Thyroid, Thirst, Tachycardia and Treatment #AtoZChallenge

Well Mommy says I need to bore you about my thyroid as many new cat friends have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism  and they has questions and needs advice. I was diagnosed way back in 2013.

First I want to tell you the sings of hyperthyroidism because  it is increasingly common in older cats.

  • Weight loss
  • Usually a good or increased appetite (polyphagia)
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia)
  • Increased activity, restlessness or irritability
  • An increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • A poor and unkempt hair coat
Uncontrolled hyperthyroidism has important consequences on the heart, causing increased heart rate but also changes in the muscular wall of the heart that will eventually cause heart failure if untreated.. My dear friend Abby had heart complications due to hyperthyroidism and has gone to the rainbow bridge.

Now I wants to tell you about Treatment Options.

The most commonly used and effective anti-thyroid drugs belong to a group known as thioamides. When I was first diagnosed I took methimazole and it worked great. Alas I stopped eating and they discovered my bone marrow was suppressed. This is a VERY RARE side effect. I can no longer take the medicine. I wants to try to explain they don't know that the medicine caused the bone marrow suppression, because the biopsy of the the bone marrow showed I has Feline Lekumia in my bone marrow. But I was very ill so they don't want to risk me taking the medicine again. To their surprise I made a complete recovery and am fine now.

Surgical thyroidectomy- they don't do this anymore.

Radioactive iodine therapy - The radioactive iodine is administered as a single injection, usually simply given under the skin. The iodine is taken up by the active (abnormal) thyroid tissue, but not by any other tissues, resulting in a selective local accumulation of radioactive material in the abnormal tissues. The radiation destroys the affected abnormal thyroid tissue, but does not damage surrounding tissues or the parathyroid glands. There are no significant side-effects with this treatment, but because cats are temporarily radioactive they have to be kept hospitalized for a short period after treatment as a precaution. Unfortunately, because this treatment requires handling of radioactive drugs it is also only available at certain centers. A single injection of radioactive iodine is curative in around 95 per cent of all hyperthyroid cats, but following treatment occasional blood tests are recommended to ensure normal thyroid hormone levels are being maintained.


The treatment option we are using is Dietary treatment and is relatively NEW.

At this time only ONE company makes y/d food and that is Hills Science Diet. I will now eat the dry with the canned as a treat.  But I do get tired of eating the same thing every day.

The y/d controls my thyroid by restricting my iodine intake. IMPORTANT
Because iodine intake from other food sources -- treats, another pet's food, etc. -- can compromise the effectiveness of low-iodine nutrition, it's critical that you follow your veterinarian's feeding instructions carefully and feed only y/d. 

Mommy has to make sure that I do not eat anyone else's food, so we eats separately. Scylla eats in the garage alone because she is on a Metabolic Diet to lose weight. Yin, Yang and Chimera eat in the Dinning Room and get Kitten Food right now and I eat in the hall all by myself. The dogs eat on the back porch when the weather is nice. When it's not they have to wait until after we eat and they eats in the dining room/kitchen and utility room.   While the Y/D Diet may not be for every cat it has worked GREAT for me, my blood work has been fantastic. I have been on it for almost 3 years now.

I talked about the link between hyperthyroidism and cat food in the post Socks Meows "Is your Cats Food Causing Hyperthyroidism?"

It seems you need to avoid food with plant proteins like soy, canned food especially fish, liver and giblet flavors and fish due to it's high concentration of PBDEs. We don't recommend avoiding canned food altogether, but trying to find cans that are not coated with BPA and avoiding the flavors that increased the risk.

Hyperthyroidism is also caused by Adenomas (benign tumors) and Adenocarcinomas (malignant tumors) you can read more about that  @ Causes of Hyperthyroidism in Cats

I hope you found this post informative and that I wasn't too boring or long winded. ~Socks, reporting for ATCAD


  1. Wow, thats a lot of good info to learn about. Thanks.
    We sure hope we don't get those troubles, though...

  2. Wow, that is a lot of great info on kitty hyperthyroidism! My human feeds us high animal protein food and rarely fish (no fish flavors at all, but she has noticed that sometimes the food makers still sneak it into the poultry flavors). We also eat a partly raw diet. I hope this helps us avoid getting this.

  3. Our cousin angel Lemew lived for 7 years with a thyroid issue. He was 17 when he got his wings.

  4. Very interesting and a lot of information. My check up was this last week and my blood work came up with high thyroid levels. They are doing a better look at this and doing another test. They said I might have to have pills or the diet. Paws crossed that things do turn up right and I don't have high thyroid. Though there is treatment it is good not to have it. Sounds like you are doing great. Do you ever want to sneak your siblings food?

    1. Of course and sometimes I do. And the vet even said I could have treats every now and then since my blood work was OK. We thinks the food must have caused my hyperthyroidism since I am doing so very well now.

  5. Thanks for the good information.
    Georgia and JJ are on half a pill a day and so far so good.
    We will be checking our canned food carefully now ;)
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

  6. We sure learned a lot by reading this post. We wonder how similar this condition is in dogs and if there are similar treatments.

    1. Dogs usually have an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism), which causes weight gain instead of weight loss. Ciara, from the OP Pack has to deal with it and can probably tell you more about the condition in dogs. Luckily we don't know anything about it in dogs first hand.

  7. Hi Socks....thanks for spelling out the joys of hyperthyroidism for everyone because as you and I both know, it is a common problem for those of us of a certain age! So far I'm doing OK on the methimazole but Mom wants to try the diet route since I'm beginning to NOT like the methimazole.

    Hugs, Sammy

    1. I hope you like the food, now that I am used to it I like it OK. And Yin, weird girl that she is prefers MY FOOD to her kitten food.

  8. Interesting information. We're glad you are doing so well!

    The Florida Furkids

  9. That's a lot of information ! Thank you ! Purrs

  10. Excellent post. I have 2 cats on thyroid meds and Spooky had been too.

  11. That all sounds pretty complicated, but we hope you are doing well Socks.

  12. Thanks for the education about hyperthyroidism. Glad to know Socks is doing well again after the bone marrow scare! I've dealt with the opposite problem - hypothyroidism - in dogs and also personally.


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