Defining the Metabolic and Fecal Microbiome Signatures of Hyperthyroid Cats

John Loftus DVM, PhD, DACVIM, assistant professor, Section of Small Animal Medicine, is studying the effects of hyperthyroidism on the feline metabolism and microbiome, both before and after successful radioiodine therapy. The results of the study will provide important insight, not only into the effects of hyperthyroidism itself, but also into how this common condition may interplay with other important feline diseases.

Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disease of cats, and although there are good treatment options available (radioiodine therapy, oral anti-thyroid drugs), there is evidence that even once a hyperthyroid cat’s thyroid status has been successfully returned to normal with therapy, persistent metabolic abnormalities that may predispose to and overlap with other health problems may persist.

In spite of this fact, the effects of hyperthyroidism on feline metabolism and on populations of gastrointestinal microscopic organisms (the microbiome) have yet to be well described, both before and after successful treatment for hyperthyroidism.

This study is being funded by the Cornell Feline Health Center.