Thyroidectomy in the Cat

Birchard S.J.

Clin Tech Small Anim Pract, 2006. 21(1): p.29-33.


Thyroidectomy in cats is most commonly indicated to treat hyperthyroidism because of adenomatous hyperplasia of the thyroid glands. Preoperative stabilization of the hyperthyroid cat with antithyroid drugs is preferred to minimize anesthetic and surgical complications. Multiple surgical techniques for thyroidectomy have been reported, and results of surgery and complications differ between techniques. The extracapsular technique offers the most complete removal of abnormal thyroid tissue, while still being associated with a low incidence of postoperative hypoparathyroidism. Important postoperative considerations are to carefully monitor serum calcium concentrations and treat hypocalcemia if necessary, and to monitor the cat for evidence of relapse of hyperthyroidism.