Cat Hyperthyroid Treatment Options

The feline hyperthyroid treatment often consists of medication treatment, but surgery may also be recommended in some cases. If your cat is diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, you should look into your treatment options.

Medication Treatment for Cats

Medication treatment is often the first choice treatment for felines, as it is considered safer and is not associated with the risks of the other treatment options.

Methimazole also marketed as Tapazole will be prescribed and administered 2 to 3 times per day. The drug will suppress the activity of the thyroid glands and these will not produce a high amount of thyroid hormones. The treatment will not cure the hyperthyroidism and may be required for a longer period of time, until the cat’s condition is stabilized. In some cases, the cat will have to get the treatment for life. In most cats, once the treatment is discontinued, the cat will start producing a higher amount of thyroid hormones.

During the treatment, the cat will require periodical testing, to establish if the dose of Methimazole is adequate and to prevent the occurrence of hypothyroidism, which indicates that the cat’s thyroid glands produce a lower amount of thyroid hormones than the body needs.

Some of the side effects of the hyperthyroid medication treatment may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Skin itchiness
  • Liver problems

However, the side effects will only be present while the cat’s body gets used to the treatment. If these side effects persist, you should visit the vet.

Methimazole may also be available in the form of syrup.

Hyperthyroid Surgery

Surgery is a treatment that can permanently cure hyperthyroidism and will be recommended in some cats. The surgery will consist of the removal of 1 or both lobes of the thyroid gland or just parts of the gland. The surgery is an option when the thyroid gland lobes are diseased or when there is a tumor that affects the gland.

The risks of surgery will involve infections, embolisms and even shock from anesthesia. If the entire thyroid gland is removed, the cat may suffer from hypothyroidism for the rest of his life and will require a supplementation of synthetic thyroid hormones.

On the other hand, if the surgery is successful and only parts of the thyroid gland are removed, the cat can be fully cured and will not require additional treatment.

Radioiodine Therapy

The radioiodine therapy involves the administration of an injection. The injected substance will be absorbed in the blood stream and the affected thyroid tissues will be destroyed, leaving the healthy tissues unaffected. The treatment has permanent effects, so the cat will only require 1 injection and no additional treatment. The injection can be administered without an anesthetic and will not affect the parathyroid glands.

The minuses of this therapy include:

  • The high costs
  • The fact that the cat will have to be isolated for a few weeks, until he eliminates all the radioactive waste
  • The cat may develop hypothyroidism following a radioiodine therapy.