Cats Suffering For Hypothyroidism Struggle with Maintaining Muscle Mass. How Can You Help Your Cat?
The thyroid is located in a feline’s neck and can be identified by its’ butterfly-shape. The thyroid serves as the endocrine gland that plays an important part in governing a feline’s metabolic rate, utilizing the various hormones that it produces. These hormones are necessary for the proper function of cells in a cat’s body.
What is Hyperthyroidism?
Not to be confused with hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism occurs when a cat’s body produces an excessive amount of the thyroid hormones from an enlarged thyroid gland. These hormones are known as Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). When excessive amounts of these hormones are produced, it can have negative effects on the organ systems which can also result in secondary disorders. Some common signs that may indicate that your cat has hyperthyroidism can include:
- Increased Thirst/Appetite (Polydipsia/Polyphagia)
- Increased Urination (Polyuria)
- Weight Loss
- Unkept Coat
How is Hyperthyroidism Diagnosed and Treated in Cats?
A licensed veterinarian can diagnose hyperthyroidism using a complete blood count lab and an analysis of your cat’s thyroid hormone levels. Once a diagnosis has been made, a medication known as Methimazole (or Felimazole) is available to treat this disorder. Methimazole slows down feline’s metabolic rate, making it more difficult for the body to produce the thyroid hormones at elevated rates.
Supplements, such as MYOS Feline Muscle Formula are also available to help your cat regain some of their muscle mass that was lost during the initial stages of the disorder. MYOS Feline Muscle Formula works by inhibiting the enzyme Myostatin, which is responsible for inhibiting muscle growth. Other treatment options for hyperthyroidism in cats can additionally include:
- Radioactive Iodine Therapy
- Dietary Therapy