Patient Condition and History

Mya, a 14-year-old spayed female weighing 13lb, is an indoor-only, domestic shorthair cat who had no known medical problems. Carol Pipher, Mya’s owner and a veterinary technician from Southern Tier Veterinary Associates animal hospital in Vestal, NY, placed a PetPace collar on her for routine screening.

Monitoring Data and Medical Exam

The PetPace collar provided values that raised Carol’s concern, including elevated pulse levels (average – 182; Max – 231; Min – 130) and low HRV (VVTI – 8.2), so she decided to bring Mya to the hospital for a check-up.

Mya’s physical exam was unremarkable but her bloodwork showed marked elevation of thyroid hormone (T4-12.4; normal range 0.8-4.7), and an elevated Red Blood Cell count (RBC-11.6; normal range 7.12-11.4). Both changes are routinely seen in hyperthyroid cats. No other symptoms or problems were detected.

Mya was started on a course of oral medications, which effectively reduced her excess thyroid hormone levels. A 24-hour follow-up with the PetPace collar three months later showed significant improvements in all parameters. Pulse indexes were approximately 20% lower (average – 141; Max – 208; Min – 103) and HRV increased 13% (VVTI – 9.3).   

Elevated pulse indexes in a cat with occult hyperthyroidism.

Elevated pulse indexes in a cat with occult hyperthyroidism.

 

Significant decreases in pulse indexes following medical treatment for hyperthyroidism.

Significant decreases in pulse indexes following medical treatment for hyperthyroidism.

 

Discussion

Hyperthyroidism is a hormonal disorder caused by excess production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck. It is a relatively common disease in older cats. Since thyroid hormones regulate metabolism and a wide variety of processes in the body, almost any organ can be affected and clinical signs vary. The disease is insidiously progressive, and is often detected and diagnosed only after serious alterations occur, such as weight loss and damage to internal organs. This makes the disease highly detrimental to health and well-being, and makes treatment complex and expensive.

In Mya’s case, data from the PetPace collar prompted a veterinary exam, which resulted in an early diagnosis, effective treatment and a good outcome. Since diagnosis was made before advanced complications had developed, Mya’s condition was not bad and she responded well to medical treatment without further issues. The PetPace smart collar was instrumental in making the diagnosis and documenting her response to treatment.

Conclusions

The PetPace collar can provide early indications of changes in individual health status and alert pet owners. This enables owners to consult their veterinarian to determine the root of the problem and provide timely relief before major complications develop.

Many chronic diseases, including hyperthyroidism, progress slowly and insidiously over time. Symptoms are typically detected relatively late in the course of the disease, even by the most dedicated and astute owners. Early detection of chronic diseases is facilitated by non-specific changes in trends data and the analytics provided by PetPace.

Dr. Cari Bowlin, Medical Director at Southern Tier Veterinary Associates noted: “The data provided by the PetPace collar was what prompted us to thoroughly examine a presumably healthy cat. It enabled a timely diagnosis of a serious disease and turned my staff into believers in this innovative technology.”

Dr. Asaf Dagan, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Canine and Feline practice), and PetPace’s Chief Veterinarian, added, “The PetPace collar enables clinics to run routine periodic screening of their clients, for example as part of an annual work-up. This can be invaluable in early detection of chronic diseases and – as exemplified in this case – can dramatically improve pet health.”