Hyperthyroid cat th...
 

[Sticky] Hyperthyroid cat that cannot be on thyroid meds and not ideal candidate for radioactive iodine treatment. What should I do?  

Kat Canz
Originally Answered: [Sticky] Hyperthyroid cat that cannot be on thyroid meds and not ideal candidate for radioactive iodine treatment. What should I do?

Like the title says, my 15 year old cat is kind of between a rock and a hard place right now. He was on methimazole for over a year and did fine on it. A month ago his T4 levels were slightly elevated so our vet increased his dose and ordered a CBC to be done in 3 weeks. In those 3 weeks his white cells, red blood cells, and platelets all dropped. We took him off the medication completely and retested 2 weeks later, his levels went back to normal but his T4 shot up. The vet is suggesting we keep him off of thyroid medications because it is too much of a risk and to instead put him on Hill's Y/D Diet. She also spoke to another internist and while she mentioned the option of radioactive iodine treatment, she advised against it because his CBC before the increase of his medications showed that his creatine level went up to 2.4 and they feel that since he was showing signs of beginning kidney disease that the radioactive iodine treatment would risk damaging his kidney's further.

I really don't have high hopes that a food, especially one that is pretty poor quality, is going to help my cat long-term but right now I am at a loss for what else to do since it is obvious that doing nothing will lead down a bad path too. I am not sure if I should maybe ask if his thyroid can be removed or if he can be put on a low dose of thyroid medication instead? It also sounds like food can either be made for him or from other brands as long as they don't contain iodine rich foods/sources in them. My vet never saw a cat have an issue with methimazole after being on it for so long so she did contact two other internists to ask for advice, only one of them saw another case of this happening but I have read other cat owners say this same thing happened to their cats. So I am honestly questioning this whole thing because it seems like we don't have a full understanding of the thyroid (as well as in humans and I say this as someone who has hypothyroidism) and it kinda feels like relying on diet solely with this issue is skirting around it.


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Ms Poppy
Originally Answered: [Sticky] Hyperthyroid cat that cannot be on thyroid meds and not ideal candidate for radioactive iodine treatment. What should I do?

Hi

My Poppycat is hyper-T, has liver issues so the drug is out, and we can't afford the other treatment. In other words the diet is our only choice. You could do the surgery but I personally think that managing your cat's issue through diet is a viable, workable option.

However there's a caveat. Currently the Hills Y/D canned is unavailable, although the kibble is available. The ONLY commercial food that has the iodine content at the minimum AAFCO requirement is Weruva and their brands (Soulistic for Petco, B.F.F. et al), at 0.6 mg/kg. 

In conversations with Weruva it was mentioned that some of their customers will add unseasoned chicken to their chicken varieties to bring the iodine down even further but he didn't give me numbers. When I run out of Y/D cans, if Hills hasn't gotten more on the shelves I'm going to utilize Weruva WX (no prescription required, and it is extremely low in phosphorus and therefore not harmful to Poppy's kidneys) and mix in the Y/D kibble.

Be aware that iodine is in darn near everything, even coat conditioners such as those with avocado.

 

 


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Aisling O'Keeffe MVB CertSAM ISFMAdvCertFB
Originally Answered: [Sticky] Hyperthyroid cat that cannot be on thyroid meds and not ideal candidate for radioactive iodine treatment. What should I do?

Hi Kat,

Thanks for your question and sorry to hear that your cat hasn’t been doing well with their hyperthyroidism. It sounds like you’ve had a difficult time recently.

To answer your question, there are still a few options for your cat.  Diet is a good option but you have to make sure that your cat doesn’t eat anything else as iodine is present in so many things. It could be very difficult to do this if you have other cats or if your cat goes outdoors and eats food elsewhere. If your cat is the only cat in the house and is indoors only, you could give this a try as it’s a very safe option. Technically as the thyroid gland needs iodine to make thyroid hormones, if they’re restricted enough in the diet then the thyroid gland can’t produce high levels of thyroid hormone.

Surgery is also an option and it can offer a good long term solution in a lot of cases. It works particularly well in cats that have a palpably enlarged thyroid gland as this would indicate which gland needs to be removed. If your cat doesn’t have an obviously enlarged gland, a technetium scan can highlight the part of the thyroid tissue that is affected and needs to be removed. I think it would be worth discussing this option with your vet to see if they think your cat is a good candidate for this.

It seems like she had been doing well on the medication until the dose was increased. I can understand why your vet would like to avoid putting her back on this as her levels dropped so low. However if you don’t think that the food or surgery is an option, you could discuss re-introducing this at a lower dose with your vet with close monitoring of her CBC as these levels could drop again. This option would come with a degree of risk and the other options are likely to be safer.

I hope this helps,

Aisling


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Aisling O'Keeffe MVB CertSAM ISFMAdvCertFB
Originally Answered: [Sticky] Hyperthyroid cat that cannot be on thyroid meds and not ideal candidate for radioactive iodine treatment. What should I do?

@mspoppy thanks for this information, it's good to know about the brands available and that the canned Y/D is currently unavailable. I hope your cat is doing well


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Ms Poppy
Originally Answered: [Sticky] Hyperthyroid cat that cannot be on thyroid meds and not ideal candidate for radioactive iodine treatment. What should I do?

@aisling Thank you, and I'm always glad to pass along information to try and help 🙂


_ PapaD
Originally Answered: [Sticky] Hyperthyroid cat that cannot be on thyroid meds and not ideal candidate for radioactive iodine treatment. What should I do?

