Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:25 AM

Nutritional Therapy for Hyperthyroid Disease in Cats

It makes sense that, if the diet your cat is eating is making her sick, then you must change that diet. What else is there, you ask, besides dry and canned cat food? Homemade, of course! Sorry, but there is no way around it: Even prescription canned cat foods contain additives that will continue to weaken your cat's health. Will nutritional therapy really work? Here's a story to illustrate just how important nutrition is to a cat with hyperthyroid disease.

I have lunch occasionally with a former co-worker and friend who owns many pets, including dogs, cats, geese, ducks, rabbits, goats and pigs. One day she told me how one of her dogs was not eating well, so I brought her a pint of the food I make for my cats so that she could tempt her with it. A week later she called me to ask for as much of the food as I could spare. When I asked if it got her dog eating again, she said: "She's fine, but I gave some of your food to my 15-year-old cat with hyperthyroidism and for the first time in 7 years, he didn't immediately vomit, nor did he have bloody diarrhea!" Well, as you can imagine, this was music to my ears. She began feeding the food to this cat exclusively. Within 2 weeks, he had gained weight, and continued to do so (he was down to 6 pounds). By 6 weeks, he looked like a completely different cat, and my friend reported that she had cut his daily dose of Tapazol down by 2/3. He no longer vomited or had diarrhea, and he was much less agitated. He continued on with this recovery for several months until the years of illness took its toll and he became ill with a cancerous tumor. My friend credits the remission entirely to the homemade diet, which she said even the expensive prescription diet couldn't rival.

In addition to the homemade diet, be sure to add a good multi-vitamin and digestive enzymes to your cat's nutritional repertoire. Do not try to go back to the commercial diet, or the symptoms will return. Be sure to add a few sprinkles of kelp powder to your cat's meals, as well. The change you will see in your cat's health within a few days will convince you that all this effort is worthwhile!

Prevention of thyroid disease? A homemade diet, from day one. You should also rethink the need for multiple and too-oft repeated vaccinations. Find a holistic veterinarian with whom you can freely discuss these matters. As it happens, there are more and more vets that are realizing that the conventional vaccine schedule can be hazardous to pets' health.
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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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