Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland) is one of the most common conditions that we see in older cats.
The thyroid gland is responsible for controlling the body's metabolism and when it becomes overactive the typical signs seen include a ravenous appetite accompanied with weight loss, an increase in activity, and increased thirst.
In examination of cats with an overactive thyroid the heart rate is elevated, weight loss is noted, the coat may look unkempt and in most cases a goitre (enlarged thyroid gland) is felt.
Diagnosis is achieved via a blood test and treatment is often very rewarding for the cat, the owner and the vet.
The gold standard treatment is to administer radioactive iodine therapy. This is performed at external specialist centres.
Other options include administering anti thyroid medications either by tablet or as a gel applied to the inner ear, surgery to remove the enlarged gland, or by feeding exclusively an iodine depleted diet.
If your cat is diagnosed hyperthyroid, at Maven Vets we will discuss which treatment option is most suitable for you and your cat.
Routine checks are also required to ensure that the thyroid levels have normalised following treatment.