Do you have an older cat that has been losing weight? Does it feel good but seems to want to eat all the time? Does it drink a lot or urinate a lot? Does it sometimes have vomiting or diarrhea? Your cat may have a hyperactive thyroid gland!
Hyperthyroidism is one of the most common illnesses we see in older cats. We can easily diagnose this disease with bloodwork. We often will find this disease on routine annual senior blood testing. If your cat is diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, there are three options for treatment:
1. One permanent treatment involves a very safe injection of a special radioactive medicine that helps to shut down the overactive gland. A 1-2 week boarding stay in the hospital is required. Although the treatment is not inexpensive, it is a one time cost and usually only one treatment is necessary with minimal follow-up care.
2. Surgical removal of the abnormal thyroid tissue is another permanent treatment for hyperthyroidism.
3. An alternative therapy requires daily administration of Tapazole (methimazole) for the remainder of the pet’s life. This option is less expensive but does necessitate the inconvenience of a constant need to medicate. Occasionally, these medications will have side effects (nausea, lethargy, anemia) and do need frequent blood monitoring. They will not cure the disease but will reduce the side effects that the disease cause.
If your pet is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned about or is a senior cat (7 yrs or older), then give us a call at 757-7979 to schedule an appointment and blood testing for your cat’s thyroid today!