Hyperthyroidism in cats

Hyperthyroidism in cats is believed to be an autoimmune reaction.
The most common hormonal disorder seen in cats today is an overactive thyroid gland known as hyperthyroidism. While it was only recently characterized and identified as an illness in cats in 1979 at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, the incidence of this disorder has expanded tremendously over the past three decades. While it is most commonly a disease of cats over the age of ten, we are now identifying this disorder in younger and younger cats due to more accurate testing, including measurement of both a T4 and Free T4 thyroid levels.

The most common cause of this hormonal imbalance is due to a benign but functional tumor of the thyroid glands that leads to an overproduction of thyroid hormone. The debate in the veterinary community rests on what causes this benign tumor to develop.  The largest consensus rests on environmental factors, including potentially contaminant metals in certain screw top canned cat foods, to environmental toxins in carpets, as well as over vaccination where immunity to most viruses lasts for years to life of the pet.

As with most chronic disorders in our pets, it is believed to be an autoimmune reaction, where the immune system reacts against its own tissues leading to the development of this functioning tumor of the thyroid glands. Symptoms of this disease include increased thirst/urination and appetite with concomitant weight loss at the same time. Greasy or matted coats including excessive shedding can develop as well. Behavioral changes include easy overheating and panting, restlessness, vocalization, aggression and even changes in litter box habits resulting in feline house soiling. If left undiagnosed, high blood pressure, subsequent kidney and heart damage, and secondary disease of the heart muscle called cardiomyopathy can develop.

Treatment options include the prescription drugs Tapazole or generic Methimazole. 15 to 20% of cats may develop side effects on these drugs including lethargy, loss of appetite and vomiting. A lesser percentage can develop problems of the bone marrow, liver failure and even less common intense itching of the head and face. In roughly 20% of cats treated with Methimazole, elevation of kidney enzymes and possibly future renal failure can be seen. That’s why it’s so important for cats treated with medications for this condition to be adequately monitored through periodic exams, blood testing and blood pressure measurements. And while surgical removal of the thyroid glands used to be a popular treatment option, it has for the most part fallen out of vogue because of the close proximity of the parathyroid glands, as well as the surgical risk in many older cats.

The preferred method of treatment by many feline experts includes the injection of a single bolus of radioactive iodine, which selectively destroys only the functioning tumor of the thyroid glands. Most cats tolerate this treatment quite well, with the only downsides in my opinion being the initial expense of $1200 to $1500 dollars for the workup before the treatment, as well as the cat being isolated for at least a few days away from the guardian during the treatment period, in order to avoid radioactive exposure of the human guardian family.

As with all other hormonal diseases, I always recommend good vitamin supplementation,  including Soft Vitachews for Cats, Vetri-DMG, fatty acids such as Be Well Cat or Super Pure Omega 3, as well as liver support such as Denamarin or Denosyl, in order to protect the liver against the toxic effects of long term drug therapies.

Related Posts


  1. My cat is taking Methimazole 5mg chicken vetchew for hyperthyroidism. Currently she is taking 1 vetchew in the moring and 1/2 in the evening. I am concerned that she is not eating as good as she usually does. Also, she has lost aproximately 1/2 pound this past month. All other behaviors are very normal. Is there any holistic treatment that would help? Please reply.
    Thank you.

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 6, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Methimazole can cause loss of appetite in some cats so I would have your cats thyroid rechecked to see if you can lower dose. ALso make sure your vet has done complete workup to rule out other causes of appetite/weight loss. Many elder cats can have multiple diseases. You can try supporting his thytoid with supplements like standard process thytrophin PMG and symplex F. Some vets who are herbalists have used bugle weed in mild cases. See http://www.AHVMA.org for list of holistic vets in your area but this condition not easy to treat holistically.

  3. My cat has been taking the Methimazole 5 mg tablets twice a day. I usually give it to him in the morning and evening? Is there a better time to give him the pills?

    Also, he has had really bad diarrhea which has become a mess. I have been giving him a supplement called Runnipoo which has helped in the past (herbalistic).

    Do you think the medication is causing the diarrhea? What can I do to help him recover. Although he eats and is hungry all the time (I give him mostly soft food now) he is so skinny.

    Thank you.

  4. my cat is 4yrs old and has gain alot of weight and is now very over weight since last yrs check up she has put on a few pounds and im concerned about her health. I have decrease her food but it doesnt seem to be coming off shes also on weight control food iams please help

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I would try eliminating the dry food from your cat’s diet. The hidden carbohydrates in dry food is often what causes cats to gain weight. I would change to an all natural wet or canned food such as pet guard, or better yet a raw meat home diet as described in book The Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier. Usually they will lose weight when on a species appropriate canned or raw meat based diet.

  6. My cat is 19 going on 20 years old. He’s lost a lot of weight in the last 4 months and the vet has suggested he might have thyroid problems. At his advanced age I’m not sure what to do about it. He’s not in distress but his appetite isn’t good. We feed him when and what he likes best but I don’t know what else to do since he doesn’t seem uncomfortable. I don’t want to put him through a lot of tests and operations at his age. I’d like someone’s opinion.

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Best to have CBC/chem/Thyroid blood tests to evaluate for underlying treatable conditions such as overactive thyroid gland which can be easily controlled with medication.

  8. Elizabeth, my cat is the same age & was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism after I took him in for the blood test that Dr. Michael suggested. The normal levels of one of the tests was greater than 100 which means, they have no idea how much more it is than that but the normal is around 30. It doesn’t cost that much, only about $140.00. Other than that, he is in good health. It has not affected his liver, heart or other vital organs, although it is very possible for this to happen. His T-3 & T-4 levels confirmed this diagnoses. Your cat is not too old. I read a story where the oldest cat in the world is 38 going on 39, and still purring!! I know it isn’t realistic to expect my cat to live that long but a few more years would be great! The DR. told us about the 3 choices available to treat this being surgery….he is too old to have that……..radioactive iodine injections which costs over a thousand and they keep your cat isolated for a couple of weeks…..that was not something we considered. The third and best option was methamazole which he is now taking and doing better. You should take your cat in to get this simple blood test. It is really worth it.

