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Herbs for Cats with Hyperthyroidism

  • Written by Paul Beaudette

Common in older and middle aged cats, feline thyroid problems can turn into big trouble for your cat.  The thyroid is a small gland that is located in the bottom neck on either side of the windpipe comprised of two lobes, which is accountable for the animal's metabolism.

Whenever the gland is producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormone, this is called hyperthyroidism making it the most typical hormone disorder affecting cats.  Producing a thyroid hormone called thyroxine (T4) as well as a small amount of triiodothyronine (T3), these hormones effect every system and regulate metabolism in the body.  Created by the anterior pituitary gland, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) controls production of thyroid hormones.

Hyperthyroidism is sometimes difficult to identify because very often there's an underlying disease present such as kidney failure.  A blood test would be the way to identify hyperthyroidism where the T4 levels are going to be elevated.

Although there are signs to look for, such as appetite has grown even though weight is being lost.  Increasing activity with noticeable increase in thirst and urination are also signals.  A cat that has a fast heart rate and is vomiting and it having diarrhea could possibly be another symptom.

In the event that your cat is diagnosed with the disease, the anti-thyroid pill Methimazole (Tapazole) can be given daily, but has to be given for his entire life.  Your cat may have side effects with Methimazole including vomiting, absence of appetite, and depression. In addition, it is also known to reduce low blood cell counts which can be serious, especially in elderly cats.

Another choice is to have the enlarged thyroid gland surgically removed.  This usually is a last resort because some cats have thyroid cells in the chest cavity where removal can be difficult.  These animals will continue to be hyperthyroid despite surgery.

Cats with hyperthyroid disease often have some kidney disease, especially if they're older.  Cats with kidney disease will actually show signs of worsening after treatment of hyperthyroidism because the faster metabolism, accompanied with a hyperthyroid, pumps more blood to the kidneys.

Herbs for cats that can help:
Known for its soothing and calming properties.

Lycopus: Promotes the endocrine system and is also great for their coat.

Zingiber: Aids in digestion and is also great for its soothing and calming effects.

Cratageous: Aids the heart and circulatory system, calms heart palpitations, and assists a fast pulse.

Nux vom: Used for nausea or bilious and irritability.

With reasons unknown, hyperthyroidism in cats has increased over the past 25 years.  It is probably due to over vaccination, kinds of foods, and also enviornmental factors.

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