View Full Version : Anyone have a cat with thyroid issues?

07-12-2005, 07:01 AM
I am afraid one of my cats may have a thyroid problem. We had a friend who's cat had thyroid issues and my cat has similar symptoms. She pulls her hair out in clumps and has recently lost some weight but her appetite is still hearty. I have an appointment to take her to the vet on Saturday, but was wondering what I might encounter if this is her problem. Does anyone have experience with this??



07-12-2005, 07:16 AM
I had a dog who had a thyroid problem. I was able to treat her condition with meds.


07-12-2005, 07:44 AM
As a student I cannot diagnose (especially without seeing the kitty), but there are several things that can cause problems like those. I highly recommend that you take your cat to the vet sooner than later . The vet will likely recommend bloodwork and possibly other diagnostics, but if it is thyroid it can be controlled by medication (there are some other options too).

07-12-2005, 08:25 AM
Hi Laura,

My 17 year old cat has hyperthyroid issues and is on daily medication to control it. Without the meds, he is one sick kitty. On the meds, he is great!

The nice thing about the medication I use, methylprednizole or something like that, is that I buy it from a compounding pharmacy which ships the meds directly to me. (My vet calls in the prescription.) So instead of giving my cat a pill, I massage some ointment into the thin skin on the inside of his ear twice daily. My cat is NOT a pill taker!!!! There are a couple of downsides to this particular mdication: it costs about $60 per month and sometimes the medication can cause kidney problems. To make sure we catch the kidney problems if they are going to occur, he has to have bloodwork done every 6 months, which is another $90 bucks, not to mention another horrifying trip to the vet (I'd gladly pay twice that to have the vet drive the 3 miles to my house).

I agree you should take your cat to the vet sooner than later, but I think it can wait until Saturday. Hopefully your cat's problems will be something easy to diagnose and fix!

Good luck! And if you need to know anything about the compounding pharmacy, let me know. Be sure to ask your vet about that if your cat is not a very good pill taker.

P.S. There is also surgery to treat hyperthyroid, but your cat must be in quarantine for several days away from home. At 17 years old, I didn't think my cat would survive the stress and trauma of THAT, let alone the surgery.

07-12-2005, 09:31 AM
My cat started having hyperthyroid problems about 4 years ago. At first, we treated him with daily meds (one pill every 12 hours), but it got more and more difficult to give him his pill (he turned into Cujo Cat!), and we couldn't leave him alone, even for the weekend (we have lots of family out of town).

So we decided to have radiation treatment. According to our vet, this is the "gold standard" treatment, but it doesn't come cheap (about $1200). It involved a one-week stay at the vet clinic for the treatment and then he was "quarantined" at home for about two-weeks (he was still slightly "radioactive" so we could hold him in our laps, etc.). He came through with flying colors and was his old self again.

The radiation was supposed to be a cure (only 1-3% don't work, or have recurring problems). Our vet has never seen a recurrence after radiation treatment in the 15 years he's been practicing -- until now. Just this year, our cat is having thyroid problems again! He's almost 18 y.o. now, and is very arthritic, so we're not going to do any herioc measures this time. The vet is going to have the meds compounded into a cream that you rub on the cat's ear. If this helps, great; if not, then we may have to make the very hard choice to put him down.

I don't regret the decision to do the radiation treatment -- it gave Casper 3 more very healthy and happy years. I just wish we weren't part of the 1-3%!

07-12-2005, 10:02 AM
One of our kitties has a thyroid problem. He did not seem sick at all, but when we took him in to the vet, he had a heart murmur. Blood work led to the diagnosis of a thyroid problem and now he takes a pill twice a day. Actually, he does seem more chipper now than before, so maybe he was feeling a bit under the weather. He is "super cat" and takes his morning pill with a bit of wet cat food and fairly easily takes his evening pill by the jaw-prying-open method. Good luck with your kitty.

07-12-2005, 10:23 AM
almost all cats after the age of 10 or 13 will have thyroid problems. If unchecked, usually kidneys begin to fail too.

Low protein diets and thyroid meds are wonderful. Our guy lived to 20+ years with this.

If your cat cannot tolerate oral meds (our wally would just get sicker with the oral meds), they have a cream you can rub into the inner ear. He did beautifully on this.
It's expensive but sooooooooooo much easier than pilling a cat :D

Safari Girl
07-12-2005, 12:37 PM
Barney, one of my 15 year old cats, was diagnosed this past spring with hyperthyroidism. He's on daily meds (Tapazole), 1/2 pill in the morning and 1/4 at night. He's actually really good about taking them because I think he knows that they make him feel better - gotten to the point where I just tap him on the chin and he opens up and takes the pill. The vet will be monitoring him every 6 months with blood tests to ensure his levels stay normal, eventually his dose will have to be increased as he ages. He's not as active as he used to be, but he was insanely wired because of the thyroid problem before. He seems to fall asleep really easy = he'll be sitting next to you and the next thing his head droops. He's supposed to be eating low proten food (Medi-Cal from the vet), his brother is in the early stages of kidney failure (he's on Fortikore once a day), he was for awhile but then he went on a hunger strike, barely ate for days and I had to put him back on his Iams, which he loves - as soon as I showed him the bag he was all over his food bowl! He had gained close to 2 lbs at his 1 month check up when he started his meds, lost a bit when he went on his hunger strike but I think he's back up now (he feels heavy when you pick him up). If your cat is young enough, our vet (it's a cats only clinic) did recommend that the radiation treatment is the best way to go, but because Barney is 15 we felt he was just too old to undergo the treatment. The treatment mixed with the quarentine period would be too much for Barney, and us! Barney went in on a Saturday and they had his test results back on the Tuesday, he started his meds on the Thursday and we noticed an almost immediate improvement. The vet is really pleased with his progress. Good luck at your appointment. Here's a website that has more info: http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/health/hyperthyroidism.html


07-13-2005, 02:03 PM
Our cat too has a hyperactive thyroid and he is treated with the medication in cream form. We looked at the radiation but due to his age and the fact that he is easily stressed out, we have decided to stick with the medications.

The applying the medication topically is much easier for us and him than doing a pill. We have a local pharmacy which specializes in compounding all sorts of medications.

Good luck, please keep us posted.

For what it is worth you and your kitty are not alone.

07-13-2005, 03:01 PM
Thanks for all the support and the web link. After reading the info on the website, I feel sure that is the problem. At least I will know some things to discuss with the vet. We have three cats but this one(Sally)is "my" cat and I hate that she is having this problem. She appears happy and wants to do her normal activities so I am hoping we have caught this early. I will let you know how it turns out after we see the vet.