Diagnosis of Congenital and Adult-Onset Hypothyroidism in Cats

Greco D.S.

Clin Tech Small Anim Pract, 2006. 21(1): p.40-4.


Whereas hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder in the cat, hypothyroidism is the least common feline endocrine disorder. This is a the result of several factors including low index of suspicion, rarity of the naturally occurring hypothyroidism in cats, and a lack of species specific tests for endogenous TSH and antithyroglobulin antibodies. Nonetheless, hypothyroidism does occur in cats, especially in kittens and after radioactive treatment for hyperthyroidism. The clinician should become familiar with the common presentations of congenital and adult-onset hypothyroidism in cats. In addition, some of the tests specific to dogs (such as endogenous canine TSH) may be utilized to diagnose subclinical hypothyroidism in cats. Fortunately, the treatment of feline hypothyroidism with synthetic levothyroxine is both straightforward and effective.