Features

December, 2011 Issue

THE SIGNS TO BEWARE. Weight loss, increased thirst and appetite, and an increase in urination can point to hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism: Controllable

Luckily, this disease can be managed with proper diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you should know.

At first, the owner worried that her cat Misket had worms. Her 11-year-old pet had a ravenous appetite, yet she appeared to be losing weight and her coat looked dull and unkempt. The veterinarian took a blood test and came up with a surprising diagnosis to her owner: hyperthyroidism, or overproduction of thyroid hormones. Feline hyperthyroidism tends to occur in elderly cats; 95 percent of the cats that develop this disease are older than eight and the mean age of the victims is about 12 years, according to John F. Randolph, DVM, professor of medicine in the section of small animal medicine at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

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