Cat Care in Amesbury, MA

The veterinary team at Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital knows that our cat patients are special creatures. Our doctors genuinely enjoys cat care. Cats are not just small dogs. They have special nutritional needs, unique vaccine requirements and very specific drug dosages to highlight just a couple of important feline topics. Our recommendation of “Every Pet, Every Year” is especially true for cats. For many reasons, significant portions of the population of cats in the US do not visit their veterinarian on a regular basis. At least one reason for this is they can appear to be very self-sufficient and healthy when in fact they are not. Cats are very good at hiding disease and it is true that they may be sicker before their owner recognizes they have a problem and take them to the veterinarian. We know that with regular visits to MVAH we can work with you to keep your cat happy and healthy for many years.

Low-Stress Visits

Cat people can recognize other cat people and we, at MVAH, are cat people. We recognize that cats (and owners) start to get nervous as soon as the cat carrier comes out at home, and the car ride can only make things worse. Don’t hesitate to talk to us about aromatherapy and medications you can use at home to make the trip to our hospital easier for you and your cat. Once you arrive at MVAH we will do everything possible to make your kitty’s visit a breeze. We know how to handle cats during regular exams and for special procedures in a way that is safe, gentle and as stress free as possible for everyone. Also we all are happy to provide instruction in proper administration of topical and oral medications and treatments. Let us know if you need help with anything regarding the care and handling of your cats.

Preventative Care

MVAH is a leader in vaccine recommendations; we adopted the three year upper respiratory vaccine protocol at least fifteen years ago. Rest assured, we treat each cat as an individual and will only recommend the vaccines that they need. We love to talk about good nutrition, weight control and dental care.

Common Diseases

The health care team is very familiar with treatment of all of the common diseases of cats. We currently manage the health care of many cats with hyperthyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease, bladder disease, skin allergies and dental disease to name a few of the most common conditions. We will explain exactly what is going on and we will work with you to provide the best level of care available. If we cannot help you we will find the specialist who can.

Educational Links

Treating Hyperthyroidism in Cats in Amesbury, MA

Firstly, understand that hyperthyroidism in cats is relatively common and treatable. The condition develops when the thyroid gland becomes overactive, most commonly from a benign tumor in one of the glands in their neck. Luckily, there are several treatment options available, and the staff at Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital will help you decide on the very best option for your cat.

Signs of Hyperthyroidism

Generally, hyperthyroidism affects middle-aged and senior cats. Symptoms include:

  • Increased appetite/thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hair loss or a greasy, unkempt coat
  • Behavior changes

The Dangers of Hyperthyroidism in Cats

The danger of hyperthyroidism in cats lies less in the condition itself and more in the secondary conditions it can cause. Heart disease and high blood pressure are just two examples of complications, and these, in turn, can cause even more issues including liver and kidney issues.

Treatment Options

The best thing to do for your cat is to catch hyperthyroidism early and begin treatment as soon as possible. Current treatment options include:

  • Radioactive iodine (I131). This is our treatment of choice because, in 95% of cases, it completely cures the disease. While it is a higher cost upfront, it is less expensive than medication if used for more than two years.
    • Disadvantage: you must travel to another facility that has a radioisotope permit for this treatment. The closest facilities include the New England Regional Veterinary Imaging Center in Rochester, NH, and Radiocat in Wakefield, MA.
  • Oral or topical methimazole. A human medicine, methimazole has been used in cats for decades, and most cats tolerate it well. It is affordable but costs build-up over time.
    • Disadvantages: Methimazole only controls the disease and does not cure it. Your cat will need two doses of methimazole every day for the rest of their life, followed by blood tests and exams as well. It can also cause undesirable side effects.
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition Diet y/d. Reducing your cat’s iodine intake can help control the disease similar to medication. It is cost-efficient and easy to administer, especially in a one-cat household.
    • Disadvantages: You must be very strict with your cat’s diet—that means no more treats! This can also be difficult to administer in a multi-cat household. Furthermore, your cat may not like the food.

“As always greeted nicely and they take wonderful care of their animals. Thank you.”

Dawn H.

Schedule an Appointment for More Info on Hyperthyroidism in Cats

If you think your cat may be suffering from cat hyperthyroidism, schedule an appointment with us today. We’ll be happy to evaluate your pet and go over any questions you may have. We look forward to helping your cat live a long and fulfilling life!