  9. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this treatable disease.

  10. You’re welcome! I only wish I had taken him in sooner. If I had known about this, I would have done something about it since he had lost so much weight, was throwing up so much, his fur was so matted because he quit cleaning himself. It took me a while to get most of the knots out being that his fur is so long, but not so thick anymore. I should have known something was wrong and finding out this is treatable made all the difference in the world. Thank you for all the things you said. I didn’t know that dry food was not good for your cat. I always thought dry food was better. If I give him the raw meat based diet, will that be good for him? I don’t want him to lose anymore weight, but he does not like the y/d wet food. He is taking Prozyme, methimazole compounded, and Lixitonic.

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Raw meat based diets are best in my opinion and experience. If that not possible all natural wet foods such as pet guard or wysong are preferred.

  12. Thank you SO Much for your comments! My cat is my very best friend & was just diaogniossed with hyperthyroidism and turned 16, 3 months ago. Now there is a fourth & safest option with the least side effects an it is wet & dry food. Works best with a single cat as they can only eat their Special food. No more treats or sharing which is gong to be very hard. I hope you have your cats still. Thank you so much for your encouraging words & ages! My cat is the only being that has ver showed me unconditional love & I’ve lived with him longer than any relative or person & all 16 years were in a row. I am fighting a terminal illness & constant chronic pain & my cat will stay in bed with me, glued to me for several days if necessary. He has always treated me different from all other humans, he has always made sure I know he loves me with his purring-meow & constant affection. He lost 6-7 pounds before he was diagnosed yesterday & gave me a major scare as the trip to his vet was hot, long & he was in very bad shape when we got to the doctor. He’s my very best friend & my health has suffered at seeing him losing so much weight & throwing up puddles of water every day & the fear of losing him has greatly affected me. Your comment of 18 & 19 years old & even the amazing but unrealistic 38. I’m glad to know there’s life after learning of his hyperthyroidism. Don’t wait to take your cat in! Early is Best for treating any illness. Thanks for letting me know he may have years after we get him recovered from all this!!

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing your comments and experience. God bless you and good luck with your own condition.

  14. I’m glad I could help you a little Ryan. You are very welcome. My cat didn’t like the y/d wet food, but he does eat the dry food. He also has to take the methimazole compounded which doesn’t have as many side effects as the pills. It is a liquid and you can order it from here and they flavor it for your cat in his favorite flavor. They also call your cats vet for you. My cat is doing better now that he is on the methimazole compounded. You might want to consider this if he does not like the wet food. It is over $2.00 a can. I think its great that your cat can be there with you. I’m really sorry to hear you are not doing well. God bless you and good luck to both you and your cat. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  15. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this forum.

  16. Wow, Thanks again… We saw the vet on Friday & my cat hasn’t even eaten 1 can of wet food. Rascal, has lost almost half his weight from his peek weight when he was young & healthy, now he’s down to 9 pounds. He eats 1/3 can of wet food each day normaly. He’s only eaten 3/4-1&1/4 cups of the Dry food. I had to throw out half of the wet food that I did put down. Before I read your comment I had called & left his doctor a voice mail on Sunday & again today, about him not liking the food at all & I have an eating disorder too, where I haven’t felt hunger in 17 years, ever!! I don’t ever feel like eating & only eat once a day & it takes a long time. Since I can’t share anything at all, I haven’t eaten. My cat stares at me with this look asking so sweetly for me to share & it’s not in my nature not too. He doesnt like most stuff & regularly walks away from meat, milk, all the things we spoil them with. I feel so badly that he’s hungry & now I’m just not eating because I can’t make him smell food & not get to eat anything. He’s my very best friend in the world & loves me more than anyone ever has! I am so glad to have the information as I’m waiting on the call from the vet & would have had no idea what to do, and I’ve been concerned about the side affects of the medication. All of this info has been very useful & helpful as I have been so worried & concerned about him. Your information has guided what I put my cat through, and I thank you!! I really don’t know what I’ll do if / when something happens to him.life wouldn’t ever e the same. I was fearful all weekend about the side effects I read about & scared & this info has helpped so much!

  17. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    you are very welcome. Glad to be of help to you.

  18. I posted on here almost a year ago. Happy to say my cat Elmo made it to his 16th bday and pushing 17! It has been rough but he is a fighter. When my cat would not eat and was seriously losing weight I added Nutri-Cal high calorie supplement to his diet and pet electrolite liquid to his water. I switched him from all hard food to soft food in the am and pm (i smash his Methimazole into the soft food) and I always put Digestive Enzymes with prebiotics and probiotics in his soft food… 8oz. Lasts a very long time and not that expensive. His dosage of the Methimazole was too high… I read that cats are often given a higher dosage than they need. I cut his pills in half and at half the dose he was taking this is the best he has been and diarrhea not nearly as bad and just better stools. Older cats have a hard time digesting hard food. Since the soft food goes through him so quickly, i buy a high quality hard cat food and leave some out for him to snack on. Do not buy hairball diet formulas and look for higher protein more natural foods. Good luck with your cats!! Just keep trying until you find a diet that works. He also does well When i give him fresh cooked chicken and lean meats and fish some nights When we cook dinner instead of the soft food. The diarrhea period can seem like it will never end and it is frustrating for both you and your pet. Thankfully pooey paw prints are not that often now 🙂 and no messy tail! He has had a lot of baths. Be patient!!

