Feline Hyperthyroidism

Is your cat overly active? It may be exhibiting the classic signs of hyperthyroidism.

Posted: Tue Dec 17 00:00:00 PST 2002

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The thyroid gland lies along the sides of the trachea at the base of the neck, and is essential for life and influences nearly every cell in the body. In the disease known as hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland enlarges as functioning thyroid tissue becomes hyperplastic. This proliferation of thyroid tissue results in the production of excessive amounts of the hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Hyperthyroidism is seen in middle-aged to older cats, at an average age of 13.

Cats with this disease are like shooting stars-blazing in activity until they burn themselves out. Enlarged hearts are common in cats with hyperthyroidism. Other symptoms include increased thirst and urination, periodic vomiting and diarrhea, unkempt coat and hyperactivity. Laboratory tests are needed to confirm a diagnosis, but basic procedures to aid in diagnosing feline hyperthyroidism include palpation (if the thyroid gland can be palpated, it is abnormal) and taking note of a rapid heartbeat.

There are currently three ways to treat this disease: antithyroid drugs, surgery to remove adenomatous thyroid tissue and administration of radioactive iodine. Regardless of the method used, the goal is to bring circulating thyroid hormones into normal range. Research indicates that hyperthyroid cats live an average of two years with treatment.

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Reader Comments

James    Fort Bragg, NC

2/2/2014 1:26:06 PM

What is the first and last name of the person who wrote this article for my bibliography?

CatChannel Editor    Irvine, CA

1/8/2013 9:57:29 AM

Lijana -- Look for a reputable pet-sitting company in your area. Many employees are able to administer medications. You can also board your pet at a facility as well.

Lijana    International

1/7/2013 12:41:25 PM

How do you handle going on vacation when you have to give med's twice a day?
I would love to take a trip, but no one want's to have the job of giving my cat her med's . I can hardly get my husband to give it to her when I'm away for one night.
Any suggestions?

janet    bethlehem, PA

5/13/2010 4:10:24 AM

good article thanks

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