Managing Your Cat's Hyperthyroidism
There are three main options for the treatment of hyperthyroidism in cats: anti-thyroid drugs, radioactive iodine treatment, and surgical removal of the thyroid glands.
The most common method chosen is medical management with anti-thyroid drugs, which reduces the production and release of thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland. This often effectively controls the condition, although medical management does not cure it. The most common medication used is Methimazole, which is usually given twice a day. Another formulation known as Carbimazole is a slow release form that is given once a day.
Recently, increasing numbers of cat owners are choosing radioactive iodine to treat and cure their cats of hyperthyroidism. Cats are typically given a single injection of radioactive iodine, which selectively destroys the abnormal thyroid tissue. While this is curative in most cases, it is often quite expensive. Additionally, cats must continue to be monitored for possible kidney complications as a result of this correction of the thyroid condition.
Finally, surgical removal of the thyroid glands may be an option in some cases. A new diet known as j/d® has been released by the Hill's company to help manage cats with hyperthyroidism. However, raw meat-based cat food diets are superior for most cats with chronic disease. Supplements to support and balance the thyroid gland, including thyroid glandular supplements, may also be considered and are available from select companies.