Hyperthyroidism in Cats When to Euthanasia

When it comes to assessing when it’s time to put a cat to sleep with hyperthyroidism, the veterinarian will examine the cat’s entire condition and determine if major organs are showing significant signs of damage.

When to put a cat to sleep with hyperthyroidism

When to put a cat down with hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is a condition that affects older cats and can be treated with medication. In some cases, it’s possible to reverse the condition so that the cat enters remission and no longer needs pills. In other cases, the hyperthyroidism is permanent and the cat will need to stay on medication for life. If a cat doesn’t respond well to medication or can’t have it, euthanasia may be a less painful option.

In more advanced cases, they may also have high blood pressure which can cause blindness, heart disease, kidney problems (including kidney failure), or diarrhea. If you don’t have access to veterinary care nearby or can’t afford it, euthanasia may be the only option to relieve your beloved pet from suffering.

Do cats with hyperthyroidism suffer?

In most cases, hyperthyroid cats suffer symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, increased drinking and urinating, panting and restlessness. They may also have other signs of illness such as poor hair coat and gum color as well as dental disease. Secondary problems may arise from heart disease and kidney disease, which can occur as a result of hyperthyroidism.

It is important to take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you recognize these symptoms. While hyperthyroidism can be treated with medication, sometimes the disease progresses in a way that makes it necessary to put your cat to sleep.

How long will a hyperthyroid cat live without treatment?

The life expectancy of a hyperthyroid cat without treatment usually ranges from a few weeks to up to 2 years. Unfortunately, this is highly variable and depends on numerous factors.

There is no way to know for certain exactly how long any individual cat will live with or without treatment. The average time from diagnosis to death in untreated hyperthyroid cats is usually measured in months. Possible complications of hyperthyroidism (such as kidney failure) can further complicate the course. In some cases, not treating the overactive thyroid could lead to a stroke and sudden death.

Are cats in pain with hyperthyroidism?

Yes, they probably are. The thyroid gland is responsible for releasing hormones into the bloodstream that help regulate the body’s metabolism. A cat with hyperthyroidism has an overactive thyroid gland that causes an increase in metabolism. This can lead to weight loss, increased thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid or irregular heartbeat, heart disease, and sometimes blindness. If a cat is experiencing any of these symptoms, he may be in pain.

How is hyperthyroidism in cats treated?

There are three main treatments for hyperthyroidism: surgery to remove the overactive part of the thyroid gland; treatment with radioactive iodine to destroy the overactive part of the thyroid gland; and medication is given orally to suppress the production of thyroid hormone by the gland.

Can hyperthyroidism cause vomiting in cats?

Yes, it can. Any problem with the GI tract (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) can be seen with hyperthyroidism.

Unfortunately, because vomiting can be caused by so many other things, it can be difficult to tell if your cat’s hyperthyroidism is causing their vomiting or not.

If your cat has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, you may want to make sure that their medication (usually methimazole or carbimazole) is at the correct dose and that they are taking it properly.

Does hyperthyroidism in cats cause kidney failure?

Kidney failure develops in some cats with chronic hyperthyroidism because they have been ill for such a long time and therefore this organ has been put under stress.

Although there are other causes of kidney failure, hyperthyroidism is thought to be a cause in 15-20% of cases in cats. The reasons for this are not completely clear but could be related to high blood pressure (caused by the excess thyroid hormone) or direct effects on the kidneys themselves.

What is the best food to feed a cat with hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is relatively easy to treat, but there are management considerations for the long term. One of those considerations is diet. There are several options for feeding your cat with hyperthyroidism, including canned foods or a homemade raw diet.

While many people think that dry food may be better for cats with hyperthyroidism, it’s actually the opposite. Feeding canned or raw food is better.

Cats with hyperthyroidism require special diets to help keep their immune system healthy. A high-quality, grain-free canned diet is recommended. Some veterinarians also recommend home-cooked diets, but these diets must be carefully balanced to ensure that the cat’s nutritional needs are met.

