Caring for a senior cat with Hyperthyroidism
Unfortunately for senior cats, disease and chronic illnesses are very common.
One of the many common diseases in cats is Hyperthyroidism. This mostly affects them at a later stage in life, middle age and older. Although this is not a curable disease it is treatable and manageable.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that causes one or both thyroid glands to become enlarged and overactive. A cat has two thyroid glands in their neck which controls their metabolism. This condition can cause over-activity by harmless swellings however there are some rare cases where it is caused by cancer.
It can cause high blood pressure, weight loss, increased appetite, restlessness, and many other symptoms.
Although the symptoms can develop slowly, if left untreated it can be fatal, so it is very important to keep a close eye on any changes.
There are many treatment options available to manage hyperthyroid in cats and they can live for many years.
With two common forms of treatment which are medication (tablet or liquid) to help slow down the thyroid gland and surgery to remove the gland, which has some risks.
It is a good idea to consider insuring your cat, before any signs of illness start. Then you will have all the support you need to care for them.
The important thing to do when caring for an elderly feline is to watch out for signs so you may catch things early and understand what may be coming.
Here are some of the symptoms to look out for;
- Weight loss
- Excess drinking
- Increase in urinating
- Sickness or diarrhoea
- A few lumps in the neck under the skin
- Fast heartbeat
- Hair loss
- Dry fur
If you notice any of the above symptoms or are worried or concerned about your cat it is vital you always contact your veterinarian for help and advice.
As cats age they need regular check-ups with the vet, even if they look and seem happy and healthy. You know your cat better than anyone so always watch for any changes in their behaviour or health, loss of appetite, a change in water intake, their weight and other behaviour changes. The sooner you catch something, the better chance they have.
During their twilight years, try to enjoy and relish the time you have with your feline friend. They need you now more than ever and you always need to be strong for them because it is always worth the many years of happiness they bring us, and we bring them.