  19. Good luck Ryan! Sending you well wishes. Glad your cat is on the way to better health. It is scary and you feel helpless when they are vomitting, with diarrhea etc… only you know your cat best and you will figure out what works. Try some different soft food formulas. My cat is finicky and picky. I buy one can of a brand and see how it goes. sometimes he will like a food then not want it 2 wks later… One thing that got him to eat is that when i put down the good i give him some smooching and i pet him and he gets happy and eats. Now he wakes me in the morning for his breakfast and then goes crazy when I get in after work. Half can in the am and half in pm unless tiny cans. I have to add water to soften it up. For a while he started with the gravy covered foods and now eats pate style. Half can is so you make sure they eat their meds… you might want to start with a little scoop. It takes their system a while to adjust. Again hard food only a little out as a snack. Good luck!!

  20. Thanks for your comments Ryan & Angela. My cat has been going on spurts of not eating all day, then he will eat all day. He is very picky. He only likes pate, and it has to be a flavor he likes. I always gave him the fancy feast, then I tried giving him the Friskies Chicken & Tuna. It is soft, and has a little sauce with it. He loves this and the mixed grill. But even so some days he will not eat at all. His fur was so matted before I knew what was wrong with him and it took me forever to get the knots out. He won’t let me brush his paws and they are so matted. His underneath by his butt has two really big knots in it, and sometimes when he poops the poop sticks to him, then he just drops it where ever. Sry if that sounds discussting. I just don’t know what to do, he won’t let me give him a bath and comb it out. I might take him to the groomer at the animal hospital where his vet is, but they say they have to sedate him and I am worried about that. Try giving your cats the Chicken & Tuna. My friend has 3 cats and they love it. My other cat not so much but she will eat it if she thinks she is eating Starkys food, cuz I put his food on the floor, and I have this long table bench that I put her food on. She is picky too. The DR gave her a blood test also but she is doing good, but she is only 2 years old. At least the DR will have something to compare her tests with when she gets older. Starky never had a blood test until a couple of months ago, so they have no idea just how bad his condition is since they only go to 100, and it is greater than 100, the norm is 30. He will have to have another one soon to see if the medicine is working. He is in perfect health other than that. He also is taking Proenzyme & lixotinic. Good luck to you Angela & Ryan. Its nice to be able to talk to someone who knows what you are going through. I love my cat & some time I will tell you the story about how I found him. Enough for now though.ededope its

  21. ededope its was the ReCAPITCHA…….I forgot to move the curser…..lol

  22. elizabeth wilkinsonJuly 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks for all the comments regarding feeding. I’m working on different things with my cat but he seems to only want friskies chicken and salmon. I’m going to get some of the supplements that you suggested. I really appreciate this blog

  23. elizabeth wilkinsonJuly 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for all the comments regarding feeding. I’m working on different things with my cat but he seems to only want friskies chicken and salmon. I’m going to get some of the supplements that you suggested. I really appreciate this blog. PS this is the first time I’ve made this comment. I don’t know what happened or who made one similar.

  24. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing.

  25. Thank you everyone for your comments. It’s good to be able to talk to someone who has a cat with the same condition. My cat seems to be doing a little better. Yesterday he ate all day. I have to change his food every day since he won’t eat the same thing 2 or 3 days later. I have to change his food. Still Friskies seems to be his favorite but only the chicken & tuna and the mixed grill. Sry if I keep repeating myself. I tend to do that sometimes. Ryan, you might want to want to consider the methimazole compounded because I don’t think the y/d diet alone will help since he does not like the wet food. I don’t know any cats who do, but with the hyperactive thyroid, the food is metabolized as soon as they consume it. The metimazole inhibits the growth of the thyroid. The y/d diet is probably good if it is caught right away but I think they need the methimazole so that they don’t produce anymore thyroid. I am going to the vet today to get some more. I hope he has it because my order is on back order, and even the vet did not have any when I went there on Saturday. I know this is the most diagnosed condition cats have so that may be why. Thanks again, Elizabeth, Ryan and everyone else for your comments. God Bless you & give your cats a hug from Starky.

  26. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Hi Sandra: You may want to try a more holistic or natural diet, ideally even a home made diet, if you can get your cat to eat it. They do so much better on a proper home made meat based diet. It may help to work with some feline nutritionists such as Anitra Frazier, author of the book The Natural Cat which can be find on line. Anitra can also be reached by phone consultation for nominal fee, as she consults with clients all over the world at 212-663-0122. Diet and appropriate supplements can indeed make a big difference in these cats.

  27. Not at all discusting… Well it is but we are pet lovers that will do anything for our pets… We would not have searched the net for answers about our cats conditions if we didn’t love them so much! Thanks for all the comments & updates on your progress!

    I have a suggestion get warm water in the tub & sit next to it with your cat, dip your hand in the water & pet your cat with the wet hand, rinse your hand & repeat, my cat hates baths too. Just make your cat think your petting him/her & soon they’ll be all wet & you’ll have a bathtub Full of hair & dirt. It’s what I resorted too. I use to give him a bath but I don’t want to fight him now that he’s over 16 years old. They had me mix his food with the medicine food and he ate. He hadn’t eaten much in almost a week & macked down. He use to throw up a bunch of water & since we started the medicine food and hasn’t since he’s been on it. Yesterday he threw up but food & I think because he grubbed so fast/much. I was glad when they let me mix the canned food I had, because Rascal is so picky that I have 4 cases of different flavors I had tried in single cans & know he likes. He would only eat his favorite & now doesn’t like it at all. I had to get him the cans with chunks of meat in it & now I have to buy him the pâté.

    Get your cat a blood test ASAP! It could be what we are going through with hyperthyroid or kidneys or liver… It could be something getting worse & a simple blood test will show all of these. Don’t wait because your & your cats lives could be much better.

