Just like many people combat thyroid disease, it is also an illness that we diagnose and manage frequently in cats. Feline hyperthyroidism is increasing in prevalenc
e and is now the most common endocrine disorder in middle-aged and older cats, occurring in about 10% of US feline patients over ten years old.
On May 3, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) released "The Guidelines for the Management of Feline Hyperthyroidism" in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. This provides all veterinary clinics a more standardized way of diagnosing hyperthroidism. It also helps guide owners with all the options for treating the disease.
Our routine senior screening panels have always included serum thyroid hormone, which allows detection of elevated "T4" levels at an early stage in the disease. If we can detect thyroid disease before cats are showing symptoms, then we can begin treatment to avoid complications of the illness.
If your cat is showing symptoms such as weight loss, ravenous appetite, vomiting or loose stool, haircoat changes, or changes in behavior, thyroid disease should be considered. Or, if you are interested in learning more about all of the options for treatment of your already diagnosed cat...please give us a call.
The AAFP provides a helpful client brochure for more detailed information.