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Hyperthyroidism

July 1st 2015

Author: Sarah Butler

HYPERTHYROIDISM

Common in cats over 8 years of age and rare in dogs, HyperT is usually the result of benign thyroid tumours that increase the amount of circulating thyroxine. 

Thyroxine is responsible for regulating the metabolic rate so these cats burn energy like there's no tomorrow; everything is upregulated.

HyperT presents as weight loss despite a ravenous appetite, sometimes vomiting and/or diarrhoea and they often have an unkempt coat even though they can overgroom. The cats can look like they're wired, even at rest. They have a racing heartrate, hypertension and sometimes the thyroid nodules are palpable in the neck.

Diagnosed via blood tests, HyperT can be treated with oral medication, radiotherapy or less commonly surgery.

It is fatal if left untreated. These cats consume their fat and muscles to the point of complete emaciation and collapse.