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Hyperthyroidism in Cats

October 1, 2018 | by verity.ramus@hooknortonvets.co.uk | Pets

Over the course of October, we will be focussing on raising awareness & educating cat owners on hyperthyroidism, its signs & symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition commonly seen in middle aged and older cats. The prevalence of hyperthyroidism is estimated to be over 6% in cats older than 9 years of age. It affects all breeds and both sexes equally.

It is caused by an excess production of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland in the neck (although it can occasionally come from thyroid tissue found elsewhere in the body). Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism, so an over production of these hormones increases metabolic rate and can have effects on the bodies major organ systems.

Signs of hyperthyroidism vary, as every cat reacts differently to the change in hormone levels. Some signs that your cat may show include:

• Weight loss, despite being continuously hungry
• Vomiting & diarrhoea
• Your cat could be over active or irritable
• Increased thirst

To help raise awareness of hyperthyroidism we have created an online survey to help give insight as to whether your cat could potentially be hyperthyroid. The survey takes a couple of minutes and a member of the HNVG team will contact you if we have reason to believe your cat may be hyperthyroid. Remember, if you have any worries or concerns about your cat’s health please contact your vet immediately.

Your vet will go through a thorough history and perform a full clinical examination. If hyperthyroidism is suspected there are a number of tests required to confirm a diagnosis and rule out other possibilities.

• Blood tests
To look at the levels of thyroid hormones and assess the health of the internal organs (such as kidneys).
• Urine sample
To assess kidney function and rule out other conditions.
• Blood pressure measurement
• Electrocardiogram
To provide an electrical trace of heart activity.
• Ultrasound and x-ray

Hyperthyroidism is readily treatable and there are currently 4 main treatment options. A patient will normally be stabilised on medication or diet before other options are considered. Managing the disease will allow them a good quality of life for several years and is potentially curable.

Follow the link to our Hyperthyroidism Booklet where you can read more about the disease, it’s diagnosis and treatment options.

If you are worried or concerned about your cat’s health, please contact your vet.

Written by verity.ramus@hooknortonvets.co.uk

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