    I found when mixing the foods that the medicine food is super dry for wet food & that could be why all our cats don’t like it. The manufacturer should read all our comments & might be able to adjust the moisture & flavor(s). My cat too is very picky!

  28. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing our experiences with getting your cat to take meds and/or mixing foods.

  29. Thanks Ryan, I will have to try that. I’m just worried I might hurt him cuz he is sooo sensitive. I did however get most of the stickers out of him. A couple of days ago he went after a bird unbeknownst to me. I found a dove in the garage right next to our chair. It was so sad. I was helpless to do anything about it cuz it was obvious the dove had a broken wing. Starky hasn’t done that for a long time, and the birds usually are able to get away, plus with the cataracts in his eyes, I didn’t think he would be able to. The dove was almost the size of poor Starky since he is all skin and bones and fur now. Well anyway, I am going to go try what you suggested, and I will write more later. BTW a blood test is a necessity with this condition. I have to take him in every month to check his thyroid. I’ll be back later. God Bless you!

  30. I haven’t yet tried that, cuz I can’t even touch the knots without him thinking I am pulling his fur. I already got so many out, and that did take a while. I am contemplating trying just so he can feel a little cleaner cuz I don’t know at what point he stopped cleaning himself. He is still throwing up a little, but when I get his medicine, I think he will do better. Turns out the vet didn’t have any more either. I just have to see how it goes. My other cat Shadow is so jealous of him, she won’t even let him come into the bedroom at night. I had keep them apart, so I kept the door closed for a few nights but when Starky started howling, I could no longer do it. I felt so bad for starky. Now they just tolerate each other, but after Shadow made him bleed, I knew he was out for blood. I love them both, its so hard when they don’t get along. I have to keep Shadow indoors, and Starky wants to stay outside all day just to get away from Shadow.

  31. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing all of your comments and feelings. Greatly appreciated.

  32. I took Starky for his follow up visit on Wednesday. Turns out he was anemic and dehydrated. Good thing I took him in. I had to leave him in the Hospital while they hydrated him and did more blood tests. I asked the DR if he could get those nasty knots out of him since I had to leave him there anyway. It ended up costing us $456.00 for the X-rays, blood work, office visit, hospital stay, and whatever else they charged us for. He is worth it though and I would do it again! I just wondered why they charge for the office visit and hospital stay, seems kinda like a double charge but at least he could tell just by looking at Starky, he needed to stay there. I called for the test results but he hasn’t called back yet. I picked him up later that day and called the next day for the results like he told us to. I have been just giving him the meds anyway since I can’t wait for him to call to let me know what is going on. He thot Starky had a tumor on his kidney, but thank God he doesn’t. That would be too scary as if I am not freaked out enuf by all this. I am going to call today and try again to get the results. Starky does look much better and seems a lot happier without those nasty knots and after his hospital visit. I hope everything is okay with all of you and your cats. Let me know how things are going with the meds and all Ryan and Angela and Elizabeth.

  33. I wonder how much it would have cost if Starky had to have a cat scan..lol instead of just xrays.

  34. Hi Sandra, Glad you took Starky in and I hope test results will be more helpful and not negative. Poor guy. Will keep fingers crossed for you. Elmo is hanging in there but I know he needs a Vet visit soon which I think I dread because he hates the experience and so do I and Yes the bills are always high but its just you don’t want more bad news. I think he might need to be tested for Diabetes. With the thyroid issues hoping that is not the case or tumors. I guess we have to accept that age catches up with all of us even our pets. Good luck and wishing Starky recovery!! Elmo has managed to fight it out. Sounds like Starky is a fighter too! Hugs!!

  35. Well the Dr finally called on Monday, and said to bring Starky in as soon as possible. We thot something was bad, so we took him in and he showed us the Xrays. He had thot when he checked him out he may have a tumor, but the Xrays didn’t really show one. He asked us if Starkys stools were hard and we said yeah, so he knows why he thot it was a tumor and told us he was sorry for the scare but he just wanted to be sure. Evidently it was the stools he felt, not a tumor. His thyroid levels were down to 70 so he first said to take him down to once a day on the methimazole instead of twice a day. We told him Starky didn’t have his medicine for a week, and I guess it had gone down more, then went back up due to the lack of meds. I told him he didn’t have any medicine, neither did 1800petmeds. Then we got the medicine from 1800petmeds so he was taking it again. Now Starky seems to be doing a lot better. They do have rapid results with the methimazole, and Starky didn’t have any side effects, so that was good. He only weighs 7lbs though so we have to fatten him up. He used to weigh almost 20lbs. Thanks Angela, and hugggs to Elmo. I hope everything is ok with him. Ryan & Elizabeth pls let me know how things are going with you. lots of love and huggs…xoxox.

  36. Wishing all of you and your pets good health and the very best. Our Sam Pepys is now in cat heaven and we all miss him, especially his puppy slaves. We’re sure that his spirit is there under his Bird of Paradise where he continues to survey the world. He moved in the pet door, bag and baggage when we were abroad and he was just a kitten. That was nearly 20 years ago. Whoever discarded him it was their loss and our gain. If another kitten suddenly appears I’m sure it will be Sam in his next reincarnation.

  37. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing your sensitive thoughts and feelings.

