Hyperthyroidism is a condition characterized by increased levels of thyroid hormones. This affects various body systems such as the gastrointestinal tract and heart. Feline hyperthyroidism usually affects middle-aged to older cats.
Hyperthyroidism in cats causes increased circulation of thyroid hormones. This normally occurs because the gland has been affected by cancerous cells. Older cats normally develop this condition.
Feline hyperthyroidism can affect various systems in the body. Therefore, signs vary widely. Some of the most common include increase appetite, increase activity levels, weight loss, and increased thirst and urination.
The disease also can affect the gastrointestinal tract. This leads to diarrhea and vomiting. If the heart is affected, felines experience increased heart rate, arrhythmias, and heart failure.
Various other diseases can mimic the signs of feline hyperthyroidism. Some of these other health problems include diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. A blood panel and thyroid test will help determine if hyperthyroidism is the cause.
There are various ways to treat feline hyperthyroidism. You can give your cat a daily pill to keep the condition under control. Removal of the thyroid gland is also an option. However, this treatment method won’t be successful if thyroid tissue is left in other areas of the body.
The last method to treat hyperthyroidism in cats is irradiated iodine. This is the most successful course of treatment since all thyroid tissue is removed in the body. However, it is the most expensive.