IODINE | Hyperthyroidism is one of the most
common diseases of older cats, and the prevalence
has been increasing since the late 1970s. Iodine
is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones,
and it is possible that hyperthyroidism is related to
the amount of iodine in cat food. Catharine Scott-Moncrieff, a professor of veterinary medicine and a
specialist in endocrinology, is looking for an answer
to this question from a variety of angles.
If left untreated, a hyperthyroid cat may exhibit
excessive hunger, vomiting, diarrhea, nervousness,
unkempt hair coat and tachycardia. Treatment
options for hyperthyroid cats include administration
of oral anti-thyroid drugs, thyroidectomy or
administration of radioactive iodine. A diet
containing a restricted amount of iodine has been
shown to decrease thyroid hormone concentrations
and improve clinical signs in hyperthyroid cats.
Iodine content of cat food varies widely among
commercial cat foods, especially in canned cat food.
Scott-Moncrieff and co-authors have called for a
review of iodine supplementation standards used in
commercial cat foods.
“This research has resulted in improved
recommendations for the use of iodine-limited
diets for management of hyperthyroidism in cats
and has the potential to lead
to a greater understanding
of the pathogenesis of
hyperthyroidism in cats,”
Scott-Moncrieff says. | L. T.
Examining Iodine in Cat Diets
CATHARINE SCOT T-MONCRIEFF