Whinny’s Wisdoms

Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic

Whinny’s Guide to Feline Hyperthyroidism: Partnering with Your Vet to Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy!

 Hello there, fabulous feline friends and their wonderful humans! (I know your cat is on your lap, no need to pretend they’re not!) It’s Whinny, your cheerful Springhill Equine clinic mouse, here to “whisker” you away into the world of cat health. Today, we’re diving deep into a topic that might sound a bit daunting, but fear not! With a sprinkle of knowledge and a dash of partnership with your vet, we’ll navigate through Feline Hyperthyroidism together.

Picture this: your sweet senior kitty, once a spry kitten, starts showing signs of weight loss despite having the appetite of a lion! It may start out subtle, and then one day you notice the furball on your lap is lighter than usual, and under the fluff you can feel ribs where you couldn’t before. Well, my dear cat-loving pals, this might be a classic case of Feline Hyperthyroidism. This condition isn’t new; it’s been around the litter box block for quite some time, especially in our older feline friends. But hey, just because it’s an oldie doesn’t mean we should ignore it!

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Uncovering the Signs

Let’s talk symptoms, shall we? Your furball might start shedding pounds faster than a cat chasing a laser pointer. Despite this disappearing act, their appetite might seem insatiable, leaving you scratching your head in confusion. Then there’s the restless nights, the unexpected hurling sessions, and oh, the constant trips to the water bowl! Another tell-tail sign? The yowling. These kitties are often vocal and loud. If your cat is displaying any of these signs, it’s time to whisk them off to your trusty veterinarian for a check-up.

Partnering with Your Vet

Now, my dear cat guardians, here’s where the magic happens – your partnership with your vet! Together, you and your vet will embark on a journey to uncover the purr-fect treatment plan for your feline friend. It starts with a thorough examination and some whisker-twitching blood tests to measure those pesky thyroid hormone levels. Things aren’t always clear cut on initial blood tests, so we may need to start with single values and move on to panels. Or, our docs can plan to run the whole shebang the first time. Go big or go home, I always say. Once diagnosed, we have some different treatment options. We can almost always find one that works for you and your feline.

Treatment Options

The most common medication prescribed to treat feline hyperthyroidism is called methimazole. This drug blocks the production of two different thyroid hormones; and as the name suggests, symptoms of hyperthyroidism are caused by too much thyroid hormone. As long as this medication is used appropriately, which means your kitty gets it every time they’re supposed to, it is just as effective as the other treatment modalities. Both oral and topical versions exist. With methimazole, we can adjust dosing easily and stop if we see any side effects. Most of the time kitties handle this drug just fine, but there is one side effect that will stop us in our tracks: facial itching. Less than 4% of cats taking methimazole experience this, but once they do, methimazole is a no-go forever.

Another option is feeding a prescription, iodone-deficient, therapeutic diet. A prescription diet called Hill’s Y/D is the only option for this, and the big thing to remember, my fellow feline enthusiast, is if you choose this treatment for your cat, you must be as strict as a drill sergeant that this is the ONLY food your cat eats. This is one of those all-or-nothing kind of situations.

Two more costly options are radiotherapy and surgery. Both of these occur at referral facilities and would involve further diagnostics before pursuing. While they are more expensive, they can both offer a good chance of permanent cure after recovery.

Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic

Bright Paws Ahead

But fear not, dear cat lovers! There’s light at the end of the litter box tunnel. With early detection and the purr-fect treatment plan, your cat can get back to chasing toys, lounging in sunbeams, and being the absolute ruler of their domain. So, let’s band together, humans and furry companions alike, and show Feline Hyperthyroidism who’s boss!

Until next week,


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Whinny’s Wisdoms is the official blog of Whinny the Clinic Mouse at Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic in Newberry, Florida. If you liked this blog, please subscribe below, and share it with your friends on social media! For more information, please call us at (352) 472-1620, visit our website at SpringhillEquine.com, or follow us on Facebook!

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