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Readers Respond: Living with a hyperthyroid cat

Responses: 26

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From the article: Hyperthyroidism in Cats

Hyperthyroidism is a common disease of middle-aged and senior cats. The most striking sign is weight loss despite increased (sometimes ravenous) appetite.

Once a cat is diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, there are three treatment options. What option did you choose for your cat, and why?

Please share your cat's story of hyperthyroidism - how you first noticed the problem, how it was diagnosed, and what treatment option was selected for your cat.

Tell us your story

Joan

I adopted a cat who I knew nothing about. After a vet visit I found she is about 8 1/2 years old & has severe hyperthyroidism… Level 20. I took the easiest way out that I could handle...hills y/d. Her poor coat has turned shiny again, and she has gained 2 pounds loving the food. only thing is that she wants to eat about 4 times a day. She eats almost 2 cans every day. It is a real pain what with the microwaving cold food & lastly feeding at 11:00 p.m ! I don't want to take her back to the vet, but I can have a vet nurse come to my home to do the blood test. She does not travel well, and I hate to put her through that again. If she is doing well on the food, why do I need to get her tested again? She is very vocal when she wants to eat but otherwise seems to be in good health. Can't I just keep her on this diet for the rest of her life without those terrible vet visits! Plus, she came home from the vet with fleas!! Thanks!!
—Guest Joan lind

hyperthyroid diagnosis

Our cat Baby was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroid. weight lose, crying, hungry but not wanting to eat. Decided the liquid medicine was the best option, but after 3 weeks I think the medicine is making her condition worse. Vet suggested cutting back to 5mg once a day instead of twice but that doesn't seem to help. She's still very weak and fraile.
—Guest baby

I dont know what to do

My wonderful Zimmy was diagnosed in Feb with hyperthyroidism. We noticed weight loss, excessive eating/drinking months before but just simply could not afford to take him in. We had him on the pills for about 3 months and he was so much better! However, I have 2 kids and we only have my husbands income right now so we are struggling pretty badly. Zimmy is nearly 15 and I had to make a choice between the $70/month it costs for bloodwork & medicine or food for my kids. Zimmy was my first "kid" and I have already cried at the thought at putting him down. I just dont know what to do!!! I want him to stay with us for as long as possible but I cant let him suffer because I cant afford his care. What would you do?
—Guest ZimmyCat

examination

My vet insists of a blood test and examination every 3 months. Which is ok but do the vets need to do an examination with every blood test? Both the blood test and examination are charged separately. I think this is scandalous. The examination consists of checking her mouth weighing and feeling her glands around her neck at the cost of £25. Then the blood test on top. Vets need to run a business not sure they are animal lovers.
—Guest sally

T.L.

Kelp is loaded with Iodine, which contributes to hyperthyroidism. Do not give it to a hyperthyroid cat. Canned cat foods such as fish/seafood/tuna, are also loaded with Iodine. See your Vet and try to get your cat to eat more 'meat' protein.... Read labels on cat foods as some contain soy, kelp, and are higher in iodine.....Avoid those!
—Guest T.L.DeVita

5 year old cat losing sight

a couple years back my cat started bumping into everything. Took her to regular vet and blood test came bck normal. Vet sent me to eye specialist and blood pressure was 260. Put my cat on blood pressure medication and brought it down to 160 and then 135. Still eye sight was not good. He gets around inside and outside and I think he can see images but not sure. Took him bck for blood pressure ck and it was back up to 210. Dr took blood test and thyroid test and both normal. Would like to have info about this.
—Guest jan sullivan

Cato and his thyroid issues

Please try a dose of methimazole that is lower than originally recommended if your cat gets very lethargic and starts hiding. Cato started on a dose that was way too high and I just adjusted it myself until he leveled out. The pills are bitter, which is why your cat hates them. You should not crush them. Roll them into a tiny ball of soft cheese. It becomes a treat. I squirt a little water into his mouth after putting the cheeseball down near the back of his tongue, to make sure it goes down. Cato actually purrs when he gets his pill. Put your cat on renal whole food supplements and cardiac supplements as a backup. Ask the vet. I use standard process products. This problem is very manageable with holistic health methods. 2013
—Guest Lee B.

My 14 year old cat

In May of this year I had to put my 16 year old cat Babie to sleep. She had hyperthyroid. The medicine was pretty harsh on her body. After a month I decided to have her daughter checked. And sure enough she has hyperthroid. We decided to try Science Diet Y/D food. She is doing great. She is always eating. I am hoping it works. I have to take her in for a T-4 re check. I hope I will get good news. The pills are not an option.
—Guest Sandra

Hyperthyroidism

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

I131

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

Hyperthyroidism

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

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Living with a hyperthyroid cat

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