How To Treat Hypothyroidism In Cats Naturally

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How To Treat Hypothyroidism In Cats Naturally

How To Treat Hypothyroidism In Cats Naturally

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Our pets are part of the family (maybe even the best part of it). That’s why all of our products are made to our strict quality standards and checked by experts to make your pet healthier and happier. To that end, what we leave out is just as important as what we leave out. As a holistic veterinarian, cat parents often come to me looking for a more natural approach to their kittens’ hyperthyroidism. If you do a quick Google search for methimazole (the oral drug commonly used to treat hyperthyroidism), it’s completely understandable why guardians are so concerned about long-term use of this drug. It is important to understand that methimazole is not the only treatment for this common condition. In this article, I discuss the basics of feline hyperthyroidism, what the underlying cause may be, and how I treat cats in my practice.

How To Treat Hypothyroidism In Cats Naturally

Hyperthyroidism is the most common hormonal imbalance in older cats. This happens when the thyroid gland enlarges and produces more thyroid hormone. Excessive levels of thyroid hormones lead to weight loss, elevated liver enzymes, vomiting, heart disease, and agitation/anxiety.

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Most cases are easily diagnosed with a simple complete T4 blood test. Occasionally some cats may have borderline T4 with vague symptoms. These kittens may require further diagnosis.

Hyperthyroidism in cats is a relatively new disease that has only become more common in the last 40 years. There is much speculation in veterinary medicine as to the cause of this increase in disease and more research is needed. The most common culprits are flame retardants used in building materials and furniture. In addition, there is evidence that the products used in the packaging of packaged foods may also be linked to this hormonal imbalance. A genetic predisposition may also be necessary.

In rare cases, a thyroidectomy is carried out, i.e. surgical removal of the thyroid gland. This article will continue to focus on methimazole and iodine treatment.

Methimazole is the most common treatment. This drug affects the thyroid’s ability to produce thyroid hormone. It is either given orally or absorbed through the skin (usually applied to the ear). Although this drug is generally well tolerated, it can cause vomiting and lethargy in some cats. Occasionally there are cats that do not respond to methimazole at all. In the 10 years I’ve been working with him, I’ve seen him many times, including with my cat.

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Advantages: Methimazole is a relatively inexpensive treatment that can be very effective. Most cats are fine once their thyroid is adequately regulated and symptoms resolve within a few months. If your cat is not interested in taking a pill every day, the cream can also be applied transdermally to the ear twice a day, which is a relatively easy option.

The Disadvantages: Your cat will need daily medication for the rest of its life. In the early stages, your cat will need blood tests every 4-6 weeks until the correct dose is reached. This generally succeeds on the first or second try. Once the correct dose is found, blood should be retested every 6 months thereafter to ensure that thyroid levels are being adequately maintained.

It should also be noted that some cats do not absorb the transdermal form of methimazole very well and therefore only require oral doses.

How To Treat Hypothyroidism In Cats Naturally

Radioactive I-131 is used in this treatment. This may sound like the furthest thing from natural medicine, but read on! Iodine therapy has many benefits and is considered the gold standard of treatment. I usually recommend this option as the first treatment. It is generally performed in a specialist facility and involves only iodine (I-131) treatment. I-131 specifically targets the thyroid while sparing surrounding structures (including the parathyroid glands). It is non-invasive and only requires a few days of hospitalization for the radioactive particles to decay. A series of blood tests are required, after which most cats are treated for life!

Q&a On Feline Hyperthyroidism

Advantages: Treatment is almost always curative and does not require daily medication. It is very non-invasive and you will not need to treat your cat twice a day for the rest of its life.

Cons: This treatment is more expensive to begin with. In Colorado, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000. Methimazole treatment and the necessary blood tests will cost the same (or more) for several years. However, these costs are spread further.

You will also be away from your cat for at least four nights during the treatment. That was the hardest part for me!

There is a Hills diet that is very low in iodine. This diet supplement can work, but it has some limitations. The palatability is poor and many cats do not eat the food. This can only succeed if this is the only diet and no other foods or foods are allowed. Just a few bites of any other food can exceed the threshold for iodine restriction. This food is also low in protein and can lead to muscle wasting.

Hyperthyroidism In Cats: Everything You Need To Know

It is important to note that hyperthyroidism encompasses kidney disease. This happens because thyroid hormones increase blood flow to the kidneys. When hyperthyroidism is treated and blood flow returns to normal, the true function of the kidneys is revealed. Kidney disease is very common in older cats, so most cats with an overactive thyroid also have some kidney disease.

Once treatment begins, your cat’s kidney values ​​are likely to increase. It is important to understand that the kidney disease was not caused by the treatment but was present all the time.

Over the years I have not had much success using herbs and other alternative therapies to cure thyroid disease in cats. I think this is a case where conventional therapy might be the best solution.

How To Treat Hypothyroidism In Cats Naturally

Ideally, I’d like to travel back in time – eliminate all environmental pollutants, remove flame retardants from everything! With the knowledge we have today, we can all make better decisions about our cat’s environment. This includes buying furniture without flame retardants, using better building materials and choosing non-toxic cleaning products.

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