Q: My cat has been eating a lot of food, but she still lost a lot of weight. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. What are my treatment options for her?
A: Hyperthyroidism is a disease caused by overproduction of thyroid hormones in the body. This is a disease that is fairly common in older cats that have dramatic weight loss, in spite of increased appetite. It is straightforward to diagnose with a blood test. Typical symptoms include aggressive appetite, weight loss, and hyperactivity. Elevated thyroid levels can lead to heart, kidney, and liver sequelae as well.
The most common treatment is a medication called methimazole. It can be administered as a pill or oral suspension twice daily. It can also be prepared as a transdermal medication and applied to the ears (pinna). It can also be treated surgically, but other therapies have made surgical intervention antiquated. There is also an iodine deficient diet that can be used for treatment. To be effective, cats must eat this diet alone.
Another treatment option is radiotherapy. This is the technique that I recommend the most. It requires a stay at the referring veterinarian’s office for several days. A single treatment is curative.
For further information on this approach, go to www.AVMI.net
By Dr. Frank Lavac
Dr.Lavac can be reached by calling 310-828-4587.