The Latest on Feline Hyperthyroidism

A Expert information on medicine, behavior and health from a world leader in veterinary medicine INSIDE Short Takes 2 Heart disease in cats; anew c...
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Expert information on medicine, behavior and health from a world leader in veterinary medicine


Short Takes 2 Heart disease in cats; anew cat food formulated to battle hyperthyroidism. fosterill4J Kittens: AGood Deed 3 You can create the foundation that helps them to find lifelong homes.

Veterinary Hospice: An Optionl 4 It's aSolution that can help bothyou and your chronically ill ,at. Here's how. Acupuncture for Our Pets 5 Today, thousands of vets utilize this treatment in order to help our pets.

The Latest on Feline Hyperthyroidism It's a common glandular disorder that targets the aging cat. Here's what you should know about this disease. nto the lives of many Icomes cats of a certain age a certain diag­

Age Plays Major Role. Board certified veterinary internist Dr. Arnold Plot-

nosis; hyperthyroid­

nick, owner of New York ----..,...­

ism. Susan Steiner's cat was no exception. At

City's Manhattan Cat Specialists, describes hy­ perthyroidism as the most

12 years of age, Grey's weight had diminished

common glandular disor­

to a mere five pounds.

der in cats. second only to

diabetes. "There is no breed

Ask Elizabeth: 8 Getting a proper diagnosis for a Siamese with an itchy skin condition.

Faced with the less­ than-appealing choices of invasive surgery or expensive radiation

larly susceptible to hyper­ thyroidism," he notes. "By far the major factor is age."


treatment, she opted for a third choice: med­

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ication. Every morning and ever y evening,

Ms. Steiner pulverized a half-tablet of me­

thimazole, carefully mixed the powder with

the most appealing canned cat food she could

find, and hand fed it to her senior cat. That

was 15 years ago. Changes that have since oc­

curred in the world of hyperthyroidism might

have made her choices different today.

or gender that is particu­

Is hyperthyroidism ac­ tually reaching unprecedented levels, or is its prevalence simply a function of more cats at­

taining old age and more veterinarians being

aware of this disorder? According to Michael Stone, DVM, internal medicine specialist at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, "Autopsies performed (contin ued on page 7)

Cat Fights: What You Should Know

Here's how to tell when it's play and when it's not - and how you can intervene to make some peaceful changes. A II kittens play, practicing to defend them­ rl..selves by arching their backs, jumping on each other, chasing each other and maybe exchanging a few nips on the ears. "The differ­

ence between playing and fighting," says Kath­ erine A. Houpt, VMD, the emeritus James Law Professor of Animal Behavior at Cornell Uni­ versity's College ofVeterinary Medicine, "is that when playing, cats will take turns chasing each other. There isn't one dominant aggressor or one main victim."

In general, however, cats don't play much

the other will be the victim. Hissing, claw­ ing and batting with the paws are more fear directed than playful. The noisier the interac­ tion, the more likely it's a fight and not play." The Causes of Conflict. Why cats fight may surprise you. It's usually not over food; it's usually not over territory (especially in an established multi-cat household). "The most common type ofaggression in a cat household is what's called re-direc ted," says Dr. Houpt. Here's the typical scenario: One cat is

after 16 months of age, and males are more

sleeping peacefully on the couch. Your other

likely to engage in play oflhis kind. As for fighting, cats will fight at any age. "True fight­

cat is sitting on the window sill near the couch,

nominations from almost

ing is usually more of a one-way process," says

every state in the country. •:.

Dr. Houpt. "One cat will be the aggressor and

watching the goings-on outside. A strange cat comes rambling by close to the house.The two (continued on page 6)



Elizabeth Veesl

CONSULTANTS Paul Maza, DVM, Lecturer in

Anatomy, Co-Director

of Feline Health Center


James A. Flanders, DVM, Dlpl

ACVS, Associate Professor,

Clinical Sciences

Richard R. Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM, DECVIM-CA, Associate

Professor of Clinical SCiences

Marc S. Kraus, DVM. Dip\ ACVIM,

Lecturer, Clinical Sciences

Margaret C. McEntee, DVM,


Professor of Oncology

William H. Miller, Jr., DVM, ABVP, Professor, (lininKa\ Sciences

Ilona Rodan, DVM, Dipl ABVP

Wisconsin Cat Care Clinic,

Madison, WI


Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

For information on your cat's health, visit the Cornell university College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell Feline Health Center, website at

-=1 _

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