Cornell University seeking indoor cats for hyperthyroidism study

Note: As of Oct. 22, 2015, the following study is now closed.

The Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine is seeking indoor-only cats with hyperthyroidism for its study to determine whether specially formulated prescription cat foods can be effective in controlling thyroid hormone levels.

According to Cornell, Hill's Pet Nutrition is sponsoring the study, which means that all study-related veterinary care will be provided at no cost to owners who enroll their cats.

Joseph Wakshlag, MS, DVM, Ph.D., assistant professor of nutrition at the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, explained the premise of the study in a news release from the institution.

"Currently, there are several treatments for cats with hyperthyroidism, all with various pros and cons," said Wakshlag. "This study will help us determine if there is an additional, viable option - using a specially formulated prescription cat food to control thyroid hormone levels - that may make sense for some patients. Early results in some hard-to-control cats are promising and may be an option for some cats that are too old or have indications where radioactive iodine treatment is not an option."

Study participation details

Cats that are eligible to participate in the study must live exclusively indoors. They need to have increased thyroid hormone levels but otherwise be in good health that has been confirmed by the cat's veterinarian, Cornell reported.

Participating cats will need to undergo ongoing screening that includes six visits, of which two will require overnight stays at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. Owners who have difficulty traveling to the school's animal hospital can potentially arrange accommodations with regional veterinarians, Cornell said.  

Cornell encourages interested pet owners to learn more or preregister by contacting Angela Struble at 607-253-3060.

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