Natural Thyroid Treatment For Cats
Natural thyroid treatment for cats is available for pet owners that would like to avoid administering traditional treatment. The thyroid issues in cats may be hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is more common in felines. The natural treatment for these thyroid conditions may include the administration of herbs, homeopathic remedies or massage therapy and acupuncture.
What Are The Side Effects Of Felimazole
The most common side effects of Felimazole reported to FDAs Center for Veterinary Medicine are:
- A change in appetite ,
- itchy skin, especially the face, head, and neck,
- abnormal vocalizing,
- increased ALT ,
- increased BUN ,
- weakness, and
FDA encourages you to call your veterinarian if you think your cat is having a side effect from Felimazole. A side effect associated with a drug is called an adverse event. Adverse events also include a lack of effectiveness and reactions in people who handle the drug. Call your healthcare provider if you have a reaction to Felimazole.
FDA also encourages you to work with your veterinarian to report any adverse event – in either pets or people – associated with Felimazole or any product defect such as defective packaging or the drug is off-color. How to Report Animal Drug and Device Side Effects and Product Problems.
Less frequently reported, but serious side effects of Felimazole include:
Veterinarians should monitor cats on Felimazole for any sign of illness, including fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and anemia. If these signs occur, your veterinarian may recommend stopping the Felimazole and doing appropriate blood tests.
Does Hyperthyroidism In Cats Need To Be Treated
Feline hyperthyroidism can be quite a misleading disease. Often the cat can seem well and happy in themselves, although its not possible to see the damage that is being done inside by an overactive thyroid.
In hyperthyroidism, there are no physical signs, which makes it difficult to treat if symptoms are picked up too late. Therefore, it is best to start treating hyperthyroidism as soon as it is diagnosed.
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Complications Of Hyperthyroidism In Cats
The longer hyperthyroidism is left untreated, the greater the risk of significant underlying kidney disease. Kidney disease can be managed medically, but cannot be cured, and it has a far more significant effect on your cats welfare and life expectancy than hyperthyroidism.
The heart is another victim of both high blood pressure and being driven to work too hard by hyperthyroidism can lead to heart failure. The heart is a muscle, so when it is forced to work too hard for a long period, it gets bigger. Unfortunately, as the muscle grows, the space inside it for blood gets smaller, and the heart actually becomes less effective.
The changes are irreversible and mean that the heart cannot get as much blood and oxygen around the body as it should. Your cat may become very tired or lethargic, and have a greater risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Medication can help, but the prognosis is guarded for a cat with this type of heart disease.
If you suspect your cat is suffering from hyperthyroidismbook a free consultation with your local Animal Trust surgery to have them examined as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of the condition leads to effective management and ensures that your cat can continue to live a happy and healthy life.
Myths And Bias Of Homeopathy
Your practitioner may choose to administer either a single substance or several substances intended to address multiple symptoms.
Some sceptics regard homeopathy as a pseudo-science that does not work or bring any results. Many studies have been done on the inefficiency of homeopathic medicines as the pharmaceutical companies lobby is very strong due to the huge amount of money involved.
Homeopathic medicines are usually very cheap, easily affordable, and widely available without prescription compared to much more expensive conventional medicines. Another issue is the fact of lacking replicable research studies and scientific evidence in homeopathic medicine.
The so-called placebo effect is commonly used to describe homeopathic treatment success. This effect means that humans imagine to have received a real drug which can lead to a cure. In veterinary medicine, a placebo effect in animals can be regarded as highly unlikely as animals are not able to distinguish between a conventional drug or a homeopathic medicine.
Its only the outcome, the cure, that counts in this case. We as trained veterinary homeopaths can clearly see the difference in our animal patients before and after a homeopathic treatment.
Therefore, we know very well that it works even in those cases where conventional drugs are not available or fail to heal the patient.
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Complementary Therapies How Denes Can Help
Herbal remedies & Supplements
Plant based medicines can be used on a symptomatic basis to help alleviate some of the signs of the illness. Denes Tranquil & Calm Powder can ease both the anxiety and hyperactivity symptoms seen in many cats with this illness. Where conventional drug treatment is used, we would recommend using Denes Liver Support Powder, a supplement used to support the liver and protect it against the potentially toxic side effects of the drugs used to treat this condition. We would also suggest using this supplement where there is evidence of liver disease. Where there are also kidney problems we would add Denes Kidney Support , a blend of herbal tinctures and Denes Urinary & Skin Support Capsules, a herbal medicine, both of which can be used to help the kidneys to work better.
You can use the Highly Strung Flower Essence drops to calm your cat, as an alternative to using our Tranquil & Calm Powder. The drops can be added to food and can be given on a long term basis to calm your cat and ease any anxiety.
Skin & Coat Maintenance
Omega 3 fatty acids are useful in both preventing and in treating heart disease by improving the strength and health of heart muscle. Omega 3 fatty acids can help prevent arrhythmias, blood clots and can also lower blood pressure so are useful in managing cats with hyperthyroidism. Denes Organic Omega Oil is high in omega 3 fatty acids.
