December 2011 - Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center - San Diego, CA

Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center

4680 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92117


December 2011


December is upon us and the holidays are in full swing! We are all looking forward to a happy season filled with friends and family, both human and feline alike.Santa, Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center 

Handmade Soap:

Don't miss the newest batch of luxurious handmade soaps. We offer these wonderful bars for a $5 donation each and all funds are used to care for needy cats. Scents available are Moroccan Love Scrub, Rose of India, Cinnamon & Cloves and Marbled Chocolate. Great gifts with a greater cause! 

Holiday Hours:

We will be closed on Saturday, December 24th. We will reopen on Monday, December 26th. 

On Saturday, December 31st, we will close at 2pm. We will be open on Monday, January 2nd. 

New Thyroid Therapy!

The thyroid gland is located in the throat region. This gland plays a very important role in regulating metabolism.  Hyperthyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid gland is overactive due to too much thyroid hormone being produced. In cats, hyperthyroidism is usually the result of a benign tumor in the thyroid gland. Less than 2% of hyperthyroid cases involve malignancy of the gland. Hyperthyroidism is one of the more commonly diagnosed diseases, especially in older cats. With proper treatment and monitoring, hyperthyroidism can have a good prognosis and cat's can live several happy years with the disease. 

The following are common clinical signs of hyperthyroidism. It is important to note that several diseases can share similar signs. If you note any of the following, an examination with the veterinarian should be scheduled.

  • Increase in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased water intake and urination
  • Periodic vomiting or diarrhea
  • Changes in hair coat or grooming habits 

An examination by the veterinarian, including a thorough history taking, is the first step to diagnosis. Additionally, a blood panel, which includes a full chemistry profile, complete blood count, a urinalysis and thyroid levels, will be needed. Blood pressure testing and diagnostic imaging may also be warranted as these tests help complete the diagnostic picture. Once a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism has been made, we can begin therapy. 

There are four choices for treatment now. Some therapies will control hyperthyroidism while other therapies will cure hyperthyroidism. Many factors must come into consideration when choosing the best therapy for an individual cat. 


Treatment options:

  • Life-long, daily medications
  • Exclusive feeding of Hill's Prescription Y/D diet (read more below)
  • Radioactive iodine treatment (I-131)
  • Surgical removal of gland (much less common) 

Hill's Prescription Y/D Diet:

A newest treatment option, that has only just become available for treating hyperthyroidism in cats, is Hill's Prescription Y/D diet. This specially formulated food has completed extensive food trials and had very good success in controlling hyperthyroidism. This new diet presents us with an opportunity to control hyperthyroidism without the use of medications. While it will not cure hyperthyroidism, like I-131 or a potential surgery, it is a new option of therapy for us. Y/D does have some stipulations and requirements:


  • Hill Prescription Y/D is extremely limited in iodine content. It must be fed exclusively. No other foods of any kind including treats, table food, pill pockets, etc. can ever be given.
  • Some medications, especially those in liquid form, can not be used with Y/D as they contain iodine.
  • Other cats in household can eat Y/D but we do recommend the addition of a small amount of regular food to supplement iodine for those cats.
  • Cats with moderate to severe kidney disease are not candidates for the Y/D diet.
  • Cats with other concurrent disease, especially if they already have dietary restrictions, may not be candidates for the Y/D diet.
  • Outdoor cats that are hunters or visit the neighbors for food or treats are not candidates.


We are very excited about this new therapy and want to make you aware of this new option. If your cat has hyperthyroidism, please call us so that we may determine if your cat is a good candidate for the Y/D diet. If you suspect that your cat may have hyperthyroidism, please call us so that we can schedule an examination appointment for you. 

Shown under the tree is "Keebler", one of the cats living at the clinic who has hyperthyroidism. "Keebler" eats Y/D and loves it! He is still looking for a forever home. 
Cat under Christmas Tree

Holiday Tips:

Holidays are a time of joy, time with family and friends and exchanging good tidings. The last thing that you want is for this to be a time spent in the emergency room with your pet. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the holidays and keep your pet safe.

  • High fat foods, such as ham, gravy, butter and desserts, may cause inflammation of your pet's pancreas. Pancreatitis causes intense abdominal pain and vomiting and requires hospitalization to recover. Keep foods securely sealed and enclosed in a high space or the refrigerator. Secure the lid on the trash can to avoid garbage raiding.
  • Bones: chewing on bones, particularly turkey bones, can cause splintering. Once swallowed, the splintered bones can cause trauma to the intestinal tract, requiring surgery. Ham bones, while they tend to not splinter, are hard and can fracture teeth when your pet chews on them. They are also very fatty.
  • Onions and onion powder: in large enough quantities can cause a sudden onset of anemia.
  • Foreign objects: such as string (used to tie roasts and fowl), skewers, plastic bags and turkey poppers. Your pet does not have self restraint or the common sense to avoid these objects that drip of meat juices.
  • Toxins: Mistletoe and holly are toxic plants as are lilies of any kind. Keep these away!
  • Tree:
    - Secure the tree to avoid the tree falling onto your pet if they decide to climb.
    - Ornaments should be kept on higher branches to avoid breaking, eating and destruction.
    - Tinsel should not be used as pets love to play with it and if eaten, can cause serious injury to the intestinal tract and require surgery to repair.
    - If you put chemicals in the water of your tree, cover the bowl so your pet does not drink from it.
    - Sweep up pine needles to avoid health problems.
  • Maintain routines: With all of the people in the house, some pets may become nervous with the change in routine. Provide your pet with a retreat space to unwind from it all. Be sure to keep normal routines especially exercise for your pet.
  • Watch that door: If you expect a large number of people in your home, be sure to watch the door to make sure that there are no unexpected escapes.

If you want to offer your pet something special too, choose alternative treats such as a new toy or extra bonding and exercise time. At the end of the day, you will be thankful you did. 

Find us on FACEBOOK!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from,

Dr. Ann Middleton

Dr. Michelle Metcalf

and all your friends at

Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center