Older cats, just like people, tend to have more health issues crop up as time passes. If your usually leisurely feline becomes skittish all of a sudden, that's a strong indication that something, perhaps the thyroid, is amiss and that a trip to a veterinary clinic is in short order.
What Hyperactive Thyroid Means To Any Patient
Nearly every pet has a thyroid, but when something isn't right with the little butterfly-shaped gland, so many symptoms can emerge. It can be difficult for an owner to discern what the problem could be. When you have an older cat who's suddenly climbing the walls and jumping at every sudden sound, though, a hyperactive thyroid should be at the top of your list of probable causes.
The thyroid regulates many systems in the body, including metabolism, where energy (or sudden hyperactivity) comes from. Since it's involved in so many functions, a hyperactive thyroid usually means hyperactivity in different forms, from nervousness (beyond that of an ordinary feline) to actual outbursts of strong emotions, such as anger and fear.
The Additional Symptoms To Watch For
Sudden skittishness alone doesn't necessarily indicate a medical condition in your feline; however, since an older cat tends to have less energy, if yours is suddenly hyperactive, you need to look for other symptoms such as:
- Being ravenous
- Losing weight, despite eating more
- Drinking lots of water and, subsequently, urinating much more frequently
- Lacking a lustrous coat
- Throwing up
- Having bouts of diarrhea
At first, your animated animal may only appear hyper, but eventually, other manifestations of both mood and health begin to display when there's an issue with the thyroid. Any older cat with such a sudden change in disposition or energy should have a checkup, though, even if it is the only symptom.
How Your Veterinarian Treats An Overactive Thyroid
Your vet will feel your cat's neck, looking for signs of an enlarged thyroid. They'll also measure heart rate and blood pressure, which both tend to increase with hyperthyroidism. Your feline's blood and urine will be analyzed, too, for the tell-tale indications of a malfunctioning thyroid. Depending on the diagnosis and whether or not your pet has additional complications, medication may be issued to temper the release of the culpable thyroid hormones.
A prescription remedy is cost-effective and non-invasive; however, the administration of the medication is excruciatingly vital. You'll have to be certain you're able to administer it on schedule every time and for the rest of your cat's life. Other options, including surgery, dietary changes, and radioactive iodine therapy will likely be offered to you. Things like cost, the cat's age and health, and other considerations will affect the decisions you and your veterinarian make.
Your Frenetic Feline's Long-Term Prognosis
With some form of therapy, most cats improve and can continue to live normal, happy lives. Your life may be somewhat disrupted in caring for an animal with hyperthyroidism, but that's not too difficult an adjustment to make. Follow-up examinations and continuous observations are important to ensure no additional complications arise either with the thyroid itself or other organs and systems.
Fortunately for animals, humans have a host of concerns with their thyroids, so much research has been conducted and many successful remedies have emerged. Your senior kitty, with help from the vet, should fare relatively well with a diagnosis and treatment.
For more information, visit a veterinary clinic, like Johnstown Veterinary Associates.