Radioactive Iodine 131 is used to treat hyperthyroidism in cats.
What is Feline Hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism in cats is a fairly common disease affecting older cats. The thyroid glands, located in the neck, become enlarged and overproduce thyroid hormone. The thyroid glands play a large role in regulating your cat’s metabolic rate.
Older cats are at increased risk, though it is seen in cats from middle age to seniors. The average age is between 10-12 years old. No specific breed is known to be at increased risk.
There are no known preventative measures, so routine annual and semi-annual veterinary appointments and bloodwork are the best ways to detect hyperthyroidism so that treatment can be started as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Feline Hyperthyroidism:
Most owners notice a significant increase in appetite where their cat will eat nearly anything and everything. Despite eating more frequently, the cat will tend to lose weight. These cats often act hyperactive. Affected cats often drink a lot of water and urinate more frequently. There may be vomiting and diarrhea off and on. Anorexia may develop.
Secondary complications may occur, like high blood pressure and heart disease.
There are 3 treatment options for cats, oral medication, surgery, and radioactive Iodine. Oral medicine can help control the effects of an over-active thyroid, where surgery or radio-iodine treat the thyroid gland itself.
Surgical treatment removes the gland altogether.
Radio-iodine is the Gold Standard of treatment. Radio active iodine therapy is given by injection and destroys the abnormal tissues of the thyroid gland without endangering other organs. There are no known adverse reactions in cats. Treatment requires a 7-10 day hospitalization in a licensed hospital or facility.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hyperthyroidism:
How long is the hospital stay? Your cat must stay a minimum of 7-10 days in the hospital. It is not possible to remove your cat after treatment has begun until he/she is cleared by the attending veterinarian in accordance with state laws.
Can I visit my cat while being treated? No, state and federal laws prohibit anyone from visiting the radiation ward. Specially trained veterinary team members take care of cats undergoing radio-iodine treatment, including TLC.
What food will my cat eat while at the clinic? Owners are encouraged to bring in their pet’s normal food.
Can I bring my cat’s own blanket, toys, etc? Yes, you can bring a blanket, shirt, or towel for your cat during his/her stay with us. However, we can not return these items to you upon hospital release. Any personal items that remain with the cat will be disposed of after release, per state law.
Does the treatment hurt? No. Your cat will be given an injection under the skin, like a vaccine.
Do I need a referral? Yes. Your cat must have documented medical records from a licensed veterinarian to enroll in the radio-iodine program. If you don’t have veterinarian, but think your cat may be showing symptoms, we can easily set up an appointment for an evaluation.
Please call or email us any question you may have if considering this treatment option for your cat! We’ll gladly work with you and your referring veterinarian!
Call us today! (505)792-3700