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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Thirty years experience in small animal medicine and surgery.
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My 15 year old female cat suffers from Hyperthyroidism. She

Customer Question

My 15 year old female cat suffers from Hyperthyroidism. She had surgery 3 years ago to remove part of her thyroid gland and has been fine up to July this year. Following a routine check up the vet was concerned at her weight loss and did blood tests. Her thyroid levels came back at 90 (everything else was normal). The vet prescribed Felimazole which resulted in her being really ill with high temperature and de-hydration. She had to be rushed to the vets twice to be re-hydrated. She was immediately taken off the meds and was prescribed Hills special diet, y/d formula. After a 10 day period where she was gradually weaned off of her usual food, I was told that she would not be able to eat anything other than the Hills food. Unfortunately, she will not eat it at all. To get her to eat anything I have had to mix a small fork full of normal meat into her prescription food but even the she only eats a very small amount. Her weight loss is continuing and am now very concerned that her thyroid levels will be on the up again. She is, however, really hungry and has been caught twice next door eating my neighbours cats food. My vet has told me to persevere as medication is not an option but it has been 5 weeks of trying to get her to eat! Can you please give me any advice as I am now desperate to give her a good meal without the possibility of high thyroid causing her to have more problems.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Barbara :

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I am a licensed veterinarian and I'm happy to help you and Maggie.

Dr. Barbara :

It's not unusual for cats to have an adverse reaction at first to the methimazole. This reaction includes loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. Fever is not a normal reaction to methimazole, so I wonder if she wasn't ill with something else.

Dr. Barbara :

Normally, when a cat reacts to the methimazole, we take them off the medication for a few days, and then try giving them 1/2 the full dose for one week. If all is OK, then we put them back on a full dose and usually quite successfully.

Dr. Barbara :

You could try this and allow her to eat what she likes. Also, methimazole can be made into a transdermal cream which can be applied to the inner surface of the ears. This would go directly into her blood stream and avoid any irritation of the stomach.

Dr. Barbara :

There is also radio isotope therapy for hyperthyroidism which will also shrink any extraneous thyroid tissue in the chest cavity. She may end up on a thyroid supplement for the rest of her life, but she also may not need such supplementation.

Dr. Barbara :

These 3 alternatives would mean she doesn't have to eat the Y/D which she seems to dislike! Do any of these seem feasible to you? Dr. Barbara

JACUSTOMER-bg5i1akh- :

Thank you for your answer Dr. Barbara. The cream alternative sounds like the easiest solution to me. I have an appointment with the vet on Saturday so will ask about the possibility of trying this method for Meggie.

Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 4 years ago.

Hi Sherry,

I'm glad to be of help. The cream is used by a lot of clients. . . MANY cats are so diffictult to pill! Just remember to avoid contact with your skin when applying the cream as you will absorb this too and it will suppress your thyroid function. Your vet, or the compounding drug store should supply you with latex gloves to wear to protect yourself.

I'd like to put you in for a follow up after your next appointment. There is no further charge for you, and I would really like to hear what you decide for Maggie. Please don't hesitate to respond now if you have any further questions or concerns.

Thank you and take care!

Dr. Barbara