Historical, Clinical and Laboratory Features of 126 Hyperthyroid Cats

Thoday K.L. and Mooney C.T.

Vet Rec, 1992. 131(12): p.257-64.


The historical and clinical features and the haematological and biochemical changes in 126 cats with hyperthyroidism are described; 125 of the cats were domestic short- or longhaired, and one was a chinchilla. There were 62 males and 64 females with a mean age of 13.0 years. The duration of signs ranged from two days to two years with a mean of 5.4 months. The historical and clinical features were weight loss, polyphagia, polyuria/polydipsia, tachycardia, hyperactivity, diarrhoea, respiratory abnormalities, other cardiac abnormalities, skin lesions, vomiting, moderately raised temperature, decreased activity, decreased appetite, congestive cardiac failure, haematuria and intermittently decreased appetite. Goitre was palpable in 123 cats. The serum total thyroxine concentrations of the cats were more than three standard deviations above the mean of the reference range. Serum total tri-iodothyronine concentrations ranged from 0.78 to 14.96 nmol/litre and were within the reference range in 11 of the cats. Mild hyperthyroidism was a much commoner cause of high normal or marginally above normal thyroid hormone concentrations than severe, concurrent, non-thyroidal illness. Other common biochemical changes were increased of serum alanine aminotransferase, urea, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase. There were minimal changes in the red cell parameters. Leucocyte changes showed two trends: a mature neutrophilia, either with or without an accompanying leucocytosis often in association with a lymphopenia, or an eosinophilia, either with or without a lymphocytosis.