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Readers Respond: Living with a hyperthyroid cat

Responses: 33



Our Cat Brandy is 15 and about a month ago I noticed her drinking a large amount of water and eating everything in sight. The litter box was like cleaning up bricks.She was also losing alot of weight. I took her to the vet and he did a blood test for her thyroid and put her on methamazole every 12 hours. The first week she was doing very well and starting gaining weight and than all of a sudden she has just stopped eating and now I am placing the pill in that back of her throat so she swallows it. All she does is sleep and has now lost all the weight she has gained and more. I am still trying to get a bit of food into her but I am feeling she has just given up. Putting her to sleep is NOT an option. I will do my best to keep her comfortable. Why are so many cats getting this illness and quite frankly People too ?
—Guest Dollsrme4u

My sweet Millie and Hyperthyroidism

My sweet Millie (Mee-oh) was 11 years old. She started "looking" differently. She was never a cuddle kitty, so I didn't hold her much to notice the "feel" of her weight loss. She slowly lost a small amount (ounces) of weight consistently as the weeks passed by. She then over the next couple of months developed slightly loose stools. They became more frequent and subsequently were just water and had an extremely foul odor (something dead) to go with it. She ate well and drank her water well despite the smelly diarrhea.  I took her to the vet after aprox. 2 weeks of the horribly smelling diarrhea hoping she just had a stomach bug. He told me what he thought it was based on her history. Lab tests confirmed it. Hyperthyroidism. So pills to be given twice daily. She hated being man-handled. I tried everything. After 2 days of what she and I would call torture (for her) I made the call. The next morning she was put to sleep. That was 4 years ago. I still miss her sooo very much.
—Guest Lisa


My cat, at 7yrs, was diagnosed with hyperthyroid. I opted for the I131. She was one of the unusual ones that ended up going hypothyroid after the treatment, but that's easier to control. She's now 14, and still doing very well.
—Guest Dee4cats

Very young cat with hypothyroidism

My kitty, Itty-Bitty was one of a litter of six born in our garage to a semi-tame, three-legged mom who lives around our house. I found homes for all the kittens but her and one brother. She was a sickly baby, very small (hence the name Itty-Bitty) and no one wanted to adopt her. She is now three years old. She has been a good pet to me--she follows me around everywhere and wants to sleep next to me each night. However, her skinny little body and poopy, daggy butt really puts me off and she leaves a nasty puddle of poo everywhere she sits. (You should see the window-sill) I thought that she had parasites (we lived in the desert this summer--she came on an expedition with us and ate lots of lizards), but not. I am really worried about the cost of treating her (putting her down is not an option) I determined for her to have a comfortable and quality life. What is the best source of treatment?
—Guest Mary

Pills did not work

My cat recently passed away. She had hyper thyroids, and kept spitting out her pills. I'm kinda really sad.
—Guest Rip maggie

Hyperthyroidism and I131

We lived and treated a great cat with HyperThyroidism for 18 years. He was diagnosed at 11. Treated with Methimazole, ear gel etc. due to underlying health conditions. Considered the I131 at the time he was diagnosed but the expense (in Calif) was prohibitive and honestly thought he would not live long. Now our Rusty (age 11) has just been diagnosed as hyperthyroid. Just started him on YD but we are seriously considering I131 to give him the best chance to live a long and CAREFREE life. In the long run the expense is much cheaper then meds, food and vet visits and much less stress on the poor kitty.
—Guest Delaware


My beautiful girl was diagnosed with this about a month ago at the age of 16. She was put on a special diet, and after she stopped eating, and started pooing and weeing inside we asked the vet what our next options were. We were given two options, pills or a special cream that goes in their ears. My parents decided in the end to go with the option that I refused and denied for a long time, to get her put to rest. I feel like she could've lasted so much longer had she been on medication. But now she no longer has to struggle. Rip mittens, forever in my heart xx
—Guest Ashley

12/2012 Diagnosed Hyperthyroid

My dear sweet friend, Long jet black fur w/18kt eyes. Most the neighbors know us, (we take walks together). Who says dogs are smarter? She's been not sleeping sound, a little more yowly than usual, and seems to favor her left front shoulder/leg. And I now realize she's been drinking & peeing too much. (light bulb here). Today is day 2 of her methimazole, and I could swear she's bumping into things, and just not moving as well as she did just last week. I'm very concerned, almost like overnight she became an invalid. I am considering the homeopathic method of Nat-Mur. Can anyone advise? This is 2 out of 2 cat friends of mine now diagnosed. My 1st friend had I131 treatment at 9 only to acquire renal failure & be put down 5 years later. It seems to me there's something just short of an epidemic going on with our friends here. And at the monetary cost, not to mention our emotional, can't there be a solution? Or? Is this conspiracy due to over population. Just think?

