About Hyperthyroidism in Cats

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Hyperthyroidism in cats is due to an overactive thyroid gland that can develop a benign tumor. Look for weight loss in cats that have hyperthyroidism with help from a staff veterinarian in this free video on cat health and pet care.

Part of the Video Series: Dog & Cat Diseases
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Video Transcript

Let's talk about the signs of feline hyperthyroidism and what we're talking about is an overactive thyroid gland. And a lot of cats as they get older they can get a benign tumor on their thyroid gland. This benign tumor is active and so it starts producing lots of thyroid hormone. What this does is increases the metabolism overall in the body. So the common signs you'll see with a cat like this would be weight loss despite the fact that they're actually eating more and sometimes in greater amounts. So they're usually driving their owners crazy wanting food all the time. Another common sign of hyperthyroidism in cats is vocalization and behavior change at home. A lot of people notice that, cats will walk around and vocalize for no reason in the middle of the night that they never used to do before, vocalize for food constantly that they didn't do before and so those are very common things. Another thing that can happen with cats with hyperthyroidism is their heart rates can go very, very high. Normally a cat's heart rate can be around 180, these cats can come in at 280, 300, that sort of thing. They can also have heart murmurs. There are treatments for hyperthyroidism in cats. There are several, one is removing that thyroid gland or that benign tumor. Two is radiation therapy, radioactive iodine that's given in the bloodstream and is only done at certain facilities across the Unites States. And third, the most popular is medication. Methimazole that is given to lower the thyroid output and cats with this can live a long time and a healthy life as long they're managed, however cats that aren't managed or have hyperthyroidism that isn't treated can actually have consequences, especially with that high heart rate and heart murmur. They can actually go into congestive heart failure.

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