Expert Veterinary Internal Medicine and Endocrinology Consulting Services
2016 AAFP Guidelines for the Management of Feline Hyperthyroidism
May 10, 2016
Since 1979 and 1980 when the first reports of clinical feline hyperthyroidism (FHT) appeared in the literature, our understanding of the disease has evolved tremendously. Initially, FHT was a disease that only referral clinicians treated. Now it is a disease that primary clinicians routinely manage. Inclusion of the measurement of total thyroxine concentration in senior wellness panels, as well as in diagnostic work-ups for sick cats, now enables diagnosis of the condition long before the cat becomes the classic scrawny, unkempt, agitated patient with a bulge in its neck. However, earlier recognition of the problem has given rise to several related questions: how to recognize the health significance of the early presentations of the disease; how early to treat the disease; whether to treat FHT when comorbid conditions are present; and how to manage comorbid conditions such as chronic kidney disease and cardiac disease with treatment of FHT. The 2016 American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Guidelines for the Management of Feline Hyperthyroidism will shed light on these questions for the general practitioner and suggest when referral may benefit the cat.