PetMeds® Treating Hyperthyroidism in Cats

cat-hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid is the most common hormonal disease seen in older cats. The most common symptoms include weight loss (despite an increased appetite), as well as increased thirst and urination. Some cats may become more restless and vocalize more, as well as develop inappropriate urination or defecation. If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to high blood pressure, kidney damage or secondary heart disease.

Diagnosis is usually made by blood measurement of Thyroid levels, usually a T4 in conjunction with a free T4. There have been traditionally three options of treatment. The most common form of treatment is with a prescription medicine known as Methimazole.  This medicine must be given daily to twice daily, and periodic thyroid level  blood monitoring is needed every 3-6 months after initial control is obtained, , as well as monitoring of the blood count, and liver/kidney function  to make sure there are no ill effects of the medication.

Occasionally cats will become lethargic, vomit, or lose their appetite on Methimazole. However, with dose adjustments, most cats do tolerate Methimazole quite well, which needs to be maintained for the life of the cat. Other options of treatment include using radioactive iodine, which is preferred by many as a single dose curative treatment in most cases.  Surgical removal of the thyroid gland is no longer as common, due to surgical risk in many of these older cats.

In my experience there are not that many effective supplements for cats to treat the overactive thyroid, however, if your cat will accept cooked brassica veggies like broccoli or kale, these can sometimes have a thyroid-lowering effect. The herb bugleweed has been used by some, but data as to efficacy is limited.

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110 Comments

  1. My vet prescribed Tapazole 60 tablets @ $55.20. I see that Methimazole is a generic drug and cheaper….is it as good?

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Methimazole is generically equivalent to tapazole and is cheaper and fine to use as substitute.

  3. My vet prescribed y/d food for my cat’s hyperthyroidism. Are you familiar with this food , does it work to treat the illness and do you sell it?

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 18, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    This is a relatively new prescription food and so still too early for me to see if it is effective. Not available from 1800petmeds at this time

  5. Diane, you can find this y/d food at PetSmart. I’ve heard that it does have good results but my cat did not like this and we had to take it back. It costs $2.00 a can. I suggest you only buy one can until you know if your cat will like it. Here is a link that will tell you what you need to know about this food.
    http://www.hillspet.com/products/pd-feline-yd-dry.html

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 6, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I personally do not have alot of experience using this food in managing hyperthyroid cats, but would be interested in others’ experiences and results.

  7. You’re welcome. I have been doing a lot of research about hyperthyroidism in cats since my cat was diagnosed with this. I read one page where they did a 10 year study to come up with the y/d diet, however I cannot remember the page I found the info on. I also learned that the Science Diet is not FDA approved. Then I found many pages where they stated that wet food was better for your cat than dry food. Today I found the following link that gave me a lot more info on nutrition for cats.
    http://www.catinfo.org/ You probably already know most of this stuff, but I wasn’t sure and since other people read this, I thought it would be nice to share that link.

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for your sharing of great information.

  9. I have used y/d and their level T4 levels were very good. Now for some reason they simply hate it. I have two cats with this issue and one is ok with pills and the other not so much. I’m now trying the ear injections since the pills were very challenging for one!

  10. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Sounds like surgery would be next option if symptoms persist. Only other option would be to work with homeopathic vet in your area on different approach. To learn more see http://www.beyondflatearth.com or my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations.

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    The transdermal medication in the ears often works well for people who cant pill their pets.

  12. Unfortunately, when I took her in they said she was suffering from acute kidney failure with her level over 5… My heart stopped! In May and again in Aug before her cancer tumor surgery her level was at 1… We discussed the fluid injections but it was not recommended for the kidney level…and I’ve been through that b4 and not sure it even helped much.

    I sat with her and told her I loved her and that she was taking a few cat naps then her sister and I would see her
    soon. She was as graceful as ever, purring gently yet lovingly…. I continued to whisper, “I love you Rogue…”She
    passed away in my arms on Oct 18th at 4:15 and a part of my heart left with her…

    She was my daily blessing for 16 years and my heart hurts!!

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    My heart and thoughts are with you during this difficult time. It sounds like you loved her very much.

  14. Which food should be given or not given to a cat that has been diagnosed with hyperthyroid? I have not started the meds yet but will be ordering the ear cream once I get the prescription from the vet. Also, does this cream have any side effects?
    My cat is 19 yrs old. He is my sunshine.

  15. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 1, 2012 at 9:48 am

    There is new food called J/d by Hills which may help in management of hyperthyroid cats although I have no experience with it. As for side effects of transdermal ear meds, sometimes lethargy and occasional vomiting can be seen.

  16. Is there anything I shouldn’t give him?

  17. The methimazole compounded has worked best for Starky. He has improved in the last 3 months. He is also 19. He has quit throwing up, no more loose runs either. I give it to him 2 times a day. His last blood tests were really good. No more problems with the pancreas either. His kidneys and liver look good. No problems at all except for the thyroid. He seems much happier too. I would recommend the compounded even though it does cost more. I do have to force him to take it even though it is flavored, he doesn’t seem to think so. I used to mix it with his food, but now he can detect even the smallest amount of it and will not eat that food anymore. He did not like the y/d wet food Sarah. It only comes in one flavor. He does like the dry food though but with the medication I can give him him favorite food which is fancy feast turkey or beef. He also likes Friskies tuna & chicken.

  18. oh yeah and also his thyroid has come down to normal but he will have to take the medicine in order for it to stay that way.

  19. I meant take it for the rest of his life.

  20. OK, so I got the medicine in cream form for the ear. Is it best to rub it on the inside part of the ear or the outer part? The instructions are different from what I was told at the Vets.

  21. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I would check with your vet but usually it is the inside part of the ear.

  22. You state that cooked broccoli can be used to treat hyperthyroidism. My cat has become extra sensitive to the Methimazole and refuses to eat food into which I have crushed the pill. If I try the cooked broccoli, what quantity would be needed to treat my 20 year old 4.5 lb. cat? A teaspoon, tablespoon, half a cup, full cup???

  23. Your cat will eat brocolli? My cat can always detect the methamizole in his food, therefore I have to force it down his throat. I aways give him chicken afterwards though so he will have a better taste in his mouth and also to reward him for taking it even though he has no choice. I give him the Foster farms pre-cooked chicken. I also give him the compounded methamizole which is the liquid form. Anyway I have never tried giving him brocolli but my husband is saying he gave his brocolli to Starky one time & he ate it……hmmmmmm I suppose if it had cheese in it but it seems to me brocolli would not shut down the thyroid gland which is what the methamizole does do.

  24. I just found a new alternative treatment for hyperthyroidism in cats. Go to http://www.wellpetbeing.com

  25. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    broccoli does have ingredients in it which can lower thyroid levels in cats.

  26. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 9, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing.

  27. So I read the reviews for this & it sounds like it works so I ordered some for Starky. I can’t wait to get it…….then he wont have to take that awful meth anymore.

  28. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Let us know how it goes with the supplement.

  29. Yes, Sandra, my cat ate broccoli but I still wonder about how much to give her. Any suggestions, Dr. Dym? I will check out the link you posted also, Sandra.

  30. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Just try giving a stalk or two of cooked broccoli. Some cats will eat it.

  31. Thanks so much, Dr. Dym. I gave her a bit too much day before yesterday. It really affected her bowels. Not that that’s a bad thing. The methamazole constipates her. Thanks to everyone for these suggestions.

  32. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    You are very welcome Marilyn. Let us know how things go.

  33. Starky is doing fine, however no thanks to the new supplement I tried. I think it is only good for supporting the thyroid, not as a replacement for the methimazole. He has been taking the methimazole for 9 months now, and his thyroid levels have dropped to normal. I tried the supplement and stopped giving him the methimazole for a week, and had to put him back on the methimazole because his levels skyrocketed once again. I would not recommend the thyroid gold even though it has really good reviews. Now he has to go back to the methimazole. He will have to take it for the rest of his life. It has not effected his kidneys, heart or any other organs. He is in perfect health other than this.

  34. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 6, 2013 at 1:18 am

    HI sandra. Thanks for sharing. It has been hard finding herbal supplements that adequately lower thyroid function.

  35. Thanks for the info on the supplement, Sandra. Sorry you got to be the “guinea pig” . I was also not successful with the broccoli. Lilly loved it ONCE but refused it every time thereafter so I had to go back to Methimazole also. I was successful in disguising it in cream cheese for 5 days and butter for one day, but now she’s onto my plan and refuses to eat any food with Methimazole in it. I would go to the ear cream method but she’s suffering labrynthitis and the medication for that says not to use any other medication delivered by ear. I’m at an impasse.

  36. You’re very welcome Marilyn. Starky is the same way, he can detect even the smallest amount of methimazole in his food. I even tried tuna packed in water……..giving him the juice and mixing it in there but he knows now no matter what I try to hide it in, he will find it…..lol. One good thing though is that the compounded methimazole has a less chance of side effects that come with the methimazole. So far he hasn’t had any damage to his kidneys or heart or any other organs. I just feel so bad forcing the liquid down his throat so I give him a little butter afterwards or the Foster Farms chicken bites. His fur was so matted though I had to take him to the hospital yesterday. They have a breeder there so the Vet gave him an anesthetic so he could shave his fur because some of the fur was too matted. Now he looks like a skeleton….except for the fur around his face. He only weighs 7.8 lbs. I know you said your cat is 4 lbs? Imagine her without her fur, and you will have some idea of what he looks like since I can’t post a pic here. He is still wiped out today but at least he could eat this morning. He wasn’t aloud any food before the anesthetic or any time after yesterday. They said I could give him ice chips at 9pm last night but he didn’t seem to want anything, and he was walking in circles and kept falling down. It was so funny to watch him, he looked like he was on drugs or something…..lol. I’m glad I could help with the supplement even if he did have to be the guinea pig, its okay as long as it helped other cats. I have to take him back in 2 weeks to check his thyroid. That hospital visit cost me another $200,00 on top of the $260 we had to pay on Saturday for the blood work and urine tests, and of course more medicine. I hope your cat is doing better, hugs for her from Starky.

  37. Sandra, the tuna trick is another I’ve tried with Lilly to no avail. I’ve decided you cannot fool a cat no matter how hard you try. At least you can’t fool them for long. Best wishes on Starky’s recovery.

  38. I was hoping my cat only had a tapeworm but she continues to lose weight after treatment and she’s irritable but no other symptoms other than increased appetite. After reading all the previous experiences, I dread taking her back to our Vet and finding out she needs thyroid treatment yet I know it is important to find out and get her medicated. I have 4 cats but only one has symptoms, at only 11 yrs. old. One is on a diet for obesity. This can get complicated. Thanks for the valuable insight.

  39. Cats can get this after 10 years of age. It could be something else though. It is best to take your cat for a check up, then discuss with the vet what the best options for treatment would be no matter what the case. There is a website where you can give your cats alternative medicine no matter what the case is. http://www.petwellbeing.com

  40. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Sandra. Thanks for sharing, as well as this website of information.

  41. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Only choice here is to take her in for blood work and evaluation of organ function and thyroid gland.

  42. Although I did put up the link for petwellbeing.com, I for sure do not recommend it. I should have read the negative reviews before I wasted my money buying this product. His thyroid levels skyrocketed after using the thyroid gold and I would not recommend it to my worst enemy for their cat!! I totally wasted my money with this product. They do however have other products for cats like the comfort gold which does somewhat help him with his arthritis. Lately he has been howling quite a lot at night but I really believe it is because he is not getting the attention he wants and needs. I totally spoil Starky now, I buy the Foster Farms ready made chicken breasts and give it to him with shredded sharp cheddar cheese. He loves this and never gets tired of it. Before taking any type of meds or herbs, you should always take your cat in for a check up to find the exact cause for his symptoms. Sometimes it is not what you think it is and by self diagnosing your cats condition, you may make his condition worse by giving him the wrong medicine. We all love our cats and they are like kids to us, so they should be treated as such.

  43. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Sandra. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Overactive thyroid is not easy condition to treat holistically. Consider having your cat’s blood pressure measured to make sure not hypertensive causing howling at night.

  44. I just wanted to let you know that my cat is hyperthyroid, he was diagnosed on 05/02/13, his T4 was 7 and as of today 05/31/13 it is 4.3. I have him on the y/d and also on Thyroid Support Gold for cats from Pet Well being, along with other supplements to help him along. It is not helping his other symptoms yet (weight loss, crankiness, lameness, etc.) and I still have to syringe feed him, but hopefully in time all of that will be resolved. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  45. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 31, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Sounds like a good plan, but you may need drug called tapazole at some point. Also consider supplements from standard process like canine thyroid support(also good for cats) and feline hepatic support in case like this.

  46. Hi Doc. I have read mixed opinions on cruceferous veggies used as intentional thyroid blockers. Many sites say that cooking or steaming cruciferous vegetables lowers the level or possibly even eliminates the glucosinolates. Can you please look into this?

    I had fed my cat raw powdered broccoli and managed to keep her T4 from raising for about a year (if I remember correctly, which I usually don’t) but eventually I decided to try the y/d diet and had instant success. Within a week she was seemingly very healthy and she began to look younger and younger (now appearing half her age, if you ask me).. Bloodwork at approx 4 and 10 wks confirm she is healthy. She is so happy and healthy that I really wish I’d tried the y/d sooner.

    I plan to try methimazole for her sister as the sister hasn’t taken to the y/d the way the other has. I wanted to try heavy doses of broccoli but am not sure it’s wise to do that when she needs immediate relief, so I will just keep that as the backup plan.

    Thanks to people like you, cat lovers like me can try different options and see what works. Medicine is not “one size fits all”, as you know. Thank you for sharing your unconventional wisdom =)

  47. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Nik….Thanks for your kind comments. I do think broccoli in uncooked form can have thyroid lowering tendency in some pets and can be worth trying even if on methimazole. The Y/D diet is an option, however I am not thrilled with the quality of ingredients for long term health. Of course other option is radioactive iodine, which is usually quite effective in most cats.

  48. Dr. Dym: Our cat Caesar is 11 yrs old. He was your homeopathic in patirnt in New Jersey and has just been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. We are considering the radioactive iodine treatment but would like to have your opinion on this treatment vs. oral medication. The cat is healthy, but has lost considerable weight in the last couple of years. He eats well, his temperament has not changed and we want to see him treated with the least risk for his future health. Any thoughts?

  49. Ty Dr. Dym for the advice. I did take Starky in for a check up and the Dr. told me that his excessive vocalizing is due to his hyperthyroid problem. Also I think a lot of it is because he wants attention all the time. He seems to meow very loudly when he wants something and if he doesn’t get it, he starts howling. Sometimes I just tell him no, and he stops but sometimes, he is relentless. I try to always give him what he wants since I am so thankful he has lived as long as he has. He will be twenty next month.

    Good luck to you Ulla, I hope you can decide what you want to do with your cat and I hope he gets better. I would not recommend the y/d food because it doesn’t have all the nutrition that a cat needs. My cat hated it, he would rather starve and he probably would starve himself if I didn’t always give him what he wants. I was giving him the fresh breast chicken strips but I think it probably has too much salt so I started giving him the Blue Wilderness food which is high protein and grain free and he seems to really like it. I also give him Simply Nourish Meatloaf inspired recipe Chicken recipe with parmesan cheese and spinach and he really loves it.

  50. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    You are very welcome. Sounds like you take wonderful care of you kitty.

  51. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Hi Mrs Loughry. Great to hear from you. Sorry to hear of Ceasar’s thyroid issue. Of the allopathic traditional option, probably radioactive iodine is the safest on the short term. However many cats can develop kidney disease shortly after, and given Caesar’s urinary tract issue predisposition that would be a concern. With the methimazole therapy, if kidney values start to go up, then therapy can be reduced or stopped which is not possible with the radioactive iodine once it is given. Depending upon how high thyroid values are, homeopathy and nutritional supplements may also be an option. I would be happy to consult with you further on this, as I do offer phone consultations. STAY AWAY from any vaccinations in cat like this. To learn more about my current practice, see http://www.doctordym.com

  52. I also wanted to add that the compounded methimazole has the least side effects. Starky has been on this for a year with little or no side effects, but he was in perfect health otherwise, so I don’t know if this played a role or not but it has had little effect on his kidneys. The compounded methimazole is a liquid form which I give him 1cc a day. His levels were over 5 times the normal. He started out taking 1cc twice a day for 6 months until his levels dropped to 4 which is very low, so they changed it to once a day. I don’t know if this helps or not but I just wanted to let you know.

  53. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing…..

  54. Hi again. I just wanted you to know that both of my older cats will no longer be on y/d. I had them on a raw diet for roughly 8 years, so it was a tough decision to move them to a processed diet in attempts to lower T4 levels. At the time, the y/d seemed the lesser of two evils (compared to tapazole). Now, I’m leaning the other way because I want to protect her kidneys and of course support her immune system and all that other good stuff that comes with feeding raw (like better breath!).

    The one cat’s kidneys are functioning well enough to process y/d so they should be even healthier when she’s back on her easy-to-digest, raw diet. If I can get her BUN to remain normal while her T4 is taken to 2.0 or below, she can have the radioactive iodine. Hopefully her sister will have the same luck. Please cross your fingers for us. dies.

    Thanks for being an open minded healer who cares about animals and their owners. A big hug to you, from me, and sandpaper kisses from my sweet, goofy cats.

  55. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    You are very welcome. Raw diets are the way to go. I work with a renowned feline nutritionist Anitra Frazier, author of The NAtural Cat on improving cats’ health over time through diet, nutritional supplements and classical homeopathy. There are other health options. Hyperthyroidism is not easy disease to treat holistically but there has been recent progress.

  56. Dr Dym. I really love what you have to say. I am going back and forth on the I-131 treatment option because I am not sure yet if renal function in these cats is sufficient. Since I can only have them on a very low dose of carbimazole, I am getting creative and thinking of ideas that might work to increase it’s effect or otherwise help me minimize the amount needed to lower T4. I am using broccoli powder (added to meals) as part of my effort to lower T4. I’m getting ready to juice some broccoli for them instead of feeding the powder. I feel this will maximize glucosinolate content.

    What do you suppose would happen if I applied transdermal carbimazole to a shaved patch of skin right over the thyroid gland? I don’t know if this skin is as vascular or thin as the skin in the pinnae, but if it is, it should allow me to use less carbimazole .

  57. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Hi Nik. Great question about the medicine being placed closer to thyroid gland. I am not familiar with any evidence that this would be more effective so I would stick with the ear. I would certainly continue the broccoli as you are doing. I have also found the supplements CANINE thyroid support and feline hepatic support from Standard Process company to help balance thyroid gland when added to food . The canine thyroid support formula is fine, as they dont make one for felines.

  58. my cat’s blood work has been and is perfect normal since on y/d.

  59. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 25, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing the great news.

  60. When in a rush to get to work or some other situations I have accidentally forgotten 1 or 2 dosages of my cats anti thyroid meds. Can this cause more of a problem for him?

  61. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 1, 2013 at 12:36 am

    HI Priscilla, Missing occasional doses of thyroid meds should not cause a problem.

  62. Just to let anyone know in case they are interested, Starky is doing well since he started on the compounded methamizole. He has been taking it now for 15 months with no side effects from the methamizole. He was really constipated and we had to take him to the hospital cuz he lost almost 2 lbs in a week. He was on fluid therapy for 3 days and started eating again after not eating for 5 days. He is home now and doing well but he seems to want to drink water on the walk way outside or in the shower floor. I don’t know what that’s about. He is 20 years old now and he is doing ok.

  63. oh yeah, I did try giving him broccoli but he would not even touch it. I even made juice out of it and still he did not want it. I tried putting a little on his mouth but he hated it!! I guess it won’t work for him.

  64. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 12, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Hi Sandra. Thanks for sharing. Glad he is doing beter.

  65. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 12, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Many cats wont eat broccoli although worth a try. Try new prescription food Y/D from Hills, which also may lower thyroid levels.

  66. I have given him the y/d in the past and he did not like the wet food but he will eat the dry now and then but not every day. He has to have different food every day. I figure at his age it’s ok to spoil him. Thanks for letting me know about it and if they do have a newer version of the y/d, I would be willing to try that for him. Thanks again Dr. Dym

  67. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 13, 2013 at 1:29 am

    You can also try bloodtwig dogberry, an effective natural liquid gemmotherapy which also may help with thyroid condition.

  68. Dianna~So sorry that you lost Rogue, Im sure she knew how much you loved her. I myself have a kitty diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism January 2013~After awhile of greasy looking hair and losing ALOT of it and throwing up occasionally. Doc put him on y/d food and he wouldnt touch it. After alot of reasearch I took my kitty about 2 hours away and left him at a ficility for 4 days to inject “IODINE 131”. “STINKER” seemed to get better for a few months BUT after approx months started throwing up again~Another trip to the vet and they said his blood was “SOMEWHAT” normal~It is December now and Stinker has been diagnosed with Liver failure and Kidney (RENAL) failure~We will be letting him drift to kitty heaven in a couple of days. I feel like I have let him down by having him injected with IODINE 131 but thought it wa the right thing to do. (It want easy on the pocket book either) AND my point is……Be careful with your decisions as thy are sometimes HARD to live with~R.I.P. Stinker.

