Thyroid disease in cats which is common today, was not known to cause any problem four decades ago. Hypothyroidism in cats is caused when the thyroid glands are affected. These glands may produce too much of the hormone or too less of it affecting the body’s metabolism. Mostly, older cats aged around ten are diagnosed with thyroid malfunction. In the initial stages, this issue may not appear so harmful, but it can become very serious and fatal to the cats.
When the thyroid gland malfunctions, the thyroid hormone is produced in excessive amounts. This triggers an increase in metabolism and the cat starts burning energy too quickly. The first thing you may notice is that your cat starts to lose weight, in spite of eating well. You should be observant about their behaviour to identify any signs of illness in cats. If you are suspicious, the vet will be able to identify the problem and give you the options of treatment.
Signs of hypothyroidism in cats
- Apparent loss of weight
- Your cat seems to be eating all the time, but remains skinny
- She is also thirsty all the time
- She seems to be hyperactive, following you more than usual all the time
- The cat makes disturbing noises, usually at night
- She has diarrhoea and the litter box is always full
- She appears very sick
- Her skin coat turns dull
Complications of thyroid disease
If this problem is left untreated, the cat may develop other serious conditions such as heart disease, kidney problems and breathing problems. Thyroid disease in cats progresses slowly. In the initial stage, up to a year, the symptoms maybe mild. If the cat does not develop any complications after being diagnosed, then it can survive for many months to few years, despite losing weight. Unfortunately, the disease keeps growing with time, worsening the condition of cat.
Signs if your cats is dying of hypothyroidism
- Excessive loss of weight
- Developing seizures
- Sudden loss of vision due to increase in blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme thirst
There are treatments available for treating hypothyroidism in cats, but they can be challenging. Regular medicine is recommended to control thyroid, but it can get expensive in the long run. Surgery is another option to remove the tumour which may be growing in the thyroid gland, but may not be effective in completely curing it. Radioactive iodine therapy is effective in curing this disease, but it can be expensive and also, this may not be provided in clinics in your city.