Iodine Treatment worked GREAT for my cat

Butter was diagnosed January 2011 - has been on 1/2 tablet twice daily. It was getting harder to pill him plus he kept me up ALL night wanting food - He had iodine treatment 8 days ago and the difference in him is amazing! His coat is fuller, he's gained weight, is not fidgety and he lets me sleep all night. The treatment was costly, they ran all kinds of tests on him - ultrasounds, body scans, urinalysis and comprehensive blood work. He had to stay at vets 3 nights and I keep him isolated from the other cats when I'm not home and I am going through quite a bit of litter as every time he uses his box I have to dump it, clean the box and put new litter but it is worth it!! I am very pleased with the results and I imagine he'll only get better.
—Guest Lola


My 12 year old cat was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism due to increased weight loss and rapid heartbeat. At first did well with liquid medication in wet cat food. Slowly lost appetite for some unknown reason. Switched to the transdermal gel, which was remarkably easier for me to administer and make sure that he was getting the correct dose. He lived an additional 2 1/2 years after being on medication. As with adminstering any medication, it became tedious, but well worth it.
—Guest MAB457

Only for a couple of weeks

How often have we heard that - well that was two years ago and we haven't from Spud's owners since. He is a 14yr old Black & Brown short haired moggie with spikey greasy fur. He eats for England and would do so 24hrs a day emptying the rubbish bin every night. Needles to say he is constantly being sick and uses the house as his own lavatory. Common sense says put him out of our misery, but we are animal lovers and it would be just too easy, besides which he is a lovely lap cat from 9:00pm every night.
—Guest Patricia


My cat has had hyperthyroidism for 2 yrs. She did fabulous to the point to the point where we put her on the food Hills Y/D ... It sent her through her roof. Put her back on the medication and within a matter of a week she was doing pretty good bur still working on things. Wish us luck.
—Guest Precious Princess

Proper Dosing and Kidneys

Giving the proper dose of methimazole to lower the T4 into "healthy" range (about 2.0-2.5 for most cats), does not accelerate kidney disease. If the cat has entered chronic renal failure, the lowering of the T4 simply reveals the true nature of the kidney condition, which can be treated. However, an overdose of methimazole that sends a cat into a hypothryroid state can cause acute renal failure. The most current protocol (according to Plumb's Guide) is to start with 1.25mg twice a day, retest in 3 weeks, and adjust dosage carefully. Continue until T4 is stable at the desired level. Sadly, many vets remain out of date and either start too high or increase doses too much at a time. Ability to make small adjustments is a primary advantage of the transdermal gel. Clinics are now learning that CRF doesn't mean iodine is out. It requires careful treatment followed by thyroid supplementation, still better than methimazole.
—Guest Forrest D. Poston

Responding to Guest Super Cat

This is in response to Guest Super Cat's question about radioactive treatment for cats with hyperthyroidism. One of my cats, who passed away due to lymphosarcoma, actually had radioactive treatment two years prior to her death when she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. We were lucky to have a facility nearby who would do this. The cat needed blood tests and x-rays before she can be accepted as a prospective candidate since they would not do the treatment if the cat had other health issues. So, that was the extra expense. Then we brought her for treatment and she stayed overnight as I recall. We picked her up and isolated her in a separate room with a different litter that we can flush, wear gloves to scoop,limit interaction with her to a few minutes a day... before you know it, the week is over and I just washed and dumped the litterbox. After treatment she responded well, and then a follow up blood test. Anyway, if you can afford the high costs, I would say go for it!
—Guest Rockpainter

I131 procedure

Our cat underwent the I131 at the Feline Hyperthryoid Treatment Center in WA state. She was only there for 3 days and then got to come home. Our cat is an indoor cat so I cant answer how long she would need to stay indoor. The treatment worked wonders for our cat although she did tend towards hypo-thyroid after but not enough that she needed medication. The meds for the treatment of hyper-thyroid dont cure the disease, they just control it and they can still have effects from the disease even with the meds which is why we went to I131 because its a cure. Plus our cat was not able to tolerate the meds for this including the transdermal.
—Guest Guest-WA state

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