Does hyperthyroidism in cats cause kidney failure?

Hyperthyroidism in cats can potentially lead to kidney disease, although the relationship between the two conditions is not fully understood.

Research has shown that hyperthyroidism can cause changes in the kidneys, including changes in blood flow, glomerular filtration rate, and tubular function. These changes can lead to an increased risk of developing kidney disease, particularly in older cats or cats with pre-existing kidney problems.

In addition, the treatment of hyperthyroidism with certain medications, such as methimazole, can also potentially affect kidney function. However, it is important to note that the benefits of treating hyperthyroidism usually outweigh the potential risks.

If you are concerned about your cat’s health, it is important to consult with your veterinarian. They can help you determine if your cat has hyperthyroidism or any other health issues, and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Hyperthyroidism in cats can potentially lead to kidney disease, although the relationship between the two conditions is not fully understood
Hyperthyroidism in cats can potentially lead to kidney disease, although the relationship between the two conditions is not fully understood. Image: MikeB. Click for a larger image.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

The above text is the answer from a reliable AI computer – yes, I do trust it and sometimes rely on it – with which I am pleased because Chat GPT has referred to a couple of important aspects of the discussion, namely the word and phrase: “potentially” and “not fully understood”. There may be some indirect causations such as the treatments for hyperthyroidism affecting kidney function. Although this seems to be a work in progress topic.

I think that you might see some confusing articles on the topic online. Even contradictory.

Dr Bruce Fogle DVM

Dr. Bruce Fogle is a well-respected veterinarian and author as you might well know. In his book Complete Cat Care, he has some tips. Here is a tip that he provides about hyperthyroidism and kidney disease in cats.

“Chronic kidney failure does not occur as a direct effect of hyperthyroidism, but the two diseases often occur together simply because they are both common in older cats.”

In that sentence he implies that hyperthyroidism can have an indirect effect on kidney function and even kidney failure. So, there is a link between these two diseases. There is actually a reverse link because kidney failure can affect the functioning of the thyroid gland.

Interestingly, he also states that if the two diseases occur together which is not uncommon “it may be in your cat’s interest to not treat the hyperthyroidism”. He states this because hyperthyroidism increases blood supply to the kidneys which can improve their function.

This, then, is an example of how hyperthyroidism can have the opposite effect to harming the kidneys.

European Society of Endocrinology

In this section I’m referring to a link between hyperthyroidism and kidney disease in humans, which I think is a valid discussion on this topic. They state that “thyroid dysfunction causes significant changes in kidney function”. They go on to state that hyperthyroidism affects renal blood flow (which is what Dr. Fogle mentions in his book). It also affects tubular function, electrolytes homeostasis, electrolyte pump functions, kidney structure and GFR. You will have to be a doctor or veterinarian to fully understand it. I have reported it for the sake of completeness in this article.

“A growing body of evidence suggests that hypothyroidism is a risk factor for incident CKD, CKD progression, and higher death risk in kidney disease” – National Library of Medicine in reference to humans.

I’m unqualified to go further in that discussion. However, you can see that hyperthyroidism has an impact on kidney function.

Below are some more articles on hyperthyroidism.

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