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Theresa, A Voice for your Pet
Category: Cat
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Experience:  19+ years in animal medicine as a veterinary technician
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My 15 year old cat has hyperthyroidism. Some background for

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My 15 year old cat has hyperthyroidism. Some background for you....
We've been dealing with this for close to a year now. 1st the doctor put him on 5mg of Tapazole. He became SO lethargic after a little more than a month that I stopped giving it to him. Went back to the vet a month later & he said to try 1/2 a pill daily. I did that for a little more than a month & he seemed to be acting fine and his T4 tests came back much closer to normal range, except he was still losing weight. Did some research & switched him to Science Diet y/d without talking to the vet. Stopped the pills at that time too. Had more T4 tests done (along with a full CBC panel which all looked good) about 2 months later. The T4's were still a bit high but just above the normal range. He seemed to be responding to the y/d well, he had even stopped losing weight. The problem then was, his heart rate was through the roof. I was checking his heart rate every day, sometimes twice a day. Did more research on the y/d. Mainly good reviews except, I couldn't find anything at all about long term use of it. It was quite new & they didn't have any information about long term use yet. I switched him to Evo cat foot & his heart rate immediately dropped back to a safe zone. I started giving him the pills again when I stopped the y/d. He's been maintaining his weight now for more than a few months & his heart rate is staying between 145 & 165. That's much better than the 200 it was at. I'm sorry this is so long, I just want you to understand that I'm trying to stay on top of this & always looking for ways to make his life happy & more comfortable. I have 2 cats & my other guy is fine, just a little pudgy. They are twins actually, except for the weight now. Both 15 years old last month. My question is about coconut oil. I read that it may be able to stabilize the function of the thyroid. I just received my little guys T4 results today & everything seems to be doing well. Only because the pill thing has to be so annoying for him (he definitely shows me that) am I looking for something different. Do you have any knowledge about the use of coconut oil with this thyroid condition? My vet told me that it may or may not help but that it wouldn't hurt him. What do you think? I'm pretty big on vitamins & supplements so that's why I'm even considering this. Thank you for your time & any assistance you can give.

Theresa :

Hello and thank you for asking your question here. I haven't heard much about coconut oil being used in cats but the thoughts with coconut oil is that it helps those with low thyroid function which is the opposite in your situation. A normal heart rate for cats is 160-220 so I would be concerned if you are getting in the 140's consistently that there could be something else going on. It does sound like he is generally doing well so just keep an eye on things and do what you are doing. Based on his last numbers though have you considered mixing the EVO with the Y/D? This might be a good option for you at this time. In another month or if hyperthyroid symptoms develop another T4 check would be ideal.

Theresa :

If by chance you would have to have him go back on thyroid medications there are other options where the medication can be compounded and made into a topical which is rubbed onto the inside of the ear. No more dealing with oral medication.

Theresa :

Be sure your vet is also keeping an eye on his kidney functions as well.

Hi Theresa,

Thank you so much for your input. Your numbers for a normal heart rate are a bit higher than my vet had talked about. That kind of makes me feel better actually. I won't freak out again if it goes a little higher once in a while. In general, his will average most often at about 155-160. The highs & lows (145 & 165) are occasional. Feeding my boys separately has become the norm in my house so that is not a problem at all. I like the idea of mixing the y/d food with the Evo. Although, I was under the impression that, in order for the y/d to work, that was the "only" thing he should be eating. I may try that now. Also, the cream sounds like a good option as well. My only concern would be that, because they groom each other, my big guy might get into that. I don't want to mess up his system in the process. Part of the reason I was looking at the coconut oil was, I was hoping it would help him put a little more weight on. He's never been a glutton like most cats. Not a big eater at all. He "nibbles" throughout the course of the day. When I leave the house, he has access to a "full" bowl of food. My big guy is separated & I have to limit his food amount.

I thank you again for your time and the information provided. I truly do love our vet. We've been going to him for 15 years actually. (I've had my boys since they were 10 days old) (I was a foster parent to them & just couldn't give them up) I do have a little OCD when it comes to my babies & wanted a second opinion I guess.

Thank you again for everything.

Best Regards,


PS. The last CBC panel that we had done (about 6 weeks ago) Max's kidneys were

doing very well. :)

Theresa and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Diane,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Max. How is everything going?


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