What Are The Signs Of Hyperthyroidism In Cats
The most common sign of hyperthyroidism in cats is weight loss despite an increased appetite. Other common signs include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, drinking and urinating more than normal, and an unkempt hair coat. Because the disease develops gradually, signs are often easy to miss at first.
Hyperthyroidism often leads to high blood pressure and heart disease. The high blood pressure is due to the increased pumping pressure of the heart. In some cats, the blood pressure becomes so high that the retina detaches from the back wall of the eye, resulting in sudden blindness. Heart disease develops because the heart must pump faster and more forcefully to meet the bodys increased metabolic demands . To compensate for this increased workload, the muscles of the heart thicken, causing the heart to enlarge and eventually fail. Untreated hyperthyroidism is almost 100 percent fatal.
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Diet Control For Hyperthyroidism
Studies have shown that an iodine-restricted diet alone can control thyroid hormone levels, without the need for medication. Without iodine, the thyroid gland cannot make any hormones. Hills Pet Nutrition produces a prescription diet for cats with strictly controlled iodine levels.
However, on this diet, your cat must not consume any other food or liquid apart from water. Obviously, this solution wouldnt be practical for a cat that has access to the outdoors, or a cat that lives with others even the smallest amount of stolen food will allow hormones to be produced. While there have been no reported side effects, its possible that very low iodine diets can affect the immune system, although there is no evidence of this.
The diet is successful in approximately 90% of cases. Usually, if it doesnt work it is because the cat is getting food from elsewhere.
How Is Hyperthyroidism In Cats Diagnosed
Your veterinarian may suspect that your cat has hyperthyroidism based on the signs you describe and by feeling the enlarged thyroid gland in your cats neck. Your veterinarian will likely confirm the diagnosis by doing blood tests that measure the level of your cat’s thyroid hormones.
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What Is Hyperthyroidism In Cats
Feline hyperthyroidism is an extremely common condition that occurs when the thyroid gland in the neck becomes overactive. The thyroid glands produce a hormone that controls the animals metabolic rate i.e how the body uses energy. The brain controls the level of thyroxine by telling the thyroid gland how much to make.
Growth in the thyroid gland can cause hyperthyroidism, producing more active cells. However, these cells can develop out of control and instead produce thyroxine continually instead of the amount that is needed. High levels of thyroxine in cats can force the body into overdrive. The body is kept constantly at an unnaturally high level of energy, which places enormous strain on other systems, including the heart.
Left untreated, cat hyperthyroidism can be fatal and early diagnosis is key to ensuring other organs are not affected. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available that can help to manage an overactive thyroid in cats effectively.
Natural Treatment For Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that will be described as an excess of thyroid hormones secreted in the cats system. The T3, T4 and TSH levels should be measured for a clear diagnosis.
A holistic vet will recommend a change in diet, which can reduce the production of thyroid hormones. The cat may receive a natural or raw diet. Commercial food contains chemicals that may affect the thyroid glands and may stimulate these.
Vitamins and mineral supplements will also be recommended. Supplements that will be recommended for cats with hyperactive thyroid glands include:
- Coenzyme Q 10
- Probiotics that contain Lactobacillus acidophilus and will promote immune system health
Dont administer other supplements to your cat, as these can stimulate the hormone production. Consult your holistic vet prior to giving certain supplements.
Herbal remedies can also be used in felines with thyroid problems:
- Gotu Kola
- Siberian ginseng
These herbal remedies will calm the thyroid glands and should be administered orally, in the form of drops, which can be added to the pets food.
Homeopathic remedies may also be used to reduce the activity of the thyroid glands. The homeopath will assess the cats condition and recommend a dilution that will reduce the cats symptoms.
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Homeopathy For Cats: What You Need To Know
Homeopathy is a medical philosophy that has many users effectively worldwide for acute diseases and chronic conditions. It is used by people but given to animals alike to cure diseases in a more natural way. The main idea of homeopathy is to cure the disease from its roots.
It does not only treat the symptoms as in conventional medicine. Homeopathy is derived from the Latin similia similibus curentur which meanslike cures like. It is based on the belief that the body can heal itself by producing the same symptoms of the ailment.
Homeopathic medicines are molecule size doses of natural substances. They come from the body system, plants, minerals, or even toxic substances. In cats, homeopathic remedies are very successful.
Hyperthyroidism And Kidney Disease
It is important to note that hyperthyroidism will cover up kidney disease. This occurs because the overactive thyroid hormone increases blood flow to the kidneys. When hyperthyroidism is treated, and blood flow returns to normal, the true kidney function is uncovered. Kidney disease is very common in older cats, and therefore most hyperthyroid cats have some degree of kidney disease as well.
Once treatment begins, expect that your kittys kidney values will rise. It is important to understand that the kidney disease was not caused by the treatment but, instead was present all along.
You can learn more about my holistic approach to kidney disease here.
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Treatment Failures Of Hyperthyroidism In Cats
More than 9 in 10 cats respond well to recommended treatment, although it wont always work well for everyone.
