Tuesday, 03 May 2016 00:00

New Cat Owner Brochure: Signs of Feline Hyperthyroidism Featured

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Early Diagnosis Can Lead to Better Treatment Outcome

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ (May 3, 2016) – Feline hyperthyroidism (FHT) affects nearly 10 percent of feline patients over 10 years of age in the US. FHT is a disease caused by an overactive thyroid gland that secretes excess thyroid hormone. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has just released a brochureFeline Hyperthyroidism,” for cat owners which describes the causes, signs, treatment, and management of FHT. Early diagnosis is key to treatment being successful. 

The AAFP’s brochure outlines behaviors or problems cats with FHT may exhibit.  Cat owners are strongly encouraged to contact their veterinarian if they observe the following:

  • weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite
  • increased urination, more urine in the litter box
  • increased drinking or thirst
  • defecation outside of the litter box
  • increased vocalization
  • restlessness, increased activity
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • rarely, lethargy and a lack of appetite
  • poor hair coat, unkempt fur
  • Radioiodine Therapy
  • Medical Therapy
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Nutritional Therapy

“Twice yearly wellness examinations of your cat may allow early detection of FHT, as well as other age-related diseases,” advises Hazel Carney, DVM, MS, DABVP (Canine & Feline), and AAFP Guideline Panel Co-Chair. 

“During the physical examination, your veterinarian may discover increased heart and respiratory rates, hypertension, a palpable thyroid gland, and loss of muscle mass,” said Cynthia Ward, VMD, PhD, DACVIM, and AAFP Guideline Panel Co-Chair “Routine screening of laboratory tests and blood pressure may detect abnormalities before clinical signs of FHT are advanced.” 

If your veterinarian diagnoses your cat with FHT, he or she will discuss and recommend treatment options. The goal of therapy is to restore normal thyroid function and minimize the side effects of treatment without creating lower than normal levels of thyroid hormones.  The most common treatment options are:

On-going monitoring of your cat after any treatment is very important, as well as routine veterinary checkups with your veterinarian. If you have any additional questions, concerns, or notice any sudden changes with your cat, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

The AAFP would like to thank Dechra Veterinary Products for their sponsorship of this brochure and their commitment to helping the veterinary community increase the standard of care provided for cats.

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About the American Association of Feline Practitioners 
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) improves the health and welfare of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education and scientific investigation. The AAFP has a long-standing reputation and track record in the veterinary community for facilitating high standards of practice and publishes guidelines for practice excellence which are available to veterinarians at the AAFP website. Over the years, the AAFP has encouraged veterinarians to continuously re-evaluate preconceived notions of practice strategies in an effort to advance the quality of feline medicine practiced. Launched in 2012, the Cat Friendly Practice® (CFP) program was created to improve the treatment, handling, and overall healthcare provided to cats. Its purpose is to equip veterinary practices with the tools and resources to reduce stress associated with the visit and elevate the standard of care provided to cats. Find more information at www.catvets.com.

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