Diagnosing Feline Hyperthyroidism in 4 Steps

Wondering if feline hyperthyroidism could be the culprit behind your concerns for your feline’s fitness? Having your cat tested for feline hyperthyroidism can be a worrisome time. Understand the testing process to diagnose feline hyperthyroidism eases anxiety and prepares you to get the help your cat needs!

Here’s a step-by-step list of what to expect to see if your cat suffers from hyperthyroidism.

Step one: The physical exam

Your veterinarian asks about your cat’s eating, drinking, and changes in activity habits or coat. Your veterinarian feels your cat’s neck for signs of swelling, assess the heart and lungs, and records blood pressure, heart-rate, and weight.

Step two: The blood screening

Your cat’s thyroid function can be evaluated by measuring hormones with a blood test. A small amount of your cat’s blood is drawn with a syringe. Most cats with hyperthyroidism have high-levels of the hormone T4. Some cat’s blood tests may show normal levels of T4. Sometimes more tests are run to ensure a correct diagnosis.

Step three: Organ function tests

Feline hyperthyroidism causes high blood pressure. High blood pressure eventually causes organs to wear out or stop functioning all together. Blood tests and a urinalysis are performed to see how your cat’s kidney and heart are functioning.

Step four: Treatment

If your cat is diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, your veterinarian will help you determine the best course of treatment. Daily medication, surgery, a special diet, and I-131 iodine treatment are all options for treating your cat’s hyperthyroidism. Your veterinarian determines the treatment is best for you cat.
Now that you understand the process of diagnosing feline hyperthyroidism, contact a veterinarian today to get your cat’s diagnosis!

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