats #needadvice #help #gingercat #hungrycat #skinnycat #rawfeeding #rawfeedingcommunity
The age of the cat, along with the symptoms, can make your veterinarian suspicious of the disease. The doctor may be able to feel the enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck or detect an increased heart rate. However, these signs can show up one at a time or in any combination, which could also indicate other types of health issues. For that reason, a definitive diagnosis requires blood tests, microscopic examination of thyroid tissue, or other screening tests.
Most commercial laboratories measure thyroid levels as a routine part of blood test in cats. Because other health conditions may artificially suppress thyroid levels, a specialized test called scintigraphy (thyroid scan) confirms and defines the problem.
Scintigraphy uses a radioactive particle that seeks out and attaches to thyroid tissue, which is then revealed on a gamma camera. It tells you if all the thyroid tissue is only in the neck right at the thyroid site, or other places throughout the body. Scintigraphy defines the extent of the disease and helps the veterinarian choose the best treatment options. For instance, if the scan shows the thyroid tissue is limited to the glands in the neck, surgery to remove affected tissue may be a good option. With cancer, the radioactivity is scattered all up and down the neck, versus a localized benign tumor in the neck.
How Is Feline Hyperthyroidism Treated?
Daily thyroid supplements take the place of the missing gland after removal. Methimazole (Tapazole) is the drug of choice. This anti-thyroid drug doesn?t cure but does control, feline hyperthyroidism.
Transdermal medication has been successfully used for years in human medicine and has been used for some time in veterinary medicine and in hyperthyroid cats. The struggle and stress of medicating cats can make them even sicker, so ask your veterinarian about less stressful medication options.
Injecting radioactive iodine that selectively destroys thyroid tissue is another option, and that has a 98 percent cure rate for cats. Only specialized referral hospitals like university teaching hospitals offer this treatment, though. The government regulates the use of radioactive iodine, and a treated cat must be quarantined for one to four weeks, and his urine and feces monitored for radioactivity before he is released. All material removed from the cage must be handled as radioactive waste.
Vet know-how shows a video of Hyperthyroidism in cats: