This disease is characterized by an excessive production of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), and results from a functional benign adenomatous hyperplasia of the thyroid gland in the affected feline.
The feline thyroid gland consists of two lobes and is located in the neck attached to the wind pipe (trachea). And when sustained with an excessive production of active thyroid hormones results in detrimental systemic effects. If left untreated feline hyperthyroidism will eventually wear out the cats system and contribute to death.
The gland is responsible for producing hormones and controlling the metabolic rate. Thyroid hormone is transported through the blood to all organs and body cells. Primarily, the hormones main objective is to control cell function.
If the hormone is to low in the body, the cells work to slowly, this is called hypothyroidism. This disease is most common in dogs, and very rare in felines.
Some Cats Develop a Benign Tumor
In some cases of hyperthyroid cats they develops a benign tumor in one or two of the lobes, which can be observed and palpated in the neck area. This happens with 15% of cats with thyroid disease. The Adenoma (noncancerous tumor) produces an inordinate amount of thyroid hormone.
Feline hyperthyroidism will produce abnormalities in both lobes about 80% of the instances with both producing excessive hormone. This is a benign condition which is called, Adenomatous Hyperplasia.
A malignant (cancerous) tumor is rare and found in approximately 3% of feline hyperthyroid cases.
The common factor for each feline is the excessive circulation of thyroid hormone that affects essentially every organ and cell in the body. If this condition is ignored, the organ damage that results from this excessive exposure varies from cat to cat.
All things considered, hyperthyroidism can typically go unnoticed for some time before the owners notice their animal’s deteriorated condition.
Heart disease is usually the main concern, and eventually the excessive heart rate will lead to failure.
The overactive system will increase the cats heart rate to a severity where the heart will eventually fail and the animal will die from heart failure. Another disorder primarily seen in older felines is diabetes, it is often necessary to deal with, and treat multiple conditions at the same time.
In this video Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian discusses both traditional and alternative therapies for the feline disorder known as hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism in Cats Symptoms
With different variables to consider like age, general health, nutrition, each feline will respond a little bit differently to the disease. Among the most common hyperthyroidism in cats symptoms.
The feline will be conducive to over activity and become uneasy. They will drink and eat more than normal to the point where, their appetites will become voracious. Despite the substantially increased appetite they will lose weight excessively . Weight loss with hyperthyroidism is one of the most obvious signs.
Feline Hyperthyroidism Treatments
Natural thyroid treatment for cats is where the main focus is on the cat attempting to respond and self heal their own body. A specially prepared complex therapy of substances called remedies. The symptoms of the sick animals are matched to the remedy or remedies to stimulate the body’s natural defenses so the body works naturally to heal itself and get well. Natural thyroid treatment remedies are made from plants, minerals, and animal substances.
Radioactive iodine treatment is a very effective way to treat cats with hyperthyroidism. This treatment can be a little on the expensive side without any adverse side effects.Radioiodine therapy (I-131) has a cure rate of 95% of feline hyperthyroidism.
Methimazole for cats inhibits the synthesis of thyroid hormones by interfering with metabolic steps to decrease the amount of thyroid hormones in the system. Treatment with the drug is a form of management for hyperthyroidism, it does not cure the disease.
Surgery is usually a last resort especially when dealing with very old animals, most cats with age also have other health issues and Vets are apprehensive about putting them through anesthesia.
If hyperthyroidism in cats is left untreated your cat can go through a very uncomfortable period in their lives, in which the end result can be fatal. If you notice any change of habit or any of the clinical symptoms, its time to call your vet.