How to Care for Cats With a Hyperthyroid Condition

Written by heather vecchioni
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How to Care for Cats With a Hyperthyroid Condition
Hyperthryoidism is the most common endocrine disease that affects felines. (cat face image by Viktor Korpan from Fotolia.com)

Cats with hyperthyroidism require medication and care to keep them healthy. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland is overactive. The thyroid gland often becomes overactive as a result of nodules forming on its surface. Excess production of the thyroid gland can result in weight loss, increased food consumption and vomiting in felines. Fortunately, hyperthyroidism is typically easy to manage or treat.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Hyperthyroid medication

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Administer medication designed to decreased thyroid production to your cat. Many veterinarians prescribe the medication methimazole to control the hyperthyroidism. However, other treatment options are available, including surgery to remove gland nodules, radioactive iodine treatment or chemical ablation. Typically, the latter options cure the hyperthyroidism and the cat does not need further treatment. Medication only manages the disease and is usually a lifelong requirement.

  2. 2

    Take your cat to the veterinarian often to monitor its thyroid levels. Cats placed on hyperthyroidism therapy require regular bloodwork to ensure their thyroid levels are normal. Bloodwork is typically needed when the cat is first placed on medication, then every three to six months once the levels are regulated. Thyroid medication also has the potential to cause kidney issues; therefore, regular bloodwork is needed to monitor their function, as well. The veterinarian will likely require bloodwork to check the cat's thyroid levels after it has received surgery, radioactive iodine treatment or chemical ablation to make sure the treatments worked.

  3. 3

    Monitor your cat's behaviour. Watch your cat closely to look for signs that the hyperthyroidism is being treated accurately. For instance, keep an eye on the cat's food intake, energy levels and body condition. If the cat begins to eat more, lose weight or become irritable or hyper once on the medication or after the treatment, the hyperthyroidism could be acting up again. If you suspect this is the case, consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet may need to adjust the cat's medication levels or it is possible the surgery, radiation treatment or chemical ablation weren't successful.

Tips and warnings

  • Medication is typically the most inexpensive treatment option. However, medication doesn't cure the disease, it only manages it. Surgery, radioactive iodine therapy and chemical ablation are usually more expensive, but they typically cure the condition fast and effectively. Consult with your veterinarian about which treatment options will work best for you and your cat.

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