Hypothyroidism is defined as an underactive thyroid and is extremely rare in cats. In cases of hypothyroidism the thyroid, located near the trachea (windpipe) in the neck, does not make enough of the thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). These thyroid hormones are necessary to keep many body tissues and organs functioning properly and to keep the body’s metabolic rate on track. Cats with this disease can be diagnosed with a simple blood test.
Symptoms to look for:
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Lethargy and fatigue
Cats with hypothyroidism are given hormone supplements. This generally corrects the problem.
As hypothyroidism is thought to be inherited there are no real precautionary measures against this disease. The best precaution there is is early detection and treatment.