My cat's hyperthyroidism is successfully treated with a low-iodine diet.

Antonio65

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
5,433
Purraise
8,278
Location
Orbassano - Italy
Hi from Sweden! So Happy to have found this page. I need alternatives (variation) if the LOVE of my life (Bubbas) doesnt eat the y/d. He loves the dry food tho. I WANT to go strictly y/d but I need options. And I am also thinking about the musclemass loss due to the low protein, the sickness itself and the age factor. This was an eyeopener and I will investigate further.

I have spent weeks googling this and everything I read is about y/d only or medication. I dont think that is an option for everybody in the long run.

Thanks again.
Hi and welcome to TCS.
My cat didn't like the y/d food either. I tried feeding it to her, she seemed to like it in the first few days, and it looked promising to me, so I bought several cans of that wet food and the dry as well. Then, all of a sudden, she disliked it.
I was already treating her with Methimazole (pills), so she was covered by the meds. Later on, I replaced the pills with the transdermal gel, but my goal, since the beginning, was the radio-iodine treatment, which I eventually managed to have several months later, and my cat was successfully treated.

From experience in my own cat, and another cat at a shelter that I was treating the same way, y/d food has few chances of success. Moreover, HT is a degenerative disease, the food only can't do much against it.
 

Bubbas Juniors mom

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
2
Purraise
3
Hi B Bubbas Juniors mom ! I am not sure the difference between Sweden and the US in terms of varying Y/D formulas - most here are prescription. And it seems a lot of cats either don't like the Y/D foods or stop liking them pretty quickly. Feeby (18+ yo) would not eat any of them, so she is on Felimazole (a form of methimazole) for her hyper-T. She has been on this med for about two years now and in terms of her hyper-T she is doing pretty good (she has other health issues).

Any particular reason you don't want to try the meds? They enable you to feed Bubbas whatever he will eat, including higher protein foods. Feeby is not a pill taker, but she will accept this med crushed up into a bite of her food or in a lickable treat. There is also a transdermal form that you could rub into Bubba's ear, rather than have him take a pill.

Also, has your vet discussed the radioiodine treatment? That is actually a 'cure' for hyper-T. There are a few steps/preparations to get to the point of having Bubbas eligible for it, but it might be another thing for you to look into.
Radioactive Iodine Treatment (I-131) For Cats - Cat-World
Thanks! And I’m sorry I didnt quite explane. We did do the meds for 7 weeks but then he reacted with a lot of itching and his ears were all messy with sores. He came withdraw and wasn’t feeling himself. The only option was to stop taking it and started the y/d diet right away.

I dont want to do the 131. He is a sensitive guy with a lot of issues, and the trauma of sending him away,even for a week, I am sure will distroy him… Them there is the issue afterwards. He has 4 siblings.

But I get what you mean. If could be a last resort. Then we just need to deal with the circumstances.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
18,114
Purraise
24,995
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
We did do the meds for 7 weeks but then he reacted with a lot of itching and his ears were all messy with sores.
Was that from the oral version? If from the transdermal, he might do better with the oral version. But, as long as he eats the Y/D formula, you are 'good to go' for now.

I won't do the I 131 treatment for Feeby either. She is just too old and has too many other problems. Although, I will tell you there isn't much issue with a cat that goes through it in terms of their siblings. A lot of the precautions are 'overkill'. If you would have to go that route, check back here because there are numerous members who can attest to what I am saying, and give you additional advice on what you would need to do to proceed.
 