  69. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Excellent points Jill, especially when considering treatment of hyperthyroidism in senior cats, who by their age, are prone to multiple geriatric issues. What I usually do in practice is try the cat on methimazole for a few weeks, and watch kidney function closely. If BUN and creatinine are going up, then probably not a good candidate for radioactive iodine, although radioactive iodine typically the easiest and best treatment, as long as kidney disease not develop once thyroid levels return to normal. Benefit of medication is that doses of meds can be adjusted to allow optimal thyroid values for the individual patient, which is of course not possible with radioactive iodine, which is literally a one shot deal

  70. Thank you Dr. Dym, I have not yet tried these things you suggested as our cat was very sick for a couple of weeks that had nothing to do with his thyroid problem. He has been on the compounded methamizole for 18 months now with no side effects. He had a bowel infection from being so constipated and was not able to poop at all. He almost died. He was walking around crying constantly and could not rest at all even though he tried. He would not eat or drink so we took him back to Hesperia Animal Hospital and Dr. Ahmed gave him IV therapy and cleaned him out and he did okay for a while but had a tooth infection and had to have his teeth cleaned and have 2 extractions. He is doing much better now and still no side effects from the compounded methimazole. His blood tests are all normal which is why Dr. Ahmed gave him the fluid therapy. He said Starky is his oldest patient and keeps on ticking. We didn’t know what to do about these problems but the Dr and his staff took such good care of him, we knew we made the right decision. Yes, it did cost quite a bit but he is worth it cuz he is a member of our family and had nothing else wrong with him which made his chances of surviving the surgery that much better. Dr. Ahmed is a really great vet and the most caring and devoted Veterinarian we have ever known. We have seen all the letters from other people who brought their pets there. I put a pic of him with Starky on facebook because he has saved our cat so many times when we thot he was going to die. I don’t know how long he has to live but I know that giving him the compounded methamizole was the right decision.

  71. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 31, 2013 at 1:44 am

    HI Sandra. As a fellow veterinarian, i am sure that Dr Ahmed greatly appreciates your words of kindness and support. I am sure clients like you make his love and passion for his work that much stronger, as he continues to help be an important part of your health care team and in promoting the deep human/animal bond that is clearly so strong between you and Starky. Have a wonderful New Year.

  72. Thank you Dr. Dym…..just to let you know, Starky is doing good and still kicking. Starky loves Dr. Ahmed, cuz he spoils Starky so much. He had another scare last month, but thanks to Dr. Ahmed’s quick thinking, he was able to save Starky again. We made a huge mistake. Starky’s blood tests have been really good, no damage to any organs from the methamizole. He continues to take the compounded methimazole. The only problem was because he has a megacolon now and he was so plugged up we had to give him a fleet emema so we could save money not keeping him in the Hospital, but we gave him too much cuz we thought he was more constipated than he was and we ended up severly dehydrating him so he had to have fluid therapy for 2 days but he got 2 come home at night. We must be doing something right cuz he is almost 21 and still kicking and sometimes more vocal than we would like him to be but he is doing so good, I can’t believe he is still alive. Dr. Ahmed says Starky is a miracle cat. He loves Starky, Starky loves him and I told the DR that Starky liked him more than us but he told us he couldn’t afford Starky…..lol…..who knew he would go through our whole life savings? lol …..j/k. it’s already cost almost $3,000 the last 2 years but its ok, cuz he is worth it. Anyway, gotta go cuz he is holloring for me now, and is purring and howling at the same time….lol

  73. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 1, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Hi Sandra. You are very welcome

  74. Hello, my 13-year-old kitty had what the vet later determined was a blood clot when his back legs momentarity collapsed. I took him in to the vet and he was diagnosed with hyperthyroid. He is now on the felimazole ear gel twice a day. I have a few questions: 1) If his thyroid problem is stabilized, will that prevent a future blood clot episode? 2) How long does it take the transdermal felimazole to work (he’s now been on it a week). 3) I’ve read conflicting advice about the necessity of cleaning the cat’s ears so the medicine will work. Thank you for any information.

  75. Oops, I do have one more question. I have two other healthy cats. Is there any danger to them in using the same litter box as my kitty who’s receiving the felimazole? Thank you!

  76. Is 7.9 T4 level critical or just considered HIGH, from 5.9 being the normal ?

  77. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 27, 2014 at 9:23 am

    7.9 is high but is not critically high in most cases, however each case must be assessed individually.

  78. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 27, 2014 at 9:28 am

    No danger at all

  79. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 27, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Usually thyroid levels return to normal within a few weeks of starting correct dose. You should have levels rechecked. Not sure about the cleaning of ears. Consider asking 1800petmeds pharmacist. As for preventing future blood clots, I would also ask your vet about having an echocardiogram to rule out concomitant cardiomyopathy in your cat which may need its own medications as well.

