What Happened to the “Classic” Hyperthyroid Cat?

Downers K.

Conference Proceedings, (2009). Central Veterinary Conference, Baltimore: p.1-2


When hyperthyroidism was first reported In cats as a disease entity approximately 25 years ago, the majority of cases were advanced. The cats were thin, aggressive, polyuric, polydipsic, polyphaglc and had large palpable goiters. As cats have moved out of barns where they served as ‘mousers’ and Into peoples’ homes as beloved family members, owners arc expecting veterinarians to provide excellent routine health care for their cats. Routine wellness exams give veterinarians an opportunity to diagnose hyperthyroidism before many of the classic clinical signs occur. Diagnosis can be confounded by the multitude of concurrent Illnesses that can effect the aging cat. You may now be confronted with the fat, happy cat that has only recently begun urinating more frequently in the litter box and has a trivial thyroid slip on physical examination. Yet this  patient may be the ideal candidate for anti-hyperthyroid therapy such as I-131.