Hyperthyroidism in cats occurs when one of the thyroid glands become overactive. This endocrine disease is relatively common, especially in middle-aged to older cats. If left untreated, this condition can lead to heart failure and death. You may be wondering what could cause your cat to develop this disease.
The most common cause of this condition is development of adenomas in the thyroid gland. Adenomas are groups of benign, or non-cancerous cells. Hyperthyroidism can also be caused by cancerous cells growing in the gland. However, this is a very rare situation. So, what kind of symptoms do cats with this condition experience.
Your cat's thyroid glands control his metabolic rate. With the glands malfunctioning, your cat will start eating and drinking much more than usual. However, he will also begin to lose weight very fast. Most cats also become much more active.
Hyperthyroidism in cats can also affect the gastrointestinal system. This causes signs such as vomiting and diarrhea. As mentioned earlier, this disease can also affect the heart which may lead to heart arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, and increased heart rate.
In order to accurately diagnose this condition, the veterinarian has to draw a blood sample. A test will measure the level of thyroid hormone in the blood. One problem diagnosing this disease is that the level of thyroid hormone can vary a lot over time. Another clue that can lead to diagnose is the appearance of an enlarged thyroid gland which the vet can be able to feel.
If diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, your cat will have three treatment options. These methods of treatment include radioactive iodine, surgery, and drugs. Radioactive iodine destroys all thyroid tissue in the body. This is the most effective method of treatment but also the most expensive.
Surgery involves removing one or both of the thyroid glands. Since there may still be thyroid tissue in other areas of the body, surgery may not treat the condition effectively. Antithyroid drugs are effective and are taken orally once or twice each day for life. If your cat stops taking these drugs, the symptoms will reappear quickly.
Besides ringworm, there are many other conditions that can affect your cat like feline calicivirus. You should be knowledgeable about these various conditions so you can get your cat treated quickly if he's affected. Luckily, common-cat-diseases.com provides just what you need. So, stop by today to learn about a wide range of cat illnesses.