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Press Release

New Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ y/d™ Feline Thyroid Health Pet Food Gives Life to Billy the Cat

March 2012 


Pet owner Judy Bernath loves her 11-year-old cat Billy, so when she noticed he had become lethargic, started losing weight and drastically changed from the happy cat he had once been, she made a visit to see her veterinarian Dr. David Bruyette, medical director at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, California. The VCA team diagnosed Billy as being hyperthyroid within a few days, and Dr. Bruyette shared conventional therapy options with Judy, like radiation therapy, daily pharmaceuticals and surgery. In addition, he discussed and ultimately recommended a new and different approach for Billy’s case – nutritional management. 


“I wasn’t keen on something invasive like surgery, and I knew Billy wouldn’t like taking a pill every day,” said Bernath. “Billy fights like only a Siamese cat can when I’ve tried giving him any kind of pill medication.” 


Dr. Bruyette recommended starting Billy on Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ y/d™ Feline, a newly launched pet food from Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Prescription Diet y/d is a daily, restricted iodine nutrition solution designed to manage hyperthyroidism in cats, and it is clinically proven to improve thyroid health in three weeks.1


“Surgery can be extremely invasive and daily pilling can negatively impact the relationship between a cat and pet owner. In Billy’s case I felt Prescription Diet y/d would be a good option,” said Dr. Bruyette. “After we talked about it Judy became confident this was an appropriate recommendation and sent her home with both the canned and dry pet food. 


After a transition from his previous pet food, we saw that Billy did just fine with no problems.” 


Billy being an older cat, Judy had to make a few special arrangements and overcome some old habits she had previously incorporated at feeding time. “I wondered if he would eat the canned pet food because sometimes he has trouble chewing, so I broke it up for him into small pieces,” said Bernath. “I wanted to give him some turkey with it, but Dr. Bruyette said ‘no,’ so I followed his instructions and Billy took right to it.” 


After trying the pet food for three weeks, Judy returned to the office with Billy for a checkup. A retest during that visit revealed Billy’s thyroid level had gone from a very high range of 7.7 to a normal range of 3.8. This is significant because high thyroid levels, when left untreated, create susceptibility to major complications such as heart or kidney failure and eventually death. At five weeks a reexamination discovered Billy had begun to gain back weight and his thyroid levels were continuing to improve. 


“Billy’s getting much, much better, and his thyroid levels are coming down based on eating the Hill’s pet food,” said Bernath. “Now that he’s returning to his former self I feel relieved. When he’s happy I’m happy.” 


Dr. Bruyette attributes Billy’s success to a combination of Prescription Diet y/d pet food and Judy’s diligence in following the VCA veterinary team recommendation, and the results Billy has seen gives Judy renewed hope for the future. 


In addition, as seen from Billy’s success, Dr. Bruyette is updating his protocol to include Prescription Diet y/d Feline as an integral part of managing hyperthyroidism in his patients. Dr. Bruyette added, “Now we have a management option that’s clinically proven and much more convenient for pet owners.” 


Hill’s recently released results from three studies conducted to determine the impact varying iodine concentrations have in cat food. The studies revealed what levels of iodine are necessary to take a hyperthyroid cat and normalize them and those needed to ensure normal cats aren’t rendered iodine deficient. They concluded that if the iodine content can be kept below 0.32 ppm, hyperthyroidism in cats can be controlled through nutrition alone. This is also dependent on pet owner compliance in providing the cat only Hill’s Prescription Diet y/d Feline without interruption of outside iodine-rich dietary products. Through this effort, the cat’s thyroid levels can be kept in the normal range. 


Hill’s Pet Nutrition Ltd. manufactures Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ brand pet foods, dietetic pet foods available through veterinary surgeons, and Hill’s™ Science Plan™ brand pet foods sold through veterinary practices and specialist pet shops. Founded more than 60 years ago with a unique commitment to pet nutrition and well-being, Hill’s™ is committed to its mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill’s™ produces high quality, great-tasting pet foods owners can trust and give to their canine and feline companions as part of a veterinary health care team recommendation. This ultimately improves patient health and the health of the practice. For more information about Hill’s Pet Nutrition Ltd, and Hill’s Evidence-Based Clinical Nutrition™ visit


1 When fed as the sole source of nutrition. 


Press Contact : Susan McKay, Companion Consultancy, Email Tel 01284 386891 Mobile 07887 515870