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Cat Hyperthyroidism: Facts & Statistics

If your cat has hyperthyroidism, it means that too much thyroxine is produced in the thyroid gland, causing your cat’s metabolism to increase. This puts stress on your cat’s organs, including heart, kidneys, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and liver. It is the most common glandular disorder affecting cats.

Hyperthyroidism in Cats

  • Can occur in any breed
  • Slightly increased risk in Siamese cats
  • Exposure to high levels of dietary iodine can increase risk
  • Average age at onset is between 12 -13 yrs

Clinical Signs of Hyperthyroidism

  • Weight Loss
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Increased Urination
  • Hyperactivity
  • Unkempt Appearance
  • Shedding
  • Periodic Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Diarrhea
  • Aggression
  • Increased vocalization, especially at night
  • Hypertension, high blood pressure or thyrotoxic cardiomyopathy
More information on common symptons of feline hyperthyroidism.

Diagnosis of Hyperthyroidism in Cats

The first step is to determine the level of thyroid hormone or T4 in your cat’s blood. If your cat has a T4 level that is in the upper range of normal but hyperthyroidism is still suspected, a second test is performed. If these tests are not definitive, your cat’s T4 can be measured again in a few weeks. To find out more about the diagnosis of cats with hyperthyroidism, please read this study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Treating Your Cat’s Hyperthyroidism with Radioactive Iodine

Radioactive iodine therapy is a very effective way to treat hyperthyroidism. It destroys the abnormal thyroid tissue without endangering your cat’s other organs. Treatment doesn’t require anesthesia and recurrence of the disease is rare after radioactive iodine therapy.

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