Hyperthyroidism in Senior Cats

If your feline friend has rounded the corner toward seven years of age, it is time to have him/her screened for hyperthyroidism. Because initial signs of the disease can be very subtle and because this condition is the number one endocrine disorder in aging cats, an annual thorough wellness examination should include a detailed examination of your feline's thyroid gland.

Hyperthyroidism is a serious condition caused by an overactive thyroid gland. Fortunately, it can be easily diagnosed (and consequently treated) with a simple and inexpensive blood test. Most cases of hyperthyroidism can be successfully managed with proper attention and treatment. This is good news for aging felines everywhere. Treatment options include a variety of daily, lifelong medicines to keep the condition under control and/or a more permanent remedy in radioactive iodine therapy. A last, final option is to surgically remove the sick thyroid gland.

As research continues, so, too, do treatment options for senior cats suffering from hyperthyroidism. More information is becoming available that will help provide answers as to why the incidence of this condition is increasing and why indoor cats are more at risk than outdoor ones.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your senior cat's health, contact your veterinarian.

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