  38. Thank you for the well wishes Elizabeth, I am so very sorry to hear that Sam is not with you anymore but now in Cat Heaven. It just brings tears to my eyes cuz I know exactly how you feel. We had another cat that came to our garage to hide bcuz somebody had abused it. He was so scard he wouldn’t come out, but my husband was able to coax him out and he became ours. He was not able to meow bcuz of the abuse, I don’t know what they did to him but we only had him for 9 years. It was 2 years ago, last March when he was laying next to me one morning in bed. I was petting him and he was purring. Suddenly he stopped purring, so I thot he had fallen asleep but then I noticed he wasn’t breathing and I totally lost it, I couldn’t stop crying. It was devastating. I know how you feel and I would give u lots of huggs if this were in person but I am sending you virtual hugggs instead. sandra{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Elizabeth}}}}}}}}}}}}}}sandra

  39. Thanks for all the comments! I’ve learned a lot from all of your expierences. Rascal would never eat the food by itself, I did get him to eat it by adding more water than you’d expect, and mixing it with his food. His doctor said that if he wouldn’t eat the food by itself he’d have to go on the medicine. It did seem to be helping as he stopped drinking so much water that it would make him puke every day. Yesterday I has his doctor call in his prescription to my pharmacy & was able to pick it up when I went to get my medications. So now it’s waiting & watching to see how well he deals with any side effects from the pills. The cats use the same medication as we do, so if your ever out of it & can’t find it, have your vet call it in to your nearest pharmacy. I had to split the pills in half, but I already had a pill splitter! Thanks all for your stories! Sorry to those whom lost the battle but you know you will run across a kitten & it will be your kitties comming back to you! I remember when I got Rascal I had gone to a friends for dinner & as soon as I walked in I met the sweetest kitten. I picked him up & he loved on me & laid in my arm or lap the entire time I was there & I took him home. It was love at first sight but we seemed to have a Special bond. He loves to sleep as my cat from long ago who is no longer with us. I hope he doesn’t have to deal with many side effects and is on the road to recovery. My health is bad right now & it’d kill me to lose him! He’s only 16 so hopefully he has a long, happy, & pain free life ahead of him! If you can’t find the pills try your local pharmacy though so you don’t risk the numbers climbing back up!

  40. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 2, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    THanks for sharing your kind thoughts.

  41. Thank you all for your good and positive thoughts. Our Sam will always be with us as are our other beloved pets who are waiting for us at The Rainbow Bridge. Life goes on and we appreciate the pets we have had and the ones who are still with us. We loved them all dearly and they had the best lives we could provide. They will always be with us in memory and bring smiles to our faces as we talk of them. We are glad we had them in our lives even though it is difficult when they have to leave. But that is part of life. Again thank all of you for your kind support.

  42. Thank you Ryan, but yeah I did a little research and found out I could get the meth at my pharmacy and then when I went in to pick up my meds I spoke to the pharmacist and she told me they would even compound it for me and flavor it with tuna. What’s even better….it’s only $29 for the same amount and you don’t have to pay extra for shipping, so that is going to work out great. I will have to get a 15 month supply which is fine. I tried to write on this blog yesterday after I read what Ryan wrote, but after I wrote a bunch of stuff, I accidently hit the wrong key, and it went back to the home page. I was unable to do it again bcuz my arm has been in so much pain my fingers didn’t want to do the typing. I couldn’t even type on the keyboard to my computer yesterday cuz I also have tendonitis and osteoarthritis in both arms, but it effects my right one more cuz of the pinched nerve. My Dr says I brought this on myself by not giving it a rest. I work tooo much in my garden and stuff…..well enuf about me…..I rambling again. I was going to tell you about B.C. the cat I was referring to that died next to me. He was such a special cat and when he died, Starky took a long time to get over it, he kept looking for him everywhere, and it was really hard cuz he could sense my emotions too. About 4 months after he died we were in Newberry Springs and they had these kittens and asked if we wanted one and I asked if they had a black kitten, and they did, we took that one. Actually I wanted them all, but we could really only get one more cat. Starky was not happy at all about it. We thot he would get over it but it just got worse and that night when Shadow made Starky bleed from scratching him we had to keep them separated for awhile. We had to keep our bedroom door closed. We kept Shadow in the bedroom cuz Starky likes to walk around to every room or he will meow relentlessly. We that for a few days but then when Starky started howling, I knew we had to keep the door open for him so he could come in our room too. He can’t jump on the bed cuz its too high. I felt so badly when I heard him howling, and I ran into the hallway to the front door where he was, and since he could barley see me cuz of the cataracts…..he started crying as soon as he sensed me. I felt so bad I just knew I had to keep the door open for Starky so he could come in our room even though he couldn’t jump on the bed. Well I wish you all the best, and I know you will find a new pet when the time is right even though you do have other cats, and Sams puppy slaves. Each one is so special. Every since B.C. died suddenly, I have been freaking out and having panic attacks for 2 years cuz I keep expecting to find Starky dead anytime, and even though I know he will die, I was just so freaked out about B.C.’s sudden death, it’s hard to deal with it.

  43. Thank you Dr. Dym and all of you good people who are struggling with hyperthyroidism in your cats. I appreciate the information from all of you and your kind support. I thank all of you and wish you and all of your pets long and healthy…and stress free lives. Take care and have a wonderful summer.

  44. Thank you Dr. Dym for making it possible for us to be able to share stories and questions about our cats with hyperthyroidism. You have been very helpful. Thanks everyone else for your comments and in put. This has been very helpful to me. sry for rambling about myself and my cat…didn’t mean to get carried away. Thank you Ryan for helping me with giving Starky a bath. I am going to try it today since I got my cat soap in the mail. Take care, I hope everyone is doing ok.

  45. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    You are very welcome Sandra.

  46. No worries. As to Elizabeth Wilkinson’s cat Sam, I drove him to the vet and had him euthanized. Afterwards we gave him a beautiful service — flowers, candles, poetry readings, and toasted his life with a fine Bordeaux. Now Elizabeth keeps Sam’s ashes at her bedside and tells him about her day before she goes to sleep. Anyway, at 20 years old, he had stopped eating and drinking and looked like a skeleton. It was clear to me that he was preparing himself for death (cats are very spiritual creatures and really in touch with our Divine Creator); it was just like my grandmother, who told me at age 100 she didn’t want another birthday party because she “was done” and, sure enough, just before her 101st birthday she also stopped eating and drinking and just went to sleep a couple of days later, just like the cat!