How long can a cat live with hyperthyroidism and kidney disease?

The average lifespan of a cat with hyperthyroidism and kidney disease is 6 months to 3 years.

Some cats with both of these illnesses may not be able to live much longer, but it depends on the severity of each individual case. It’s important to remember that these are only averages, and your cat may die sooner or later than the average lifespan.

My cat has hyperthyroidism and I have no money

A diagnosis of feline hyperthyroidism can be very stressful for a cat owner, especially if money is tight. Luckily there are a number of organizations that can help with some or all of the costs associated with treating this condition.

Veterinarian schools

Often, veterinarian schools will provide low-cost services. This is because they need animals to practice on and they want to help the community at the same time. The students do the work while a licensed veterinarian supervises them. The prices can be up to 50% cheaper than what private practitioners charge.

You can use the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to locate schools offering discounted veterinary services near you.

Local animal shelters

Contact your local animal shelter to see if they have an affordable vet clinic or know of any other resources that might be able to help with your situation. In some cases, shelters will also offer financial assistance to pet owners who provide proof of their income.

Red Rover

Red Rover offers financial assistance grants through their Relief Program to pet owners who are unable to afford veterinary services.

Care Credit

Care Credit offers special financing and low monthly payment options, no upfront costs, and no prepayment penalties so you can keep your pet healthy and happy.

The Onyx and Breezy Foundation

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who cannot afford veterinary care. They also provide preventative healthcare in the form of free and low-cost spay/neuter programs, free pet food, and free vaccinations.

The Pet Fund

The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care.

In addition to providing financial assistance, the Pet Fund also acts as a clearinghouse for pet owners and veterinarians to seek advice on alternative treatments, fundraising tips, and many other issues related to animal healthcare.

The Pet Fund has no geographical restrictions but does require that applicants have a verifiable source of income (such as welfare, disability, or unemployment checks), and they can only help with non-elective medical issues (i.e., those requiring immediate attention).

The Pet Fund also keeps track of organizations that give grants for veterinary emergencies and provides links to these groups on their website. To find out more about organizations that offer grants, visit https://thepetfund.com/for-pet-owners/financial-assistance

The Brown Dog Foundation

The Brown Dog Foundation offers grants to pet owners to help pay for emergency medical care. The foundation was started because the founder was unable to save her own dog due to a lack of funds and became determined that no one else should ever have to lose a pet because they couldn’t afford treatment. They offer grants up to $1,000 per household per year but will consider larger amounts on a case-by-case basis.

Please note: This list is maintained for informational purposes only. We cannot guarantee that these organizations will provide financial assistance in all cases.

Conclusion of putting a cat to sleep with hyperthyroidism

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether it is time to put your cat to sleep due to hyperthyroidism.

The first factor is how your cat is feeling. If she is feeling well and is active, then you should discuss with your vet the option of treating her with medications or radioactive iodine treatment. These medical treatments can be over $1000. You will also have to consider the cost of ongoing thyroid tests and any side effects that your cat may experience from these medications.

However, if you’re not going to treat your cat for hyperthyroidism or if you can’t afford the treatment, then you might have to decide when the time is right to put your cat down.

If you decide not to treat your cat medically, you will have to decide if the quality of life that she has without treatment is acceptable for you and your family. If she has lost weight and muscle mass, she may have difficulty jumping onto furniture or even climbing stairs. She may have become more vocal, making her less desirable as a pet because of the constant noise factor. She may also be having “accidents” in the house due to kidney disease. All these factors should be considered in making the decision that euthanasia is the best option for your cat.

Some cats with advanced hyperthyroidism may be in so much pain that they prefer death to life. You might also consider euthanasia if your cat has severe kidney disease as a result of hyperthyroidism and the treatments aren’t working.

Talk to your vet about the best course of action for your cat’s health and quality of life.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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