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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17300
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My friend has just taken my cat to the vet - I am 81 - beyond

Customer Question

My friend has just taken my cat to the vet - I am 81 - beyond my powers - she was diagnosed with Thyroid trouble back in April, everything they gave her made her violently sick and I can't clear it up. She went for her booster - the new vet (to her), said she has lost weight and made some notes - mainly illegible but, a possible treatment, other than surgery , a gel to rub on her ears?? looks like Methinarde? or a special diet Hills something, can you help. Also said her heart rate was up, but she hates cars!!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about Tammy and her hyperthyroid disease.

 

An older cat that has a good appetite yet continues to lose weight makes me think of hyperthyroidism (a tumor of the thyroid gland that produces too much hormone).
This is easily diagnosed with a blood test, and sometimes an enlarged thyroid gland can even be palpated upon exam. High levels of thyroid hormone cause a higher then normal metabolism which leads to weight loss even with a great appetite, a fast heart rate and hypertension, kidney or liver damage, secondary heart disease, and possible bleeding in the eye or a detached retina so we do want to treat it.

Hyperthyroidism is controllable with medication called methimazole, either orally or a topical gel put on the ear, a prescription diet called y/d which is very low in iodine so too much hormone can't be made or radioactive iodine to kill the tumor cells. Some cats have trouble taking the oral medication. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Given what you have told me your veterinarian is recommending the y/d diet or the topical gel, both of which are reasonable alternatives.

 

I hope that this information helps, please let me know if you have any further questions.