  47. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts.

  48. When I mentioned about panic attacks in my last comment, I didn’t mean that I was having panic attacks every day for 2 years, I meant that is has been going on for 2 years, but it has only happened once or twice. Starky is doing better now. He is eating and not throwing up. He has gained almost 3 lbs. He seems a lot happier. He takes his medicine now without any problem because I mix it with a little tuna & he is happy to take it. I am not giving up on him, I know he will get better.

  49. Ryan, I was wondering, you said you mixed water with the y/d food? How much water did you add? Starky does not like it at all when I mix his food with water, nor does he like it when I mix 2 different foods together unless its tuna and chicken or salmon and tuna. He does not like the y/d can food at all. I supposed I should have tried mixing tuna with it, but I took all the cans I bought back to the store. I bought a whole case of it. He won’t eat the same food 2 days in a row either. to change the subject, I almost had a heart attack cuz I accidently got starky caught in the recliner. I did not know he had climbed under it, cuz Shadow was pestering him, and he was laying down at the time, then I tried to get up real quick and stop Shadow from pestering him, but Starky had already climbed underneath the recliner. I freaked out cuz I couldn’t get him out, but luckily it was just his tail when I finally got it out, he was fine, but I wasn’t…..lol….he is ok and I will be more than careful now….I can’t believe I did that. I don’t know how that happened. Well take care and let me know how u and your cat are doing, and Angela, u let me know how u and your cat are doing too. xoxoxo

  50. Does any of you know anything easy & gental I can use with my cat to help him poop? Since he started the pill he isn’t going & the vet only offered a suppository which my cat will not do. He scooted his ass away from a nurse when she was about to take his tempature so I know what a struggle that will be & I’m very worried about him… He’s very extremely picky so any ideas will be greatly apreciated.

  51. I watched the consistency of the food while adding dripping but it was a lot more than I expected… I ran it at first dripping then with it streaming & I kept watching while I stirred the food but I didn’t measure how much water I added

  52. Ryan, here is a page I read and thought maybe it would help your Rascal. I hope it helps anyway.

  53. This product is a paste that you can feed to your cat and it comes in tuna flavored. I read some of the reviews and most people were happy with giving this to their cats.
    Laxatone 4.25oz Tuna Flavored, you may be able to buy this from your pharmacy, or you can get it at Amazon.com for about 7 or 8 dollars I think.

  54. oh wait, that price was wrong….here it is again with the correct price.
    Laxatone 4.25oz Tuna Flavored
    by Mojetto
    4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews) |
    List Price: $14.99
    Price: $12.99
    Sale: $4.90
    You Save: $10.09 (67%)
    Special Offers Available
    In Stock.
    Ships from and sold by EntirelyPets.
    7 new from $4.90 1 used from $4.99

  55. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I find that adding natural psyllium from health food store helpful to meals. 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per meal is all that is needed. Also a teaspoon of wheat bran or canned pumkpin to meals may also help.

  56. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks for helpful link.

  57. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Laxatone can help in mild to moderate constipation. In moderate to severe cases, metamucil, psyllium and/or canned pumkpin and bran more useful.

  58. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Certainly reasonably priced.

  59. Yes, it is reasonably priced. I didn’t know that about pumpkin. I wonder if cats like pumpkin.

  60. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Many cats will eat canned pumpkin mixed in or with their food. OTher cats will put up their noses to it, as cats can certainly be finicky. The book I like with most useful at home suggestions for medical conditions, including constipation is the book The Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier, A must for all kitty lovers.

  61. Starky gives new meaning to the word finicky. I will have to try giving him pumpkin. I am going to get that book. Thanks for letting us know about it.

  62. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    You are very welcome. Anitra’s book can be quite helpful. You can also consult with her direction at 212-663-0122 for a small fee for common cat health problems. I work with her often on cases when treating them holistically.

  63. Are you sure the Laxatone 4.25oz Tuna Flavored, is for constipation, it says it’s for hair balls? He has had trouble with them too & his hair is comming out since starting the medicine. The methimazole has completly stopped Rascal up. I’m so worried about him, and trips to the vet are so hard on him. He hasn’t taken 1 complete dump since starting it & that’s not enough all combined wouldn’t equal one time in the past. He’s shown me so much love & travel is so hard on him. Now he’s having a hard time jumping & is pulling himself up on the bed with his front paws. Please respond ASAP.

  64. That was what it said. It should have worked, but here is a better one. I looked up this drug and this one should help It is probably a better one, and I think Dr. Dym said something about this. Vetasyl
    • A natural remedy for digestive issues
    • Helps reduce hairballs
    • Returns normalcy to your pets elimination
    • Convenient, and easy to administer
    • Contains 100% natural fiber sources
    • Formulated without preservatives, artificial flavors or colors
    • No reported side effects
    How it works:
    Vetasyl is sprinkled over food every day to aid in better digestion. The natural fiber source, which includes psyllium and barley, encourages natural elimination without the aid of chemicals.
    See this one is also for hairballs, so I guess that other one is for both. If you can’t get this right away, you should try pumpkin, that you can probably get sooner.

  65. I tried to post a link for this but I am having trouble posting it, I hope this works.

  66. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Laxatone can help both with hairballs and mild constipation. Vetasyl is another helpful product from 1800petmeds. If symptoms persist, may need enema and re evaluation by vet.

  67. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks for the thorough information on vetasyl.

  68. Ryan, I know you don’t wanna do this, but you may have to give Rascal the suppository one time until the meds start working. Try the vetasyl if the Laxatone isn’t working. When I looked it up, it said it was for constipation. It’s probably for hair balls too. Starky was losing his fur in clumps, leaving it all over the house. Since he has been on the meth, he is doing better. Since his fur is so long and not so thick anymore, it’s a little easier to comb him, and thanks for the info on the bath. Luckily for me, the vet shaved those nasty fur balls near his rear. I still have to get a few more shaved off since he is so senstive when I try to comb him, but you’re right, the water does help. You really should give Rascal the supossitory at least once so he can poop. Then the medicine should be working and you won’t have to worry so much. I hope he is okay. I hope I don’t have any trouble posting this.

  69. oh I forgot to say, you are quite welcome DR. Dym. I wanted to make sure Ryan knew everything about it and other ppl will want to know this too.

  70. so let us know how you are doing Ryan.

  71. Thanks for all the info… I did get him going a little with a prescription forlactulose 10 gm/15 ml solution. I need something to maintain him with because the methazole is what stopped him up. The last 2 days he got 1 turd out each day. It sais to give it every 8 hours but we have done mostly once a day & twice on a couple of days.Now I want something safer & more natural & tasty for him. As it is now, I squirt 1 ml in his mouth with a needleless syringe & immediately give him his Friskeys wet food with methozole to get the taste out of his mouth. This seems to be helping a lot but is hard to do. He has been hungry several times a day & night so hopefully he’ll be back to normal weight soon. I’m glad to see him hungry & eating & going to the sandbox. He’s not completly back to normal yet but he’s got something comming out finanily. I have to deal with simmular symptoms so I know how he feels.The hair comming out didn’t start until he was on the methozole, he’s always had a ton of hair around the house but this is different. Clumps of hair all over & when I pet him it looks like my hand is a razor.. He’s a medium hair cat so there’s always a lot of fur & makes him look fat. He’s already jumping on the bed easier. I ordered the tuna flavored paste & that will be much easier to give him. He would’ve been in for an enema today had he not gone. Trips to the vet are so hard on him, especially in the heat so I try to take him as little as possible. He doesn’t like travel either & only time he’s not meowing in the car is when I’m holding him. I apreciate all the info & advice. He’s my very best friend & been through a lot together. If I’m in bed sick for days, he’s right next to or on top of me taking care of me. He even has gotten out of bed & followed me to the bathroom & sat with me while I was throwing up & gone right back to bed with me. Even my mother never did that even when I was very little. He means the world to me!!!

  72. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Sounds like you are very close. Also consider trying the supplement Vetri Hbr from vetriscience which can also help for hairballs, constipation, etc

  73. Good to know all is well with you Ryan. Glad u r ok.

  74. I ordered that book cuz they didn’t have it at the book store, so they are going to mail it to me. I can’t wait to get it. Thank you Dr. Dym.

  75. Well after we got Rascal’s thyroid in check we had his second blood test. We found out he has kidney Disease! This has brought many drastic changes to our lives. Having to give him iv fluids under his skin 2-3 times a week & with him hurting. Good luck to all & thanks for the info when he was diagnosed. He is my best friend who has loved me through so many years of pain. I’ll do my very best to protect him & help him. He has kept me fighting through my terminal illness & been the joy of my life. Ironically he is the only one who has put me first & shown me Unconditional Love! Hug your KITTIES!!

  76. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 6, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing your tender story and relationship with your kitty.

  77. Oh wo w…..sorry to hear that Ryan. I’m sure he knows that u r his best friend too! He knows u r taking good care of him and he appreciates u just as much as u do him. Kittie huggs to both of u from Starky and me.

  78. Starky seems to be doing okay, so I am going to the vet today to get a prescription for his methimazole since he did have a refill but when they called 1800petmeds, they said they had no info on Starky or this medicine. Seems strange to me since they just sent me a reminder that he is due for a refill. Kinda makes me think they just wanted me to get it from them. I remember Ryan telling me that its the same as the meds we take so I looked it up at the Wallgreens Pharmacy, and found out it was only $29.00 instead of $72.00, and I don’t have to wait for it. Thanks Ryan for the info.

  79. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  80. I’m so sad & heartbroken to report that I lost my very best friend Rascal on Monday October 8th at 2pm. I found out a couple months ago that he had early kidney disease. He seemed to be getting better, he gained a pound or two back & I was giving him subcutaneous fluids twice a week, which he hated but knew it was needed. I was with him when he passed away, & he didn’t suffer. He fell over with a spasm & I grabbed him so fast as I was 2 Feet away. I attempted CPR & mouth to mouth & rushed him to his vet but there wasn’t anything they could do. He’d saved my life & took such great care of me when I was sick & in pain. My life will never be the same. I’m truly lost after more than 16 wonderful years with my precious cat. Part of me died with Rascal on Monday & my heart will Never not be broken, I have no. Doubt!! He was an amazing cat & showed me more love than any human even considered. He will forever bee missed!!! Good luck to all of you, & thanks for all of the information & support!

  81. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I am sorry to hear of your loss. My heart and thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

  82. Ryan, words cannot convey how truly sorry I am to hear about Rascal dying. I know how close you 2 were and it really saddens me to hear of this. Please know that I am thinking about you and I know how difficult this is for you.

  83. is it ok to mix the standard process thytrophin and simplex F with Methmizole? I have 2 cats on methmizole 2x/day. Both are older and have lost weight. My holistic vet prescribed me methmizole saying that is the only thing we can do for hyperthyroid. I am not sure why she didnt have me try the thytrophin and simplex F. Please help.

  84. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 8, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I have used standard process products in practice, but thus far have not been that impressed with them in treating or reversing hyperthyroidism in cats by themselves.

