Cats Thyroid Problems
An Overview of Cats Thyroid Problems
The most common of cats thyroid problems is that of hyperthyroidism. This is a condition where the thyroid gland over produces the hormone “Thyroxin”. Often as not however these types of cats thyroid problems are not actually caused by the thyroid gland itself. Although this small butterfly shaped organ situated in front of the windpipe produces the thyroxin it is stimulated to do so by other glands in the body. For this reason the root cause of cats thyroid problems are often difficult to pinpoint without a series of diagnostic tests including some very elaborate and expensive blood testing. The reverse of hyperthyroidism is where the gland doesn’t produce enough thyroxin and in these cases the cause is often traced back to the organ itself. In such cases as these the lack of hormones can easily be substituted using synthetic thyroxin.
Some Symptoms of Cats Thyroid Problems
Common symptoms of cats thyroid problems are rapid weight loss, a poor coat and an increase in appetite. The issue with these visible symptoms is that they could be related to as multitude of other feline diseases. Couple this with the fact that most feline thyroid disorders occur in older cats and it is clearly apparent that further diagnosis will be needed to ascertain that an animal is affected. Other possible symptoms include increased urination, diarrhea and vomiting. An affected cat may of course show some, all or none of these symptoms. Also, as already pointed out none of them are conclusive evidence either singularly or combined that an animal is in fact suffering from cats thyroid problems.
Prognosis and Treatment of Cats Thyroid Problems
In the majority of cases of feline thyroid disease the prognosis is very positive. The main cause of hyperthyroidism in cats (and humans) is a benign tumour on the gland itself. This is often manifest as a goitre or lump which may or may not be visible on the front of the neck. The preferred treatment for this is usually surgical intervention or therapeutic radiotherapy with radio active iodine. In some cases a vet may prefer to remove part or all of the thyroid gland and then go on to administer the radiotherapy as well. The radio active iodine treatment is considered to be the most affective option by many veterinary practitioners. Apart from proving to be the most successful treatment it removes the risk involved with sedation and older animals already weakened by the disease. The reason that radio active iodine works so well is that the thyroid gland naturally absorbs iodine. The radiation is of course also absorbed at the same time and destroys the tumour cells. There is a far more detailed article about cats thyroid problems here.