Spring 2013 
Mews & News
Riverside Cat Hospital

Clinic Hours 
Monday 8am-7pm
Tuesday thru Friday 8am-5pm
Closed weekends

Boarding pick-ups on Sunday at 5pm by special arrangement

Did you know that our clinic has a Facebook page?

Like us on Facebook


We use it to post interesting links or articles, as well as news updates regarding food recalls or other important information. We also love to see what our patients are up to at home, so you are welcome to post pictures of your cat there as well. Click on the Facebook icon above to visit our page.
In Memoriam
angel cat
In honor of our feline friends who have recently passed...

Dusty B.
Torino C.
Benny F.
Oscar H.
Chloe M.
Kittichan P.
Riley R.
Puki W.
Shadow Y.
Blackie Z.

Milo F.
Milo F.

Riverside Cat Hospital  Wellness Packages

New and improved for 2013! 


We have redesigned our wellness Package offerings for 2013 and are excited to introduce them to you!


Our new Wellness Packages include everything needed to keep your cat healthy and protected, including semi-annual checkup exams, vaccinations, and fecal testing for parasites. Packages are available for all life stages, including kittens, adults, and senior cats.


New this year, all Wellness Packages also include free, unlimited physical exams! If your cat becomes ill or is injured, you can bring him in and there will be no additional charge for the physical exam - a savings of almost $60!    
As always, all cats with Wellness Packages receive unlimited complimentary nail trims.
Call 517-347-2287 today to sign your cat up!


Contact Us

phone: 517-347-2287

4632 Okemos Rd.
Okemos, MI 48864

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Hold the Date!
Celebrate Downtown Okemos

The 2013 Celebrate Downtown Okemos event is scheduled for Saturday, June 1st. Last year's event was a big success, and we expect a great turnout this year as well.

Plan to spend the afternoon in downtown Okemos. There will be music, food, art, and kids' activities. We hope to see you there!
Welcome Spring!
Spotlight on Hyperthyroidism

Feline hyperthyroidism is a relatively common disease, typically affecting cats over 10 years of age.  It is usually caused by a benign tumor of one or both thyroid glands. These tumors produce excess thyroid hormone, which speeds up the cat's metabolism, causing weight loss. Hyperthyroidism, although common today, was not often seen in cats before the 1980's  The cause of this change in prevalence is not known, but there are studies ongoing to try to pinpoint the reason for the shift.


Hyperthyroidism is a disease that most commonly affects cats older than 10 years of age. Affected cats are usually underweight, despite a ravenous appetite. Often, owners will report an increase or change in vocalization habits. Due to the increased metabolism caused by excess thyroid hormone, affected cats will commonly have heart disease, accompanied by a heart murmur. A small thyroid "slip" or nodule can often be palpated on either side of the cat's neck during physical examination. This is the enlarged thyroid gland.



Diagnosis of hyperthyroidism is based largely on clinical signs and blood testing. Once the veterinarian suspects hyperthyroidism, based on the history of weight loss and increased appetite, physical exam findings, or other clinical signs, a simple blood test will be submitted to check the cat's thyroid hormone level, or T4  In most cases, the diagnosis is straightforward. However, in some cats with clinical symptoms of hyperthyroidism but a borderline T4 level, advanced testing may be necessary. If your cat has had routine screening senior bloodwork, a T4 level was probably part of this blood testing to screen for early hyperthyroidism.



Hyperthyroidism can be a devastating disease if not treated properly  Luckily, there are several very effective options for treatment. The "gold standard" treatment for hyperthyroidism in cats is radioactive iodine therapy. This treatment is also commonly used for people with hyperthyroidism. 

Radioiodine therapy involves the administration of an oral or injectable dose of radioactive iodine. The iodine is concentrated into the thyroid gland, where the radiation kills off the overactive thyroid tissue. Usually, enough normal thyroid tissue is spared so that treated cats don't need to take any thyroid supplementation after treatment. While very safe and effective, radioiodine therapy is expensive - usually $1000-1200. However, when compared to perhaps several years of medication and monitoring bloodwork, the cost of treatment is reasonable  Another drawback to the treatment for some pet owners is the need to leave their cat at the treatment center for several days for treatment. This is necessary due to the radiation given off by the cat's body after treatment with the radioactive iodine. After successful treatment with radioactive iodine, most cats experience a complete cure and require no additional medication or monitoring.


Another treatment for hyperthyroidism is surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland. Due to the increasing prevalence of radioiodine treatment centers, surgery is performed less commonly today than in the past. Surgery is usually curative, although there is a risk of immediate postoperative complications, and cats need to be monitored very carefully in the hospital for several days after treatment. Most cats do not require ongoing medication after surgery, although hyperthyroidism can relapse if the cat develops another tumor in the opposite thyroid gland.


The most common treatment for hyperthyroidism is chronic oral medication to prevent the thyroid gland from producing too much thyroid hormone. The medication, called methimazole, is available in the form of a pill, and usually needs to be given twice daily  A blood test is performed 1 month after starting the  medication, and then every 6 months thereafter to monitor treatment. For cats that don't take pills well, the medication may be compounded into a liquid form or into a transdermal gel, which is rubbed into the skin in the cat's ear.




Once a treatment method is chosen, appropriate monitoring can be instituted. After surgery or radioiodine therapy, chronic monitoring is usually not necessary. Blood tests are usually performed 1 month after the procedure to ensure that the cat is producing adequate thyroid hormone.


For cats taking methimazole, a physical examination and blood test are necessary every 6 months to ensure safe and effective treatment. Some cats can develop kidney disease after treatment for hyperthyroidism, so monitoring is important to detect problems early.


With early diagnosis, appropriate treatment and monitoring, cats with hyperthyroidism can be successfully managed and live normal, healthy lives.


Tell me more!


For more information, here are a few links to get you started:

Ask Izzy  Izzy
We are happy to report that Izzy has responded very well to her new thyroid medication. She is putting on weight and has been feeling a lot better! She thanks everyone for their kind words and attention during her illness.

Dear Izzy,

I am getting a little older, and sometimes I am a little slow and stiff getting up in the morning, or have trouble making the jump up onto the bed. Can cats get arthritis like people? Is it OK for my person to give me some aspirin or other over-the-counter pain reliever?

Thank you,
Sidney L.

Dear Sidney,

Thank you for your question. I'm glad you asked it, because lots of my cat friends are living longer, and feline arthritis is definitely becoming a more common problem. You should ask your person to schedule a vet visit for you to discuss this problem with your vet. There are new, safe and effective treatment options for feline arthritis. Is is absolutely NOT SAFE to give aspirin or any other type of over-the-counter pain reliever to cats. Medications like ibuprofen or Tylenol that are safe for people can actually be very toxic for cats. In fact, people should always check with the vet before giving ANY over-the-counter medication to pets.

I think a good suggestion for your person would be to get you a heated bed!!


The Last Word      


  ZSL Cat Map
Check out this fun new map that we found online. It is an interactive housecat map, managed by the London Zoological Society. The map is a fun way for the ZSL to raise awareness about big cat conservation. You can use the map to browse, or search for specific types of housecats. For example, if you search for tortoiseshell cats named "Izzy", you will see that there is one in Okemos, and if you click on the icon there, you will see a picture and description of Izzy.

Let's see how many cats from Riverside Cat Hospital we can put on the map! Visit the map here to enter your own cats!
Dr. Kerry Lewis
Riverside Cat Hospital