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Hyperthyroidism and stress.

Species: Cat
Breed: may be part Norwegia
Age: 11-15 years
My cat Harry, who is approximately 12 years old, was just diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last week after his vet reviewed the results of his recent blood tests. About 4-8 weeks ago Harry was exhibiting some symptoms of hyperthyroidism (excessive drinking, excessive use of the litter box, yowling throughout the night for no apparent reason.) In the past couple of weeks, however, he is no longer exhibiting those symptoms. I have made a big effort to minimize the stress in Harry's home life in recent weeks and he seems much happier and more peaceful. Is it possible that stress caused Harry's hyperthyroidism? Also, is it possible that his condition will resolve itself if I continue to provide him with a stress-free home life? I realize that I just asked two questions and I am happy to send more money if necessary. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me. For the record, I am ready to proceed with pills or radioactive iodine treatment if necessary, but obviously I would prefer not to subject Harry to any of this if he might not need it.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Helen and thanks so much for your question!

Unfortunately hyperthyroidism is a condition that always has to be treated. I have never seen a cat get better without either medicine or radioiodide therapy.

It is a little unusual for his symptoms to get better though. Do you know how high his thyroid level was? If he was just borderline hyperthyroid it may be worthwhile to have your vet test him again just to be sure. Labs are usually quite accurate in these things, but I have had the odd animal where lab results were wrong.

If Harry truly is hyperthyroid then yes, he will need treatment. Without treatment he will have an increase in blood pressure and be at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and possibly even blindness.

Generally, the iodide treatment is better, but it is quite a bit more expensive.

The vast majority of the time when cats go on medicine for hyperthyroidism they do extremely well!

I hope this helps! Let me know if I can help you more.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Helen, thank you so much for the bonus. It is greatly appreciated! I am so glad to hear that you have gone ahead with the radio-iodide therapy for Harry! Hope he continues to do well!

Dr. Marie



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.