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Cat just diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism

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  • Cat just diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism

    Sammy, the not quite 15 year old kitty, was just diagnosed and I'm supposed to pick up a prescription for Methimazole to start with. I noticed last week he had lost a little weight and his appetite hasn't been what is usual for him.

    He needs a dental done but they want to wait until his thyroid levels are normal, so hopefully I can get the pills in him and they help.

    What treatments have you guys tried? I know there is a rx food, medication, surgery and radioiodine therapy.

    After he normalizes and if kidney disease doesn't raise it's ugly head, I'm thinking about the radioiodine therapy. Has anyone had it done and would you recommend it or not?


  • #2
    I've had two, and both did well on methimazole--it brought both of their numbers into the normal range and they gained weight and did very well. Iodine therapy was too pricy for us. Both lived normal lives and died later of cancer.

    I crushed the pills and put them on top of their canned food and both of them ate it right up.


    • Original Poster

      HenryisBlaisin', I'm glad to hear yours did well with the medication. I guess I'm just worrying about the future too much and need to just take one day at a time.

      Sammy was feral when he showed up and won't let anyone but me do anything to him so I'm worried about future vacations or trips out of town. The iodine therapy would definitely be a huge stretch financially but we wouldn't have to worry about that.

      Of course once his thyroid is under control, there's always the possibility of kidney disease being apparent too.

      I'm doing it again, one day at a time.



      • #4
        We have a 16 y.o. cat who was diagnosed with it about six months ago. We started with the pills, but she really, really didn't like being pilled twice a day, and took to hiding under the bed. We were switched to methimazole in a tube that places a dose in the ear flap, and that works very well. She is happy, and doing well so far.
        Mystic Owl Sporthorses


        • #5
          I had a cat diagnosed with hyperthyroidism around 2000 and did choose radioactive iodine treatment. He was only 9, so drug management would have meant many years of dosing - as it turned out, 12, if the different thyroid treatment didn't affect his lifespan. So I'm not at all sorry that I went that route.

          He did develop kidney issues (which never seemed to progress beyond just slightly-out-of-range numbers) and chronic pancreatitis in his mid-teens; I have no way of knowing if any of that was related to the treatment some years before.


          • #6
            I did radiocat and I am thoroughly in favor

            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


            • Original Poster

              avjudge, if Sammy was 9 I would for sure do the radioiodine! I'm glad it worked for your kitty and you were happy with the results.

              vxf111, How old was Crosby when you had it done? There is a place not too far from me that does the treatment.


              • Original Poster

                clint, I'm hoping I can hide the pill in the middle of a temptation treat. If not, it'll have to be the gel.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rubygirl1968 View Post
                  avjudge, if Sammy was 9 I would for sure do the radioiodine! I'm glad it worked for your kitty and you were happy with the results.

                  vxf111, How old was Crosby when you had it done? There is a place not too far from me that does the treatment.
                  Crosby is a 2004, so based on the date of my prior thread he was 11. Best money I've ever spent on anything from a vet. Cured it completely. How many other serious, chronic medical conditions have a complete cure! It's downright miraculous. I'd do it again on any otherwise health kitty with good kidney function regardless of age.
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                  • #10
                    My cat will be 16 in October and we have been treating for hyperthyroidism for 4 months. Given his age, I plan on keeping him on pills. I posted not too long ago on here because I suspect he has kidney disease started. He drinks so much water and has accidents sometimes.

                    Expect to get frequent blood work. The starting dose of 2.5 mg twice a day was too high for him. Now we do 2.5mg in the morning and half of that at night. Might need to lower it again depending on his next blood work.

                    His coat was horrid. Greasy and matted. I could not brush him out- he won't let you brush his legs or belly. I finally just bathed him and clipped him. Hopefully he grows in a nicer coat now that he is on meds.

                    His BUN and creatinine levels were normal. The SDMA test was one point above normal suggesting that kidney disease is starting.

                    He was on a urinary acidifying diet, high in protein, which is not recommended for kidney disease. I just switched him to a slightly lower protein diet. It is not super low, as he does need to rebuild muscle.


                    • #11
                      We have two female siblings. One was diagnosed about a year ago at age 12 and the other just this spring. They both take pills. It is a 5mg pill. One gets 1/4 pill AM and 1/2 pill PM. The other is currently on just 1/2 pill PM. We pull off smaller pieces of pill pockets (we use the larger ones for dogs to make it more economical) to smoosh them in or poke a hole in a piece of a Sheba treat stick to hide the pill.


                      • #12
                        My old kitty man had hyperthyroid and his kidneys were iffy but once he was on the MMI, they were stable. To cut a long story short (I think if you do a search on here my experience with Eggie is out there), I tried to do radioactive iodine.

                        The vet at Tufts (where I took him to do it) after some testing said they wouldn't do it and said they thought he had GI lymphoma (small needle biopsy, large cell, aggressive) and that by the time he recovered from the radioactive iodine, the cancer would take him. As it turned out he had a pretty good quality of life afterwards long after his demise was predicted. I think his IBD was pretty severe (oh yeh, he had that on top of his hyperT, he was a complicated man) which kinda threw things into a loop. I got him stable, he put on weight and in the end his kidneys took him. I do think if he had gotten the radioactive iodine treatment he would have had a decent quality of life and his kidneys might have been ok for awhile longer.

                        If the kidneys are stable, I would do the radioactive iodine treatment if it were me. It is a cure for the hyperT (though yeh, they can become hypo), MMI just manages the disease which will continue to progress and require monitoring of the dose and testing.


                        • #13
                          My sweet girl did just fine on transdermal methimazole (got the twist a pens from Wedgewood delivered to the door, easy peasy, and super easy to smear it on! ) She lived many more years, did develop diabetes but did fine. Would have liked the radioactive iodine treatment but would have had a lot of travel and so on, and the methimazole worked well.


                          • Original Poster

                            Sammy's SDMA was elevated although his creatinine was normal, so I think I'll do a month of the pills and see where his kidneys are when his thryoid numbers are normal-ish. It's already going to be a big stretch and although it sounds terrible, if he has significant kidney issues I probably won't pursue the radioiodine treatment.

                            It is comforting to know that so many cats have done well with both treatments.


                            • #15
                              I did the radioactive iodine treatment on a then 12-y.o. cat a bit over ten years ago. Figured it was money well spent to avoid giving pills to a cat for years. Worked super well. She did develop kidney issues, which we managed with medication. She died at 21 - had her euthanized for an oral tumor.
                              The Evil Chem Prof


                              • #16
                                If his kidney is compromised he’s not a candidate and they won’t do the radioactive iodine, unfortunately. Damaged kidneys can’t tolerate a dye load
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"