Hello,

I am not a veterinarian. I am an owner of multiple cats.  In the last 2 yrs I've had 4 cats with hyperthyroidism. I have had 2 vets blindly attribute this to age, rather than trying to find the source of the problem. I don't believe that this trend is coincidence. I strongly believe that this 'trend' is largely due to a common toxic pet food ingredient called sodium selenite. I have no proof of exactly which pet food companies added this ingredient, nor exactly when they started adding it. I did, however, find information that indicates that sometime in 2016, AAFCO changed minimum pet food requirements with regard to sodium and selenium levels. Many petfood companies are fulfilling that requirement with a toxic inorganic source of selenium called sodium selenite. Below is some information that I found on sodium selenite:

--It may be toxic to blood, kidneys, liver, skin, central nervous system

https://www.essentialstuff.org/2018/02/04/cat/beware-sodium-selenite-in-pet-food-is-toxic-2/

 

--2.94 times more toxic than Selenium Yeast  https://truthaboutpetfood.com/truthaboutpetfood.com
 
--There is no provision in the federal code that states explicitly that sodium selenite is allowed in dog or cat diets  https://www.petfoodindustry.com/petfoodindustry.com
 
 
--Is Selenium Toxicity a Concern for Our Pets?
Is raw selenite safe for cats?
-Damage to the liver and spleen in animals has also been observed, according to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). According to the 1986 edition of the Handbook of the Toxicology of Metals, daily intake of about one milligram of selenium as selenite can be toxic.Aug 24, 2011
 
-The EPA (reminder:  the EPA sets NOAEL – No Observed Adverse Effect Level – based on very detailed reviews of numerous studies) determined the highest allowable daily intake of selenium (for a 121 pound human, but based on animal studies) to be 0.853 milligrams per day.  
-The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has determined an adult maintenance dog food can have a maximum of 0.57 milligrams per day (based on recommended daily calorie intake, not body weight);
-AAFCO has no maximum level of selenium established for cat food within their pet food regulations.  
 
--Beware: Sodium selenite in pet food is toxic
...as counter-intuitive as this sounds, it is a truth: the smaller the concentration of toxic selenium, the greater the harm because small concentrations mimic hormones, especially estrogen.
 
--Role of Selenium in Pets Health and Nutrition: A Review
Research (Fan and Kizer, 1990; Olson, 1986) proved that inorganic selenium sources can be toxic in high doses; affecting an animal’s blood, liver and muscles. Inorganic selenium cannot be fully metabolized or stored in the body. Consequently, selenium deficiencies still arise in animals that are supplemented with inorganic selenium (Lopez et al., 1969).
 
Selenium concentrations in pet foods is highly variable.
 
However because inorganic selenium cannot be stored in the body, organic forms of selenium are being increasingly used as they are safer and more efficiently used in the body.
 
CONCLUSIONS
 
The role of trace mineral selenium in animals particularly pets is discussed and reviewed. Selenium deficiency is found to be one of the key factor behind many diseases like Kashin beck disease, cardiomyopathy, etc., Selenium levels and its forms in the diets play an important role in managing the trace mineral level in the body of the pet animal. However, toxicity associated with the high dose of selenium makes it vulnerable to pets and other animals due to the narrow difference between its required dose and the toxic dose. Current selenium supplements are mainly dependent on inorganic sources like sodium selenite which are found to be less bioavailable and also toxic. However, relative uses of selenium and its forms would be dependent on its nature of application and end use requirement. Keeping safety of the pet animals and environment as main focus areas, organoselenium compounds would be a good and alternate prospective choices for research scientists working in pet animal nutrition.
 
--[###### This announcement below indicates the likely timeframe when other pet food companies started adding sodium selenite to cat food. This makes sense to me in that before this timeframe none of my cats--even aging ones--were having any hyperthyroidism issues.######]
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENT ADDED TO OUR HUMAN GRADE PET FOODS
[The Honest Kitchen] August 14, 2016
 

Equipped with the above info, I now ensure that my cat food does not contain sodium selenite.

I also had a cat that had CKD, so I also stay away from foods with high phosphorus levels.

(You can find food lists for that here: Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease  https://www.felinecrf.org/

 


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_ PapaD
Originally Answered: [Sticky] Hyperthyroid cat that cannot be on thyroid meds and not ideal candidate for radioactive iodine treatment. What should I do?

--Additional info--Both the hyperthyroidism and my cat's prescribed medicine (transdermal methimazole) give him chronic diahrrea. I tried numerous things--boiled chicken and rice, boiled beef and rice, canned pumpkin, babyfood pumpkin, probiotics. None of those were working. (NOTE that a common otc pet probiotic from Purina Pro contains sodium selenite). I gave him bone broth and/or unflavored Pedialyte--to at least try to keep him hydrated. 

I temporarily discontinued the methimazole. And I finally found that fresh cooked sweet potato works well to significantly firm up his BMs as long as I don't put too much liquid in the mashed sweet potatoes.  I cook them with a little chicken bone broth (bonebroth with NO onion, garlic, etc). And after he had two or three weeks of good BMs, I started him back on the methimazole, although at a smaller amount. I also ordered NHV Resthyro and Turmeric products to see if they will make a difference. I just started with them. I put the NHV drops in his food, and he eats it all.  I read numerous successfull NHV testimonials for those products, so I am hopeful. Some people said they were even able to take their cats totally OFF prescription medication after success with the NHV products.

Hope some of this info helps. Good luck to you and your kitty.


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Mallory Crusta
Originally Answered: [Sticky] Hyperthyroid cat that cannot be on thyroid meds and not ideal candidate for radioactive iodine treatment. What should I do?

@_papad Thank you for sharing your research—very much appreciated, and I hope it helps others as well. 🙏


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