  85. My cat is 19 years old, taking methimazole twice a day for hyperthyroidism.
    He eats Iams dry food (free feeds) & gets wet food twice a day with his medication.
    He is becoming increasingly constipated.
    Will Metamucil help or should I change his diet, giving him more wet food daily?
    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

  86. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 18, 2014 at 4:20 am

    I would definitely give more wet food, as well as possibly adding one pinch of metamucil to each meal. On occasion a pinch of Miralax can help as well.

  87. Thank you. I have tried it and it slowly seems to be working.

  88. Hello all!
    I have a 15 yr/old Bengal, diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last year. He has been on the Hill’s Prescription Diet for approximately onye year and has saved his life (Y/D formula). But, he is having problems pooping, getting constipated, more times than not. Can I use Vetasyl with this food, even though he is just supposed to eat the Hill’s Diet and nothing else? Please help!

  89. Starky decided he no longer wanted to live, he couldn’t live like this anymore. I know this because for the last 3 days before yesterday, he just stayed curled up in our bathroom so he could be close to us. Before we always took him to the vet when he stopped eating. This time it was different and we knew it. When I called Dr. Ahmed to tell him Starky was tired of living and was ready to go, he had already left the office early for lunch but when he got the call about Starky, he came back and he was there when we got there. He told us about our options and since Starky had lost so much weight by this time he weighed only 4.5 lbs. He gave Starky a strong sedative, then a lethal injection. it was so heartbreaking, but the Dr stayed with us the whole time and explained everything that was going on and we told him Starky came to say goodbye. He was always amazed at how strong his will was to survive and how much he always loved Starky. He wrapped him in paper bag and took him to our car so we could take him home to bury him. It was so hard to bury him even though we had a spot picked out for him when we made a rock garden 4 years ago when his friend died. It was so hard to dig with so many rocks and the DR had told me earlier that day I could no longer kneel to do anything in the yard. I am sharing this story because I have been writing about Starky since he first got hyperthyroidism, and I kept thinking I should have taken him in sooner and maybe he would have had a better chance but tha’ts not really the case because he had a good 21 years and he was ready to say good bye. We will miss him very much. Dr. Ahmed is the best animal Dr we have ever known. He always went to great lengths to save Starky, and was always there for him. I have heard other ppl telling stories about what a great DR he is but I have experienced this first hand, and I know for sure if I traveled the whole world I would never find a DR who cared more for his patients than DR. Ahmed. I am putting this on facebook on his page at Hesperia Animal Hospital. Thank you DR. Dym for all your help and support. It really helped a lot and meant a lot to me. I will forever be grateful to everyone connected with Starky’s life.

  90. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    HI Sandra. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Dr Ahmed does indeed sound like a special veterinarian. Please know that STarky would not have lived for as long or as comfortably without your love and devotion, as well as Dr Ahmed. 21 years is a very long and happy life for most cats

  91. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    I dont think using vetasyl will be a problem. You can also consider a pinch of miralax in with each meal. See vet for recommendations.

  92. Thank you Dr. Dym for you comments.
    We were really surprised when we received a sympathy card in the mail yesterday from Dr. Ahmed and Hesperia Animal Hospital telling us how much they all loved Starky and how much they will miss him. They were voted best animal hospital in the desert, and I can really see why.

  93. My 14 y/o female(n) cat has hyperthyroidism and is on Methimazole. As expected she has lost weight and is hungry. Her biggest problem is diarrhea. What can be done to help control this? She is a fussy eater so changing her food is probably not an option.

  94. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 24, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Make sure thyroid levels are under control with proper dose of methimazole. As for diarrhea, vet exam and evaluation to rule out chronic pancreatitis, IBD, etc is needed. You could try probiotic like fortiflora from 1800petmeds and naturevet enzymes added to meals

  95. Thanks for the info. My vet currently has her on Prednizone which has helped some. I hate having to give that to her. She loves Fortiflora so I will order some more of that. Again, thank you.

  96. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 26, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    You are very welcome

  97. Hello,
    I have a 17 year old cat diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. He’s been on methimazole for 5 days. Prior to this diagnosis, two months before I took her to one get who ran bloodwork a everything seemed fine. She had been loosing weight but also had been itching, scratching, biting, grooming excessively and vomiting. All I got was antibiotics and Pepcid and suggested something wrong with kidneys but required more testing. She stopped vomiting but would still itch and lick and continued to lose weight. Three weeks ago she woke up with a bright red face. She is a black cat by the way. I immediately took her to another vet who gave her an allergy shot and antibiotic shot, and did some cytology test. Tested for bacteria, mites, parasites, what not, everything came back negative.
    She did not respond to allergy shot and antibiotic, her face and spots around her body were very red still. Took her back 3 days later and more skin tests were done, blood work and fungal growth were done. She was given prednisone. 3 days later I was told she had hyperthyroidism. Those three days she stopped eating but then started eating again and a lot. 5 days ago we started methimazole and continued prednisone. There’s still redness and still itching a lot. Still waiting for the fungal growth results. I feel so bad for cuz she still itching, some normal skin is starting to peek through tho. Is the skin reaction part of the hyperthyroidism? I just don’t understand why it will not go away, not sure what to think anymore

  98. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 25, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Sounds like very complex situation. I would ask your local vet to refer you to a veterinary specialist or internist who can put whole picture together. History and treatments sound very suspect to me. Sometimes hyperthyroid cats can have coat problems, shedding, dull greasy coats, etc but not usually red skin eruptions, etc like you describe. To make matters even more confusing, is that in a small percentage of cats treated with methimazole, can actually develop excessive itching and eruptions around their head and neck, so you want to be watchful for that. Another option, other than conventional medicine, is consulting with a homeopathic vet, who looks at the whole symptom picture as one disease or illness, rather than parts, like you are finding out is very frustrating here. To learn more about constitutional classical homeopathy, see the booklet on the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations. Not a quick fix, and will take time and patience, but may be worth exploring for you.

Leave a Comment