Vets are being advised against taking a heavy handed approach to hyperthyroidism by key opinion leaders, including Edinburgh’s specialist in feline medicine, Prof Danielle Gunn-Moore.

Vets are being advised against taking a heavy handed approach to hyperthyroidism by key opinion leaders, including Prof Danielle Gunn-Moore, a specialist in feline medicine at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh.

Too fast a fall in thyroxine concentration can significantly exacerbate renal compromise and may cause serious harm, says Prof Danielle Gunn-Moore.Delegates at the BSAVA Congress in Birmingham are invited to find out more by visiting the Dechra Veterinary Products stand (stand 700/701).

Prof Gunn-Moore says: “Hyperthyroidism is not a condition that develops suddenly. It is a slowly progressive disease. The cat’s body adapts to being hyperthyroid over a relatively long period of time. That is why it is best to return it to a euthyroid state in a controlled manner, rather than trying to crash the thyroxine concentration back down to normal as quickly as possible.

“Too fast a fall in thyroxine concentration can significantly exacerbate renal compromise and may cause serious harm.”

She added: “My recommendation is that you should start with a low dose of anti-thyroid medication and increase it if needed, after assessing the initial response to treatment. Any increase should be made in the smallest increments possible.”

Vets attending the BSAVA Congress can visit the Dechra stand to find out more about new research, which shows that:

  • Treatment of hyperthyroid cats can result in iatrogenic hypothyroidism;
  • Hyperthyroid cats are significantly more likely to develop azotaemia than euthyroid cats; and
  • Hypothyroid cats that developed azotaemia had significantly shorter survival times.
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