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. 

Tips for First Time Pet Owners

First time pet owners with their dog.

Pets bring endless amounts of unconditional love and joy, which makes it hard to resist bringing one into your home. They can also bring some unpredictable situations, however, that require a certain amount of preparation. Your friends at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital are here to give you some tips on first time pet ownership so you can enjoy a long and happy life together:

Continue…

The Proper Place: When to Pay Attention to Your Dog’s Penis

Dog dancing with his owner.

You know your male dog has one, but it’s easier or more comfortable to ignore it. That is, until your dog’s penis appears to be…stuck. Many dogs will go through their lives without needing any attention to their nether parts. But it’s just as common for dogs to get into a predicament known as paraphimosis, and it can become a real pet emergency. 

Continue…

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. 

Continue…

Pancreatitis in Pets: Signs and Symptoms

cat on thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving day is almost here. We loosen our belts and prepare to feast with all our favorite dishes on the table. While catching up with family and friends, it can be easy to forget your pets are nearby hoping for some scraps. There are a lot of Thanksgiving foods that can mean health problems for your pets, however.

Continue…

Your Green Thumbs Doesn’t Mean No Paws: Tips for Pet-Safe Gardening

Dog in garden.

The love of plants and the love of animals often go hand-in-hand. Many plants, however, are toxic to pets and the avid gardener must always have this in the back of their mind. Volunteer Veterinary Hospital knows, though, that plants and pets can coexist harmoniously. Read on to learn how to be sure that your gardening is pet-safe gardening. 

Continue…

Allergies in Dogs (and 10 Things You Can Do at Home to Help)

Dog with allergies itching.

Allergy season in Tennessee is upon us, whether you be human or canine. Allergies in dogs tend to manifest a little differently than they do in us, however. While people suffer from stuffy noses, sinus pressure, and itchy eyes, our pets tend to deal more with itchy, inflamed skin. 

Continue…

Traveling with Your Pet Safely

Traveling with a pet.

A change in seasons means new possibilities for traveling and vacationing with your family. Whether your travels are by air or by car, you want to keep safety as your top priority. This is especially important if you are traveling with your pets!  The team at Volunteer Veterinary Hospital has put together the essential safety tips for traveling with your pets: 

Continue…

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.

Continue…

The Buzz on Pollen Allergies in Dogs

A dog sniffs a flower in a meadow.

If you notice your pet scratching a lot more than usual or biting at their paws and legs, chances are they have allergies. Spring is a beautiful time for budding trees and blooming plants, but it’s also the bane of most allergy sufferers. Your pet can also experience seasonal allergies, which can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.

Volunteer Veterinary Hospital is here to explain more about pollen allergies in dogs and what you can do to relieve the itchy-scratchy for your pooch:

Continue…