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Have you noticed that your cat is losing weight yet still has a good appetite? Does he or she seem energetic, perhaps more than usual? And is that glossy kitty coat looking a little unkempt lately? These are symptoms of a hyperthyroid disease.
Hyperthyroid disease occurs when the thyroid gland is working too hard and producing too much of the hormones it is responsible for. Overactive thyroid is unfortunately common in senior cats, but it’s seen in middle-aged cats too. It’s a top condition that veterinarians check for in older cats during their exams. Left undiagnosed or untreated, hyperthyroid disease is deadly. However, the prognosis is good with early treatment!
Early signs of thyroid disease in cats include:
As hyperthyroidism progresses, symptoms also include:
Because these cats are burning through their calories so quickly, some cat owners will also notice that their cats seem to have unusual spurts of energy too. While it’s tempting to think this is just an old cat being cute and playing like a kitten, if it’s not normal for your cat, it’s worth noting to your vet.
If your vet suspects hyperthyroidism, he or she will want to take a small sample of blood to run a test to verify it. This is important to do, not just for the confirmation, but also because establishing exactly how overactive the thyroid is will determine the dosage of medicine that needs to be given to your cat. It needs to be corrected, but not overcorrected.
Hyperthyroidism cannot be cured, but it can be managed and improved with good success! A prescription medication will be given daily. Sound like a chore? Don’t worry. If sneaking a little tablet into a treat doesn’t work, there are other ways to give the same medication. It can be formulated into a soft, flavored chew with a range of flavors to choose from. It can also be ordered as a transdermal gel that you rub onto the bare skin of your cat’s ear where it will absorb readily. Easy-peasy!
Have questions? Let us know! We’re happy to help!