Have You Heard Of Hyperthyroidism in Cats?

Hypothyroidism in cats.

Cat owners are typically looped into the common potential health issues facing modern felines. In addition to heartworm disease, diabetes, feline leukemia virus (FelV), and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), hyperthyroidism in cats is increasingly prevalent. Characterized by weight loss, increased appetite/thirst, and vomiting or diarrhea, this condition must be promptly addressed. The good news is that once hyperthyroidism in cats is properly managed, a high quality of life is attainable.

Anatomy Details

Located within the neck, the thyroid gland produces a hormone that regulates metabolism. When too much hormone is produced, metabolism increases which explains why cats lose weight despite a voracious appetite. While this symptom is a red flag, many owners don’t automatically realize that it’s tied to something serious. 

Cats between the ages of 10-13 are commonly diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Blood tests and other diagnostics can help diagnose hyperthyroidism in cats, and rule out a series of other common conditions like kidney disease, diabetes, and cancer (all share similar clinical symptoms). We may also need to perform an electrocardiogram, chest x-ray, ultrasound, and blood pressure to gain a better understanding of a cat’s condition. 

Since a vast majority of cases are linked to a benign tumor on one or both lobes of the thyroid gland, it is critical to move quickly toward effective treatment. Prognosis is usually very good if caught early. 

Next Steps

Depending on the severity, hyperthyroidism in cats may be properly managed with medical treatment, close monitoring, and prescription diet. Medication taken twice a day for life can decrease the production of thyroid hormone. 

Injections of radioactive iodine can also decrease thyroid hormone levels in a shorter amount of time, but require a hospital stay. This is often the fastest and safest method to lower thyroid hormone levels. 

Surgical removal of the thyroid gland may be necessary in extreme cases. However, the elimination of the thyroid gland may result in serious health complications.

Every Step of the Way

Your team at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital understands that hyperthyroidism in cats can be very challenging to face. Due to its effect on feline blood pressure, heart health, eye health, neurologic functions, and the kidneys, this condition must be closely observed. If we’re able to catch the disease early on, hyperthyroidism in cats can be effectively treated. 

Hyperthyroidism in Cats

Your cat’s annual wellness exam creates the opportunity to catch health problems before they get out of hand. Early detection can lead to a better prognosis, affecting your cat’s overall health and lifespan. 

Remember, if you see any changes to your cat’s eating/drinking behavior, vomiting and/or diarrhea, poor coat quality, and weight loss, please don’t hesitate to call us at (865) 609‑0311. 

Top 5 Places to Go with Your Pet in Knoxville

We are pet friendly

At Volunteer Veterinary Hospital, we love our hometown for so very many reasons. One of our favorites, though, is all of the pet-friendly spots in and around the city. If you are looking for something to do with your pet in Knoxville, here are some of our top suggestions:

Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria

One of Knoxville’s favorite spots for pizza and beers, Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria has a dog-friendly patio. Bring Fido on your next dining excursion to enjoy the tasty menu selections and hard-to-beat atmosphere. The taproom is open until 10 PM on weeknights and until midnight on weekends.

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How To Keep Your Cat From Scratching You. 

Cat scratching owners hand.

We can all agree that scratching behavior from your cats is no fun, especially if you have young children in the house. 

Discovering the root of this behavior can help curb excessive scratching and hopefully help you have a more peaceful relationship with your cat and their claws. 

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Does My Pet Have an External Parasite?

Owner checking dogs ears for external parasites.

When you adopt a pet into your family, you generally are up for whatever comes along with taking care of your new ward. Most people, though, didn’t sign up to take care of any hitchhikers that might come along with their furry family members. Luckily, Volunteer Veterinary Hospital has you covered when it comes to identification, treatment, and prevention of the dreaded external parasite in pets.

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How to Do Your Part to Prevent Zoonotic Diseases in Pets

Dog sitting on owner's lap.

Zoonotic diseases have been a growing concern for both humans and animals. We have heard a lot recently about these diseases that are transmitted from wildlife to people and pets. There is currently much more of a spotlight on diseases, particularly viruses, that mutate and affect other species. 

This is why the team at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital is here with some insight into how to protect everyone from these serious diseases.

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How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Sick?

sick cat hiding

Cats can certainly be mysterious, but if they’re suffering from an unknown illness or injury their behavior may be more confusing. Because cats are hardwired to mask any signs of weakness, it can be fairly easy to miss (or misunderstand) the subtle signs they do show to indicate that something is not right. If you’re wondering whether or not your cat is sick, we have some tips to help.

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What the Hack! What Causes Hairballs in Cats?

cat coughs hairball

The sound is unmistakable. You are in the kitchen and look over to see your cat crouching and backing up, and then that sound! You know the one. The hacking you hear usually is followed up by saliva, vomit, and much to your dismay, a giant gob of fur. Yuck, right?

Hairballs in cats are a common problem among felines (and their owners who have to clean up the mess). But what causes these yucky balls of fur, and why are some cats more prone to them? The team at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital is here to explain.

What Is a Hairball?

Cats self-groom, which means that they ingest hair and debris on the coat. This fur normally passes through the digestive system without any problems, but over time, some hair gathers in the GI tract. 

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A Spoonful of Sugar? Tricks for Giving Your Pet Medications

Pug being fed a treat

When it comes to taking care of your pet, it is definitely a team effort. Of course, you get the best possible care from the staff at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital, but many times treatments extend beyond the walls of our location. 

When you are instructed to monitor or treat your pet, it is often imperative to your pet’s well-being that you follow our directions. This can be easier said than done, though, especially for pets who hate taking their pills. 

Not to worry! When it comes to giving your pet medications, we have all the tricks.

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It’s Always a Good Time to Focus on Cat Wellness

cat getting checkup at vet in knoxville

Everyone knows cats can take care of themselves. Sure, they might benefit from owner intervention occasionally but, generally speaking, they don’t need any support, right?

No way!

Unfortunately, cats are wrongly perceived as highly self-reliant, but they absolutely require and deserve special care and attention every single day. While there’s a lot cat owners can do on a daily basis at home, feline health depends on disease prevention, early detection, and effective treatment.

Together, a proactive approach to cat wellness can transform how these incredible pets are cared for.

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Adopting a Shelter Pet: A Primer

So you’ve decided to adopt a shelter pet. Congratulations! Rescues and shelters have wonderful animals who are just waiting to be adopted into their forever homes. But adopting a new dog or cat is not all fun and games; it takes some real planning to make sure this new family member, along with everyone else in the household, has a smooth transition.

Volunteer Veterinary Hospital works with newly adopted pets and their people frequently, and we are happy to share our tips and ideas on adopting a shelter pet.

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