Printer Friendly

Feline hyperthyroidism a mystery.

Feline hyperthyroidism a mystery

When an older cat becomes restless, loses weight despiteeating heavily or develops an increased heart rate, it may be suffering from overactive thyroid function, or hyperthyroidism. Scientists in several veterinary research centers across the United States are trying to unravel the cause or causes of what can be a fatal disease if left untreated. Although hyperthyroidism has long been described in humans, the feline form of the disease -- similar pathologically to a rare human type -- apparently is a new disease.

Recent research has focused on environmental factors, suchas food or toxic agents, as potential causes of the disease. As yet, no hard data have confirmed these suspicions or supported observations that the disease is more prevalent in the Northeast. Scientists at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Boston hope to provide more concrete answers to some of these questions within the next few months.

First noticed by veterinarians in New England in 1980, thedisease affects cats more than 6 years old. Certain cats may develop goiter while retaining normal thyroid function, suggesting that the thyroid gland may enlarge first, leading to secondary hyperthyroidism. Diagnosis is made using a simple blood test; possible treatments include surgical removal or irradiation of the thyroid, with subsequent hormone therapy.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 20, 1986
Words:210
Previous Article:Fishy fear of the known.
Next Article:Schizophrenia: gender connections.
Topics:


Related Articles
Vaccine for cats' number one killer.
Mystery disease stalks older cats.
MED5 Plasmapheresis in the preoperative management of a patient with severe hyperthyroidism. (Medicine).
Feline host range of Canine parvovirus: recent emergence of new antigenic types in cats.
Management of thyrotoxicosis. (Featured CME Topic: Thyroid Dysfunction/Disease).
Coma and thyroid storm in apathetic thyrotoxicosis. (Case Histories).
Mutations produce black house cats, jaguars. (Feline Finding).
Thyrotropin-secreting pituitary tumor and Hashimoto's Disease: a novel association.
An unusual cause of hypercalcemia.
Livedo reticularis: a rare manifestation of Graves hyperthyroidism associated with anticardiolipin antibodies.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters