For all of us with a geriatric cat at home, there is a new way to treat one of the most common geriatric diseases of cats, hyperthyroidism. It’s the new Y/D diet from Science diet. Hyperthyroidism is caused when the thyroid gland starts to produce excess amounts of thyroid hormone. In cats, this causes severe weight loss, heart murmurs, hypertension, stroke and eventually death. For years our most common treatment involves giving the cat a pill twice a day. This can be problematic for many reasons, the most significant is no one wants to pill their cat twice a day. The Y/D diet helps to treat hyperthyroidism by limiting the amount of iodine in the food. Iodine is the essential element the thyroid gland needs to produce excessive amounts of hormone, so restricting the amount of iodine essentially decreases production of thyroid hormone and alleviates symptoms. At this time we are beginning to use y/d as part of our treatment protocol and are hopeful that it will either decrease the amount of medication needed or possibly eliminate medication in some lucky patients. To discuss if this is an option for your cat, please contact Countryside Animal Hospital to schedule a visit with your veterinarian.