Cats are known to have an overactive thyroid gland; this condition is called hyperthyroidism. If your cat is experiencing a sudden loss of body weight, changes in its appetite level or has abdominal problems such as diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, it could be due to a spell of hyperthyroidism. In some cats, signs such as urinating more often or persistent spells of thirstiness may also show up. Medications such as methimazole are known to slow down an overactive thyroid gland. But, can you give this drug to your cat? It is essential to know more on this. A fairly significant number of cats may live with hyperthyroidism. This condition is more common among older or aged cats, wherein the gland makes abundant amounts of T3 and T4 hormones. Cats aged 9 years and above are more likely to experience sudden changes in appetite levels coupled with a marked loss of body weight. One unmistakable sign is an increased rate of metabolism; however, the outcomes of an active thyroid gland can differ from one cat to another. You may need to stay aware that benign cancers in the thyroid region can also cause this condition. Can you use methimazole for treating cats? US-based drug clearing agency, the food and drug administration (FDA) has approved a few meds for treating cats living with an overactive thyroid gland. Methimazole is one among such FDA-approved drugs for treating cats. Vets commonly use this med for treating cats with hyperthyroid condition. Key ingredients of this drug work to inhibit the production of T3 and T4 hormones. Quantum of dosage has a direct influence on the extent to which these hormones are inhibited. You may need to remember that this drug does not offer a complete cure but can only manage hyperthyroidism. Side effects of methimazole when given to cats. Cats are known to tolerate this drug quite well. But, a few unintended side effects and undesired reactions are likely to occur. These adverse effects are more likely to show up in the first few weeks of starting your cat’s medication plan. Most common among adverse side effects are a drop in appetite level, being very tired, lazy or staying indolent. A few abdominal discomforts such as nausea, vomiting and indigestion may also occur. Acute side effects are less common. However, in some stray instances, serious side effects like drop in blood cell count, clotting of blood or aggregation of platelets, internal bleeding, etc. have been observed. Also, if you have cats with kidney problems, added precautions are needed. You are likely to witness a marked change in the filtration rate of your cat’s kidneys, especially soon after starting your treatment plan. So, it is extremely important to tell your vet about prior medical conditions your cat is living with. It is essential to stay aware of possible conditions such as hepatic problems, diabetes or a compromised immunity system. What happens when I give an overdose of methimazole to my cat? Some kitty parents may administer a stronger dose of this med to bring about a faster cure from hyperthyroidism. This is not a safe practice. Overdose of methimazole can induce a few adverse reactions such as problems in your cat’s gastric tract, high levels of tiredness / weariness coupled with staying lethargic. An overdose may also trigger blood conditions such as lower count of platelets, anemia (drop in red cells of blood), etc. If you suspect that you have administered an overdose to your cat, talk to your vet on a top priority basis. If your cat has developed severe discomforts such as excessively dizzy or has passed out, call Pet Poison Helpline or the Animal Poison Control Center without much delay.

Safe administration of methimazole to cats This is not an over the counter medication. It hence needs to be administered strictly based on the instructions of a qualified vet. To start with, your vet may administer methimazole at lesser strength. Starting dose is maintained at 2.5 milligrams (mg) over a 12-hour period. If your cat does not develop any adverse side effects or allergic reactions, the strength of doses is increased at an incremental value of 2.5 mg. In this milieu, it is essential to know the maximum dosage within a 24-hour timeline must never exceed 20 mg; this dosage is also equally divided as 2 doses and offered with an interval of 12 hours in between doses. Other forms of methimazole Some cats may not tolerate the pill variant of this drug. The pill form is also likely to develop digestive disorders among a few of them. It may also be quite difficult to administer the pill form by hiding it in food. One of the best ways to administer methimazole is the liquid form. It can be easily mixed with food and administered. Another popular form is its transdermal form; however, the efficacy of transdermal variants is under scrutiny. A recurring problem is the need to apply larger doses of transdermal form, and the longer time it takes to work on your cat. Last but not least, kitty parents may also need to take ample safety precautions; otherwise, transdermal form may get into your skin. One of the safer ways to use this form of methimazole is to wear gloves while handling it. In sum, methimazole is widely used on cats to minimise the effects of hyperthyroidism. An overactive thyroid gland can accelerate your cat’s metabolic rate, trigger loss of body weight as well as alter the appetite level sizably. Your kitty is also likely to experience abdominal problems such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and associated discomforts in your pet’s gastric tract. Methimazole has the approval of the FDA to administer it onto cats. The initial doses are given at doses of 2.5 milligrams (mg) for every 12-hour period. Ensure that the maximum daily dose never exceeds 20 mg. This drug is widely prescribed by vets as it is known to control the symptoms in a matter of 14 to 21 days. Also, it is not very expensive; this is another reason for its popularity among kitty parents and vets. To stay on the safer side, tell your vet about other drugs or treatment plans. For more inputs on how to use this anti-thyroid med for your cat, you are advised to talk to a qualified vet.

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