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Author Topic: Blood test and kelp in food question  (Read 7535 times)
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mickey
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« on: August 07, 2016, 03:36:41 PM »

Hi!

My 12 yr old boy cat is getting skinny (yet hungry all the time and eating a lot) and will be going to the vet. What thyroid test should I ask for? If I remember correctly many here have mentioned that vets often don't test the right thing.

His sis (who I've posted about when she got skinny and was hungry a few years ago) went to the vet for several tests that all came back fine. If she has a misdiagnosed thyroid (last test was in Nov) and does have hyperthyroid would eating kelp be bad for her? I noticed kelp in several of the canned foods shes ate.

thank you for any insight!

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alek0
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2016, 10:38:12 PM »

Maybe this link may help:
http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/brochure_hyperthyroid.cfm
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/endocrine_system/the_thyroid_gland/hyperthyroidism.html

So you might want to check both T4 and free T4. If you suspect thyroid problem, I guess you would want to limit iodine in tae, and in that case it might be better to avoid kelp IMO. I have no experience with hyperthyroidism though, I just looked into infer for that in the past but it turned out my cats had other problems.
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mickey
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2016, 07:44:30 AM »

Thank you for the links. I'm surprised by how many canned foods have kelp in it. Looking for a grain, kelp and carrageenan free food has been almost impossible
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Mandycat
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 09:24:33 PM »

Mickey,
You want to have the T4 (also called Total T4) and Free T4 tests done.  However, it is really the T4 that is the most important test.  It used to be thought that the Free T4, if elevated, was a good indication and confirmation of hyper-t even if the T4 was just in the upper end of the reference range, which is called the gray area for older cats.  However, that is no longer the case.  The Free T4 can be elevated due to other non-thyroidal medical conditions.  So, sometimes the Free T4 test can just add more confusion for the diagnosis.  The other important things for confirming the diagnosis if the T4 happens to fall into that gray area, would be the vet palpating an enlarged thyroid nodule, and the clinical symptoms.  Weight loss despite a ravenous appetite is a very important one, which your boy seems to have.  Post the test results when you get them.

It really doesn't matter if the source of iodine in the food is kelp or something like potassium iodide.  It is a necessary ingredient in the cat food and should be present only in the amount that is required by the cat for good nutrition.  It really does not contribute to the development of hyper-t.  I wouldn't, though, give extra supplements that contain kelp since he is probably getting what he needs from the food.

Here is a link to an article by Dr. Mark Peterson, a veterinary endocrinologist who is considered one of the foremost experts on feline hyper-t.  This article explains how to interpret the test results for feline hyper-t, especially when the results may be in that borderline gray area.

        http://www.animalendocrine.info/2013/08/is-high-serum-t4-or-free-t4-level.html

I hope this helps.  You will still read older articles that say that an elevated Free T4 with a gray area T4 is confirmation of hyper-t, but that has been proven to not always be the case in more recent studies. 
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 09:28:30 PM by Mandycat » Logged
mickey
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2016, 10:39:07 PM »

Thank you for this info. I was stressing about food because you can't find a canned food without grain, kelp or Caragean. It's weird that both cats, litter mates, are acting this way. A big thank you!
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mikken
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2016, 10:51:45 AM »

Intestinal parasites can account for skinny, yet hungry all the time, too.  Even indoor only cats eat bugs and such that can carry gut critters.
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catwoods
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2016, 02:32:58 PM »

Hoping everything will work out well for both your kitties, mickey.
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