  80. Thank you, Dr. Dym!
    ^..^

  81. Hi doc. I’m checking in after almost a year. My kitty is now 18 but still looks years younger. She has some arhtritis in but you wouldn’t know it unless you saw her jump. She goes to town on her upright scratcher a few times a day so I know she doesn’t have any serious pain. She’s a happy cat.who makes cooing noises upon eye contact and is a monstrous purrer.

    She’s been on the y/d for over one year because the radiologists (the ones who offer I-131) refuse to take a \risky\ patient and so denied us the I-131 treatment. I think she would have benefited, but she’s doing well on the y/d. in additon to y/d, she receives 50ml LRS sq nightly and Vetri-Science renal essentials chews. I add Rx-Zyme and Amino B-plex liquid vitamins to the y/d which I feed 3x day. She is still naturally flea-free and has a beautiful, clean, shiny white coat and bright eyes. I am happy with the y/d though I didn’t expect her to thrive on it.

    I have a suspicion that y/d is not so much a low iodine food but instead relies on it’s L-cysteine content to remove iodine from the pet’s body. What are your thoughts on that?

    Wanted your opinion on methimazole \tricks\ in case I do resort to trying that again. If a cat doesn’t tolerate methimazole (nausea, even when applied to pinna) but eventually needs more than the y/d, would you condone daily maropitant in order to increase tolerance of the methimazole?

  82. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 2, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    HI Nik. Actually not sure exactly how Y/D diet works so I would check with Hills company who makes it. Also as for methimazole, it certainly can help many cats, but if side effects intolerable, other options like surgery or iodine are needed. I dont have experience using maropitant(cerenia) in cats who can’t tolerate the drug, but certainly worth a try.

  83. Starky has been on the compounded methimazole(liquid form) for 2 years now without any side effects. I would recommend this since Starky has been able to tolerate it and it has not even effected his kidney, lungs or heart. He is doing great and he is almost 22.

  84. Thanks doc. Sorry my middle of the night post was so rambly. You did a thorough job of answering my questions, and I appreciate it.

  85. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    You are very welcome

  86. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks Sandra for sharing this with us

  87. You are very welcome 🙂

  88. I’m wondering how long it takes Plavix to start working in a cat. The emergency vet put him on it about three days ago following what they think is a blood clot that caused him to have one of his hind legs go out on him for about a half a second. He had a similar incident several weeks ago, which took us to the regular vet’s and they discovered he had hyperthyroidism at that time. He’s been on felimazole for almost three weeks. The emergency vet took x-rays last weekend and sees a thickening in the heart, and my regular vet is scheduling an echocardiogram soon. So I was just wondering if the Plavix is already working for him, and if it’s likely to help prevent a future blood clot. Thank you..

  89. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Plavix will usually work quickly No definitive data on its efficacy but theoretically may lessen likelihood of future clots

  90. Thank you, Dr. Dym! My hyperthyroid kitty did have his echocardiogram and the cardiologist said his heart funtion was normal and there were no “findings that suggest a cardiovascular cause for the episodes (two brief episodes of hind leg collapse) either thromboembolic or otherwise.” The report stated that no cardiac medications are advised. So my vet took him off Plavix. His first blood test since he’s been on methimazole was just done and shows that his thyroid level is now normal and he’s starting to gain weight and seems like his old self. So I’m curious as to what might have caused those previous episodes, where his hind legs collapsed for one to two seconds (this was before he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism). Do you any thoughts on what might have caused this? Could it have been related to untreated hyperhyroidism? Thank you…

  91. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 15, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Glad to hear he is doing well. Hyperthyroidism when not treated, can lead to hypertension and possibly mini strokes which sounds like that is what my have occurred. Now that hyperthyroidism under control and likely no more high blood pressure, hopefully he will be ok.

  92. Thank you, Dr. Dym! ^..^

  93. My Lola is a 17 y/o female feline…diagnosed w/hyperthyroidism…my vet prescribed the Felimazole 2.5 mg twice a day…got her the Methimazole 5mg…quite the bargain…I use a pill splitter (thank you to my Walmart Pharmacist)…into her Fancy Feast it goes as she will now not eat anything else. Happy to report it’s been quite the emotional 2 month journey…as of today she is doing great!!! A big thanks to PetMeds for all you do for us animal lovers.!