RexinMinn2

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
10
Purraise
9
Buddy was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism at age 13, after a year and a half of eating a cat food that was "guaranteed" to cause weight loss. Yes, he had lost weight on that stuff, but he'd become very ill, too: he was vomiting several times a day, anxious and yowling all the time, drinking and peeing great volumes of water, was too weak to jump up on a sofa, he even got aggressive with me. The vet also said Buddy’s heart rate was dangerously fast, and he was dehydrated despite all the water he drank. I learned later that the weight-loss cat food he'd been eating contained excessive iodine, which likely over-stimulated his thyroid gland and may have caused the thyroid tumors. When the vet told me the treatment options I balked: either surgically remove his thyroid gland and give him thyroid hormone supplements the rest of his life, or give him anti-thyroid medication the rest of his life. Either would require many expensive vet visits to adjust his thyroid hormone levels until he was stable. I told her I'd think it over. Meanwhile I decided to restrict the iodine in his diet. As soon as I changed his diet Buddy stopped vomiting, and over the next several months all his other symptoms cleared up. The iodine-restricted diet meant no fish or seafood, no salted human foods because table salt is usually iodized, and no cat food containing iodine supplements in the form of potassium iodide, calcium iodate, or kelp. I spent hours in the pet stores read all the cat food labels, and I could not find ANY cat food that didn't contain either fish or iodine supplements, or both. So I fed him raw poultry and unsalted bone broth. (My reasoning was that cats evolved eating whole animals including bones, and raw meat was only muscle, so I surmised that bone broth should contain some of the nutrients in bones that he needs.) Eventually I found Hill’s prescription low-iodine YD food, and this is mainly what he's been eating for almost 2 years. I also give him raw ground chicken sometimes, and unsalted bone broth because he loves it. He's now 15 -- and in perfect health! He recently had blood work done and all his blood levels are normal, including his thyroid hormone level. Buddy’s vet said she'd never heard of treating hyperthyroidism with diet alone, but told me to keep doing what I'm doing because it's clearly working.
It's my guess that the iodine supplements in cat foods may be causing a lot of the hyperthyroidism in cats.
 

RexinMinn2

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
10
Purraise
9
My Buddy is now 18 and his blood tests show ALL normal levels - everyhing! The vet says he's in amazingly good health for his age. He looks great, and though he's not very frisky, you'd never know he's a senior cat. This is after being diagnosed 5 years ago with hyperthyroid disease, heart arrythmia, and "apparent" kidney disease. He's lost some of his teeth now and doesn't eat dry cat food at all. For the last few years I've been feeding him the Hill's Y/D canned food, alternating with raw meat. For the raw meat, I buy ground chicken, ground turkey, and raw chicken livers (I chop the livers lightly in the blender), plus some bone meal, from a local farm store that sells only organic meats, and I mix all that together with a dash of psillium fiber (because the raw meat has no fiber and makes him constipated). I freeze small portions of the meat mixture and thaw them as needed. So one day he gets Hills YD and the next day raw meat. He's a little overweight, but he looks so much better than he did when he was hyperthyroid and emaciated. I am convinced the standard cat foods he ate prior to the diagnosis are what caused the hyperthyroid condition, because they all contain supplemental iodine - too much iodine, which overstimulates the thyroid gland and eventually causes the tumors on the thyroid gland and hyperthyroid disease. I love him like crazy and I'm so glad I still have him with me and healthy! View attachment 387724
What an amazingly beautiful animal! And not a bad photo of him either, my compliments to you both!
 

RexinMinn2

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jun 27, 2022
Messages
10
Purraise
9
Our Peanut is almost 18. In 2018 she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism as well, and I attempted to do exactlly what you did because there was only one option for us. She did have a tumor, at least one, and the only way I believed at the time that we could actually cure it was through radioactive treatments. We did this and it worked, she's been doing super ever since, with the exception of the resorbed tooth she's experiencing (see my recent post). The hard part was being without her for two full weeks. It was agonizing but I knew it was for the best, it simply had to be done. It wasn't cheap either, but Peanut is a special animal as was her sister Punkin who we had until Jan. of 2019. I'm not convinced that if we had followed the same approach you did that we would have been as successful as you've been with Buddy, but as I'd mentioned I worked at it as you did, perhaps not quite as diligently, but identified seafood, particularly tuna, as being a food to stop using. I'm not recalling specifically how we determined to go ahead with the "gold standard" of radioactive treatment, but it worked out. Peanut has eaten only wet food for nearly 15 years of her 18 and I'm convinced that this is the reason why she is still so agile. She does have a heart condition of which we must be careful; we can't have the surgery done on her mouth that we wish we could because the vet doesn't think she's make it out of anaesthesia, but apparently some people here believe there may be an alternative to full-on anaesthetic...we shall see...Best to you and Buddy!
 
Top