While rare, some cats may experience a condition known as hypothyroidism where their thyroid fails to produce the necessary levels of hormones for their body. Here, our Toledo vets share some of the signs of hypothyroidism in cats as well as the potential causes and treatment options.
Hypothyroidism vs Hyperthyroidism in Cats
A number of essential processes in your cat's body, including metabolic rate, are regulated by the hormones produced by your cat's thyroid. Hypothyroidism in cats essentially means that your cat's thyroid is underactive causing an underproduction of the hormones needed to help your cat's body function as it should. Conversely, if your cat's thyroid is overactive your kitty is suffering from hyperthyroidism, which is often seen in older cats.
So what causes hypothyroidism in cats? In most cases, feline hypothyroidism occurs in cats who have undergone surgery or iodine therapy to treat hyperthyroidism. That said, there are a number of other possible causes of this condition such as cancer, iodine deficiency or thyroid gland abnormalities.
Hypothyroidism in Cats: Symptoms
As mentioned above, if your kitty has hypothyroidism their metabolism will slow due to a lack of essential thyroid hormones. The main symptoms of hypothyroidism in cats include:
- Intolerance to cold
- Hair matting
- Neurological changes
- Unkept appearance
- Hair loss
- Weight Gain
- Mental dullness
- Low body temperature
Treatment of Hypothyroidism in Cats
Treatment is usually not necessary for cats with hypothyroidism. Even so, if your pet's symptoms are more severe, synthetic hormone supplements may be prescribed by your vet, and follow-up blood tests will be scheduled in order to monitor your cat's hormone levels.
A modified diet with reduced fat may also be recommended for your cat while they are recovering from hypothyroidism. Most cats have no issue with recovering from this condition and can be back to themselves in only a few months.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.