Hyperthyroidism is a common disorder in older cats. The thyroid glands are located in the neck and produce hormones which are important in regulating the body’s metabolic rate.
In hyperthyroidism, there is an overproduction of thyroid hormones, resulting in too much energy being burned up. An affected cat will typically suffer from weight loss despite having an increased appetite and increased food intake.
Radioactive iodine (I131) is a very safe and effective cure for hyperthyroidism. It has the advantage over other forms of hyperthyroidism treatment in that it is curative in most cases with no ongoing treatment required. It has no serious side effects and only requires a light sedation for administration. The only down side is that this treatment involves the handling of a radioactive substance. This carries no significant risk for your cat, but special measures need to be taken by people coming in contact with them. This treatment can only be carried out by a licensed facility and any cat receiving treatment needs to be hospitalised for a week afterwards. Special precautions will then need to be taken in the two weeks after your cat comes home. Most treated cats will have their thyroid function return to normal within a month of treatment.
At Mt Evelyn Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital, we are proud to offer I131 treatment for cats. Our nuclear medicine ward is very spacious and we make every effort to ensure your cat’s stay is as comfortable as possible. We understand how hard it can be for both you and your cat to be separated for a whole week. Rest assured that every cat treated will be cared for as if they were our own adored pet and you will be phoned daily with an update.
For the past 15 years, we have treated hundreds of cats. It is very satisfying to effect the change of a grumpy, hungry, skinny senior cat to a much happier feline, who is then able to enjoy their old age with comfort and finesse.
Both Dr Julie Morrow and Dr Nick Ogden hold I131 Radiation licenses. Feel free to call them at any time with queries about our Radioactive Iodine Treatment.