  94. I have a 13 yr old cat, Jessie, who was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism about a month ago. After several different doses of the oral medication, Jessie stopped eating and vomited several times a day. He is now on a strict diet of y/d canned food, which he liked for a couple of weeks, and then stopped eating. He consumes only a couple of tablespoons a day. I’ve mixed it with some canned tuna, but he is still turning his nose up at it. I considered ordering Thyroid Support Gold, but now am not so sure after reading the reviews here. My next choice is the ear medicine, but am very concerned that my cat is eating so very little and is continuing to lose weight. I would appreciate any suggestions.

  95. My cat has been taking the liquid methamizole for a little over 2 years now and is doing fine. I let him eat whatever he wants. That is the methamizole compounded. He has had no adverse effects whatsoever. Before this I tried the y/d and he did not like the wet food at all. To make him gain weight I am giving him the Science Diet kitten food. He will be 21 next month.

  96. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I think the kitten food is fine, as it has alot of protein…. especially if his kidneys are ok and he not like Y D food

  97. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    I would consider the radioactive iodine therapy, however make sure your cat has had a full medical workup to make sure no other medical issues involved with loss of appetite

  98. A friend of ours tried the iodine therapy and her cat got so sick they had to put him to sleep and he was only 10 years old. She really regrets ever having done this. She was so upset.

  99. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 15, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for your compliments

  100. Hello,
    We are using something called pill pockets to give my son’s cat her meds. It works for us. We found them at PetSmart.

  101. Is there anything natural medication for this? Like herbal or anything? I’ll try the food you suggested for my cat. I hope he’ll like it.

  102. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    In my experience I have not found natural meds that helpful for hyperthyroidism in the cat. When thyroid levels rise too high, I usually use the medicine, or consider radioactive iodine treatment. I only find the diet helpful in mild cases.

  103. I HAVE A 15 YEAR OLD MALE MAINCOON. LAST YEAR HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH HYPERTHYROIDISM (I HAVE HYPOTHYROIDISM-STRANGE). HIS COAT WAS ALWAYS LUXURIOS AND EASY TO CARE FOR. NOW, SINCE HE IS TAKING METHIMAZOLE TRANSDERMAL GEL HIS COAT IS SO MATTED YOU CAN’T EVEN RUN YOUR HANDS THROUGH IT, AND IT IS ATTACHED RIGHT TO HIS SKIN. I HAVE TRIED TO CUT THROUGH THE MATS, BUT THEY ARE TOO LONG AND HARD. IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN GIVE HIM TO REDUCE OR STOP THIS? I FEEL LIKE SUCH A BAD MOMMA.

  104. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 28, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Ann. Probably best to have vet exam and evaluation in pet this age to make sure no other health issues internally or metabolically causing this issue. I dont think the transdermal meds involved.

  105. I wanted to recommend topical DMSO for kitties with methimazole-induced cholestasis. Cannabidiol may help too.

  106. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 31, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing

  107. Hi. I wanted to share and ask for some basic recommendations for kitties with hyperthyroid and liver or renal disease.

    My cat was hyperthyroid for many years. She spent about a year on y/d then refused to eat it so I tried methimazole and almost killed her with it. The cholestasis, hepatitis improved and pancreatitis reversed after I experimented with topical DMSO and ionic silver. This isn’t surprising because DMSO is a powerful antiinflammatory andsupports the liver. The great news is that her T4 went into the normal range without my specifically attempting to remedy the thyroid. I may have found a non-junk-food, safe-for-compromised-kidneys remedy for hyperthyroidism. I will include info on how I treated her on my website when I have time to type it up.

    My question to you is, other than a raw diet- what do you recommend to support the liver and kidneys of hyperthyroid cats? What homeopathic/gentle remedies do you typically turn to? This cat hates milk thistle when added to food and I don’t like the idea of pilling her so many times a day so I’m looking for something to add to her water and that of the other renal/thyroid patients in my sanctuary. Some general ideas would be appreciated and I can do some research.

    Many thanks for the help you have provided thus far.

  108. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for your sharing. the website http://www.petwellbeing.com has some interesting thyroid and other liquid herbal supplements. I would also see the book the Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier, who is a good friend of mine. You could try the supplement Senior blend, which is wonderful herbal support for liver/kidneys of older animals http://www.animalessentials.com Hope this helps.

  109. My cat is 14 and on Methimazole 5 mg. twice daily. I give it to her morning and 12 hrs. later; attempting the same time everyday. Sometimes I loose track of time and am wondering how I should treat those times. Should I skip that first dose or give it to her late? Thank you.

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