If medication isnt working for your cat, it may just mean trying the alternative tablet. Any of the other management options discussed can be explored, even if hormone levels havent been stabilised. If your cat is not responding to treatment for hyperthyroidism, they will require extra monitoring from your vet.
The main reason surgery may not be successful is due to both glands being affected. In rare cases, there may be abnormal thyroid tissue inside the chest, and its not normally possible to diagnose this before both glands have been removed. Abnormal thyroid tissue can be controlled by any of the other treatments quite successfully, or your cat can be referred for specialist surgery.
Radioactive iodine is successful in more than 95% of cases. It will also target any part of the body that is producing thyroid hormones and can be used after surgery if required for ectopic thyroid tissue. Very occasionally, a second treatment will be required to get the full effect.
How Is Hyperthyroidism In Cats Treated
One way to treat a cat with hyperthyroidism is with an oral medication that contains methimazole. The medication can be given life-long or to stabilize the cat before other treatment options, such as radioactive iodine therapy or surgery.
For years, there was no methimazole product approved to treat hyperthyroidism in cats in the United States. Veterinarians had to rely on methimazole products approved for people, which they prescribed in an extra-label manner in cats. However, the human-approved methimazole products have not been proven to be safe and effective in cats. Also, the labeling includes information about how to use the drug safely and effectively in people, not in cats.
Only one drug, Felimazole Coated Tablets , is FDA-approved to treat hyperthyroidism in cats. Approved by FDA in May 2009, Felimazole contains methimazole as the active ingredient. Unlike the methimazole products for people, Felimazole has been shown to be safe and effective in cats when used according to the directions on the label. The drugs label provides dosing and safety information specific to cats.
Felimazole is available only with a veterinarians prescription. The drug is typically given by mouth every 12 hours. Your veterinarian will adjust the dose, as necessary, based on the results of your cats blood tests and response to treatment.
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Conventional Treatments For Feline Hyperthyroidism
After finding out that their cat has hyperthyroidism, many cat owners try conventional treatments first. There are three different methods to treat this disease or condition medically. I am not recommending these treatments here, but it is good to know the conventional treatment options, so here they are:
- Methimazole needs to be taken orally for life. If it is impossible to give your cat pills, there is a gel alternative that is rubbed in the ear instead. A percentage of cats that take methimazole experience side effects including loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, and occasionally blood cell abnormalities. There are rarer side effects too, including severe facial itching with self-induced trauma, blood clotting disorders, or liver problems. Most side effects are mild, however, and eventually resolve.
- Surgery to remove the thyroid gland. Surgery may cure hyperthyroidism, as long as all of the affected gland can be removed. The anesthesia administered during surgery can be challenging for older cats, however, as the hyperthyroidism may have affected their hearts and other organs. Surgery is also costly.
- Radioactive iodine, administered once by injection. This medication irradiates the hyperactive tissue. This alternative requires no sedation or surgery but requires several days of hospitalization. Radioactive iodine treatment is the most expensive of the treatments for cat hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism Therapy And Renal Disease
Many cats successfully treated for hyperthyroidism experience a decrease in renal function, though only a small percentage experience severe azotemia or clinical signs. The first study to evaluate the effects of treating hyperthyroidism on renal function involved 58 cats.13 Urine specific gravity and serum creatinine, blood urine nitrogen , and T4 concentrations were measured before and 30 and 90 days after the cats’ hyperthyroidism was treated with radioactive iodine, methimazole, or bilateral thyroidectomy. Thirty and 90 days after treatment, the mean serum creatinine and BUN concentrations were significantly higher than pretreatment concentrations. The mean serum creatinine, BUN, and T4 concentrations did not differ among groups before treatment or 30 and 90 days after treatment. This finding was important as it showed that the treatment itself was not the problem instead, the worsening azotemia may have resulted from reversal of the hyperthyroid and hypermetabolic state. Reducing serum T4 concentrations by treating hyperthyroidism may cause azotemia in older cats with chronic renal disease. The authors concluded that it may be prudent to treat azotemic hyperthyroid cats with methimazole until you can determine whether correcting the hyperthyroid state will cause a clinically relevant reduction in renal function.
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Here Is A List Of Recommended Homeopathy Books To Buy If You Would Like More Info:
- Homeopathic Care of Cats and Dogs: by Don Hamilton, DVM This is an excellent book! His chapters on The Nature of Disease, The Nature of Cure and Vaccinations provoke many light-bulb moments.
- Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century: by Dana Ullman
- The Homeopathic Treatment of Small Animals: by Christopher Day
- The Science of Homeopathy: George Vithoulkas A comprehensive overview
- Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century: Dana Ullman An overview
What About Using Flower Essences For Cats
Many people also report extremely effective results using Bach Flowers and most especially the Rescue Remedy for cats. Although Rescue Remedy is a brand-named Flower essence and as such is not actually a homeopathic remedy. But again, cats do seem to respond very positively to energy medicines.
For those who are interested in finding out about Homeopathy, I have listed below a selection of E-Books, which can be read on-line for free.
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