Canned Food/Hyperthyroid Link? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Canned Food/Hyperthyroid Link?

Hey guys, I want people's opinion on something. I rescently came across this article:

www.kittyvillage.org/articles.asp

If anyone has trouble with the link, it is a article from last year, that speaks of a study that showed a possible link between the lacquers in pop top canned food and hyperthyroidism in cats. Now my understanding is that it was a pretty shallow study, and wasnt exactly very in depth. Apparently some vet hospital records were pulled and scanned for hyperthyroid cats. Those owners were contacted with a questionaire and asked about their cats feeding habits. My understanding is that they didnt take into account cats previous medical conditions, genetics, or quality of food. So maybe this study is a bit suspect. But it still makes me wonder if it is true. We all try to hard to do whats best for our cats, including a wet food diet to reduce urinary crystals and fight obesity, yet we see articles like this. Its so frustrating.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 02:01 PM
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This isn't the first time I've heard of this study and the results. There might be some truth to it, but I wouldn't preach it as gospel. If you can find it, you can buy cat food in larger cans that do not have the pop top lid. I can't find large cans locally so I buy the kind with the pop top. In my case, it's far more important for Sabby's health to have the high-quality canned food than it is to worry about the risk of hyperthyroidism that might be associated with the packaging.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-17-2005, 06:23 PM
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I buy cat foods in large cans anyway since it is much cheaper and I have five cats.

I think there IS a link between pop-up tops and hyperthyrodism, but it is NOT what people think. A lot of people buy perscription canned foods when their cats are feeling unwell, and all of them have pop-up lids. Also, people in general tend to give their cats canned cat food when the cats are losing appetite since it induces the cats to eat more (yummy, yummy meat popsicles ) Those same people would buy cat foods in smaller, pop-up cans because their cats are not eating much. Since one of the classic symptoms of hyperthyrodism is cats losing their appetite, the result of the experiment is actually NOT very surprising. It is to be expected.

That being said, for a lot of newer foods (I try to give my cats variety) I cannot find large cans even though I know they exist. It is so absolutely irritating.

Grrrr....living in the middle of nowhere kinda sucks.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-17-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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Don't feel bad about not finding large cans. The food in them is not the same as the food in the smaller cans. The large cans are manufactured at different plants (not the same ones where they make the small cans) and when you look at the food you realize that the most important part - the moisture, the reason we buy canned food - is not there. Also, the food doesn't even look the same or smell the same.

As for the studies regarding a connection between canned food and thyroid disease, there are problems with the conclusions and recommendations we all need to think about very carefully. If we don't, we can create far more serious health problems at a much earlier age for our cats and this is not the alternative any of us should consider.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-17-2005, 08:45 PM
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(Actually, anorexia and lethargy appear in "atypical" cases of hyperthyroidism. The more common presentation is ravenous appetite and weight loss despite eating more than enough to maintain body weight, among other symptoms)

I've also heard the theory of canned food and hyperthyroidism, but there have been a lot of variables...canned food, type of can/lid, contents (giblets, liver, and fish seem to be most commonly mentioned). However, I have to say that, as a thyroid patient myself, and having had a vet (not my regular vet) stubbornly tell me that my cat was hyperthyroid based on one single T4 reading (later thyroid panels showed she wasn't), I wonder how many of these hyperthyroid cats were really carefully observed before diagnosis and treatment, and how many had a single high T4 screening and got sent home with a bottle of tapazole. I don't doubt that there might well be something in the packaging or contents that could contribute to hyperthyroidism, but I don't think it's something that's been studied very deeply yet. I personally feed big cans because it's cheaper, and I avoid fish anyhow, but some foods I've been looking at for a new feeding plan for Assumpta only come in smaller cans, so I don't yet know how much of a factor it'll be in my decision-making process...I guess it all depends on how many appropriate foods I end up with to choose from...but like Annissa said, something that might possibly cause hyperthyroidism is lower on my list of problems than something that might hasten the onset of very early-stage CRF (very early as in "you're probably not likely to see symptoms for several years yet" <knocking wood>), which is lower on my list of problems than foods that might exacerbate chronic pancreatitis...I'm having a hard enough time finding a few decent foods that fit THAT bill, never mind what size can they come in!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-17-2005, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meowmie
Don't feel bad about not finding large cans. The food in them is not the same as the food in the smaller cans. The large cans are manufactured at different plants (not the same ones where they make the small cans) and when you look at the food you realize that the most important part - the moisture, the reason we buy canned food - is not there. Also, the food doesn't even look the same or smell the same.
.
That is soooo true!!! I used to buy Science Diet chicken and liver entree kitten canned food in 3 ounce cans and my kitties loved it. One time I found a store that sells it in 14 ounce cans I was like YAY!!!! My cats, however, thought it was nasty. All of it went to waste
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-17-2005, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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The study does seem to be very shallow as far as how they came up with their answers. It does warrant a much closer look, but I too would be interested in the cats preexisting conditions, what was in the food, what the quality of the food is, etc. Im trying to tell myself that a wet food diet is still better regardless of this concern, at least until the study is corroberated (sp?). If they come up with something conclusive, I will strongly think about switching away again. Being the study is 18 months old, I would hope that if it was a truly convincing study, we wouldve heard more about it, and they would be working on a different type of lacquer or dropping the pop top cans all together (at least the healthier companies).

Shengmei, dont feel bad about where you live and lack of large canned cat food. I live in a very busy area, and the pet store I was at the other day had very very few 13 oz cans. It is a bit frustrating.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 01:40 AM
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JOY

I had been feeling pretty good all this week.
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