Feline Hormone Disorders
Before we dive into the intricacies of the endocrine system (a group of tissues that release hormones), it’s important to know what hormones are and their function in the body. Hormones act as chemical messengers and their effects throughout the body are incredibly varied. Those which we are most familiar include diabetes, estrogen and progesterone, and thyroid hormones. Endocrine diseases develop when too much or too little of a hormone is produced. These diseases can cause a wide range of issues for your cat.
Humans are not the only one who suffer from this disease. Diabetes typically affects older cats and develops when the pancreas releases an inappropriate amount of insulin. Cats with diabetes need regulation in their insulin levels, but the initial process of regulating insulin can be both time consuming and costly. An owner should be well aware of the commitment before diving into treatment. Insulin will need to be given twice daily, as well as a regimented food schedule and change in diet. While the disease is manageable, treatment depends a lot on the owner!
Signs that your cat may be diabetic include:
- Weight loss, and a change in appetite
- Increased thirst and urination
- Lethargy and decreased activity
If your cat experiences any of these symptoms, contact us immediately.
Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder in cats. It’s caused by an overproduction of thyroid hormones and causes a range of issues. Hyperthyroidism can occur in middle aged to older cats, or anywhere from about 4 years old to 22.
Common signs of hyperthyroidism include:
- Increased food consumption
- Weight loss
- Increased activity
- Behavior changes and nervousness
- Hair loss or unkempt coat
- Increased urination and thirst
- Increased heart rate
Since many of these symptoms correlate with other disease as well, a CBC (complete blood count) and urinalysis can help determine what disease is present.
Treatment includes either an anti-thyroid drug, surgical removal of the thyroid gland, or treatment with radioactive iodine. These options will be discussed with you and be chosen based on the age and condition of your cat.
Ask Questions and Learn More
If for whatever reason you believe your cat may have a hormone disorder, or some other disease, please do not hesitate to contact us. Without proper diagnosis, there is no way to know what your cat is suffering from or how to treat them. Our experienced staff will be able to perform the necessary tests to discover the root of the problem, so we can begin treatments right away. Contact us with questions today!