Washtenaw Veterinary Hospital
Holiday Edition 2016
Focus on: Feline Hyperthyroidism
The thyroid gland produces hormones that are responsible for regulating basic bodily functions like metabolism, protein production, and red blood cell production. If it isn't working properly it can affect every system in the body. Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disease in cats and occurs when the thyroid gland is continuously producing thyroid hormones. The rise in hormone levels causes the signs of disease.
This is typically a disease of older cats and most are diagnosed between 10-12 years of age. The most common signs of hyperthyroidism in cats are weight loss and a ravenous appetite. Cats can also have increased thirst, increased urination frequency, hyperactivity, increased vocalization, dull hair coat, and occasionally vomiting or diarrhea.
Usually a simple blood test is all that is needed to diagnose hyperthyroidism. Our senior wellness panel screens for hyperthyroidism and we recommend this blood panel annually for cats age 10 and over. If your cat has hyperthyroidism there are a variety of treatment options and we will work with you to create the best plan for your feline friend.