The previous two months have featured hyperthyroid cats, one of whom received radioactive iodine treatment and one who had surgical treatment. This month we look at Ashes, who is the first patient at our hospital to receive a new, breakthrough medical treatment, using dietary manipulation. We will let her owner tell the story in her own words.
“Ashes, is a grey domestic shorthair, about nine years old whose previous owner was no longer able to care for her. She was re-homed to me in about April of 2011. Ashes is very playful and active for being a senior cat and also talks a lot. Her meows’ great anyone who comes over, before they even reach the door.
A few months ago I decided to have a geriatric blood profile performed on her so that in her later years I would have a baseline. However upon weighing her that day I noticed she’d lost weight since arriving. The blood work revealed Ashe’s thyroid level was close to the top of the charts and she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism by Dr. Welsman.
After having a urinalysis performed to ensure that her kidneys were functioning and that the rest of the blood work revealed no worrying parameters Ashes would have been placed on a twice daily medication called methimazole. However, timed with her diagnosis was the release of the Hills Pet Food: y/d.
In the month since Ashes has been eating y/d her thyroid levels have been cut in half, putting them back in normal range. She has gained back almost all the weight she had lost, and though she still likes to chat she doesn’t do it quite as much and seems content to sleep through the afternoons in her sunny window seat. She loves the taste of both wet and dry y/d and never leaves a morsel behind.”
Hills y/d therapeutic diet controls the clinical signs of hyperthyroidism by restricting dietary iodine. Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones, and is usually present in excess of requirement. y/d restricts the amount of iodine to the amount that is essential for life. Without extra iodine the abnormal thyroid cells cannot overproduce thyroid hormone. It is important to emphasize that y/d does not cure hyperthyroidism, it is a lifelong treatment and cats eating y/d must not be fed any other food or treats. However, it is a great option for many patients including those individuals who also have kidney disease, as Hills y/d is also optimized for cats who have kidney problems.