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Hyperthyroidism - anyone's cat have it?

(34 Posts)
Lottie4 Thu 17-Mar-16 16:07:14

If your cat has hyperthyroidism, can you please tell me your experience. Is it controlled on tablets, how are they in themselves or have they had an operation?

My cat was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism this morning (totally out of blue as took for annual vaccinations and vet suggested a test as her weight was lower). Apparently her level is quite high. Vet has suggested two tablets daily initially, a check up in three weeks time and mentioned an operation if it couldn't be controlled.

thecatneuterer Thu 17-Mar-16 16:20:09

I've had three or four cats with it. Standard treatment is to stabilse with tablets for a couple of weeks and then to do the op. After the op they all got completely back to normal with no problems.

pepperrabbit Thu 17-Mar-16 16:25:31

Mine has been on tablets for years, she couldn't have the operation for some reason (she has a heart murmur, one functioning kidney and is now 18) and while we have to up the dose every now and again she's largely been fine.
Just costs a fortune in blood tests...
I have to hide the tablets in cat treats, she became very very distressed when I tried to consistently give them to her as I would worming tablets, so this is the best way for us.

GRW Thu 17-Mar-16 18:10:37

My cat was diagnosed with it nearly 2 years ago aged 17, and is nearly 19 now. She has been on twice daily tablets ever since , and the last blood test showed mild kidney failure but she is ok in herself. I found the easiest way to give the tablet is squashed into a small piece of cheese, and she takes it with no problem. She hates having a blood test so my vet is happy to do them every 6 months as long as her levels are ok.

spanky2 Thu 17-Mar-16 18:21:42

My cat had it. He had the operation and put the weight back on. When it came back as it does, the first set of tablets didn't work, so he had the other ones. He did really well. Sadly he ended up getting a heart murmur, gum soreness, dry eyes, arthritis and the thing that really had an affect was kidney failure. He did really well though and was 15 when he died. It wasn't the hyperthyroidism that killed him. He did really well with it. Just keep your cat eating. He had a really good quality of life. He was a lovely boy.

Lottie4 Fri 18-Mar-16 09:30:04

Thanks for your replies, they help with the various scenarios I'm faced with.

She had the tablet yesterday in her tea, managed to miss it in her breakfast this morning, so am going to have to keep on top of what she's up to and look at treats it can be hidden in. She's very close to me but always been a bit nervous so I don't think it'll work pilling her every day, although, am willing to try. I guess like all of you I'd be reluctant to put an old cat through an operation, but it's good to know Spanky and thecat

Lottie4 Fri 18-Mar-16 11:51:48

Forgot to ask, has anyone an idea how much an operation would cost?

SweetpeaToadfoot Fri 18-Mar-16 11:57:37

Our cat was diagnosed at 10. We started the tablets but it was difficult to administer them at the same time each day, especially when we were away and someone else was looking after her. In the end she had the radiation treatment - not sure if this is the 'op' that other posters are talking about? She had to stay for a week at the specialist place that does the procedure. It costs a LOT but the tablets were expensive too and we weighed it all up.
The radiation procedure was a success, she put weight back on and no more tablets! We were delighted.
Now she is 13 and unwell with digestive complaints but the thyroid is all fine.

MuggaTea Fri 18-Mar-16 16:36:15

Just had the same diagnosis today with my 18year old cat

vet says ~£1400+ for surgey (prob more like £2000)

radioidine treatment is £2000

we are going to try the special food, if not we will try the pills.

MuggaTea Fri 18-Mar-16 16:46:48

Has anyone had success with the special diet?

I travel on work frequently, so don't want to ask the neighbour to give the cat a pill!!

spanky2 Fri 18-Mar-16 16:57:14

We didn't travel or go on holiday because he needed his tablets. blush If you feed the special food they can't have any treats. Our boy loved Sunday roast and bbq. We paid £500 ish for the op but that was about 6 years ago. The vet advised us to have the op. What does your vet say?

spanky2 Fri 18-Mar-16 16:58:46

Our boy had the wonky side removed in the op.

Lottie4 Fri 18-Mar-16 17:20:45

Thanks for your replies everyone - really appreciated and helps to know others experiences.

spanky, this all came about very suddenly (vet advised test which they do in house and phoned within two hours just as I was (late) leaving for work, so not really prepared with my questions). Basically the vet said she felt there are two options, tablets or an operation. I know she's reluctant to put an elderly cat under unless absolutely necessary, and suggested trying on tablets for three weeks, then re-test (she mentioned her level was high but I didn't think the ask how high). I trust my vet, so if levels can't be controlled and she advises an operation, I know this is best. However, I've always said I wouldn't put an elderly cat through an operation so have to deal with this.

