Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Feline hyperthyroidism and human health.
Hyperthyroidism, now common in domestic cats, was unheard of in felines until the late 1970s, when veterinarian Mark Peterson noticed similarities between a patient's symptoms and the signs of hyperthyroidism in humans. Veterinarians around the world began to diagnose the condition in cats while research was beginning to link the condition to fire retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers(PBDEs) and because humans and cats live side by side, scientists are increasingly concerned that the feline disorder is a harbinger of a threat to human health. A study showed that found relatively large quantities of PBDEs in several types of cat food, particularly seafood-flavored canned foods. Another study in Illinois discovered that pet cats had higher PBDE levels than feral ones and that hyperthyroid cats tended to live in homes that were particularly saturated with the flame retardants. In 2015, a Swedish team found that hyperthyroid cats had significantly higher levels of three types of PBDEs in their blood than healthy cats did. Last year, researchers in California reported a similar result: Total PBDE levels were higher in cats with hyperthyroidism than those without. Sick animals can be sentinels, warning of looming threats to human health. In case of household chemicals, cats and dogs, which tend to spend nearly all their time in the home and happily hoover up whatever detritus falls on the floor, may be particularly useful sentinels. Our household pets are exposed to many of the same kinds of chemicals that we are,and the effects we are observing now is a signal of the same causes on our health. Today, senior cats are routinely screened for hyperthyroidism, and about 10 percent will be found to have the disease. Owners can choose from a variety of treatments, including drugs, surgery or radioactive iodine, which destroys the hyperactive thyroid cells while sparing the healthy tissue. source