The geriatric cat and thyroid disease
“My cat seems to have lost weight, but he is still so hungry. Is he just getting old?”
An older cat who is losing weight but still hungry is a presentation we see regularly. The cause is usually hyperthyroidism, and a routine blood test can usually confirms this diagnosis.
Hyperthyroidism is the result of an overproduction of thyroid hormone. The excess thyroid hormone upsets the regulation of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, as well as the function of the heart. If untreated, it can lead to damage of the heart and kidneys, leaving your cat seriously unwell.
The main signs of hyperthyroidism include:
Normal or increased appetite – some cats are ravenous
Poor coat quality or appearance of an unkempt coat
Increased vocalisation and hyperactivity
Vomiting Increased thirst and urination
Treatment options for hyperthyroidism depend on how well the kidneys and the heart are functioning. In most cases, it involves life-long daily medication and regular blood, urine and blood-pressure tests. We can even arrange a compounded medication that you can apply to your cat’s ears (a transdermal medication) to reduce the stress of having to medicate your cat orally.
If you are worried about your cat or think they may be showing symptoms of hyperthyroidism, call us to arrange an appointment. It’s essential that we also rule out other diseases, such as primary kidney disease or diabetes.
We are always here to give you the best advice when it comes to the care of your geriatric pet, so please ask us for more information or if you have any concerns.