This is over activity of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland has a marked influence on metabolic rate basically how fast all our mechanisms and processes go. More thyroid hormone means more speed in the processes. It is a disease almost exclusively of cats. It results in the odd situation of ravenous appetite but loss of weight. There is usually a very rapid heart rate (over 200 beats per minute) and the cat may seem restless, anxious and bad tempered.

Diagnosis requires blood testing and it is a good idea to check other body functions at the same time. Treatment for hyperthyroidism can show up kidney trouble hiding behind the thyroid disease.

Treatment is usually very successful. We typically use anti-thyroid drugs initially and most cats are kept quite healthy on these. There are surgical options and radioactive iodine can also be used. This last option seems to us to be fairly traumatic for the usually elderly patient to go through. It involves a long period of isolation whilst the radioactivity dissipates. But it is an option.

This condition is common and highly treatable. Ask us to check at any visit we will be looking out for it anyway.