Lottie4 Fri 18-Mar-16 17:24:05

Sorry, Mugga, forgot to acknowledge your reply. That sounds like a lot for an operation, but I suppose it all adds up. What food are you trying yours on? Was your cat showing any symptons? I feel a bit guilty as I should have realized something as wrong and didn't.

Lancelottie Fri 18-Mar-16 17:33:20

Ours has been on thyroid meds for 3 years now (she's coming up for 20). We never quite hit the nirvana of 'stabilising with a couple of weeks of pills' before an op. She seesaws around the 'acceptable' thyroid level so we're constantly adjusting doses (currently four pills a day... sigh).

We have very cat-friendly neighbours, but it does make the summer holidays a bit more fraught than the usual plan of asking them to stick a bowl of food down and hope for the best.

MuggaTea Fri 18-Mar-16 19:01:57

Its special low iodine food from vet.

The thyroid needs iodine to make the hormone.

My cat has actually just gobbled some up. It might just be the novelty factor, but I hope he will eat it over Easter as we have plans to go away.

FuzzyOwl Fri 18-Mar-16 19:12:34

My cat (16 year old at the time) did and had tablets for a while before having the operation (£1500-£2000, including a two to four weeks stay at the vets whilst radioactive). The operation was a complete success and my cat is now fine.

When comparing costs, don't forget to add up the tablets and the three monthly blood tests that your cat will have to undergo. If you can keep your cat in and she won't be in contact with any pregnant women (and possibly young children, I can't quite remember) then she should be able to return home after a fortnight instead of staying for four weeks.

Lottie4 Mon 21-Mar-16 08:24:03

Putting the tablets in food hasn't been particularly successful, she's only had two just like that, and two have been total rejects, ie can't get into her one way or the other. I guess her blood test in three weeks time will be the deciding factor on how to proceed.

MuggaTea Mon 21-Mar-16 09:22:34

After the first 24hr, my cat went on hunger strike.

with warming the food and hand feeding he ate the bare minimum, but was in distress and obviously extremely hungry. He was sniffing everywhere around the house for other food. Was licking the kitchen floor and attempting to get onto kitchen work tops (he has arthritis and has never tried this before). last night we relented an mixed 20% normal food and 80% diet food and he scoffed it down.

Am waiting for the vet to call me back, but we want to switch to pills.

We have done pills before so not too nervous.

Lottie- have you tried the kitty-pinata technique? get a towel and wrap the cat in it
search around on youtube there are demonstrations about to give pills.

Our technique last time was to take a 1cm3 of chicken, make a small cut and insert the pill. Give this to the cat an IMMEDIATELY follow up by another, my cat loves chicken so much that he wants the second piece so badly, he swallows the first without realising there is a pill in it.

My cat can get very bitey/scratchy and even the vets are wary of him.... so I haven't tried the more restraining techniques, but I know I may have to.

Another option is a "pill popper":


MuggaTea Mon 21-Mar-16 10:00:06


The only symptom my cat had was weight loss. His appetite was good, and his mood/quirks were all constant. no sign of any distress.

the diet food is from the vet y/p low iodine food from hills:

( i was giving him the wet food version).

gleam Mon 21-Mar-16 10:05:43

We tried the pills with ours and could get them down him, but he hated it.

He had the op - expensive, but not as expensive as the radiation. No problems since, touch wood.

MuggaTea Mon 21-Mar-16 11:38:22

sorry, this does make me smile though!

chemenger Mon 21-Mar-16 11:57:03

Ours had the radioactive iodine treatment and was fine afterwards. Insurance paid for it without any argument. She's been fine ever since (must be about 5 years). She is very hard to pill and was very intolerant of vet visits so we had to find a permanent solution. She has had to be sedated for vaccinations and checkups in the past to regular monitoring was going to be too stressful all round. We hid the pills in those Webbex (sp) sticks which worked for long enough to stabilise her.

MuggaTea Mon 21-Mar-16 12:03:50

Thanks chemenger i might try those sticks for my cat.

my technique will be to hide the drugs in treats, but i will want to mix it up as much as possible.

(he is almost 18, deaf, arthritis, developing cataracts. - I am going for quality not quantity for his old age).

MuggaTea Mon 21-Mar-16 12:08:30

btw i meant kitty-burrito not pinata..... two very different thing s!!!

oops blush

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