What Happens When Feline Hyperthyroidism is Untreated

Because of its sometimes subtle symptoms and the tendency for its onset to occur in middle and old age, feline hyperthyroidism can often be mistaken for changes that accompany aging in cats. Unfortunately, this means that many pet owners leave feline hyperthyroidism untreated. Doing so can cause pain and anguish for the cat. Feline hyperthyroidism is treatable and can be completely cured if spotted early. Leaving your cat's hyperthyroidism untreated, however, can result in many difficulties. It can even be fatal.

Untreated Cat Hyperthyroidism Long-Term

Veterinarians who have seen a cat with untreated feline hyperthyroidism often see cats that have grown very sick over the years. A cat with untreated hyperthyroidism may stop eating altogether. It may also exhibit blood in its stools. These are very serious symptoms, but internal changes are even more serious. Feline hyperthyroidism, untreated, can cause serious heart problems. This is because the cat’s heart must work harder to match the state of its overactive metabolism. This means that in addition to years of dietary distress, general restlessness and nervousness, and hair loss, a cat whose feline hyperthyroidism is untreated can suffer from heart problems that can be fatal.

Get Your Cat Tested

To spare your cat the serious medical problems that can arise from leaving feline hyperthyroidism untreated, it is important to begin treatment as soon as possible. That means keeping an eye out for symptoms and contacting your veterinarian immediately if and when they are spotted.

The Only Effective Treatment for Feline Hyperthyroidism

If your cat tests positive, your veterinarian may recommend Radioactive Iodine Therapy for your cat's hyperthyroidism. This therapy is the most effective treatment option for treating feline hyperthyroidism. In this treatment, a radioactive iodine is injected. This iodine will eliminate abnormal thyroid tissue without harming surrounding tissues. After the injection, your cat will be monitored for a few days until his or her radiation levels are at an acceptable level.

This type of treatment is considered the most desirable because of its low risk of side effects and the fact that, in many cases, only a single treatment is needed. Surgery to correct the issue can be dangerous for cats that are already in poor health and cats will require hormone therapy following the surgery. Medication must be administered 1-3 times daily, and many cat owners find it difficult to give their cat pills daily. Medication also often comes with its own host of side effects, some of which can be dangerous. See a comparison of feline hyperthyroidism treatments.

If your cat is exhibiting symptoms of feline hyperthyroidism, please contact your veterinarian immediately. Never leave feline hyperthyroidism untreated.

**Back to Feline Hyperthyroidism: An Overview

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