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Cat hyperthyroidism alternative treatments

Updated on November 24, 2008

Learn about great alternative treatments

Usually a cat diagnosed with hyperthyroidism has a good prognosis. The usual treatment plan will consist of a twice a day administration of the thyroid medication, Tapazole (Methimazole). However, while the prognosis is good, many owners must deal with the very unpleasant task of giving their cats pills for a life time.

Cats are not the most collaborative pets. At the veterinary clinic we used to hear of cats spitting out pills or throwing them out of their mouth minutes later under the bed. Cats also may easily detect the presence of pills hidden in treats and eat all around them. While dogs may readily gulp down pills hidden in a hotdog, cats may act as great detectives and may not fall for the trick regardless of all the great strategies you may have tried..

So when it comes to pilling your cat for a lifetime, you may wonder if ther are other better alternative treatments for this long term disease. You may be delighted to learn that there are other treatments that can actually be even more cost effective in the long term. We will go over the pros and cons of each treatment plan:

Long Term Use of Tapazole


-May seem a cost effective method

-No invasive surgery

-Recommended by most vets


-Will not cure the disease

-Possibility of side effects

-Possible damage to liver/kidneys due to long term use

-Stress of pilling

-Cost of pills and routine blood work may amount in the hundreds per year

As seen, giving thyroid pills is not one of the best options. Many cats suffer from side effects and they all must undergo routine blood work to check liver and kidney functionality. Costs also add if you calculate all the years your cat is going to need the pills and blood work. Not to add, the toll pilling takes on the cat/owner bond. Most cats are very reluctant ot being pilled as we have seen. However, a newer version of thyroid medication allows cats nowadays to absorb their medication through the skin via a gel that is applied on their ears.

Surgery to Remove Tumors


-Cat may stop taking pills

-Successful removal of tumors

-One time procedure


-Risks of anesthesia and complications

-May turn out to be costly

-Low guarantee of results

Most cats diagnosed with hyperthyoidism are in their senior years, so it is understandable why veterinarians and owners may be reluctant to allow the cat to undergo surgery. While surgery may successfully remove the tumor, according to Radiocat, the leading clinic providing radioiodine treatments, there is a good chance that 80% of cats will develop another tumor on the opposite side within one and a half years.

Radioiodine Injection Treatment


-High success rates

-No anesthesia and no incisions

-No side effects

-One time expense


- Up to 5 day hospitalization

-Careful post treatment care

-Requires referral from veterinarian

Ultimately, this may seem like the best choice. Radioiodine injections may be performed in cats as old as 20. The procedure is a one time injection requiring mostly up to 5 days hospitalization. While this is a minus, the success rates of such procedure are a big plus with up to 99% success in destroying the harmful tumor.

When it comes to preserving the precious cat/owner bond, radioiodine treatment is the way to go. No more pills in the way and no more side effects or costly bloodwork. In the long term, radioiodine treatment is the most cost effective treatment plan, the less invasive and the ultimate best gift you can give your cat for priceless years to come....


Hyperthyroidism options


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